No matter your reasons for visiting Provincetown, you’ll find plenty to see and do. Here, we’ve assembled a number of our favorite Provincetown attractions; you can use this guide to help plan your trip or feel free to just strike out on your own and see what you can uncover.
At the tip of Cape Cod’s National Seashore, Race Point Beach is a long swath of sandy paradise. Beachgoers can access miles and miles of seashore and soft sand just in front of the Provincetown Dunes. If you look out towards the Atlantic during the spring, you may even see whales breaching in the distance!
Whether you arrive by sea, land, or sky, the first thing you see when you arrive in Provincetown is the Pilgrim Monument. At 252 feet, it’s the tallest all-granite structure in the United States, and was built in 1907 to commemorate the first landfall of the Pilgrims in 1620. It’s an enduring symbol of Provincetown’s place in American history.
Commercial Street is Provincetown’s main thoroughfare. Chock full of shops, restaurants and historic sites, Commercial Street is always abuzz. By day, take a stroll and visit the local boutiques that line the sidewalks. When the sun goes down, enjoy a city’s worth of bars, clubs, and performances.
Just outside Provincetown’s centre, Herring Cove Beach is the perfect place for families to unwind and watch the sunset. Herring Cove is the only beach within the Cape Cod National Seashore situated on the Cape Cod Bay side of the Cape, meaning gentler waves and warmer water.
With the charm of an old-fashioned history museum, the Provincetown Museum highlights this maritime town’s unique cultural heritage. Its permanent displays and temporary exhibitions depict important historical events, from the Mayflower Pilgrims’ arrival to the early days of modern American theater.
Looping around the Province Lands, this 5.5-mile trail connects both Herring Cove and Race Point beaches. Explore Cape Cod’s sandy dunes, pine forests and cranberry bogs on two wheels or head out for a leisurely afternoon stroll. If you work up a sweat, head over to the beach to cool off.
Cape Cod Seashore National Park stretches over 43,000 acres, with nearly 40 miles of Atlantic shoreline. Here, you can pedal the seashore on winding bike trails or go canoeing with a ranger. Lined with beaches and filled with marshes, ponds, woods and cranberry bogs, there’s always more to explore.
No visit to Race Point Beach is complete without checking out Race Point Lighthouse, a historic light station on the National Register of Historic Places. You can access this remote lighthouse via a 2-mile hike along the Cape Cod National Seashore. If you’re lucky enough to get reservations, you can even book an overnight stay.
The Beech Forest Trail guides you around Blackwater Pond and Beech Forest Pond and into the heart of this picturesque beech forest. The secluded, tree-covered environment attracts all kinds of birds, so keep an eye out! Beech Forest is the perfect place to find a little respite from the sun, so enjoy a gentle stroll under nature’s canopy.
The Provincetown Theater is considered the birthplace of American Theater. Here is where Eugene O’Neill’s play, ‘Bound East for Cardiff’, was first staged in 1916. To this day, it presents an eclectic mix of classic and contemporary productions, so grab a ticket and cap off a day at the beach.
With humpback, right and fin whales off the coast, you might get lucky and catch glimpses of these beautiful mammals from the beaches. For those interested in getting a closer look, Provincetown is home to several outfits that offer whale watching trips between April and October. Remember, the ocean breeze can be surprisingly cool, so dress warmly!
Right at the northeast tip of Long Point, you’ll find the Long Point Light Station, which marks the southwest edge of the entrance to the Provincetown Harbor. This historic lighthouse is still active today, with a fixed green light and automated fog signal. The beach and lighthouse can be reached by shuttle, ferry or hiking.