Boasting myriad beaches, an active nightlife scene, and a gay-friendly vibe, Provincetown, Massachusetts, on the tip of Cape Cod is a summer playground for well-heeled Northeasterners. P-town, as it's lovingly known, has long held a place in popular culture - it's been the setting for at least two mystery novels - and with a bustling downtown and a relaxed populace, you're sure to have the time of your lives at one of our Provincetown vacation rentals.
Provincetown is at the tip of the Cape, and benefits from light breezes and gentle waves due to its isolated location. Town beaches are usually swamped in the summer, due to the population explosion, but secluded spots can still be found. Race Point Beach, on the Cape Cod National Seashore, has a wide swath of sand and a surfing section, too. Herring Cove Beach is popular with the LGBT community, and Breakwater Beach boasts places to hike as well as gather shellfish.
Like other towns along the seashore, Provincetown boasts many historic sites and cultural attractions. The Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum, which commemorates the Mayflower landing, is a must-see for first timers. Head to the top of the monument, the tallest granite structure in the country, for a picturesque view of the town. The museum boasts exhibits about the town's history, arts, and culture. The former military post of Long Point, on a peninsula in Provincetown harbor, features a lighthouse built in 1827 and a secluded beach far from the madding crowds. Race Point Lighthouse and Wooden End Lighthouse both offer great spots for peaceful reflection, although the former requires a bit of a trek to get to.
The Provincetown Art Museum celebrated its centennial in 2014 and features more than 3,000 works of abstract and contemporary art from 700 local and international artists. As a long-established, world-renowned artists' colony, many art galleries dot Provincetown, from the heart of Commercial Street, the town's main thoroughfare, to the side streets. Rice-Pollak Gallery and Adam Peck Gallery are two of the most popular. More than 200 local businesses belong to the Provincetown Business Guild, formed in 1978 to promote LGBT tourism, and each year, PBG's Carnival Week attracts thousands of gay singles and couples from around the globe. The Provincetown International Film Festival, which awards indie filmmakers and actors, draws film buffs of all ages. Many local residents, such as director John Waters, are an active part of the festival scene.