Provincetown, an idyllic beach community located at the tip of Cape Cod in Massachusetts, has welcomed people who march to the beat of their own drummer for generations. A longtime haven for artists, Provincetown started welcoming the gay community over 50 years ago, and the community was the first in the nation to specifically market to gay travelers, back in 1978. This sleepy village explodes into a full-fledged city during the summer months, and there’s lots to see and do. Let me tell you all about it!
HOW TO GET THERE
All five major airports in South and Central Florida (Miami, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Palm Beach, Tampa and Orlando) offer daily direct flights to Boston’s Logan International Airport. Many round-trip flights are priced at under $400, making it very affordable to visit.
To get to Provincetown, you can take the ferry or the bus. The Bay State Cruise Company (617-748-1428) offers numerous daily ferry trips between Boston’s Commonwealth Pier and Provincetown. Boston Harbor Cruises (617-227-4321) sets sail to Provincetown from Long Wharf. Both ferries take approximately 90 minutes to get to Provincetown. The Plymouth/Brockton Bus (508-746-0378) takes travelers directly from Logan International Airport to Provincetown. The bus takes approximately 4 hours, with a 45 minute stop for passengers in Hyannis.
WHERE TO STAY
The Crowne Pointe Historic Inn & Spa (82 Bradford Street, 508-487-6767) is right in the middle of all the action in Provincetown. The house is 140 years old and lovingly restored and renovated. Travelers can stay in luxury suites in any of their seven main buildings, and they can enjoy amenities such as fireplaces and whirlpool tubs.
The Crown & Anchor Inn (247 Commercial Street, 508-487-1430) is a very popular place to visit, even if you’re not staying there. You definitely should stay there; the oceanview suites are to die for! This lodging option includes an entire on-site nightclub complex, which features entertainment from some of the most legendary names in show business. Bernadette Peters, Linda Lavin, Shirley Jones and Billy Porter will be there in the coming weeks!
The Brass Key Guesthouse (67 Bradford Street, 508-487-9005) is a little more secluded, as it’s just off Commercial Street, but you’re close enough where you can be in the thick of it in just one minute! Nine historical buildings are decorated to different tastes. Whether you like antiques or all modern finishings, the Brass Key has somthing for you. Definitely have a cocktail at the on-site Shipwreck Lounge; the locals do!
The Elephant Walk Inn (156 Bradford Street, 508-487-0085) has so much charm and character, and you’ll notice that immediately after check-in when you relax with wine and snacks in their sun room. Every room in the 100-year-old house has private baths and air conditioning, ensuring you can relax after a long day of partying and exploring.
WHERE TO PLAY
There are lots of nightlife options in Provincetown. There’s the aforementioned Crown & Anchor (508-487-1430), which is a full-service resort complete with an entertainment complex. The Crown & Anchor includes bars such as Paramount, Wave, and the Vault (a dance club, a leather bar, and a video bar, respectively). Then there’s the Shipwreck Lounge, also previously mentioned, on the property of the Brass Key Guesthouse (508-487-9005). This small oak-paneled bar is perfect for sipping martinis and watching the sun set. The Boatslip Resort and its companion bar, Buoy (508-487-1669) is very popular, and it’s easy to see after you’ve been to one of their T-dances! The Atlantic House Dance Club (508-487-3821) was the very first dance club in Provincetown and it’s still far and away the place to see and be seen. Go upstairs and visit the Macho Bar if you’re looking for something a little more steamy. Then there’s Monkey Bar (508-487-2879), a place not only to enjoy great drinks with your fabulous friends, but also to enjoy some of the best Thai food in the area.
WHERE TO GO
Provincetown is extremely walkable and it’s a fun area to explore. If you want to go to the beach, be sure to visit Herring Cove Beach and Race Point Beach. If you’re in the area of Race Point, explore the biking trails at Cape Cod National Seashore too. Visit MacMillan Pier, where you can take an afternoon yacht ride or see everything from up high on your very own parasailing adventure. The 200 and 300 blocks of Commercial Street have two businesses that offer whale-watching tours and kayak rentals, respectively. If you’re more of a shopper, art galleries and gift shops dot Commercial Street for as far as the eye can see.
Be sure to read about everything Provincetown has to offer! Visit their tourism website at provincetowntourismoffice.org.