Once a sleepy Portuguese fishing village and Yankee whaling centre, Provincetown, Massachusetts, is famous as New England’s queer playground. It’s a favourite destination for gays from all across North America and around the world and is included on top-10 travel lists by Smithsonian magazine and renowned travel guide Fodor’s.
Situated at the tip of Cape Cod, Provincetown is only five kilometres long and just a few streets wide. Beckoning nearby are 4,000 acres of rolling sand dunes, pine forest, freshwater ponds and 50 kilometres of beach, including Herring Cove, one of the most famous gay beaches in the world.
The Huffington Post outlines a 100-kilometre “Cape Cod Scenic Drive,” describing it as one of the “most relaxing coastal drives in the US and Canada.” It ends just outside Ptown near the Province Lands Visitor Center — well worth a visit, with its observation decks that offer spectacular views of Race Point and the sand dunes.
Provincetown shifts into gear at the end of May, when the crowds arrive for Memorial Day weekend, then picks up the pace at the beginning of July. The height of the season is Carnival, an anything-goes festival in mid-August. The pace slackens after Labour Day, but the lineup of special weekends and bargain shopping draw visitors into the fall season. And for those who seek peace and quiet, winter in Ptown, with its stark landscapes and dramatic weather (not to mention the relaxed locals, who relish having the town mostly to themselves), holds a charm all its own.