Provincetown Cape Cod Attractions and Beaches
Are you planning a beach vacation in the USA? Then make time for Provincetown Cape Cod attractions and beaches. Located at the tip of Cape Cod, the place is known for its gay community. However, it offers so much more. Its proximity to the sea, history dating back to the Pilgrim Fathers and its artists' colony make it a place worth visiting. In the evening you can experience the party hustle and bustle along Commercial Street. If you're looking for some quiet, pack a picnic and spend the evening at one of the nearby beaches. The city is definitely worth a visit. It offers something for every visitor.
You need time for the Provincetown Cape Cod sights and beaches. Especially for the beaches, because there are many of them. They are among the most beautiful ones Massachusetts has to offer. One of our USA travel tips for Cape Cod. One day is enough to see the Provincetown sights. However, there is plenty to do in the area. A drive through the dunes shows you Cape Cod from an unusual perspective. Make time for whale watching. And above all: discover the beaches. With its colorful hustle and bustle, which is characterized by the lifestyle of the artists and the local gays, Provincetown exerts a very special attraction on its visitors. In addition, you only have the opportunity to experience one of the great sunsets on one of the beaches if you spend a few days there.
The dunes in the National Seashore Park
Art's Dune Tours are worth a trip. You drive through the dunes in the National Seashore Park in an off-road vehicle. The dunes are not accessible with private cars. A drive through the loneliness of the dune landscape is all the more impressive. In between one of the cottages pops up that are rented to artists and people who are looking for seclusion. The waiting list for those is long. Life in the dunes is simple and without the achievements of modern civilization such as running water or electricity. Instead, the residents enjoy the heavenly tranquility of a landscape that is second to none. For us the dunes of the National Seashore Park were probably the most impressive Provincetown sights. If you want, you can then swap the off-road vehicle for a kayak and paddle along the coast with it. Art offers tours for all tastes.
Art's Dune Tours
4 Standish St
Provincetown, MA 02657
Tel. + 1 508 487 1950
Whale Watching with the guarantee to see whales
In particular, the beaches that face Cape Cod Bay are best seen from whale watch boats. These boats depart from the Provincetown pier throughout the day. The Cape Cod whale watching season is long. The whales usually roam the waters of Cape Cod Bay between April and October. The schools of mackerel attract them. However, whales have already been sighted from mid-March to mid-November. The best time of day for whale watching is usually morning. Then the sea is calmer and the whales are easier to see. In the afternoon the wind often picks up, which means that the waves are higher. This makes the whales not so easy to spot. Locals recommend going out on the second boat of the day as the first boat has already spotted the whales and reports the sightings to all subsequent boats.
Provincetown Whale Watching Best Time: from April to October
In addition to the dune tours, whale watching excursions and the Pilgrim Memorial, Provincetown's attractions are limited. In Commercial Street there are galleries and souvenir shops that invite you to take a stroll. The best way to experience Provincetown's attractions is to take in the mix of the cool gay community lifestyle. The gay movement's rainbow flag hangs in front of the door of many houses and shops. People like to come out here. Many hotels and B & Bs are owned by gay couples. They look after their accommodations lovingly and often with great taste. Other Provincetown attractions include the beaches and these activities:
- The Race Point Beach Lighthouse
- The Cape Cod Provincelands Trail
- The Long Point Lighthouse
- The Beech Forest
- McMillan Peer
- Provincetown Art Association and Museum
- Art's Dune Tours
- Provincetown Theater
- Charles Baltivik Gallery and Sculpture Garden
- Adam Peck Gallery
- Impulse Art Gallery
- Old Harbor Life Saving Station
- whale watching
These restaurants are located off Provincetown Harbor on Commercial Street and near Provincetown Beach:
- The Lobster Pot, 321 Commercial St., Tel. 508-487-0842
- The Squealing Pig, 335 Commercial St. Tel. 508-487-5804
- Tin Pan Alley, 269 Commercial St., Tel. 508-487-1648
- Ross' Grill, 237 Commercial St., Tel. 508-487-8878
- The Canteen, 225 Commercial St., Tel. 508-487-3800
Where can I find the most beautiful beaches around Provincetown?
The question of where the most beautiful beaches around Provincetown, Cape Cod are located, is not so easy to answer. The reason is that there are many. No wonder! The Cape Cod National Seashore- the protected landscape dunes of the peninsula - is practically on the doorstep. If you drive to the end of the sandy elbow of Cape Cod and look for good beaches, you're spoiled for choice. Therefore, here we present you the most beautiful beaches in the vicinity of the city at the extreme end of the elbow-shaped peninsula. You can see them in one day. However, it is much more fun to take time for this region and explore it in detail. Because there are many ways to do this.
You want to get an idea of the city and its surroundings. This selection of Provincetown Webcams gives you first impressions of the city at the bottom of Cape Cod's elbow. Find out, what the city offers you.
Do you like to travel by motorhome?
- Do you want to rent a motorhome? Then you will find information and a selection in these booking options.
- Check our packing list for campers to see whether you have packed everything for your motorhome tour.
- Near Provincetown is Dunes' Edge Campground, 386 US-6, Provincetown, MA 02657, United States. However, there are more in the region.
- A Campsite guide for the region (in English) * you can order here.
Beaches you should not miss
Harbor Beach in Provincetown Cape Cod
This beach is the most easily accessible beach from Provincetown. It's best to park your car at MacMillan Wharf (where the whale watching tour boats in Provincetown start). Incidentally, the Provincetown Whale Watch Tours are so successful that they guarantee the sighting of whales. If you still don't see one, you can repeat your tour on another day. From there you have direct access to the beach and can take a beach hike past the pretty villas and houses along the Provincetown harbor bay.
We recommend these
From the Whale Watching Wharf in Provincetown Harbor you have a good view of the city, the Pilgrim Monument and the miles of sandy beach that stretches along the north shore of the city. It is also where whale watching boats depart from Stellwagen Bay, the bay that connects Cape Cod and Boston.
This beach is perfect for anyone who wants to see Provincetown from an unusual perspective. Most visitors choose Commercial Street for a stroll through town past its countless shops and restaurants. A walk along the beach parallel to the main street with a view of the harbour, the boats and the pretty beach houses leaves a completely different impression.
Race Point at the Cape Cod National Seashore
The Race Point Beach is located beyond the dunes in the south of the city. This can be reached via the driveway to the Cape Cod National Seashore. Parking is available south of the airport. This stretch of beach is open to the public for an entrance fee payable before entering the National Seashore.
However, this lookout point to the former Coast Guard Station shown here can only be reached on a guided jeep tour through the dune landscapes south of Provincetown, which are offered from the city center. The Provincetown Dune Tours are not just worth the drive through the dunes. You will also learn many interesting facts about the flora and fauna of the dunes. We were most fascinated by the stories about the people who chose the lonely dune landscapes to build their cottages. (Map)
Herring Cove Beach at the eastern tip of the Cape
Herring Cove Beach is located on the eastern tip of Cape Cod near Provincetown and can be reached via both Highway 6 and Highway 6a. Strictly speaking, the narrow sandy beach is at the east end of the two streets. Herring Cove Beach is popular with the city's residents because it is where you can experience the most beautiful sunsets.
Many pack a picnic and expect the sunset with a glass of sparkling wine and delicious lobster buns. Then the setting sun makes the sky shine in the most beautiful colors. This is guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience. (Map)
Long Point Beach - only accessible by boat or on foot
The Long Point Beach is located on the headland, which points toward Provincetown at the end of Cape Cod. It is not accessible by car, but only by boat or on foot from the end of Commercial Street. Because of its seclusion, this beach is almost deserted.
This is one of the beaches of Cape Cod best seen from the sea. The whale watching tours pass by on their way out into Stellwagen Bay. From the boat you have an overall view of the beach and the town with the Provincetown Monument. (Map)
That belongs in the suitcase:
- An windbreaker - Since Provincetown is located by the sea, the wind is blowing there almost always. You should definitely pack a windbreaker.
- Practical is also a baseball cap *that keeps hair in check even in strong winds.
- What you need for your Beach vacation . Use our checklist to pack your suitcase .
- Slippers * are necessary. If you are planning a day or a longer stay on the beach, then bathing shoes must be in the suitcase.
- In summer - and often in autumn - Cape Cod is warm and sunny. Therefore, we also recommend a sun hat.
Info about Cape Cod and New England
- The best beach on Cape Cod Beautiful beaches aren't just around Provincetown and at Cape Cod National Seashore. On this page, in addition to the Provincetown sights, we present other beaches that are worth a detour. You will definitely need several days to get to know everyone. If you have less time, we recommend at least one stop at Nauset Beach near Chatham.
- Rockport, Massachusetts, a fishing village on the north side of the bay. It's quite a drive to get there from Cape Cod. However, the place is well worth the effort. In any case, we recommend planning to spend several days there. The surrounding area also offers a number of sights.
- The Sandwich Cape Cod's oldest settlement. You shouldn't miss this place. It offers some sights that also give you an insight into what life used to be like on the island.
- Cranberry harvest Cranberries are harvested on Cape Cod in the fall. We didn't get a chance to see this on our trip to the peninsula. We were there too early in the year for that. However, in Ontario, Canada, we visited a cranberry farm at harvest time. We present impressions of this in our report. On Cape Cod, however, things are a little different. There the cranberry fields are flooded. Then the fruit is knocked off the plants with machines. The healthy fruits float up in the water. They are then skimmed off the surface of the water. This is definitely a feast for the eyes. The red fruits cover the surface of water that forms on the field. If you're on Cape Cod at cranberry harvest time, don't miss seeing the harvest.
- Learn more about the Pilgrim Fathers . Having crossed the Atlantic aboard the Mayflower, they first landed on Cape Cod. First Encounter Beach on the peninsula commemorates this. There they met the first Indians. However, they quickly realized that the region would not ensure their survival. Therefore, they boarded their ship again and sailed further into Plymouth Bay. There they established their first settlement in North America. If you are interested in the history of the Pilgrim Fathers, you can find a story about it at this link Pilgrim Fathers Museum in Leiden, Holland. This is reminiscent of their time in Holland. It was there that they fled when persecution increased in England. However, they soon realized that even in their new homeland they could not live the life they longed for. So they joined a group of other Puritans who wanted to leave England. The goal was actually the English colony in Northern Virginia. However, a storm brought them to the New England coast. Here they built their own lives as they wished. The Pilgrim Fathers Memorial in Provincetown commemorates them.
Parking at the airport
Arrival to Provincetown
Hotels and Inns * You can also book through our partner booking.com at this link.
Do you also know:
- Free things to do in Boston
- Cities in the USA for Slow Travel You can also find experiences here.
- Vacation destinations for a beach vacation you can also find here.
- Whale watching in Alaska and Canada?
- Which rain jacket is the best?
Source: On-site research for Best Beaches on Cape Cod. We financed this trip ourselves.
With this post we are also taking part in the blog parade "Most beautiful places in the USA"
Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline