Skip to content
How many guests?
Dog-friendly homes?
(Max 2 with fee)
All posts

Things to Do in Provincetown (MA)

Table of Contents

1. Must-See Sights

2. Top Activities

3. Family Adventures

4. Pet-Friendly

5. Culinary Scene

6. Travel Tips

Say “Cape Cod” today, and your mind will be drawn to what is one of the lushest, most scenic 339-square-mile areas in Massachusetts, not to say America. But in the 1600s, “Cape Cod” referred exclusively to the tip of the peninsula – what is today the 17.5-square-mile area we call Provincetown. 

This may be why Provincetown is so absolutely bursting at the seams with spirit, history, and artistry – to a far fuller and livelier extent than you might otherwise expect in a small town on the seaside.

With a famously LGBTQ+ friendly atmosphere, P-town is also renowned for its stunning natural surroundings, including over 30 miles of beaches, as well as a wealth of dunes, ponds, and scenic nature trails.

Given the extraordinary richness of experience here on the tip of Cape Cod, you’ll need far more than a single weekend getaway to discover all it has to offer. That’s why Del Mar Vacations offers luxurious vacation rentals so you can visit – and stay – on your schedule.

From iconic landmarks, art galleries, and hidden gems to the best dining spots and activities, this article will provide valuable insights to help you take full advantage of Provincetown's vibrant scene and natural beauty.



Must-Visit Attractions in Provincetown

Provincetown's attractions range from historical sites to natural wonders, each with its own story and charm.

Begin by exploring two historic districts, both of which are on the National Register of Historic Places: Provincetown Historic District and the Dune Shacks of Peaked Hill Bars Historic District. 

You can also experience simply spectacular views by climbing the iconic Pilgrim Monument, built in the early 1900s to mark the arrival of the Pilgrims on the Mayflower in 1620, or walk 45 minutes over sand to reach the Race Point Lighthouse, first lit in 1816 – and replaced 60 years later with the current tower.

Two spots on the Cape Cod National Seashore are perennial favorite Provincetown beaches – Herring Cove Beach (which faces Cape Cod Bay as well as spectacular sunsets) and Race Point Beach (which looks out on the Atlantic Ocean and is a great spot for occasional whale-spotting). 

There’s no shortage of water activities at these locations, including kayaking, paddleboarding, and surf fishing. Alternatively, explore the beautiful beach the locals affectionately call the “end of the earth” (otherwise known as Long Point Beach).

If for some reason you do need respite from some of the best beaches on the Outer Cape, the Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM) is another gem that features modern art and local artists, as well as a permanent collection of over 4,000 late 19th century and early 20th century American works.



Engaging Activities in Provincetown

Given its extraordinary richness and status as a venerable art colony, it's no surprise that Provincetown offers such a wide variety of experiences, including outdoor adventures, art appreciation, and cultural experiences.

For a delectable taste of nature, hike through the Cape Cod National Seashore and explore its sand dunes, spot birds amongst the oaks and pines of Beech Forest, or embark on a thrilling Dolphin Fleet whale watch tour and witness majestic creatures in their natural habitat.  

You can also spot a unique natural wonder at the Shankpainter Pond Wildlife Sanctuary, which boasts the world's largest quaking bog on a barrier beach system.

Rent bicycles and explore the scenic Province Lands Bike Trail, offering breathtaking ocean vistas – or for a change of pace, stroll along the 2.5-mile loop trail along the ramshackle dune shacks that hold a unique place in Provincetown's history.


Provincetown's vibrant nightlife caters to all tastes. After a day of exploration, unwind at a lively bar or dance the night away at a club. Provincetown’s party scene is legendary for its array of bars, lounges, and clubs, featuring live entertainment, comedy, music, drag shows, and dancing until closing time (1 PM) … as well as quiet cocktails and beautiful people-watching spots to simply soak up the atmosphere.

Above all, don't miss the chance to soak up the town's artistic spirit. Provincetown has a well-deserved international reputation for its artistic and literary scene, dating back to the early decades of the 1900s. The tradition is very much alive and well today, and is reflected in Provincetown’s numerous galleries, museums, and live theater performances, particularly at the renowned Provincetown Theater, known for its innovative productions.

From east end to west, Commercial Street, Provincetown’s main artery of restaurants and boutiques, is filled with eclectic shops offering all manner of art, clothing, tattoos, and … jigsaw puzzles. During Friday night art walks, galleries host receptions, transforming Commercial Street into a buzzing hub.


Family-Friendly Provincetown

Provincetown isn't just for the grown-ups! This vibrant town offers all manner of activities designed to create lasting memories for visitors of all ages.

Splash in the gentle waves of Herring Cove Beach, perfect for building sandcastles and simply enjoying family beach days. For a touch of historical intrigue, embark on an interactive treasure hunt at the Whydah Pirate Museum, where kids young and old can learn about pirates, touch real artifacts, and dress up like buccaneers.

For a unique and educational tour, climb aboard the colorful Provincetown Trolley. Explore the town's landmarks, hear captivating stories about its past, and enjoy the scenic views from its open-air carriages.

Throughout the year, Provincetown also hosts family-friendly events, including Join the lively festivities of the Provincetown Carnival, featuring games, rides, and delicious treats. And families all over the Cape come together to celebrate Independence Day with a spectacular fireworks display over Provincetown Harbor.

From relaxing on pristine beaches to celebrating special events, Provincetown promises a fun-filled and memorable vacation for all ages.


Pet-Friendly Provincetown

To ensure a delightful stay for both you and your furry companions, a little preparation goes a long way. First, consider booking pet-friendly accommodations. Del Mar Vacations offers a range of options that welcome your four-legged friend. 

For daily activities, scenic walks abound: the Beech Forest Trail offers a shady escape, while Dog Beach is the only public beach on the Cape where dogs are allowed off-leash. Dogs are also allowed off leach year round at Provincetown public beaches from 6-9 AM and 6-9 PM.

For more off-leash socialization, head to Pilgrim Bark Park off Route 6, a dedicated space for dogs to run, play, and make new friends. 

Many restaurants with outdoor seating will also welcome well-behaved pups!


Your Culinary Journey in Provincetown

From award-winning fine dining to casual eateries, there’s a dish for everyone in Provincetown. The town is famous for its fresh seafood (clams, mussels, oysters, scallops, lobster, and more) as well as its Portuguese pastries!

Freshly caught seafood is a cornerstone of the food scene, with restaurants like The Lobster Pot offering classic New England fare in season. For a more intimate setting, Front Street Restaurant provides a refined dining experience with innovative dishes featuring local ingredients, also in season. 

Beyond its seafood and lobster rolls, Provincetown boasts quaint cafes serving up coffee and pastries, as well as a range of international flavors, with options ranging from Italian trattorias to Thai cuisine. The casual Provincetown Portuguese Bakery offers a delightful selection of breads, pastries, and sandwiches, perfect for a grab-and-go lunch or a sweet treat.

To fully appreciate Provincetown's culinary offerings, explore the seasonal specialties. Local restaurants often highlight the freshest catches and incorporate the bounty of the Cape Cod harvest into their menus.

Additionally, waterfront dining provides a picturesque backdrop to your meal. Enjoy breathtaking ocean views while savoring fresh seafood or indulging in a dinner celebrating your getaway to one of the planet’s most enchanting locations!

Screenshot 2024-03-12 at 1.30.09 AMScreenshot 2024-03-12 at 1.32.16 AMAdobeStock_206814646 (1)unnamed-2

Travel Tips for Visiting Provincetown

Here are some travel tips for visiting Provincetown:

Provincetown is easily accessible by ferry from Boston. This is a great option if you don't want to deal with traffic or parking. The ferry ride is also a scenic way to see the coastline. If you're driving, be aware that parking can be difficult in Provincetown, especially during peak season. There are several public parking lots, but they can fill up quickly. 

Provincetown is a laid-back, walkable town, so bring comfortable shoes. Be aware that the weather in Provincetown can change quickly, so be sure to pack for all types of weather, including rain gear and sunscreen.

If you’ve got the time, also consider taking a day trip to Nantucket, a nearby island that is known for its beaches, shops, and historic downtown.

If you're visiting during peak season, be sure to reserve your accommodations in advance. You can book luxury Provincetown lodgings with Del Mar’s vacation rentals now – but above all, enjoy your Cape Cod getaway!

Related posts