Provincetown, where the Mayflower pilgrims first landed in 1620, has maintained its progressive spirit through the ages. A haven for artists and a warm embrace to the LGBTQ community, this historic fishing town boasts the stunning Herring Cove and Race Point beaches within Cape Cod National Seashore.

From its beginnings after the Pilgrims journeyed to Plymouth, Provincetown stood out for its abundant fishing resources, leading to its incorporation as a township in 1727. The infusion of Portuguese Immigrants, drawn by fishing opportunities, along with 20th-century playwrights, artists, and those drawn by its open-minded atmosphere, has shaped it into a cosmopolitan yet laid-back haven.

At the heart of Provincetown lies tourism, with a wealth of accommodations, from hotels to cozy bed and breakfasts, blending seamlessly with art galleries, diverse dining options, and charming boutiques along Commercial Street and beyond. Anchoring this vibrant town is MacMillan Pier, bustling with high-speed ferries to Boston, fishing boats, pleasure crafts, and whale-watching vessels that come and go, reflecting Provincetown’s dynamic spirit.


SOURCE: US Census, American Community Survey Program, Estimates for 2021.

Provincetown, MA Real Estate Trends for Single-Family Homes

Provincetown, MA Housing Affordability

Places to stay in Provincetown, MA

Where to Eat IN Provincetown, MA

Things to do in Provincetown, MA

Discover the beauty of Beech Forest Trail.

The Beech Forest Trail is a hidden gem within Provincetown’s natural wonders. This scenic trail meanders through a lush and enchanting beech forest, offering a tranquil escape for nature enthusiasts and hikers alike. As you explore this picturesque trail, you’ll be surrounded by the soothing rustle of beech leaves and the gentle song of local birds. The Beech Forest Trail is a haven for those seeking a peaceful stroll, birdwatching adventure, or a serene place to connect with nature. With its well-maintained paths and opportunities for photography, it’s no wonder that this trail has become a beloved destination for outdoor enthusiasts on Cape Cod. Experience the beauty and serenity of the Beech Forest Trail as you immerse yourself in the captivating natural landscape of Provincetown.

Stroll Main Street and discover Provincetown’s charms and nightlife.

Enjoy a leisurely walk along Provincetown’s bustling main street, where you can immerse yourself in the charm of Cape Cod’s historic architecture. Delve into an array of unique shops, explore art galleries, and savor the offerings of cozy cafes while hunting for memorable souvenirs. As you venture down this picturesque 3-mile-long street, you’ll notice a shift from a predominantly residential area towards the eastern end, making it worthwhile to head west, near the town’s marina, for excellent people-watching opportunities and a chance to relax with friends while indulging in some shopping.

When the sun sets, the excitement doesn’t end; Provincetown’s vibrant nightlife comes to life with an array of bars and clubs, making it an appealing destination for LGBTQIA+ travelers throughout the year.

Discover Provincetown’s gem: Herring Cove Beach.

Located on the Cape Cod Bay side of the peninsula, Herring Cove is a unique destination within the Cape Cod National Seashore. Here, you’ll find gentle waves and slightly warmer water temperatures compared to the Atlantic Ocean. Situated just a short distance from Provincetown’s lively town center, Herring Cove is renowned for its breathtaking sunsets and distant views of the iconic Race Point Lighthouse.

What makes Herring Cove stand out is its commitment to accessibility, ensuring it’s a welcoming spot for all visitors. During the summer months, a convenient snack bar caters to beachgoers’ cravings. Additionally, its proximity to the Province Lands Bike Trail ensures a year-round hub of activity, offering something special for every guest.

Visit Long Point Light Station.

Situated at the very tip of Cape Cod’s “arm” on the sandy spit known as Long Point, Long Point Light Station stands as a sentinel at the mouth of Provincetown Harbor. Owned by the U.S. Coast Guard and maintained by the Cape Cod Chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation, this historic lighthouse serves as an essential aid to navigation.

While the interior of the light tower remains inaccessible to the public, visitors are welcome to explore the picturesque grounds. From the perspective of MacMillan Wharf in Provincetown, you can catch sight of Long Point Light, but the most striking views can be enjoyed from a boat departing Provincetown Harbor, offering an unforgettable experience as it guides vessels safely on their way.

Embrace the spirit of Provincetown at MacMillan Pier.

At the heart of Provincetown lies MacMillan Pier, the town’s central transportation nexus. Seasonally, it welcomes tens of thousands of visitors through Bay State Cruise Co., Boston Harbor Cruises, and Captain John Boats Fast Ferry. From this bustling pier, a multitude of daily excursions embark to explore the picturesque Harbor, the awe-inspiring National Seashore, and the pristine waters of Stellwagen National Marine Sanctuary.

