Everyone says, a Cape Cod summer is not complete without a daytrip to Provincetown, known for its beaches, arts, and fabulous gay community. Even though I have only been in Woods Hole a few weeks, I put a day visit to P-Town at the top of my summer bucket list and headed off with my friend John early Saturday morning.
The drive from the Woods Hole Inn was about an hour and a half with no traffic, which I am told is record time for the 100-mile journey. We took Route 28 up to Harwich for the scenery, then cut onto Route 6 from there. Once past Wellfleet, the view from Route 6 between Truro and Provincetown was incredible, with the sea on both sides, sand dunes rolling alongside — it made me feel like I was out west again.
A warm June day, just a bit over cast, was perfect for our walk along Commercial Street, the central destination for shopping, people watching, and finding a bite to eat. The street was full of art galleries of all styles, historic buildings decorated with flair and unique shops filled with one of a kind items. There was also every sort of food imaginable, from super cute bakeries and coffee shops, to a huge range of fine dining including fresh steamed lobster, sushi and raw bars, Italian and much more.
With so many choices, we finally decided to sit up on the balcony at a sushi bar called Saki so we could continue to watch the parade of interesting people strolling through town. Overlooking Commercial Street, we both enjoyed the sushi and drinks. Saki is the perfect spot to fuel up for a beach exploration, and we loved the energetic, fun vibe.
Of course, we also had to tame our sweet tooth at one of the many ice cream parlors/bakeries lining the street. After much consideration, we were sucked in by the aroma from a crowded place called ‘Purple Feather.’ With a great selection of decadent pastries, fudge and gelato, we felt we made the right choice.
Well fueled for further exploration in our epic daytrip to Provincetown, we drove to the tippy top of Cape Cod, where we discovered a gorgeous view of the salt marshes and estuaries. From there we continued on to the open expanses of Race Point Beach, the northernmost tip of the Cape Cod peninsula. This beach is known for it’s proximity to Stellwagen Bank, a national marine sanctuary and whale breeding ground, so it is not unusual to see whales swimming close to shore here, but we were not so lucky.
While rain clouds rolled in, nothing could stop us from putting our toes in the warm Gulf Stream waters of Cape Cod while also experiencing the vast, dramatic beauty of this preserved land called the “National Seashore” and taking a moment to thank to President John Kennedy for giving us this legacy.
A visit to this divine beach was the perfect counterpoint to the hustle and bustle of Commercial Street Provincetown, it’s harbor packed with fishing boats and ferries from Boston (only an 1-1/2 hr ferry ride across Cape Cod Bay and Boston Harbor). This point-counterpoint is perhaps the secret to Provincetown’s unique draw — a place of extraordinary physical beauty at the end of a long road.
Our daytrip to Provincetown was a great success, and I would definitely suggest the unique experience to any traveler to Cape Cod. Judging from the crowds, this journey is once made and many times repeated as it’s a village at the edge of the world filled with fun personalities, artsy funk and a vast stretch of beach whose beauty simply has to be seen to be believed. Visiting Provincetown on Cape Cod is one of many great day trips from the Woods Hole Inn, located on the water in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, a part of New England, USA.