Provincetown: Sizzling Summertime Fun
Imagine a flawless late afternoon in mid July. The heat of the day has subsided, and a fresh, salty breeze is blowing through scrub pines and rustling the dune grasses. The dramatic sands of Cape Cod’s National Seashore begin to sparkle, and the blue waters of the Atlantic glint in the long light.
Sunbathers at award-winning beaches like Race Point and Herring Cove – considered one of the best gay beaches in the world – either begin to pack up their things or set up for a sunset picnic or fire-lit clam bake along the shore. Bicyclists can be seen winding their way along magical trails through the dunes, where some of America’s greatest artists have found refuge and inspiration.
Back in town, Commercial Street is in full swing. It’s a three-mile stretch of eclectic and upscale shops, renowned art galleries and world-class restaurants welcoming the diverse crowds. They have come from across the country and around the world, a diverse mix of people from cities far and wide – Boston, Miami, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco, Dallas, Rio de Janeiro, Hong Kong, Toronto, Montreal, and more – all drawn by Ptown’s unique personality and the promise of uninhibited fun.
A welcoming atmosphere, unparalleled natural beauty and a bevy of entertainment options – these are just some of the many reasons Provincetown was recently rated one of the ten happiest seaside towns in America for 2014 by Coastal Living magazine, adding to a long list of accolades in 2013, when Fodor’s Travel, Smithsonian Magazine and others named Ptown one of America’s 10 Best Small Towns to visit, and Travel and Leisure called it one of ‘America’s Most Romantic’ destinations.
As the pool parties and beach side lounges begin to quiet down, swimwear is left for tomorrow and visitors don whatever suits their fancy for a night out at Ptown’s trendy and legendary bars and clubs. There’s something for every fetish and fantasy here, from raucous cabarets and off-color comedians to live music and killer DJ’s that keep the dance floors gyrating and in some clubs, optional clothes checks at the door. Bears and cubs, leather daddies, and gear men mix with drag queens and performance artists amid the colored lights and intimate corners of Ptown’s seductive nightlife.
And as if the unique everyday isn’t enough, Ptown will outdo itself this summer with two performances on Monday, August 4th, by the legendary Liza Minnelli and the loveable Alan Cumming – a show that truly encapsulates the spirit of Provincetown’s growing top-drawer entertainment scene.
But before August arrives and Ptown’s second summer gets swinging, there are many events not to be forgotten: one of the East Coast’s best Independence Day parties on July 4th, Bear Week beginning on July 12, and Girl Splash from the 22-26. Those looking for a different kind of pulse-pounding experience can join the Outriders Boston to Providence Bike Race on June 21.
To cap things off, Carnival is the GLBT event of the summer, full of flamboyance and a true celebration of individuality that rivals its counterparts in Rio and New Orleans. The origins of the word carnival are literally in the flesh, and Provincetown’s incarnation of this annual festival is a truly fantastic mélange of outrageous costumes and carnal desires. The parties and parades begin on Saturday, August 16, but smart carnival-goers come early and stay late to take advantage of the multi-day events schedule.
In the 1960s and 70s, Provincetown was a truly unpretentious place – and it still is – but it’s no longer only white clapboard houses and quaint seaside inns. The charm remains, but now there’s some swank and swagger rivaling grand destinations worldwide. Guests looking for accommodations will find a range of great options, from classic Cape guesthouses to chic boutique hotels and luxurious resorts with spacious suites and elegant amenities.
Restaurants have upped their game, too, with several new and ambitious entries offering up delicious twists on traditional Cape Cod fare. There’s a renewed focus on local ingredients and hometown talent, as Ptown’s chefs are beginning to make a name for themselves in the region. None of this, however, has taken away from Provincetown’s casual side, and Commercial Street can still boast some of New England’s best pizza parlors, sandwich shops, ice cream joints and cafés – perfect for a midday siesta, a late-night snack or the best cup of clam chowder on the Cape.
All this is to say that Provincetown will be the epitome of summer again this year, keeping it the first and foremost destination for Gay travel. Join us!
For more information, please visit ptowntourism.com. And be sure to download the iPtown App, complete with a directory of town businesses and attractions, and a calendar of the year’s festivals events. Available on both iTunes and Google Play.