Located at the tip of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Provincetown and the surrounding region are filled with outdoor activities, lazy days at the beaches, and plenty of nighttime adventure. Summer is a popular time to visit, but you can find much to do during every season. Rent a cottage in the East End and gather with local artists, or choose a beachfront home in Orleans to be right on the water. Whether you prefer the bustle of Provincetown Center or the laid-back life of Eastham, you are sure to find the perfect vacation for your family. Here are nine of the top Provincetown vacation rental locations where you can find a great place to stay.
1. West End, Provincetown
If you want to be close to Provincetown’s main beaches, Herring Cove and Race Point, a vacation rental in the town’s West End neighborhood is an excellent choice. Here you can find winding streets along the shore with views of the area’s lighthouses. Walk or bike the dunes in Cape Cod National Seashore Park, visit the Old Harbor Life-Saving Station Museum, or watch the waves from the Atlantic crash along the sand.
2. East End, Provincetown
The East End neighborhood of Provincetown is calmer than the West End or Town Center, and it’s the perfect option if you want peace and relaxation. A vacation rental here puts you in the town’s art district. East End was home to artists and writers such as Eugene O’Neill, and their former homes are now art galleries. Wander through the streets to admire the art, or walk down to the nearby harbor and beach.
3. Provincetown Center
If you want to be in the center of all the action, a vacation rental in Provincetown Center is the choice for you. Plenty of shops, boutiques, ice cream stores, cafes, and restaurants line Commercial Street in this district. Spend the day shopping, and then head to one of the many entertainment venues for an evening show. Festivals are held here throughout much of the year, so no matter when you visit, you’re sure to be entertained.
For an old-fashioned summer vacation with the family, check out the rural town of Truro. A vacation rental here puts you within close distance of many outdoor activities, such as hiking, bicycling, and beach swimming. A favorite activity for both kids and adults is the climb up the Cape Cod Lighthouse for a panoramic view of the waters below. To learn more about the history of the area, join one of the park ranger-guided tours at the National Seashore.
Wellfleet is known for its oysters, and there is no better way to enjoy them than renting a vacation home right in town. The Oyster Festival occurs every August, but you can taste fresh oysters throughout the year. Cape Cod Bay features several kid-friendly beaches, and a small downtown area offers quaint New England shops and cafes. Visit Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary for a day of quiet solitude, and then head out to the town’s drive-in for a retro night out.
Orleans offers the perfect blend of in-town activities and outdoor recreation. You can choose from two beaches: Nauset Beach on the Atlantic Ocean or the calmer Skaket Beach on Cape Cod Bay, both of which offer opportunities to relax. If you prefer to get out onto the water, charter a fishing boat from Rock Harbor, and spend the day catching tuna and bass in the bay. The Orleans downtown area is busy year-round, making it a great option if you are searching for a winter vacation rental. Spend the day shopping, and then head to the shore for some of the most spectacular sunsets in the region,
To get a glimpse of what the Provincetown area was like in the past, rent a vacation home in Eastham. This quaint Cape Cod village has not changed much since the 1960s when it was a popular resort town. Take a tour through the Eastham Windmill, the oldest working windmill on the Cape, then stop by Arnold’s Clam Shack to enjoy tasty clams and chat with friendly local residents. Visit the Salt Pond Visitors Center to get a free beach campfire permit and roast marshmallows right on the shore.
Brewster is an elegant historic town with lots to do right outside your vacation home. The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History offers hands-on exhibits that delight kids of all ages. Several hiking trails let you explore Nickerson State Park, or go horseback riding at Emerald Hollow Farm. Back in town, you can spend the afternoon visiting antique shops and art galleries. Make your way to the Brewster General Store, a true old-fashioned store selling saltwater taffy and penny candy.
History lovers may want to rent a vacation home in Chatham, where Main Street is filled with shops and restaurants in 300-year old restored buildings. Stop by the Chatham Railroad Museum to see the town’s former train depot, or take a tour of the Chatham Lighthouse. The town is also the place to see seals lounging on rocks at Chatham Fish Pier, hoping to snag a treat from the fishermen. For a closer view of the seal colony, take a boat tour from the harbor to Monomoy Island.