Located in the state of Massachusetts, Provincetown is a 2-hour drive from Boston up the Cape Cod Peninsula. You can also reach this gay destination with the ferry from Boston in 1h30. A place of vacation and inspiration for many artists, it is also the place where the gays of the American East gather to party for a weekend. Culture and art have an important place in Provincetown with many galleries and museums. During the day you can enjoy the many beaches on the bay or on the Atlantic Ocean front.
Provincetown is basically a village of about 3000 inhabitants. During summer, it easily exceeds 50,000 people. Its downtown and shopping street are very colorful with many bars, restaurants, shops, art galleries and other museums, all under the LGBTQ+ flag. The destination could be described as hetero-friendly. It should also be noted that Provincetown is probably one of the most animal-friendly places in North America. Almost all shops offer a small water bowl to refresh our four-legged friends. Expect to meet many owners and their canine friends. Apart from the American customers, it’s the perfect destination if you are Canadian and decide to make a road-trip from Montreal or Toronto. For international travelers, if you happen to be in Boston, we would recommend taking the time to spend 2-3 days in “P’town”, as it is called here. And above all, don’t forget to taste the lobster, you can eat it everywhere!
Provincetown was originally a small fishing village. In 1899, the painter Charles Webster Hawthorne created the Cape Code School of Art, and the village became a resort for many artists. During World War I, Provincetown became a refuge for a growing number of artists, as they could no longer travel to Europe to study. This phenomenon increased year after year and P’town became the summer residence of painters, writers and other members of the cultural community. This open-mindedness and tolerance that makes Provincetown so vibrant has quickly made it a popular place for the gay community on the American East Coast. A little tip: Make sure you book early if you want to take part in one of the many theme weeks, as the private gay guesthouses (very unusual inns scattered around the village) and hotels fill up very quickly, as the village’s capacity is reached quickly.
Massachusetts is one of the most advanced states in terms of LGBTQ+ rights and was, it should be mentioned, the first American state to legalize gay marriage in 2004, long before California. Adoption by same-sex couples has been allowed for many, many years as well. Discrimination against sexual minorities is severely punished.
The currency used in Provincetown is the US dollar. 10 EUR will give you approximately 12 USD. For travellers from Canada, 10 CAD will give you about 7.80 USD.
To enter the United States, a biometric or electronic passport is required, regardless of your country of origin (even for Canadians or Mexicans). Check if the small chip symbol is present under the name “Passport”.
Citizens of the European Union, Switzerland and the United Kingdom must then make sure to complete an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) application online. The cost is 14 USD which you can pay online. Be sure to apply on the official US government website at ESTA. The electronic authorization will be linked to your passport number for 2 years.
Aqua Bar (207 Commercial Street). Beautiful and highly rated bar with a terrace on the waterfront, excellent cocktails that you can enjoy with a platter of fresh oysters.
The Underground(293 Commercial Street). Indoor bar with games room (ping-pong, pool tables, etc.), dancing area and good atmosphere.
The Club (193A Commercial Street). Waterfront restaurant with a nice bar, indoor area and outdoor terrace. Bands perform there in the evening.
Old Colony Tap (323 Commercial Street). Very popular place in P’town. Gay marine bar which is worth the visit because it feels like being aboard an old ship.
Grotta Bar(186 Commercial Street). Underground gay bar with a stage where small local bands perform.
Local 186 (186 Commercial Street). Gay burger bar with a good notoriety and a nice outdoor space.
Porchside Bar (9 Carver Street). Lounge bar inside a beautiful house, ideal for relaxing while watching a band play.
Shipwreck Lounge (10 Carver Street). Very nice cocktail bar, perfect if you want to go for a drink with a group of friends.
Harbor Lounge (359 Commercial Street). Very famous cocktail bar in Provincetown. Located on the seafront, the sight on the port is magnificent.
The Vault(247 Commercial Street). Gay leather bar with cruising atmosphere and video shows.
Crown & Anchor Entertainment Complex : Wave Video Bar, Dive Bar, The Cabaret Room, Paramount Club (247 Commercial Street). There are several bars and atmospheres in this complex which also houses the famous Crown & Anchor restaurant.
Beach Club @Boatslip Resort (161 Commercial Street). Enjoy this gay beach club by the sea, even if you’re not a hotel guest. Guaranteed atmosphere.
A-House for Atlantic House (6 Masonic Place). Provincetown gay club with bar, dance area and experienced staff. And as always here, installed in an old house.
Paramount Club (247 Commercial Street). Gay club located in the Crown & Anchor complex which organizes big parties with international djs and entertainment.
Herring Cove Beach
Beach very popular with the gay clientele, located outside the city. You can get there by car (paid parking on site) or by shuttle bus from the village of Provincetown. Snack bar and small beach bar on site.
The Gay Beach or known as the Boys Beach Provincetown
Very close to Herring Cove beach, this is the nudist spot. You will easily spot the place behind the dunes, or simply follow the crowd!
From Sunday 15 August to Saturday 21 August 2021.
Provincetown Carnival Week attracts nearly 90,000 people each year.
Other great events take place throughout the season such as Single Women’s Week, Men of Color Weekend, Provincetown International Film Festival, Bear Week, etc.
The applications Grindr, Scruff and Growlr are the most popular in Provincetown.
Video source: You Tube – Ptown Tourism Official – March 30, 2020. Photo credit: licensed by Shutterstock.com / photographer: lunamarina.