Day trip from Boston: Whale watching in Provincetown

Race Point Beach in Cape Cod
Race Point Beach in Cape Cod

Provincetown and its nearby beaches are but a ferry ride away from Boston Harbor. The colorful community at the tip of Cape Cod is known for its gay community and its non-stop party atmosphere during the warmer half of the year, but beyond the town itself lies an array of bike trails and beaches encompassed within the larger Cape Cod National Seashore.

Race Point faces the Atlantic head on. A crashing surf makes it less of a swimming beach than the protected Herring Cove on the Boston Harbor side, but the beach itself is quite expansive. On the calmer side of the ocean at Herring Cove, however, families may wish to aim for beach space to the northwest, as public nudity is tolerated to the left, southeastern end of the shore.

When not splashing in the surf or exploring the expanse of bike trails in the area, keep your eyes on the ocean for signs of migrating whales. Spouts of water and actual whales are often spotted as they swim north to feed in the spring and then back south in late autumn to breed and give birth.

Hotels in the Boston Harbor area are convenient to ferries and whale watch cruises. Splurge with a stay at the luxurious Four Seasons Boston or Boston Harbor Hotel and enjoy splendid waterfront views.

- Heather Dugan of Footsteps

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