Introduction to Provincetown, Massachusetts
Provincetown, Massachusetts, in Barnstable county, is 26 miles E of Plymouth, Massachusetts (center to center) and 49 miles SE of Boston, Massachusetts. It's situated at the tip of Cape Cod and bordered by Cape Cod Bay on the south. The scenic town is well known for excellent beaches, tourism, a thriving arts scene and for its gay community. Provincetown is also known as a gay summer resort. The town includes a large number of artists. The population significantly increases during the summer tourist season.
The Nauset Indians were the original inhabitants. The Pilgrims signed the Mayflower Compact in 1620 after they arrived at Provincetown Harbor. The Pilgrims created their community on the other side of the bay in Plymouth. In 1727 the town was incorporated by English settlers. After the American Revolution ended the town became a prominent location for fishing and whaling. A large number of Portuguese who worked on the ships decided to make Provincetown their home.
By 1890 the town was thriving and included a large community of writers and artists. It also became a flourishing summer tourist resort. During the mid-1960's the population significantly increased, partly due to the numerous hippies that relocated to Provincetown. During the mid-1970's the town developed a sizeable gay community.
- The Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum features a notable tower made from granite
- Provincetown features an historic district which is included in the National Register of Historic Places
- Commercial Street offers numerous restaurants, galleries and unique shops
- Race Point Lighthouse
- Provincetown Art Association and Museum
- Whydah Museum
- Provincetown Jazz Festival
- The Fantasia Fair is popular with transvestites and transsexuals
- Provincetown Repertory Theatre
- The Provincetown Art Collection includes items from artists who have lived in the community
- The Portuguese Festival and Blessing of the Fleet
- Provincetown Fringe Festival
- New Provincetown Players
- Shakespeare on the Cape
- Golddust Orphans is a popular theater company
- Portuguese Festival
- PBG's Carnival Week
Boating, fishing and whale watching are popular activities. Tourists enjoy visiting the Truro Vineyards of Cape Cod. Visitors can take excursions to the local sand dunes. Bird watching is popular in the Cape Cod area. Race Point Beach, Herring Cove, Long Point and Town Beaches are popular destinations for residents and tourists.
The Province Lands Visitor Center provides scenic views, guided tours and a bicycle riding loop. A bicycle trail begins in the West End and traverses through the dunes and reaches the Race Point in the National Seashore. The Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill provides lessons in arts and crafts.
The community is home to the Provincetown Municipal Airport. Seasonal Ferries provide transportation to Boston and Plymouth.