Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Provincetown, MA

  • Published 2022/06/26

Provincetown, which some people fondly refer to as P-Town, has probably been on your bucket list for a long time now.

If you’ve yet to consider it one of your dream destinations, then it’s about time you learned more about it and what it has to offer.

The north pole of Cape Cod, this town in Massachusetts is the ideal destination for a perfect dreamy vacation.

If you are a sucker for magical sunsets, art galleries, beaches, aesthetic libraries, streets filled with art, music, and nightclubs, Provincetown is the place for you.

Boasting breathtaking beaches, scenic hikes, and awe-inspiring whale-watching cruises, P-Town is an excellent destination for those who consider themselves lovers of nature.

At the same time, it will also appeal to the metropolitan traveler, as it’s home to fantastic art galleries, the ever-vibrant Commercial Street, shopping centers, and restaurants serving mouth-watering cuisine.

Regardless of what type of traveler you are, this magical town in Massachusetts will easily fill your heart with love and peace.

These are the best things to do in Princetown, Massachusetts:

Get a Glimpse of the Provincetown Art Association and Museum

Statute at Provincetown art association and museum

EQRoy /

The stunning art galleries in Provincetown will definitely call your name, for the beauty and aesthetics they hold are truly mesmerizing.

The Provincetown Art Association and Museum is one of the most dynamic and creative museums in the world.

With a display of over 2,500 artistic objects and an ever-changing collection, the museum attracts a lot of tourists’ attention.

Entrance of Provincetown Art Association and Museum

GromLs at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The museum houses artwork from various artists from around the globe, as well as the local artists of the town.

The sculpture garden that stands tall in the middle of the gallery is one of the most incredible parts of the place.

An old painted nameboard of Provincetown Art Association and Museum

EQRoy /

Do not forget to book your tickets for the various fascinating events that take place in the gallery.

This place is unquestionably a must-visit attraction if you are an artist or simply an admirer of artistic creations.

Have a Perfect Romantic Getaway at Herring Cove Beach

Sunset in  Herring cove beach

Halee Burg /

You cannot leave the city without enjoying the warm waters of the alluring beaches.

Provincetown offers a couple of well-maintained and appealing beaches for you to explore and visit.

Foot prints on the shell-filled shore of Herring Cove Beach

Vadim Rebro /

Herring Cove Beach is one of the two beaches.

With calm water, miles of beautiful coastline, and loads of shacks and beds for you to relax and hang around, this beach attracts the highest amount of tourist attention.

People enjoying at Herring Cove Beach

Michele D DeMeo /

It is a perfect place for a romantic getaway with your partner, as the sunsets fill the skies with hues of orange and purple and the air with love.

You can watch sharks and whales swimming in the sea and indulge in water sports to quench your thirst for adventure.

Enjoy a Day of Fun in the Sun at Race Point Beach

Fenced pathway along the sand dunes at Race Point Beach

Cindy Goff /

Nothing beats a beach day with a chilled beer in good company, accompanied by delicious snacks and a beautiful sunset.

If you believe the same, P-Town has most definitely got you covered.

Race Point Beach is another beautiful beach with cold waters, warm sand, and loads of sea animals for you to admire.

Shoreline of Race Point Beach

Bruce Goerlitz Photo /

This beach is ideal for beach games like Frisbee, making sand castles, digging holes, playing beach volleyball, and so on.

One can visit this beach just to take a break from daily hassles.

With comfortable shacks and beds to lie down on and enjoy your snacks, this beach would definitely feel like home to you.

Race point beach Lighthouse

Lucky-photographer /

This beach is a great place to take pictures and witness seals and sharks near the coast.

Race Point Beach is truly a must-visit if you love empty, sandy beaches.

Join a Whale-Watching Cruise

Tourist enjoying the Provincetown Whale Watching cruise

Elena Kapitsa /

Whale-watching is not possible or available in a lot of places, but Provincetown in the US is one exception.

The sea and beaches in P-Town don’t only offer the experience of the sand and waters but also the firsthand experience of watching lots of sea animals like seals, sharks, dolphins, and whales.

From small fish to giant whales, you can get a chance to watch and experience them all.

People looking at the whale from a Cruise

James Kirkikis /

How exciting does that sound to you?

Whale-watching on a luxurious sunset cruise is undoubtedly going to be a moment of a lifetime, and you must not miss it for the world.

After all, who would want to miss the experience of watching these giant sea animals up close and in their full glory?

You can also take pictures of the whales and dolphins to post on your social media.

Don’t miss out on this rare opportunity when you’re in Provincetown.

