This past week, I was lucky enough to have a few free days in my calendar, so my Mom and I packed up the car and drove to Cape Cod for our first visit. Now, Cape Cod has been on my bucket list for some time and after getting email after email, asking for Cape Cod recommendations from readers; I decided it was about time I explored this area myself and provide you all with a thorough report. To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure where I should start when exploring Cape Cod for the first time, so I figured why not start where it all started, literally, and off we headed to Provincetown, MA.
Over three days my Mom and I covered almost all of Provincetown, and yet I still feel like there is so much more to learn about this iconic getaway spot. Below I put together a roundup of everything we learned, did, saw, ate and purchased while visiting in hopes of inspiring you all to visit this picturesque town soon.
What We Learned:
To be honest, I was not at all familiar with The Cape, or its communities, until I decided to visit Provincetown thanks to The Provincetown Tourism team. I originally had planned on visiting Provincetown this summer but with a big move, a trip to Europe and work obligations; my bucket list trip kept getting pushed off. So when I saw some free time in my September calendar I was eager to make the trip to Provincetown during my favorite time of year in New England, Autumn. Now I love visiting New England towns with deep historical roots and of course historical homes, as you already know if you follow me on Instagram; but I truly was taken back by the historical prominence of this little seaside town. I mean, Provincetown is, in fact, the original landing place of the Pilgrims! From The Pilgrim Museum to the historic 18th-century homes, you could feel the presence of New England’s Yankee charm walking down the narrow streets of Provincetown.
Where to Stay:
Usually, when we travel to New England, we try to avoid hotel chains and instead prefer to stay at locally run joints like inns, bed and breakfast getaways or locally owned and operated lodging. The great part about Provincetown is the large variety of local places to stay! With several charming inns and dozens of retro-inspired lodging options; my Mom and I were ecstatic to have the opportunity to stay at, Surfside Hotel and Suites, located on the beach and just overlooking The Cape Cod Bay. The greatest part was that this hotel was on the main street of Provincetown, aka Commercial Street, making it the perfect option for anyone interested in walking the historic east side of Provincetown. To be honest, it was the ideal hotel for our three-day getaway and probably where I’d like to stay when I head back to Provincetown, in the spring, to explore more of the area and capture the historic east side in full bloom.
Where To Eat:
Experiencing the local food is a key component of traveling and I’m always so thankful to see your recommendations roll into my Instagram inbox, each and every time I announce where I’m traveling to. Provincetown was no exception, and as food recommendations flooded my inbox I was excited to get out there and start taste testing. The first food recommendation I got was actually from a local, and she suggested we check out The Mayflower Cafe. Now we just so happened to be visiting on a very windy and rainy week, so as soon as we got seated we had to order two servings of the iconic Portuguese Kale Soup, which we had heard so much about; & oh boy was it good. In fact, it was so good, I found a few recipes while in Provincetown that I’m eager to replicate this fall.
Our next food stop was breakfast at Cafe Heaven! From the ambiance to the delicious food; this charming little breakfast and lunch joint was my Mom’s favorite food stop of the trip. She taste-tested breakfast dishes, decant French toast dishes to be exact, while I chowed down on a HUGE sandwich for lunch. All and all I highly recommend this place if you’re interested in a sit-down breakfast, but if you’re looking for a breakfast on the go…check out The Portuguese Bakery for freshly made breakfast sandwiches and pastries.
Now since we were in Provincetown for two days we decided to stop for seafood on the first night, after all, we are on Cape Cod, and opted for warm American food on the second night. For lobster, we were told we had to head to The Lobster Pot for obvious reasons and decided on Fanizzi’s Restaurant for comfort food and bay views on the second night. Both dinner places were excellent and honestly, I wish I had more stomach space to have tried even more food. You could just tell that the restaurants in Provincetown pride themselves on high-end ingredients and innovative dishes.
Finally, it wouldn’t be a completed travel guide unless I told you where I stopped for coffee! When we arrived I headed to Cafe at Spindler’s for a quick latte to-go and a little extra caffeine to jump-start our trip. The following day my Mom and I discovered the epic black tea lemonades made at Joe’s Coffee, which quickly became our afternoon tea time tradition. Finally, we went to The Purple Feather Cafe and Treatery for a delicious mocha latte on the rainiest day of our trip; and may have left with a scoop of gelato or two.
What To See:
My Mom and I couldn’t believe it had taken us this long to start exploring Cape Cod, as we were almost overwhelmed with the number of things to do and see. We decided to start our trip off on the right food with The Mayflower Trolley Tour! I HIGHLY recommend this hour-long informational tour as it helped us get our footing with Provincetown while providing us with the proper historical, architectural and cultural information we had lacked. Next up we toured The Pilgrim Museum and Pilgrim Monument which was an ideal activity for the oh so rainy days we had. We were able to dry off within the museum and enjoy the rich history this area has to offer. Again, since our visit was rainy the next stop we had scheduled was a visit to The Provincetown Art Association and Museum. I was actually quite thankful that this New England beach town had so many indoor activities, that allowed us to escape the rain and still be entertained.
Finally, I saved the most scenic whilst exhilarating tour for last, Art’s Dune Tours! Little did I know that Provincetown’s Atlantic Coastline was preserved as a National Park under nonetheless than President John F. Kennedy himself back in 1961. Sadly our sunset tour got canceled due to rain but Art’s Dune Tour’s went above and beyond to still provide us with an off-road tour experience, of the National Park, at an earlier time and even in the harsh rains! Oddly enough the tour was just as stunning in the rain, as we climbed over sand dunes and explored the local vegetation and landscape. Honestly, I didn’t get a chance to take a ton of pictures inside of The National Park, due to the weather, but I did capture some stunning video content; which you can see over on my Youtube channel here! All and all Art’s Dune Tours is a must when it comes to exploring the National Historic District of the Cape Cod National Seashore Park.
Where To Shop:
As many of you know, I love antiques and picking up unique finds whenever I travel throughout New England and Provincetown was no exception. This little seaside town is filled to the brim with antique stores, local artisans and art galleries to boot. If you are looking to add new pieces to your home this autumn I highly recommend a trip up to Provincetown as many of the antique shops are selling items at a discounted rate, a perk for off-season shoppers and anyone looking to spruce up their space! My favorite shops were located in the gallery district and on Commercial Street in the West End.
Now that about wraps up our New Englander’s guide to Provincetown, during Autumn. I had the best time in Provincetown and please leave any additional recommendations below, as I hope to head back soon!
+Thank you, Provincetown Tourism for collaborating with and sponsoring this post! As always all opinions are my own
Shop This Post: