The Getaway
All of the Exciting Things to do in Provincetown

If you're torn between a quaint and cozy vibe and eccentric nightlife, Provincetown, Massachusetts, is the place for you. Settled at the farthest edge of Cape Cod, Provincetown is on the beach with much to offer all year round. There's an art scene, scenic views, and shopping galore. Also known as America's first Destination, Provincetown has a rich history and is where the pilgrims first landed, so whether you're looking to dive into the past or indulge in modern luxuries, Provincetown is an exciting city with a one-of-a-kind culture.


01 Check out historical sights

Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown during sunset Provincetown, MA US Vadim Anvaer/ Getty Images

The pilgrims weren't the most likable people in history, but they did make their mark in Provincetown. It was the first place they hit land aboard the Mayflower in the New World in 1620. Although they didn't stay there, the Pilgrim Monument stands today to commemorate this moment in history. It's a 252-foot granite tower built in 1910 that you can climb to get the best views of Provincetown.


02 Feel empowered in an inclusive town

Town Hall of Provincetown Massachusetts USA August 2017 at the end of Cape Cod Provincetown has a large gay population of residents and tourists. Vadim Anvaer/ Getty Images

Provincetown embraces all people and has been a welcoming destination for the LGBTQ community for decades. Provincetown is a place that never hesitates to celebrate uniqueness. There are numerous events, parades, and themed weekends so everyone can have fun and feel welcomed. There's also entertaining nightlife that centers around inclusivity and the LGBTQ community. Have a great night at the Crown and Anchor, an establishment that supports and honors queer arts.


03 Grab some grub

Eating is one of life's simple pleasures, and in Provincetown, you have great restaurants to choose from. By going down the main street, Commercial Street, you'll be able to satisfy every craving. Try The Lobster Pot for an "authentic Cape Cod dining experience." You'll also have a plethora of options for your sweet tooth. For a niche Provincetown experience, go to Scott Cakes selling cupcakes exclusively with pink frosting.


04 Shop until you drop

Provincetown, commercial street Maremagnum/ Getty Images

Provincetown is all about variety when it comes to shopping. Whether you're in a touristy mood or looking for striking pieces, anyone can find something interesting to buy. Affectionately known as Ptown, you'll see souvenirs with this moniker to remember your time here. You'll also find local businesses to support that sell artisan clothing, jewelry, accessories, and decor. There are thrift shops, too, since sustainability is a cause that is important to Provincetown.


05 Show off your artsy side

The arts scene in Provincetown is huge. One of the most popular places to visit is the Provincetown Art Association and Museum, or PAAM. PAAM showcases regional and local art from Cape Cod and surrounding communities. Provincetown is considered one of America's oldest continuous art colonies, so it is no surprise they have its own gallery district. There are over 40 galleries for you to stroll through.


06 Learn and listen on a tour

Trying to navigate and learn all you can about your vacation spot can be exhausting. Provincetown offers various walking tours that divulge into art, architecture, and the history of this maritime city. You can also try out a ghost tour if you're feeling spooky. These dive into the haunted history of Provincetown. Tours are a wonderful way to get acclimated and connect with a city's culture and history.


07 Head to the beach

Path with beach fence leading to a secluded beach at sunset near Provincetown on Cape Cod. DenisTangneyJr/ Getty Images

The beach may seem an obvious choice, but you can't miss out on visiting one in Provincetown. Beautiful beaches, like Hering Cove and Race Point, offer visitors a serene and natural experience. These aren't gentrified with a boardwalk and cafes, so you can appreciate the dunes, take a swim or watch the sunset in peace. Provincetown participates in major conservation efforts to ensure that its beaches are protected and remain pristine.


08 See the view of a lighthouse

Wood End Lighthouse in Provincetown on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA, Sanghwan Kim/ Getty Images

Lighthouses are exclusive to the seaside, so they're always exciting to visit. Provincetown has two: Woodend and Longpoint. These were restored and preserved for the public to learn about. They're a part of history and were essential to sailors in Provincetown. There are guided hikes available to Woodend and Longpoint, as well as ferry services. There are also nearby restaurants, so you can spend an entire afternoon enjoying the lighthouses.


09 Immerse yourself in nature

Autumn forest landscape on Cape Cod. Tranquil woods with curving weathered bridge footpath over the marsh wetland. Sanghwan Kim/ Getty Images

If you like hiking, you're in luck! Provincetown has trails and plenty of nature to enjoy. Check out the Beech Forest Trail, which is close to the center of town. It's approximately a mile and goes in a loop around the Beach Forest Pond to lead you back to where you started. Another excellent hike is through the dunes at Race Point Beach, appropriately called Dunes Shacks Trail. It's also a fantastic spot to birdwatch.


10 Bike your way through town

Bike in front of Provincetown shops Guy Banville/ Getty Images

Tired of walking? Hop on a bike in Provincetown. There are a handful of places where you can rent bikes, making it a convenient activity and a useful mode of transportation. Provincetown is bike-friendly, so you can be leisurely and cycle around the commercial areas, or you can be more adventurous and explore bike trails. Bike rentals will provide you with advice and some maps to ensure a safe and fun experience.


11 Go whale watching

A whale watching cruise boat takes tourists to watch whales off Provincetown, Cape Cod, MA, USA. suefeldberg/ Getty Images

Provincetown is a popular destination for whale watching. Boats leave from Provincetown Harbor and take excited spectators out on the ocean to view these incredible animals, specifically the endangered North Atlantic right whale. Whale watching season is open from April to October. Summer is the busiest month, so spring or fall would be great seasons to check it out. There are multiple excursions to participate in, so pick the best one for you.


12 Attend a festival

Festivals aren't a daily happening in Provincetown, but if you time it right, you can have an incredible experience with an incredible community. They have their own international film festival and a food and wine fest, to name a few. Keep an eye on the calendar if you have something specific in mind. One of the year's biggest events is Carnival, which takes place in August.


13 Have a pint or two

Provincetown has a lot of breweries, so it's the perfect place to sit down, relax, and have a beer. One of the standouts is Provincetown Brewing Co., with local beers to try and a tasty menu. They also have what they like to call "draftivism," a way to give back to their community; 15% of all profits go towards non-profit organizations that support environmental conservation, LGBTQ inclusion, and other local causes.


14 Or venture to a winery

If beer isn't your thing, why not try a winery? Truro Winery is a scenic spot a little outside Provincetown. This winery offers a one-of-a-kind experience at an 1830s farmhouse. You can accompany this tasting with a tour of the vineyard. Another perk is that it's pet friendly. Bring your furry friend to keep you company while you sample wine and decide if you'll also hit up their gift shop.


15 Relax at the spa

A lot of hustle can be involved on your vacation, but in Provincetown, you can find your zen. Provincetown has lovely spas and wellness centers where you can get massages, facials, and niche services to rejuvenate your body. Other places have saunas and hot tubs to reach peak relaxation in solitude. Many spas also include meditative environments to ensure you're calm and serene while you're being pampered inside and out.


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