Famous for its celebration of diversity, Provincetown, Mass., is equally appreciated for its melange of rugged nature, spirited creativity and entrepreneurial zeal. Visitors to Cape Cod’s outermost town will soak up vibes from its Portuguese fishing heritage and art colony roots along with the electricity generated by one-of-a-kind shops, eclectic galleries and some of the area’s fi nest restaurants.
While PTown, as it’s affectionately known, is a popular daytrip destination, to do it justice calls for at least an overnight. The Crowne Point Historic Inn & Spa on a bluff in the West End offers luxurious accommodations and the Shui Spa. Nearby, the gabled Anchor Inn Beach House offers an intimate setting with balconies, fireplaces and direct beach access.
Strolling along the 3-mile stretch of Commercial Street is a movable feast for all senses. Java aficionados tout Kohi Coffee Company, so grab a pour-over and head across the street to Connie’s Bakery & Cafe for a warm-from-the-oven scone, muffin or breakfast sandwich.
After fueling up, head to Marine Specialties, an army-navy surplus shop on steroids that’s jam-packed with items overflowing the shelves and hanging from the rafters.
Art lovers have a wonderful array of galleries from which to choose, including Schoolhouse, Berta Walker, G-1 and Albert Merola. Don’t leave town without a visit to the Provincetown Art Association and Museum, a veritable shrine to its hometown, the longest running art colony in America.
Keep lunch casual at The Canteen, with seating inside, on the street and in the backyard near the beach. Along with lobster rolls and chowder, we hear the cod banh mi, pulled pork tacos and crispy Brussels sprouts in fish sauce are especially good.
Time to stretch your legs again? There are over 30 miles of beach in Provincetown, all part of the Cape Cod National Seashore. Herring Cove scores points over Race Point for its calmer and warmer water; in the spring you can see whales breach. In the off-season, a walk through Beech Forest is a must. Both Herring Cove and Race Point are accessible by shuttle bus, bicycle or foot. If you have time, take a whale watch offered by the Center for Coastal Studies.
Go a little upscale for dinner at stylish Joon Bar and Kitchen for innovative small plates and entrees like duck confit with carrot-ginger puree and a crispy lentil cake. Or try local favorite Mac’s Fish House for fresh fare from the sea.
Check out more great locations at AAA.com/NortheastExplorer.