Provincetown’s historical connection with whales, dating back to the 19th century, endures to this day. The tradition of whale watching thrives as thousands of enthusiasts set sail from Provincetown annually, seeking the opportunity to observe these magnificent yet endangered creatures in their natural habitat.

Visit Old Harbor Life Saving Station.

The United States Life Saving Service, established in 1871, aimed to rescue distressed ship crews along the U.S. coast. Before its formation, coastal towns relied on volunteer lifesaving services, similar to volunteer fire departments. These lifesaving stations, situated every five to eight miles along Cape Cod, mirrored today’s fire stations. Surfmen, living at the stations during duty, conducted rescues primarily close to shore where most shipwrecks occurred. The early surfmen faced perilous conditions, as ships grounded on sandbars surrounding the cape, especially in the 1800s when thousands of ships succumbed. Today, the Old Harbor Life Saving Station in Cape Cod National Seashore houses a museum open seasonally, offering insights into this heroic history. The station was originally in Chatham and relocated in 1977. Visitors can explore the museum, watch a historical film, and access beach areas (with fees in summer). Volunteers are available to answer questions and provide short lectures and equipment demonstrations.

Plan your visit at Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum.

The Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum stand as iconic landmarks in Provincetown, Massachusetts. The towering granite monument, dedicated in 1910, commemorates the landing of the Mayflower Pilgrims in 1620 and is an architectural marvel, offering breathtaking panoramic views of Cape Cod from its observation deck. Adjacent to the monument, the Provincetown Museum delves into the rich history of this vibrant coastal town. Visitors can explore engaging exhibits that chronicle Provincetown’s role in American history, from its maritime heritage to its significance as an art colony and LGBTQ+ cultural hub. Together, the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum provide an immersive journey through time, offering a deeper understanding of this unique and culturally diverse community on the tip of Cape Cod.

provincetown’s geography

Poised at the very tip of Cape Cod, Provincetown finds itself embraced by water in all directions, with only a slender land boundary shared with Truro. Encompassing 17.5 square miles, the town boasts over 20 miles of picturesque coastal shoreline. A substantial two-thirds of Provincetown’s terrain is under the guardianship of the National Park Service, stewarding the pristine beauty of Herring Cove and Race Point beaches within the National Seashore. To the north of downtown, the Province Lands dunes stand as a testament to nature’s wild and windswept beauty, while to the south, Cape Cod Bay cradles the town in its fishhook-shaped harbor.


Provincetown, the cradle of the avant-garde, boasts a rich tapestry of artistic expression. At its heart stands the illustrious Provincetown Players, a pioneering theater group established in 1915. The Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM) has been a cultural beacon since 1914, nationally acclaimed for its year-round exhibitions, lectures, workshops, and events. The Provincetown Playhouse continues to resonate with independently produced plays, while the Fine Arts Work Center offers distinctive residency programs to budding visual artists and writers. Every year, the historic Hawthorne Barn becomes the epicenter of Twenty Summers, a festival embracing concerts, conversations, artist residencies, and special events from mid-May to mid-June. Meanwhile, the annual Provincetown Film Festival, orchestrated by the Provincetown Film Society, honors the finest in independent cinema. The town flourishes with a plethora of esteemed fine art galleries, live music venues, and cabarets.


Each June, a fleet of local fishing boats partakes in the Blessing of the Fleet, a pivotal component of the Provincetown Portuguese Festival. This four-day extravaganza pays homage to Portuguese cuisine and culture. As summer unfurls, Commercial Street transforms into a kaleidoscope of colors and activity during Provincetown Carnival, a vibrant weeklong celebration of LGBTQ+ life. Dominating the town’s center is the towering 252-foot Pilgrim Monument, an iconic edifice erected in 1910 to commemorate the Mayflower pilgrims’ historic landing. Nestled at its base is the Provincetown Museum, an institution narrating the tale of the pilgrims’ arrival, the town’s maritime heritage, the early days of American theater in Provincetown, and the monument’s construction. Provincetown’s soundscape is shaped by WOMR (OuterMost Radio), the community radio station, renowned for its local, eclectic, informative, and educational programming.


Although Provincetown is home to fewer than 200 year-round school-aged children, it offers the Provincetown International Baccalaureate Schools—an educational haven infused with cultural, scientific, and technological richness. Students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade thrive academically at the school’s Winslow Street facility. High school scholars can set their sails toward Nauset Regional High School in Eastham, Cape Cod Technical High School in Harwich, or explore private educational institutions across the Cape’s expanse.