Gay Provincetown · City Guide
Planning a trip to Provincetown? Then our gay Provincetown guide is for you.
Provincetown is one of the most famous gay tourism destinations in The United States and is also the country’s oldest continuous art colony. The destination is tiny, with a population of only 2,994. However, in the summer, the streets of Provincetown are descended upon by thousands of gay tourists.
Located on the Cape Cod Peninsula, Provincetown is known for the same affluent and scenic reasons as much of the surrounding area. However, the town also oozes creative flare and its population is an eclectic mix of artists and wealthy second homeowners.
Provincetown has long been a centre of gay culture and tourism in the USA, boasting some of the most welcoming gay, bars and hotels in the country. Provincetown is rich with cultural heritage, LGBT+ identity and creativity that is just waiting to be explored.
Considered a major gay capital in the United States and a bastion of equality and freedom of expression, Provincetown is naturally one of the top destinations for gay tourism in the country.
There is a strong LGBT community, and numerous gay-owned or gay-friendly hotels, nightclubs and cafés. The towns’ liberal attitudes, pleasant environment and artistic flare all work to create a truly unique gay scene. Provincetown is home to a plethora of gay clubs and bars that will suit all tastes and interests. One of the most popular gay bars in Provincetown is Aqua Bar, a laid-back and relaxed venue that spills onto a large outside terrace and serves affordable cocktails and delicious food. The bar attracts a diverse mix of Provincetown’s local and visiting gay population.
There is no distinct gay village in Provincetown, and this is because the area as a whole is warm and welcoming to gay tourists. The majority of clubs and bars will be gay-friendly and the small scale of the town means that the gay community can be sensed in every corner. However, most of the gay bars and clubs can be found along Commercial Street and in the surrounding areas.
Annual gay highlights in Provincetown are Provincetown Pride, Men’s Weekend in November and the Provincetown International Film Festival. The Bear Week and Taste of Provincetown both occur in mid-July. Read More: A Gay Guide to Provincetown.
Provincetown has a huge range of accommodation to suit the desires and tastes of all gay travelers. The town is home to a number of gay-owned and focused hotels and guesthouses. These venues tend to be located around the centre of Provincetown and particularly, Commercial Street, the towns main avenue. A couple of the best hotels in the heart of Provincetown are the Crown and Anchor and 8 Dyer Hotel.
Due to anti-discrimination laws and the towns’ liberal views, gay travelers can expect most hotels to be gay-friendly, meaning staff are obliged to treat all guests with equal dignity and respect, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
One of the most popular gay-friendly hotels in Provincetown is The Crowne Pointe Inn. Adults-only and decorated to an elegant and stylish standard, The Crowne Pointe Inn is perfectly located close to many of Provincetown’s top gay bars and clubs, most of which can be reached quickly on foot. The hotel boasts comfortable and well-furnished rooms, and guests can enjoy the swimming pool and spa.
There are hotel options for gay travelers on all budgets and for a list of some of the best hotels in the town for gay travelers, please visit Gay Provincetown Hotels.
Creativity runs through the veins of Provincetown and the settlement has even served as an artist community since the 1960s. The town is also the birthplace of modern American theatre and the area’s unique relationship to the performing arts can still be appreciated at the iconic Art House – a multifunctional venue that has played host to some of the biggest names in entertainment. Multiple Ru Paul’s Drag Race alum, Patti Smith, Margaret Cho and Alan Cummings have all performed at this legendary venue.
The spectacular variety of art that is produced and inspired in and around Provincetown can be viewed at the numerous galleries and exhibition centres that line this historic art colony’s streets. The Provincetown Art Association and Museum is the epicentre of the town’s artistic output, showcasing the most impressive works by local artists and creators.
Getting to Provincetown
Provincetown is located 115 kilometers from Boston on the Cape Cod peninsula. The town can be reached by car and the route from Boston should only take around 2 hours. However, in the summer months, the roads between the two locations can become heavily congested with tourists keen to escape to the coast.
The best way to reach Provincetown is by ferry. The boats from Boston depart from the city’s stunning harbor, offering guests spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean and the city’s skyline. By ferry, the journey only takes 90 minutes and travelers may even see a pod of whales en route.
For an even shorter trip, travelers should consider flying to Provincetown. Whilst this option may be more expensive than the alternatives, flying only takes 25 minutes from Boston to Provincetown and passengers are guaranteed stunning views across the Cape Cod Bay.
Alternatively, Plymouth and Brockton Bus Lines offer a shuttle coach from Boston’s Downtown area to Provincetown that runs multiple times a day.
Getting around Provincetown
Provincetown is fairly small and almost entirely flat, so you can get to most tourist destinations on foot within half an hour.
The Cape Cod local government runs the Flex public transport system, a bus service that transports individuals around the Cape Cod area. There are stops in numerous towns along the bay, meaning that a bus is a great option for travelers wanting to explore beyond the boundaries of Provincetown.
The bus runs daily from 7.30 am to 7.45 pm. Fares and day tickets are reasonably priced.
Uber is a popular mode of transport for travelers in Provincetown as it offers efficient and quick transportation, however, Uber vehicles tend to be more expensive than taxis in the town. The most popular taxi service is Cape Cabs, a well-trusted company specialising in large groups and vehicles.
A number of companies run ferry services around the Cape Cod bay. These services can be seasonal, with some ferries only running in the summer months. Taking a boat can be a quick and efficient way to travel between the many coastal towns in the area.
There are countless options when it comes to things to do in Provincetown. However, the most worthwhile attractions include:
- Shop on Commercial Street
- Wander down the Macmillan Pier
- Go whale watching
- See sunset from the Race Point Lighthouse
- Discover the Pilgrim Monument
- Relax on Herring Cove Beach
- Pay a visit to The Art House
Read More: Things to do in Provincetown
Those living outside the United States will require a temporary travel visa, and these can be applied for through the official US Embassy website or in your local US embassy.
There are ample ATM machines throughout Provincetown, and the majority of establishments will accept credit and debit cards. However, some ATM machines and card readers may add an additional fee for transactions attempted with overseas cards.
The generally accepted and expected rates of tipping in Massacheutssetts are 15-20% for good service.
When to visit
The best time to visit Provincetown is in September when the weather is warm without being too hot and the charming and lively atmosphere of the town is still noticeable. The high summer months can see Provincetown become chaotic and crowded, whilst visiting in the late summer or autumn will guarantee travelers a fun and unique trip without the crowds and stifling heat. Many of the town’s most popular events and festivals also take place in September.
Combine Boston with Provincetown
A lot of people combine Boston with Provincetown as it’s only a 90-minute ferry ride. Boston is a great destination to combine with Provincetown and it’s a city where you’ll find a small gay scene and plenty of museums.
Read More: Things To Do In Boston.
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