Enjoy the Best of P-Town’s Shopping, Food, and Entertainment on Commercial Street

People cycling in Commercial street

Rolf_52 /

This street is the liveliest and most enjoyable place in P-Town.

With a chain of different seafood restaurants, street shops, live music, events, art galleries, aesthetic cafes, and bars, Commercial Street is the heart of the town.

Colorful shops at Commercial Street

Mystic Stock Photography /

People come here just to wash their woes away and spend evenings full of life.

This street is the hub of entertainment, food, and fun.

It is one of the best places to spend your time, for this place fills the heart with warmth and happiness.

Eateries at Commercial Street

Mystic Stock Photography /

You can take pictures and hang around all day long on this famous street.

You absolutely cannot leave Provincetown without exploring this beauty that is this street full of life.

Breathe in Some Fresh Air at Provincetown’s Beautiful Ponds and Gardens

As exciting as it is to go drinking, chilling, swimming, hanging out, and having fun in P-Town, the heart and soul always look out for tiny moments of peace and harmony everywhere you go.

The beautiful parks, ponds, lakes, and gardens in the town will never fail the desires of your heart.

Take a much-needed break and sit in the freshly cut grass by the pond in the town’s well-maintained, clean, and pretty gardens.

Blackwater Pond and Clapps Pond are the two best-loved ponds in the city.

With clean blue water and gently blowing breezes, they are great places to relax.

The ponds are surrounded by stretches of greenery and pristine trails to walk on.

Another wetland preserve and garden is Nicky’s Park, which is truly a mesmerizing place filled with the beauty of nature.

You can brisk walk, ride your bikes, walk your pets, take pictures, or simply meditate in its gardens.

These gardens, preserves, and ponds are the perfect spots to relax for a while on your vacation, as they truly help in keeping the spirit alive.

Get a Breathtaking View of the City from the Pilgrim Monument

Top view of the Pilgrim monument

haveseen /

The Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown is the tallest Al-Granite structure in the United States.

It was built in the early 1900s and still stands firm today.

Serving breathtaking views from the top of the town, this monument is worth a visit.

Front view of Pilgrim Monument

solepsizm /

It is a historical landmark of the city.

The cool breeze and the stunning view of the harbor and city make the journey to the top absolutely worth it.

The Pilgrim Monument is truly a must-visit if you love beautiful views, sunsets, and fresh air because it most definitely offers the experience of a lifetime.

Aerial view of Pilgrim Monument

Sandra Ciardi /

Take a Trip Back in Time at the Provincetown Museum

Provincetown Museum with pilgrim monument in the background

FotoKina /

This museum in Provincetown is your one-stop destination for learning about the history of America.

It is a museum of regional maritime history.

The Provincetown Museum is situated inside the Pilgrim Monument.

You can not only view the great exhibits and give yourself and your kids an educational tour but also climb up the monument and breathe some cool, fresh air 200 feet above the ground level.

The view from the top of the Pilgrim Monument is worth the 15-minute climb to the top.

Go Fishing at Provincetown Harbor

Boats docked at Provincetown Harbour

Shanshan0312 /

Provincetown Harbor is one of the most beautiful harbors you will ever witness.

The crystal clear blue waters and the view of the town are certainly magnificent.

You can not only watch the docks come and go and boats sail around but also get on one and go fishing at the harbor.

Fishermans Wharf at Provincetown Harbor

Bruce Goerlitz Photo /

This is a perfectly suitable place for whale-watching in the summer.

If beautiful views, long hikes, and secluded beaches call your name, then visiting Provincetown Harbor is going to be a really magical experience for you.

Bird's eye view of Provincetown Harbor

RoySmith, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Admire the Displays at the Cortile and Schoolhouse Galleries

Do you love exploring local art galleries on your travels?’

Provincetown’s Cortile and Schoolhouse Galleries are inarguably unmissable.

With the most exotic and beautiful display of paintings, sculptures, and modern art, these two galleries stand at the top of Provincetown’s top 10 art museums.

Both of these are considered P-Town’s gems, for you can find the true spirit of art in these galleries.

Combined, the Cortile and Schoolhouse galleries showcase the works and talents of over 60 artists.

They are great places to take aesthetic snaps you’ll want to post on Instagram.

Pay a visit to these art galleries and witness their beauty for yourself.

Go on a Stroll along the Cape Cod National Seashore

Cape cod national seashore

lunamarina /

This beautiful seashore in Massachusetts is a stunning place with incredible landscapes and the most soothing sunsets.

The wind here is chilly, and it is an amazing place to take a walk on the beach or play games in the sand.

