Provincetown, Massachusetts is one of the top destinations for gay travelers in the United States, and their reputation is well-deserved: there’s a multitude of things to do, places to see, and at the end of the day, places to stay. If you’re trying to figure out a schedule to soak up as much of the sights during the day, you might find these recommendations helpful. Also take note of our lodging recommendations, which are all adjacent to fun nightlife options.
THINGS TO DO
The natural beauty of the area lures people in year after year and brings people back as well. For example, did you know that Provincetown is one of the best places for whale-watching in all of New England? It’s close to the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, where humpback whales congregate during the summer. Nothing says beautiful photography like a whale fin protruding from the water. Also, it sounds like an opportunity for a pretty rocking selfie.
Mix your love of cycling and laying out on the beach by riding your bike through the Cape Cod National Seashore. There is an eight-mile trail that takes you through secluded dunes and beautiful stretches of forest. Want to get to the beach? The main loop has detours that can get you to Race Point Beach and also to Herring Cove Beach. Race Point Beach is better for its views and the time you can spend relaxing on the sand. If you want to swim, Herring Cove Beach is your better bet.
If you don’t want to venture too far out, you will find so many different opportunities to shop, play and relax in the main part of town, on a road called Commercial Street. Rainbow flags dot the way as tourists saunter their way along the path, stopping in at various cafés, restaurants, shops and art galleries. Side streets are also home to art galleries and businesses, giving the visitor an intimate and welcome feel. Be sure to make time for a stroll along The Pier, just off Commercial Street.
PLACES TO STAY
Where should you stay? This is something that requires a lot of thought so feel free to do your homework and figure out what place is right for you. While you’re doing that, let me give you some advice on places that you might find intriguing. I know I do!
First, there’s the Brass Key Guesthouse (67 Bradford Street, (800) 842-9858). Provincetown is very picturesque, but as soon as you take one look at these renovated 18th and 19th century houses and cottages, you will think you stepped into a scene from a postcard.
On the property there are many room options, housed in converted cottages, a Queen Anne-style house and a Victorian house, just to mention a few. The interiors are impeccably designed, giving the traveler a feel of posh luxury but also a coziness that can only be found on a property such as this. The guestrooms in the Carriage House overlook a shimmering private pool. A spa is adjacent to the captain’s house and cabanas. In addition, weddings and special events can be performed in the tree-canopied special events pavilion. There are many wedding packages available, call for details. For those who want to relax with a nice drink but don’t want to venture too far from the room, there is a chic martini bar, the Shipwreck Lounge, on-site.
The Crown & Anchor (247 Commercial Street, (508) 487-1430) has everything you could possibly ask for within a stone’s throw. Stay at the Inn, dine on the weekends at the Central House Restaurant (which specializes in “Seasonal Rustic American Cuisine”), enjoy libations and snacks at the poolside bar and grille, and party at any of the bars and nightclubs in the complex: the Paramount, with world-famous DJs spinning the beats; the Wave, the first video bar in Provincetown; and the Vault, everything a leather bar should be.
The Captain’s House B&B (350A Commercial Street, (508) 487-9353) is centrally located on the main street, close to the beaches and mere minutes from the Fast Ferry that comes in from Boston. Each of its twelve guest rooms is decorated according to a special theme, such as “Seafoam,” “Bay Breeze,” or “Country Time.” The 97-year-old Elephant Walk Inn (156 Bradford Street, (508) 487-0085) has recently redesigned all eight of its rooms, offering a mix of modern conveniences and antique furnishings. Enjoy a light breakfast or an evening glass of wine in the Sun Room. All rooms have private baths and guests can take advantage of on-site parking.
To read the Provincetown Tourism Guide and to view other recommendations on sights and lodging, visit provincetowntourismoffice.org.