Provincetown is located at the very tip of the flexed arm that makes up Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Affectionately known as P-town, the area is almost desolate in the winter, but becomes a thriving hot spot for tourists every summer. The population goes from under 3,000 to up to 60,000 at the height of the season!
Provincetown is known for its progressive attitude, gorgeous seaside views, incredible art, decadent restaurants, and the magnificent specialty shops clustered on and around Commercial Street.
Although the pilgrims ultimately decided to settle across the bay in Plymouth, the Mayflower actually landed in Provincetown in 1620! This event is commemorated by the towering Pilgrim Monument and neighboring Provincetown Museum.
Originally a thriving fishing and whaling village, the city began to garner a reputation for its art – including written works, music and theater – in the 1890’s. Its popularity as a tourist destination also began around this time.
As stated above, the artistic history of Provincetown dates all the way back to the late 1800’s. Nowadays the streets are lined with galleries, handmade jewelry shops, and every manner of crafts you can imagine. Despite how small the village is, it still attracts musicians, writers and creative types of all kind.
There is a thriving theater scene from burlesques and cabarets to Shakespeare and independent film. The Water’s Edge Cinema hosts the annual Provincetown Film Festival.
3. Music & Dance
Nightlife in Provincetown during the summer months rivals Boston, and since it is a hub for the LGBTQ community, the types of shows are incredibly creative and diverse.
Bubalas by the Bay is known for its live jazz and eclectic dance music and Boatslip Beach Club has the biggest outdoor dance parties in Provincetown featuring different themes from current hits to disco!
Known as a longtime haven for artists and members of the LGBTQ community, P-town is known for its relaxed, welcoming atmosphere of diversity and acceptance. Aside from the artistic aspects of music, theater and literature, Provincetown is also the setting for the annual “Women’s Week” festival, attended by almost 2,000 women. It is the “longest running lesbian cultural event in the Northeast.”
5. Food & Drink
From fish shacks and lobster rolls to fine dining, P-town has incredibly decadent food at every turn! Sample craft beer at the Nor’Easter Beer Garden, cocktails with a view at Aqua Bar, grab an ice cream cone from Lewis Brothers Homemade Ice Cream, fudge from any one of a dozen or more sweet shops…the options are endless!
With so much to look at around Commercial Street it can be easy to forget that P-town is also known for its natural beauty! Visit Herring Cove Beach for a relaxing day in the sun followed by a night-time summer concert, tour Race Point Lighthouse, or explore the beauty of the city on a rented bike!
Provincetown is packed with some of the most adorable and luxurious B & B’s in New England! What could be more romantic than a weekend in the city that celebrates the equality of love? Not to mention the gorgeous sunsets, moonlit beach strolls and candle-lit 5-star dinners!
You won’t find many chain shops, rather Provincetown is known for its unique boutiques, one-of-a-kind furniture, homegoods, clothing, jewelry, and of course – art!
When visiting P-town in the summer you will see almost as many dogs as humans! Most shops are pup-friendly and restaurants and bars with patios welcome four-legged friends. Almost all offer cool bowls of water and some even provide treats and dog-friendly menu options!
Don’t forget to visit Pilgrim Bark Park! There are two designated areas – one for general use and one for small pups. Watch your furry friend frolic as you take in the many sculptures created and donated by local artists!