Logo   Provincetown, Cape Cod Travel Guide
In summer Provincetown, at the far northern tip of Cape Cod, is a carnival of people from New York, Boston, Montréal, Providence, Nowhere and Everywhere.

by Tom Brosnahan
Travel Info Exchange



Artists and writers, the successful and the hopeful, college sophomores and sophisticates, dowagers and down-at-heelers all mix along "P-town's" narrow streets.

Provincetown is separated from the rest of Cape Cod by sand, forest and marsh, and is virtually surrounded by the Cape Cod National Seashore (map), and thus has something of an island ambience.

The year-round inhabitants are mostly fishing families, descendants of hardy Portuguese sailors who came here for the whaling trade nearly two centuries ago.

A century ago, P-town was popular with artists as a summer resort. The local summer art colony grew to a tourist colony, and then grew larger.

A number of gay and lesbian visitors found P-town's tolerant atmosphere agreeable and brought their friends, and now there is a sizable gay and lesbian scene here, especially in summer.

In summer nowadays, P-town is filled with tourists lodged in its many inns, motels and hotels, strolling along Commercial Street, window-shopping in the art galleries, sipping drinks and people-watching in the cafés and restaurants, climbing to the top of the Pilgrim Monument, setting out on whale-watch or schooner cruises, or riding bikes or riding in four-wheel-drive vehicles through the sand-dunes of the Cape Cod National Seashore. More...

It's all quaint or sophisticated, elegant or tawdry, depending on where you look and how you see it.

Pilgrim Monument

  Inside the Pilgrim Monument, Provincetown MA

View from the top inside
the monument, looking down
252 feet.

To get a panoramic view of P-town and indeed the entire tip of Cape Cod, you too should climb the granite Italian-style Pilgrim Monument tower on the hill, but be warned: you must c-l-i-m-b the 252.5 feet (77 meters) to the top. More...

Most important when planning a mid-summer visit to "P-town" (as the locals call it) in late July and August is to have a room reservation without fail. More...

It is simply not possible to find a room in Provincetown for the six weeks of hectic high season unless you reserve in advance. Weekends (Friday and Saturday nights) are the most crowded; "mid-week" nights (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) are easier. Sunday night is in between. In June, early July and September, Provincetown lodgings are quite busy, but not as full as in high summer.

Of course, advance reservations are recommended at all times, if possible.

If you have no reservation, you may plan to stay in Truro, Orleans or Wellfleet, or along US 6 some distance from P-town, and to drive to P-town for the day.

—by Tom Brosnahan

P-Town Hotels, Inns & B&Bs

Cape Cod Hotels, Motels & Inns

What to See & Do


Tourist Information





About Cape Cod

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Pilgrim Monument, Provincetown, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Pilgrim Monument, symbol of
Provincetown MA on Cape Cod.

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