The Yankee Magazine editors share some of their favorite places to eat, favorite places to stay, and favorite things to do in Provincetown, MA.
By Yankee Magazine
Feb 17 2017
With enough people to make the streets hum, most shops and restaurants still open, and pleasant weather, a slightly off-season visit to Provincetown, Massachusetts at the tip of Cape Cod offers the best of both worlds.
Perched at the northernmost tip of Cape Cod, Provincetown is a place renowned for its bustling nightlife and beautiful, sandy beaches. There are plenty of things to do in Provincetown that make it perfect for a summertime day trip, though this lively destination’s many fine restaurants and hotels make a longer stay worth your while, too. Of course, being one of the prettiest coastal towns in New England doesn’t hurt P-town’s draw either!
SEE MORE: Coastal Weekend Getaways in New England | Your Perfect Weekend
To stroll along Snail Road, one of the hidden gems of Cape Cod National Seashore, is to enjoy the beauty of nature in near-perfect solitude. Walking this trail, you’ll discover some of the best beaches and views in the area.
Snail Road is a short side road off of Route 6 at the northern tip of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Heading toward Provincetown, look for a sign saying “To Route 6A, Provincetown.” There will be an unassuming parking area on the right. From here, start walking. nps.gov/caco
SEE MORE: Walks Worth Their Salt | New England Ocean Walks
Founded in 1914, PAAM has weathered the storms of all the artistic “isms” of the modern era and continues to show the enduring and intriguing works in every style by painters and sculptors who found their inspiration on the Outer Cape. 460 Commercial St., Provincetown. 508-487-1750; paam.org
You can’t go wrong with this undulating 8-mile route on the tip of the Cape. Dipping in and out of sand dunes, weaving through scrub-pine forests and along beaches, it’s one of the most unique bike trails you’ll ever attempt. Race Point Road (Province Lands Visitor Center), Provincetown. 508-487-1256; nps.gov/caco
Hungry humpbacks, along with smaller minke whales, head to Stellwagen Bank from April to November to take huge gulps of fish attracted to this massive nutrient-rich mesa, 7 miles out to sea from Provincetown. See them with a naturalist aboard one of the daily Dolphin Fleet boats out of Provincetown Harbor. 307 Commercial Street #1, Provincetown. 800-826-9300, 508-240-3636; whalewatch.com
The windblown heaps of sand beside Route 6 as you approach town seem almost like a little piece of the Sahara come to New England. Art’s has been driving folks into these dunes since 1946, and no one offers such a colorful, historical, and ecologically sensitive experience of the fragile ecosystem. 4 Standish St., Provincetown. 508-487-1950; artsdunetours.com
Nestled on one of Provincetown’s twisting streets and surrounded by artist workshops and boutique stores, Napi’s creates a lovely atmosphere for dining with its warmly lit and antiques-filled interior. To say the menu is diverse feels like an understatement, given the Portuguese soup, Thai chicken and shrimp, Jamaican jerk chicken, and Russian oysters. 7 Freeman St., Provincetown. 508-487-1145; napisptown.com
Billing itself as “Provincetown’s Corner Store,” this local favorite is the go-to for superior takeout treats. Expect baked-from scratch treats — cinnamon rolls, scones, pies, and more — plus hearty, unique sandwiches, like the Ballston (rosemary ham, apple, bacon, cheddar, honey mustard) and the Herring Cove (roast beef, garlic herb spread, roasted red pepper). 150 Bradford St., Provincetown. 508-487-0045; farlandprovisions.com
Just across from town hall, this New American bistro takes its name from the antique tin ceiling and its piano bar offerings (performances nightly during the high season). The long, narrow dining room, which passes the open kitchen, leads all the way back to an exquisite deck for enjoying dayboat scallops or the steak of the day while overlooking the harbor. 269 Commercial St., Provincetown. 508-487-1648; tinpanalleyptown.com
You can spend hours exploring the beaches and hidden trails of Cape Cod National Seashore knowing that a soak in an indoor Jacuzzi awaits at 8 Dyer. Plus, given that this is a chef-owned guesthouse, expect your breakfast to hit the gourmet sweet spot. 8 Dyer St., Provincetown. 508-487-0880; 8dyer.com
If your Cape escape includes kids and/or pups as traveling companions, look to the Harbor Hotel, whose simple decor with retro touches is a reminder that this beachfront motel was originally built as a Holiday Inn. Rooms are set aside for pet owners, and various configurations, including connecting rooms, ease family sleeping arrangements. Bring sticks and marshmallows to toast at the fire pit. Open seasonally. 698 Commercial St. 855-447-8696; harborhotelptown.com
P’town can be raucous, but the soothingly simple rooms of the Sage Inn sit so far off Commercial Street that they seem to be in another ZIP code. The ground-level lounge with restaurant and bar might be the most serene spot in town to spend an afternoon or a rainy day. 336 Commercial St., Provincetown. 508-487-6424; sageinnptown.com
This charming bed and breakfast has all the New England character and warmth you could want. Each room has been made unique and inviting through various fabrics, wallpapers, and ornate antique pieces. In the evening, you can kick back at the daily wine reception and discuss your day’s adventures with fellow guests. 22 Commercial St., Provincetown. 508-487-0706; landsendinn.com
What are your favorite things to do in Provincetown? Let us know in the comments!