5hrs 20mins from NYC
Back in the day, the dune-backed Portuguese fishing village at Cape Cod’s outer end drew writers (Tennessee Williams and Norman Mailer, to name two), but over the decades it has morphed into the funky-fun LGBTQ hot spot it is today. During the morning, give P-town’s ethnic history a breakfast nod with a creamy little custard tart, or pastel de nata, at the zero-frills Provincetown Portuguese Bakery, then jump to the modern era of fine art and rocking good times.
Provincetown is all about laid-back mingling—and there’s no better way to get into it than hopping among the town’s color-saturated galleries and boutiques. Get teased en route by drag queens who tickle you with feathers while inviting you to shows. Chow on crispy cod tacos at the casual but fabulous and friendly spot The Canteen, where you’ll try in vain to resist a frozen-rosé drink dubbed the frosé. Suck it down out back, where day-drinking fun meets ocean views. With the Provincetown pier as a backdrop, you can play the most Instagram-worthy game of Ping-Pong in town.
If you’re ready to rage, the seaside destination has your number, too: The afternoon Tea Dance that goes down from 4 to 7pm every day is justly famous at Boatslip Beach Club. Gems like the crooner-boasting Cabaret Room in the Crown & Anchor are also teasingly fun. P-town bars close at 1am, but the after-hours party continues on the street. When you’ve finally exhausted yourself, crawl home to the White Porch Inn, a grand 19th-century home renovated into a thoroughly beachy, unstuffy, clean-white B&B steps from the bay, and get ready to do it all over again tomorrow.
And since you made it all the way here, why not go to the very end? A shiny beacon of Provincetown’s West End, the newly opened AWOL (summer rates from $229) boasts light, airy interiors and low-slung furniture to match the dunes outside your window. And you’ll definitely want to take advantage of the private bar only available to hotel guests.
Provincetown also has no shortage of bike rentals. After cycling your way through town, take the 5.45-mile Province Lands Bike Trail, which winds through a vast pine forest (with plenty of detours to the beach).