Cruising to Provincetown

Perhaps none of Northeast’s many wonderful ports can rival the colorful character of Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Located on the last stretch of land on Cape Cod as it curls back toward Boston, Provincetown is the most unpredictable destination in New England. Bustling with a lively mix of art galleries, diverse restaurants, interesting shops, beautifully landscaped gardens and everything from drag-queen shows to salty fishermen’s bars, “Ptown” is a port that should be on every boater’s “must-visit” list.

Boaters cruising to Provincetown will find the approach to Provincetown Harbor from Cape Cod Bay is free of obstructions and is marked by 3 lights: Race Point Light, on the extreme eastern tip of the Cape (flashing white every 10 seconds); Wood End Light, at the southern point of the Cape’s final curve (flashing red every 10 seconds); and Long Point Light, at the harbor entrance, (steady green). Visiting boaters can find transient slips at the Provincetown Town Float at MacMillan Pier by calling the harbormaster (508-487-7030; VHF 9, 12). The Provincetown Marina (508-487-0571; VHF 9) also reserves a number of slips and moorings for transients. Boaters can also anchor anywhere outside the breakwater and outside the main channel.

Commercial Street is Provincetown’s center of activity. Visitors will want to stroll along its sidewalks, exploring its many interesting gift shops, boutiques, candy stores, restaurants, ice cream shops, bars and theaters. Visitors should also visit the Pilgrim Monument, which commemorates the Pilgrims first landing in Provincetown and offers exceptional views of the surrounding area.

Cape-Cod-Provincetown-MassachusettsRenting bikes is a great way to explore the town and its bike paths and beaches. Among the many bike rental shops are Galeforce Bike Rentals (508-487-4849) and Ptown Bikes (508-487-8735). Nearby, the Cape Cod National Seashore offers 8 miles of paved bike trails through forest and dunes connecting the major beaches.

Provincetown is home to a diverse collection of eateries, from world-class restaurants to tiny mom and pop places. A couple of local favorites are The Lobster Pot (508-487-0842) and the Provincetown Portuguese Bakery (508-487-1803) near MacMillan Wharf.