Monday, August 9, 2010


That's Provincetown, Massachusetts, at the eastern tip of Cape Cod, in case you didn't know. Originally inhabited by the Nauset, this is the place that the pilgrims first came ashore from the Mayflower. In fact, the Mayflower Compact was authored and signed in this very harbor. But the pilgrims moved on to nearby Plymouth, and Provincetown saw fishing and whaling become its primary activities for most of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It had a pretty wild and crazy reputation for a time there. Think Jersey Shore meets Deadwood. But as the whaling dried up, the Portuguese sailors who crewed many of the whaling ships settled here permanently. They, and their descendants, laid the foundation for a more permanent town, and their contributions and influence can be felt to this day.

By the turn of the twentieth century, P-Town was booming. Artists, authors, actors, and dancers began to make it their summer home. The Provincetown Players were established in 1915, and count Tennessee Williams and Eugene O'Neill are among its alumni. Along with the arts, and its patrons, came a broader acceptance of different lifestyles. Specifically, open homosexuality. Today, Provincetown is a mecca for a booming gay and lesbian travel industry as well as a straight, family-friendly destination, and everything in between. Basically, it's a place where people from all walks of life come for a seaside retreat and simplyto enjoy themselves. Oh, and Mother Nature puts on her show here too. From pristine beaches to whale and bird watching, the Cape Cod National Seashore is a natural treasure. Race Beach offers one of the few spots on the East Coast where you can watch an ocean sunset, which I greatly enjoyed being from the West Coast myself.

While in Provincetown, I am staying at Eastwood at Provincetown. It has absolutely everything you need for a great seaside vacation, as well as close proximity to downtown and its colorful attractions. RedWeek members rate it 4.5 stars and I'd have to agree. You might also want to check out Harbor Hill for a great Provincetown timeshare rental. And as an inside tip, the beach crowds die down quite a bit in early September, but without turning into a ghost town, if you know what I mean.

Well, I am off to Commerce Street for some serious people watching. A regular parade of drag queens, cabaret performers, jugglers, dancers, and more make their way around entertaining the crowds. I also hear that there is some pretty serious karaoke around here, and I just might have to stretch out the old vocal chords and give it a shot.

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