Provincetown, with its narrow streets and historic homes, offers a day trip like
no other on the Cape. History, the arts, nature, shopping, dining and a taste of
alternate lifestyles are all to be found here.
Provincetown is easy to find – just take Route 6 all the way up the “arm” of the
Your first stop might be one of the Atlantic beaches after arriving at the outermost
tip of the Cape. Race Point is a good choice for its dunes, beautiful beach, and
magnificent vista of the Atlantic.
Race Point Beach is part of the Cape Cod National Seashore. Visit the Province Lands
Visitor's Center, the Race Point Light Station (open for tours on the first and
third Saturdays from June until October) and the Old Harbor Life-Saving Station,
which was built in Chatham in 1897 and moved by barge to its new location near Race
Point in November 1977. On Thursday evenings in summer, breeches buoy rescue reenactments
are conducted on the grounds. You can also arrange for tours through the dunes.
Back in town, the central meeting spot is in front of the Town Hall on Commercial
Street, the town’s main commerce area. You’ll frequently find street performers
here, and it is a good spot to get a flavor for this bohemian town.
Provincetown Pilgrim Monument
Before you head out along Commercial Street to the shops, you might want to visit
The Pilgrim Monument behind the Town Hall. 2010 marked the 100th anniversary
of the 252 feet, tallest all-granite structure in the United States. The monument
commemorates the fact that the Pilgrims actually spent five weeks in Provincetown
Harbor and exploring the mainland before deciding to sail across Cape Cod Bay, where
they found a more protected area for settlement in Plymouth. The climb up 116 stairs
and 60 ramps to the top is rewarded with spectacular views. The monument and Provincetown
Museum are open daily between April and November.
From the East End to the West End, along Commercial Street, are the eclectic shops
and dining establishments for which Provincetown is well known.
Since the 1910s, "Ptown" has been an artists’ haven. The Provincetown Art Association
and Museum at 460 Commercial Street was founded in 1914. It houses a permanent collection
of American art and offers frequent exhibitions of renowned artists.
Today, a diverse gay and lesbian community contributes to the unique shopping and
art experiences along the heart of Ptown. While there are plenty of souvenir shops,
you might find a piece of hand crafted jewelry, an original photograph or something
for the home that you just can’t resist.
Provincetown Skipping Bay
Dining in Provincetown means seafood, so take your pick among lobster rolls, fresh
chowders, fried clams, and fish and chips for lunch. Eat in one of the harbor front
restaurants, or take out from one of the spots near the wharf. Don’t miss the Portuguese
bakeries! If you can stay in town for dinner, you won’t be disappointed in the creative
cuisine you’ll find.
Before you leave town, take a stroll along MacMillan Wharf. Provincetown’s earliest
history was as a fishing village, and there is still a fleet of boats that goes
out daily. On the wharf you’ll find the Whydah Museum, where you can view the world’s
only pirate treasure—together with weapons, clothing, and jewelry—that showcase
the history of this famous shipwreck that went down off Marconi Beach in 1717.
By taking Route 6A back south through Truro, you will be rewarded with a shoreside
route past yet another of Provincetown’s landmarks, its harborside cottages. You’ll
be leaving with plenty of memories and, most likely, plans to return.