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36 Hours, Provincetown, Mass.

You’re never far from the sea at this Cape Cod beach town - or from an outdoor cafe with fresh seafood, and a view.

Perched at the tip of Cape Cod - or at the end of the world, as locals like to say - Provincetown is a quirky beach community favored by artists, drag queens, L.G.B.T. people, heterosexual families from the suburbs and oddballs on the run. Provincetown combines small-town charm with big-city spunk, and it’s nestled among miles of peaceful dunes and seashore. If you want solitude , come in the winter when hardly anyone is here - or anything is open. But if you’re after warm weather and high-season theatrics, arrive in July, August or early September. Be careful about what summer week you choose. Many have a theme, and your Provincetown experience will differ whether you’re here for “Family Week,” “Girl Splash” or “Bear Week.”



  1. 3.7 P.M. Strolling for Art

Painters love Provincetown for its distinctive vistas and breathtaking light, and on Friday nights you can admire the work of celebrated Cape Cod artists - including Anne Packard and John Dowd - in dozens of galleries that stay open late. (Many offer wine and cheese). Concentrate your efforts in the town’s East End and be sure to visit the Albert Merola Gallery, William-Scott Gallery, Schoolhouse Gallery and Julie Heller Gallery East. Also drop by the 100-year-old Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM), which is free Friday nights and features exhibitions and workshops year-round.

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