My husband and I were lucky enough to spend a weekend in Provincetown recently. Fall is a lovely time to visit, and we found ourselves enjoying every shop and gallery downtown on Commercial Street. While the weather was a bit cloudy and misty, our weekend was still delightful. There were fewer crowds (but still an exciting place to be), great food, long walks, and a new discovery - the Provincetown Breakwater.
From where we were staying, we could observe people walking along the dike out towards Long Point Light and Wood End Light. We estimated it was about half a mile to cross from the West End of town across the rocks to the lighthouses. Well, we underestimated the walk. As many people said as we passed them along the way, "This is longer than it looks!" But worth it completely. With our fitbits we measured it to be about 1.2 miles of granite boulders. I would caution you that this may be difficult to cross at high tide or if the rocks are slippery. It's a workout.
Later we learned that the dike (which I kept incorrectly referring to as a jetty) is actually referred to as the Breakwater because it divides two portions of Cape Cod Bay. When construction began in 1910, the plan was to enclose part of the marsh to prevent a permanent breach. The Army Corp. of Engineers brought in 1200 granite boulders to construct the 6150 foot-long dike.
Once you cross the Breakwater, you arrive at a quiet, peaceful, uncrowded, and pristine piece of sandy land. Walk a bit west, and there is the Wood End Lighthouse. Walk straight ahead, and you are welcomed by vast beach and sweeping views back towards the Lower Cape. Walk a ways to the east, and you will discover Long Point Lighthouse. We chose to lie in the warm sand and not venture out much farther. It felt like we were a million miles away on our own island. Occasionally we would meet someone who also had hiked the breakwater and together we marveled at what a gem this part of Provincetown is and how happy we were to have taken the trek.