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No region in New England has more name-brand cache as a summer vacation destination than Cape Cod. There’s no better way to experience the Cape than driving to its farthest edge — to the quaint, pint-sized town of Provincetown (or “Ptown” as it’s affectionately known). Here are just a handful of ways to spend the weekend in Massachusetts’ most iconic seaside getaway:
At the southern tip of Commercial Street sits the two-hundred-year-old THE red INN — equal parts bar, restaurant, hotel, and cherished Ptown institution. Even if you’re not planning to overnight, it’s well worth a stop to grab a plate of fresh, local, Wellfleet oysters from their raw bar. More importantly, order a properly made cocktail (think Cucumber Martinis and Rye Old Fashioneds) and relax in the Adirondack chairs out on the deck. The ocean views are arguably the best of any restaurant on the Cape.
Provincetown is best explored on foot and, thankfully, it offers no shortage of desserts to-go. Stop in at Provincetown Fudge Factory for a box of truffles or one of their locally famous dark chocolate peanut butter cups. Just steps away is I Dream of Gelato — a tiny coffee and gelateria with the best gelato on the Cape.
The sand dunes of Ptown are undoubtedly the area’s most iconic geological standouts. The best way to explore them is through them via Art’s Dune Tours. Visitors can choose from one-hour, sunset, and half-day tours of the dunes in the company’s large, air-conditioned Suburban trucks.
The Whydah Pirate Museum is, somewhat surprisingly, the world’s only museum dedicated entirely to a recovered pirate ship. The one-time slave ship sank in the early 18th century and was only recovered in the last few decades. It’s a rather small museum with an incredibly passionate staff and the installations — including actual recovered coins, a cannon, and other artifacts — are fascinating.
Ptown is awash in quaint, picture-perfect New England bed & breakfasts. But Land’s End Inn stands, figuratively and literally, above them all. Located high atop a hill off Commercial Street, this classic, garden inn offers stunning, panoramic harbor views and lavish, honeymoon-worthy guest rooms.
For something completely different, the Harbor Hotel Provincetown is a one-time, Nixon-era budget motel that recently underwent a top-down renovation. The waterfront property now successfully blends bright, 60s-era Mod decor and Miami Beach-chic with classic beachfront motel architecture. Be sure to reserve an ocean view room and partake in the hotel’s nightly on-site bonfires.
(Photo via Flickr)