12 Best Hotels in Provincetown, United States - Jan 2019
Your Travel Guide to Provincetown
We were all told in school that the Mayflower Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. But that's not really where they first landed. Despite the Mayflower’s Pilgrims efforts to end up in Virginia, the first land that they sighted of America was Cape Cod--and the first place that they settled was present-day Provincetown! Although nowadays we call the entire peninsula that extends into the Atlantic Ocean by the name “Cape Cod”, the name was originally applied only to the settlement of Provincetown!
A visit to Provincetown will allow you to relive some of the history of colonial America--as well as appreciate the wildlife and views of nature that are unique to this remote section of Cape Cod.
What are the Must-Do-s and See-s in Provincetown?
Cape Cod National Seashore
The Cape Cod National Seashore is a protected landscape that stretches over the Outer Cape--the “outer arm” of Cape Cod that extends into the Atlantic. It extends for 40 miles, from Chatham in the south to Provincetown in the north, and includes over 43,000 acres of natural terrain: beach, marsh, ponds, and forests. It offers opportunities to view wildlife in their natural habitat--you can also learn about conservation efforts that are being performed to preserve the ecosystem here. You can also participate in ranger-guided tours and hikes, as well as paddle boarding, swimming, and boating. (Ironically, at certain times of the year, you can also go hunting for deer, migratory waterfowl, and various upland game such as wild turkey, rabbit, hare, and more. You can also go fishing, if you have the required permit.)
Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum
The Pilgrim Monument is a 252-foot-tall structure dating from 1910, that honors the landing of the Pilgrims and their signing of the Mayflower Compact on the Mayflower, as it was docked in Provincetown. (The Mayflower Compact was a sort of social contract between the free men among the settlers, to agree upon establishing some sort of government.) Special events are planned for November, 2020--400 years from the landing of the Mayflower!
Near the Pilgrim Monument, there is also the Provincetown Museum, with permanent exhibits that recreate the seafaring history of the area, as well as dioramas illustrating the living quarters of a sea captain at the time of the Pilgrims’ landing, and a dramatization of the signing of the Mayflower Compact. The museum also displays various artifacts from the Native American tribes that inhabited the area when the Pilgrims arrived, as well as things of historical interest, such as playbills from the Provincetown theater, photographs, and more.
From July to October, there are weekly walking tours of sites of interest in Provincetown. The tour includes admission to the Pilgrim Monument, the Provincetown Museum, and other sites of historical interest.
Provincetown Art Association and Museum
Cape Cod’s scenic views of beach and ocean have inspired many artists. The Provincetown Art Association and Museum was established in 1914, and displays works of these local painters and their renderings of scenes of Cape Cod and the rest of New England. The museum has 3000 works of art, from over 700 artists. The museum is a center for other cultural activities as well--it also holds film screenings, concerts, lectures, and more.
Inns, Drinking Establishments, and Spas
There are a number of historic buildings in Provincetown that offer lodging in a unique, old-fashioned ambiance. For example, the Crowne Pointe Historic Inn and Spa is a 35-room hotel, distributed over six buildings that date from the 19th century. The buildings have been refurbished, so that they can have modern amenities, yet still retain their quaint charm as historic preserved site.
The Bradford Carver Guest House is another favorite inn, which is centrally-located, giving you access to the various restaurants, galleries, and shops which are located on Commercial Street.
Provincetown Old Harbor Life-Saving Station
The Old Harbor Life-Saving Station was constructed in Chatham, Massachusetts in 1897, but it was moved to Provincetown in 1977. In just 20 years that the Life-Saving Station operated, they had succeeded in saving over 100,000 lives of people involved in shipwrecks! There are reenactments at the Station to demonstrate what the U.S. Coast Guard servicemen stationed here would have to do, to earn the name “lifesavers”.
Getting To and Around Provincetown
Logan Airport to Provincetown Municipal Airport
Provincetown has a small municipal airport, which receives flights from Boston’s Logan International Airport. It is a 30-minute flight to the Provincetown Municipal Airport--there are two airlines that provide flights: Cape Air and JetBlue. Jet Blue offers three flights per day.
As for getting from the airport to Provincetown proper, you have the choice of rental cars, such as Enterprise Rent-a-Car, or shuttle buses from the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority (= CCRTA). A bus can take you from Boston to Hyannis on Cape Cod, and then a second bus will bring you to Provincetown.
Finally, there is a ferry service that takes you from Long Wharf in Boston to MacMillan Wharf in Provincetown. The ferry departs from Boston at 9 AM, and reaches Provincetown at 10:30 AM.