Best Beach Town in Massachusetts… or America?
Well, check YOU out, Massachusetts! Provincetown, MA — the tip of Cape Cod — was named the #1 beach town in all of America by Travel and Leisure Magazine!
I shall now support that thesis by sharing 17 gorgeous photos of the town that I snapped during my visit this summer. Perhaps this will be a motivating kick in the rump for folks to visit P-Town before the weather turns cold!
The Provincetown Ferry from Boston
Travel to Provincetown is easiest via the high-speed ferry from Boston which takes just 90 minutes… and is a tourist attraction in itself. Drink in the salt-slapped air, watch the nautical sights, and join the spontaneous parties on deck if you’re so inclined!
The alternative is a 3-hour (or longer) drive from Boston, which can be pleasant if you prepare for possible traffic delays, take the journey at the speed it comes, and have a plan for parking upon arrival if it’s the high season.
Hotels in Provincetown, MA
Yay! You’ve arrived! So, where to stay in Provincetown? The following are affiliates that provide a small commission at no extra expense to you. Below are TripAdvisor’s top hotels in P-town, which you can click on to check availability and automatically compare rates to get the best deal:
- The Provincetown Hotel at Gabriel’s (which is where we stayed and loved)
- The Seaglass Inn & Spa (well-reviewed, and located between beach and town)
- Cape Colony Inn (a great budget option outside of the town center)
P-Town Rentals for Your Vacation
Another accommodation option which is particularly affordable for groups is to rent a house or condo. My favorite site for this is Vacation Rental by Owner (Vrbo), and you can click the affiliate link here for an easy link to P-Town rental options.
It’s an interesting calculus with Provincetown about whether it makes more sense to do a day trip versus staying a night or more, but I’m of the school that if you CAN stay overnight, it’s worth it to get the full Cape relaxation experience… and taste the nightlife if you desire! (Cue thumping club beats.)
Provincetown Restaurants… Lobster!
Mmm… how do you feel after seeing that luscious lobster roll photo? Food is a top reason to visit Provincetown, which you can read about in depth (yes, with more drool-inducing pictures) in my previous article on the most delicious yet affordable food of P-Town. Hint: There’s a dish in there that you wouldn’t expect in a beach town, but it is tasty as heck.
Beautiful Provincetown Beaches
What about the beaches? Right in the center of town, there are sweet little beaches such as the one pictured below, but the real expanse-of-white-sand gems are a few minutes outside of town.
Race Point Beach (pictured above and in the first photo of this article), and Herring Cove Beach (famous for its sunsets since its ocean horizon faces west).
Commercial Street: Shopping Heart of P-Town
While I love beaches, I had even more fun in Provincetown wandering Commercial Street: the central shopping strip bursting with colorful goods, quirky architecture, and the best people watching for miles around. T
hough there’s plenty to buy — art, clothes, food, trinkets, and more — you don’t have to spend a penny to have a delightful day of window shopping. Let’s stroll and see!
Rainbow Colored Buildings
If you enjoy that purple building from P-Town shown above and are interested in an international trip, I highly recommend the Caribbean island of Curacao for its colorful buildings! The word used in Curacao for “sweet and delightful” is “Dushi,” and Provincetown demonstrates dushi to the max.
Color and Art Everywhere
Another place around the world that has embraced public color is Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. Both P-Town and San Juan know how bright hues on buildings and public art can lift a person’s spirit.
Other Colorful Places in America
Scrolling these P-Town photos, I’m reminded of some of the other rainbow-colored destinations I’ve toured around the world. The Corning Glass Museum in the Finger Lakes, NY (New York State, that is) for example, has a similar glowing exuberance.
Art and Artists in P-Town
Provincetown has long been a haven for artists, in part because of its famed perfect light. (P-Town is on the tip of Cape Cod), and thus sunlight streams in from all sides. It’s one of the few places on the East Coast where it’s easy to see a sunSET over the ocean, as well as sunrise.
In fact, Provincetown is the oldest art colony in America!
Another Art Colony in America
The artist culture is so strong around P-Town that when I was visiting Lowe Mill artist studios in Huntsville, Alabama, many of the artists there had either spent time in Provincetown, MA or were in touch with other creatives there.
Pilgrims: History of Provincetown, MA
Here is a very important detail about the illustrious history of P-Town, Cape Cod: FOUR HUNDRED years ago, in 1620, the Pilgrims first landed in Provincetown Harbor! Now you know why the town’s famous Pilgrim Monument is named as it is…
Check Events Before Planning a P-Town Vacation
In closing, I highly encourage a Provincetown, MA vacation, but do want to give you a warning: Carefully check the schedule on the Provincetown Chamber website to know what events are happening on any given week.
Provincetown is extremely popular, and there are frequent themed gatherings that affect accommodation availability, traffic, and so on. It’s sure still worth a visit, though!
Do You Also Love Provincetown, MA?
So what do you think? Does Provincetown seem like a spot you’d like to visit? If you’ve been, what tips would you add? Comment away!
This article’s affiliate links support this site at no cost to you. I hope the resources provided are helpful, and always suggest companies I genuinely recommend. Happy travels!
The author, Lillie Marshall, is 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 3.7 million readers have now visited this site. Lillie also runs TeachingTraveling.com and DrawingsOf.com. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media!