Being here will feel like a dream to you, for the beauty of this place, along with getting to see sea animals in their natural habitats, is not an experience you get to live a lot.

Crab resting on the sand at Cape Cod National Seashore

Shanshan0312 /

The simplicity and calmness of this secluded beach area are among its most striking features.

The seashore is not limited to the beach, as it also has a forest area opposite the sea with a lot of greenery and colorful flowers for you to enjoy.

A couple taking pictures at the photo frame set up at Cape Cod National Seashore

Dan Hanscom /

There are loads of things to explore on the Cape Cod National Seashore, so be sure to go check them out.

Enjoy Scenic Views While Sailing in the Sea

Ships and boats in Provincetown during twilight

Vadim 777 /

Are you planning on spending the most romantic evening with your partner?

Or, do you want to have some thrilling action with your friends?

You need not worry, for P-Town has got you covered.

People sailing in Provincetown

Micha Weber /

One of the most inspiring and adventurous activities to do in this town is to go sailing in its vast blue sea.

You can get various amazing views of Cape Cod through your boat, and you can also spend a night on board and experience the beauty and vastness of the sea like never before.

The fresh and cold air in the middle of the sea and the beautiful sunsets when you are so close to the horizon are not to be missed out on.

Sailing across Provincetown’s waters might be one of your best experiences in the city.

Visit P-Town’s Endearing Lighthouses

Tall white architect of Long Point Light Station

Betty Ann Killgoar /

Long Point Light Station is a lighthouse you can’t miss, especially if you’re going on a boat tour around Provincetown Harbor.

You can find this lighthouse on the Long Point Peninsula’s northeastern edge.

Many who have visited this part of Provincetown have found it adorable, with its pretty brick walls and bright white coat with a black lantern.

Long Point Light Station creates beautiful green light that flashes every four seconds at a focal height of 10.8 meters above water level.

At that height, it’s visible up to 15 kilometers away!

Another lighthouse worth visiting that’s seven minutes southwest of the Long Point Light Station is Wood End Lighthouse.

Situated far off an area more than an hour and a half away from Provincetown’s center, the Wood End Light watchtower is only accessible by driving through acres of sand dunes.

When it was first built on November 20, 1872, the lighthouse served as a marker not only for the town but for its lively port as well.

Immerse Yourself in a Provincetown Causeway Hiking Experience

Nature trail at a park in Provincetown

NayaDadara /

Provincetown Causeway is an undeniably great hike at Cape Cod National Seashore.

Completed in 1914, the Long Point Dike serves as a crossing over Provincetown Harbor that links the peninsula with the mainland.

There are several reasons why people hike the Breakwater Trail.

Hiking trail along the shore at Provincetown

Monika Salvan /

First, it gives you a fantastic view of the beautiful Provincetown landscape.

Second, it takes you right up to the beautiful Long Point Lighthouse and Wood End Lighthouse, which are not too far away either.

The Provincetown Causeway trail is a very scenic hike, especially at sunset when the sun reflects off of the waves and creates interesting shades of orange on those rocks.

A women hiking on the sand dunes of Cape Cod National Seashore in Provincetown

melissamn /

It’s also quite challenging since you might have to jump or crawl over mussels and slippery seaweed in some parts.

Once across from one side of the bay, however, a sandy beach awaits where you can relax and have a bite to eat.

Delve into the Past at the Old Harbor Life-Saving Station Museum

Wooden boardwalk leading to Old Harbor Life-Saving Station Museum

Shanshan0312 /

At Race Point in Provincetown, Massachusetts, you’ll find the Old Harbor US Life Saving Station.

Erected in 1897, the station first served as the Old Harbor Coast Guard Station to the United States Life-Saving Service and then the United States Coast Guard.

This station operated until 1944, when it was closed and became abandoned until purchased in 1947.

The following 26 years were spent as home to several residents.

The Old Harbor Life-Saving Station Museum is a wonderful and educational visit for the family or even just adults.

This is also the perfect place to enjoy the beach and ocean view.

You’ll enjoy plenty of fresh air to breathe in here while exploring the great history of this historical site.

Final Thoughts

Provincetown is an off-beat small town in Massachusetts.

Its main attraction is the art scene, which turns every corner into a vibrant living museum replete with colorful street art and cast iron statues.

The summertime draws tourists from all around to enjoy the beaches and breeze blowing in from Cape Cod National Seashore.

Here, you can enjoy hiking, birdwatching, swimming, or just take a relaxing and leisurely day trip strolling the various paths lined with New England-style forestation.

On your vacation in Provincetown, take note of these recommendations on what to see and do.

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