Founded in the early 1700s, Provincetown, MA – also affectionately known as P-Town – is famously known for being America’s oldest continuous art colony.
With a beautiful and expansive shoreline, easy access to Boston and New York City, and reasonable housing costs, the locale became an ideal place for financially struggling artists to study. By the 1890s, P-Town began booming and developing a resident population of writers, artists, summer tourists, and one of the largest LGBTQ+ communities in the country.
Today, with its distinct rural character and rich history of art, there’s no shortage of things to do in this beautiful town for families and adults alike. If you’re an adult visiting Provincetown, here’s a list of 7 things to do:
1. Take a Food Tour
Located right on the shore, Provincetown has a vibrant selection of different types of food. While seafood is indeed the most popular, there are still a lot of other restaurants, breweries, cafes, and more that you can explore during your time here.
Here are some local favorites and recommendations for your very own DIY food tour:
Joe’s Coffee & Cafe
This iconic coffee establishment is so much more than a cup of coffee. Joe’s Coffee takes an artisanal approach to every drink that has you wanting more with every sip.
Our Recommendation: Try the iced caramel latte and an egg & cheese on a Portuguese roll. You won’t be disappointed.
Mama Matcha Green Bar
Mama Matcha is another cafe known for its acai and pitaya bowls, signature toasts, and top-rated ceremonial matcha beverages. This is the best spot to go to for a healthy, casual breakfast or lunch.
Our Recommendation: Get the Choko Moco Superfood Bowl, which has acai, banana, strawberries, peanut butter, and almond milk topped with granola, strawberries, banana, and cacao nibs.
This harborfront grill is a must-do if you’re into New American cuisine. With an extensive list of wines by the glass (65 different wines!) and a first-class dining experience, this is the perfect adults-only dinner spot in town. Reserve a table at Ross’s Grill now.
Our Recommendation: Take it from the locals, this restaurant has the best burger in town. Try the Half Pound Angus Burger and thank us later.
Provincetown Brewing Co
The Provincetown Brewing Co. (PBC) is P-Town’s first taproom focused on promoting progressive causes. Each of their products honors a cause or organization and all charities receive a percentage of the sales. Some of the causes they support include:
- LGBTQ+ rights
- Racial justice
- Immigrant rights
- Climate change mitigation
- Coastal studies
- Conservation efforts
- Voting rights
- Criminal justice reform
- Healthcare rights
- And more
Our Recommendation: Get the Golden Hook Ale which is a refreshing golden ale with notes of crisp apple & grapefruit.
2. Watch the Sunset
There is nothing quite like a beach sunset in Provincetown to make a memorable vacation.
Herring Cove Beach is known for its picturesque sunsets that make you feel like you’re living right inside a painting. Whether you’re looking for a romantic date night or a relaxing evening with friends, grab some wine and some quick bites from Perfect Picnic to watch the sunset along the shores.
3. Go to a Drag Brunch
As one of the largest LGBTQ+ communities in the United States, drag queen performances could be seen as early as the 1940s in P-Town.
While the chances are pretty high that you will see people dressed in drag right along Commercial Street, Crown & Anchor regularly hosts a slew of events with great drag performers.
Located in the heart of town, this entertainment complex is home to the queer arts. With a waterfront hotel, restaurant, six unique bars, beach club, gallery, and multiple performance venues, the Crown & Anchor is a one-stop destination for a good time.
On Sundays, you can treat yourself to a special drag brunch and watch impressive performances – while sipping on a mimosa (or two).
4. Visit an Art Gallery
For hundreds of years, Provincetown has welcomed artists, poets, writers, and creatives to its community. From the likes of Kurt Vonnegut and Tennessee Williams to other local talents and international creators, there’s a beautiful legacy of arts and culture in this town.
Commercial Street alone hosts nearly 40 different art galleries that display a range of art in different mediums, from paintings and photography to sculptures and mixed media. In fact, the Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM) has over 700 contemporary artists and shows multiple exhibitions year-round.
You can experience the true artistry of P-Town just by walking down the street and perusing all the pop-up artists and shops.
View the full list of art galleries in the Provincetown Artist Registry Gallery Guide. However, if you are looking for specific gallery recommendations, we’ve got two in particular located on Commercial Street:
Rice Polak Art Gallery
The Rice Polak Art Gallery (430 Commerical St.) is known as P-Town’s number one contemporary and fine art gallery. With a comprehensive collection, the gallery boasts paintings, pastels, photography, sculpture, and other installations.
