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Provincetown, Cape Cod Travel Guide

Provincetown Summary


  • Thriving cultural center with historic achievements in the arts
  • An epicenter of gay culture; very LGBT-friendly
  • Friendly locals
  • Perfect summer weather for beach-goers: cool mornings and warm, sunny afternoons
  • Seasonal ferries from Boston can help avoid Cape traffic
  • Former residents include Norman Mailer, Tennessee Williams, John Waters and Kurt Vonnegut
  • History as an artists' colony


  • Winter brings harsh storms
  • Cape traffic can be horrific

What It's Like

It's surprising that one of the liveliest towns on the Cape is located at the very end of the long peninsula. As the planned landfall site of the Mayflower, Provincetown almost became the birthplace of Thanksgiving: Unfortunately, inhospitable land conditions and a very "tense" relationship with the locals led the pilgrims to sail a little farther across the Bay to Plymouth.

Today, Provincetown (or "P-Town" for short) offers bountiful beaches, shops, restaurants, and the best nightlife on the Cape. It has a history as an artists' colony, and is known internationally for its literary and artistic achievements: It has counted Norman Mailer, Tennessee Williams, John Waters, and Kurt Vonnegut as residents, to name a few. Major events such as the annual Provincetown Film Festival draw in crowds of A-List celebrities and spectators. Because of the thriving creative community, Provincetown is one of the few destinations on the Cape that offer a decent number of activities during the winter as well as the summer.

The city is also known worldwide an epicenter of gay culture. The numerous LGBT festivals, events, and thriving community play a prominent role here. This makes P-Town the arguably most popular gay and lesbian vacation destination in the Northeast.

Where To Stay

Commercial St., P-Town's main drag, is a very lively hub of activity, bustling with shops, restaurants, bars, and inns. Bunking up near this street (or Bradford St, which runs parallel) will keep you close to the action and to the water.

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