Provincetown, a Destination for Anytime Of Year

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At land’s end, far away from the call of the swan boats of Boston Garden, and the quack-quack of the popular duck boats that traverse the Charles River, there is Provincetown.

It is a place with its own bustle, its own cultural frisson, and a summer liveliness that is without peer on the Cape. But what happens after Labor Day? As it turns out, quite a bit, and it’s worth a jaunt via the fine services of the Bay State Cruise Company (which sails seven days a week through Monday, October 14th, 2013 and Tuesday, October 15th at 8:30 and 10:30 AM.) or a leisurely drive up the Cape.

For the curious explorer, here are a few P-Town highlights worth a look.

Hello Pilgrims: What’s your History?

The first stop for any traveler interested in the uniqueness of P-Town should be the Pilgrim Monument & Provincetown Museum. Finished in 1910 and dedicated by President Taft, the monument is the defining landmark in town and visitors will want to walk up to get the requisite view of the harbor and surrounding beaches, luxury homes and the people wandering Commercial Street in search of the good times.

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The museum is a delightful collection of bric-a-brac ranging from recreations of fish-weirs to historic postcards that document the town’s past. A gallery of rotating exhibits is worth a stop and the gift shop is replete with souvenirs that are both local and from distant lands.

P-Town By Foot, the Guided Edition

Any town worth its salt has guided walking tours that take the visitor from the generally generic to the exquisitely specific. P-Town is no exception, and Provincetown Walking Tours is a great way to get out and about. The company is under the direction of Rob Anderson, an artist and architectural historian who weaves tales that incorporate the town’s rich theatrical history, musings on the waterfront, and much more.

Art, Conversation & More

Founded in 1921, the Provincetown Art Association and Museum is a delightful place to spend a few hours with some of the best contemporary art in Massachusetts. The organization was founded to “cultivate the practice and appreciation of all branches of the fine arts.” The environmentally-minded will love their LEED-certified building, and everyone will appreciate their rotating exhibits featuring internationally and locally well-known artists working in a range of media. Visitors might also want to check out their schedule of workshops, thoughtful lectures, and special events.

Where To Hang Your Hat (And Everything Else)

Located out on Route 6A, the recently renovated Harbor Hotel offers some stylish rooms and nice public spaces, including a pool with a bar and a outdoor fire pit that facilitates conversation over coffee or other beverages. The rooms are quite elegant (think pastel-colors meets beach-chic) and they also offer a complimentary breakfast. And one more thing: if you’re planning a wedding, the staff will be happy to help out with such arrangements.

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Max Grinnell is a writer based in Cambridge, MA, who writes about cities, public art, geography, travel, and anything else that strikes his fancy. His writings can be found online at www.theurbanologist.com and he tweets over @theurbanologist.

You can discover all that Cape Cod has to offer on the newly designed Massvacation.com, along with where to stay, where to eat, and how to navigate and/or imagine your next Massachusetts vacation. 

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Photo Credit: Bethany Jorgensen

  • Frederick Wright

    I’m long overdue for a return visit, preferably off-season. Those of us who aren’t part of the ‘scene’ sometimes forget that Provincetown is a worthy destination on its own, once the flamboyant crowds of summer have fled. That walking tour link should come in very handy.

    • MassVacation

      Definitely, Frederick. It’s a good place for everyone to visit. Glad the walking tour link should be helpful!