Cortile Art Gallery
Located right in the center of town (230 Commercial St.), the Cortile Art Gallery is home to one of the most diverse collections of local artwork in Provincetown.
Featuring both regional and national artists, this gallery includes works of oil, acrylic, encaustics, glass, ceramics, sculptures, bronzes, monoprints, photography, white and black line prints, wood cuts, found objects art, and jewelry.
5. Tea Dance at Boatslip
Get your dancing shoes on with a tea dance at Boatslip. Provincetown’s biggest outdoor dance party is an exciting experience for first-time visitors and natives alike.
This three-hour set starts at 4 p.m., just in time for tea, and invites visitors to expect the unexpected. The Boatslip is known as a historically revered institution that has been around for almost 50 years.
And if you’re not the dancing type, that’s okay too. The venue also has a bar, patio, sundeck, and pool for visitors to enjoy. Check out the events calendar to see what’s going on while you’re in town.
6. Explore the Cape Cod National Seashore
P-Town is part of the 40-mile Cape Cod National Seashore. Within the National Seashore, you’ll find several beaches, parks, and trails to explore.
If you like walking, hiking, biking, and spending time in nature, you are sure to love Herring Cove Beach, Race Point Beach, Dog Beach, Pilgrim Bark Park, and the Beech Forest Trail.
Herring Cove Beach
Herring Cove Beach is located on the calmer side of Provincetown. It is the most popular beach and during the summer, has a snack bar and nighttime concerts. With smaller waves and warmer water, Heron Cove is a great beach to lounge on for a relaxing time in P-Town.
Race Point Beach
If you are looking to explore a bit more, Race Point Beach is perfect for you. This beach separates itself from the rest of the P-Town beaches with its dunes, lighthouses, and free whale watching on the beach.
The Visitor Center has a 360-degree observation deck about a mile away from the beach where you can look out to sea and oftentimes see whales in the ocean. Race Point Beach also has daily, one-hour dune tours where you can learn the history and ecology of the Provincetown dunes – all from the comfort of an SUV.
Dog Beach & Pilgrim Bark Park
If you’ve got a furry friend in tow, Dog Beach and Pilgrim Bark Park are two places they will love. These dog-centric locations pride themselves on being open and safe spaces for pets and pet owners to enjoy.
Dog Beach can be found just off Commercial Street, behind the west-end parking lot and Pilgrim Bark Park is a quick drive down from Herring Cove.
Beech Forest Trail
If you enjoy being active and spending time in nature, the Beech Forest Trail is perfect for you. Located close to town, this trail is optimal for people of all activity levels. It is less than a mile long, kid-friendly, and relatively easy for those that are new to hiking or biking.
There are several places around P-Town where you can rent bikes to use on the trail or around the narrow streets of town.
The Beech Forest Trail is open year-round and as a bonus, is popular for birdwatching. If you are interested in spending time at the Beech Forest Trail. you can see the full trail and find more information on the National Park Service website.
Be sure to bring a leash if you bring your dog. And as a pro tip from the locals: bring bug spray.
7. Visit Hennep Cannabis Dispensary
Lastly, if you are looking to really relax and enhance your experience here in P-Town, come on down to visit Hennep.
As the premier cannabis dispensary in Cape Cod, we pride ourselves on offering high-quality, local products. We focus on earth-friendly selections that give back to our diverse community.
While public consumption is not allowed in Provincetown or on the National Seashore, we have an expansive menu of cannabis products such as flower, pre-rolls, edibles, concentrates, tinctures, topicals, and more to help you get the most out of your vacation.
Shop now and order ahead online or stop by 246 Commercial Street. We are open:
- Mondays from 10am – 8pm
- Tuesdays from 10am – 6p
- Wednesday through Sunday from 10am – 8pm
Visit the Best of P-Town
We’re not named “America’s Best Beach Town” for nothing. Soak in the calm, warm waters of Provincetown and explore all that the town has to offer during your trip.
- Enjoy some good eats at Joe’s Coffee, Mama Matcha, Ross’s Grill, and Provincetown Brewing Co.
- Watch an incredible sunset
- Be entertained at Crown & Anchor
- Visit the many art galleries in town
- Dance your vacation away at Boatslip
- Spend time in nature on the Cape Cod National Seashore
- Visit Provincetown’s top-rated cannabis dispensary
For more information on things to do in Provincetown, MA, visit the Official Tourism Guide.