The Beach Times

Live on the Outer Cape: Music, Drama, and Comedy
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, May 14, 2018


When staying on Cape Cod for any length of time, consider taking in some of the local performing arts scenes, as there is something to check out on pretty much any night of the week during the summer. Depending on your mood, you might want to see a live performance of a Shakespearean drama, laugh with a stand-up comedian at an intimate local venue, or dine with live music in the background before getting up and cutting a rug after your meal.

All of these opportunities and more are available on the Outer Cape on any given day, providing you with loads of different ways to spend your evenings. Have a look at the events calendar at the following venues or check out some of the highlighted festivals to ensure you don’t miss a top-notch performance during your Cape Cod vacation.


Performances and Events in Provincetown

Since Provincetown is one of the Cape's cultural hubs, it makes sense that the town has plenty of live venues from which to choose. The Provincetown Theater is known as the Birthplace of Modern American Theater, as it dates back to 1915 when a group of New Yorkers vacationing in the area started performing and eventually built a makeshift theater. Their performances drew attention from all over the East Coast, helping to grow the industry as a whole. Today, the Provincetown Theater hosts Broadway comedies, dramas, and musicals, in addition to performing arts festivals throughout the year. If you're on the Outer Cape in the summer, there's a good chance this venue will have something going on.

Not to be outdone, the Peregrine Theatre Ensemble also brings Broadway plays and musicals to Provincetown, producing them at Fishermen Hall. In 2018, the group will perform “Hair, the Musical” between July and September.

Of course, there’s also the Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, an annual event taking place each September. In 2017, the festival combined plays by Williams and William Shakespeare, while the theme in 2018 will be "Wishful Thinking". The performances take place at a variety of venues throughout town, even non-traditional venues, as 2017 saw "Hamlet" performed in a tank of water on the beach and "Pericles" performed on a boat.

Smaller music venues are found up and down Provincetown’s Commercial Street. Bubala’s By The Bay, for example, is where the town's West End begins and hosts live music every night during the summer. There is no cover or minimum charge, so you can get out and enjoy everything from jazz to country music without worrying about the cost. Governor Bradford Restaurant & Club is an all ages venue that features a different act every Saturday night. The music gets started at 8 PM and runs until about 11. Tin Pan Alley is a piano bar with live performances every night of the week.

The Provincetown Jazz Festival has been around since 2005 and brings musicians from all over the world to the area at a variety of different venues. If you're in the area in mid-August, it is well worth checking out at least a few performances.

The Crown & Anchor is well known throughout the Cape because of its cabaret shows, but this significant venue is also the home of comedy in Provincetown. Some performances will be local comedians, such as Julie Wheeler and James Judd, who have weekly performances from Memorial Day until Labor Day. Other times, the venue brings in better-known acts, like Bruce Vilanch and Leslie Jordan in 2018, for a couple of sets.
 

Events in Truro This Summer

Just a short drive down Route 6 from Provincetown is Truro, where there are even more live performances to attend. In North Truro, the Payomet Performing Arts Center hosts music, comedy, and theater starting in the spring, with some pretty big acts coming to town in the summer.

You’ll also find music at Truro Vineyards every Sunday throughout the summer. Admission to the show is free, and there's a food truck on-site, so you can have a meal, enjoy some local wine, and listen to a live performance. The vineyard also hosts Grape Stomp & Music Fest and the Vinegrass Music Festival in late September. Both of these festivals bring wine, cocktails, food, and music together and are a great way to end your summer on Cape Cod.
 

Music and Theater in Wellfleet

Continuing down Route 6 from Truro brings you to Wellfleet and, more specifically, the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater. This venue presents a series of thought-provoking dramas all summer long, with each presentation running for a few weeks at a time. There's a summer concert series at the venue, too, so you can get your fill of live music on Monday nights.

The Harbor Stage Company is in the heart of Wellfleet's downtown area. The venue is small and intimate, offering the chance to get up close and personal with classic dramas and comedies that you've probably heard of before, but maybe haven't seen performed live. In 2018, "The Weir", "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?", and "The Deer and the Antelope" are on the docket between the middle of June and early September.

For live music, The Beachcomber is the place to be in Wellfleet. Throughout July and August, this restaurant on Cahoon Hollow Beach brings in musical acts every day of the week. You'll have to buy tickets in advance for most shows and keep in mind that the music usually starts at 9 PM, so you'll have time to either have dinner in the restaurant or eat elsewhere before things get going.


Orleans Live Performances

Finally, as you come down Route 6 and exit onto 6A, you'll reach the center of Orleans, where even more live performances can be found. The Academy Playhouse is right on Main Street and has a mixture renowned shows throughout the year. There are children's performances in the afternoons, including the Little Mermaid in 2018, and both theater, including Shakespeare, and music at night.

The Elements Theatre Company is on the grounds of the Church of the Transfiguration on Rock Harbor, giving it one of the more scenic locations for performances on the Cape. This venue mostly hosts dramatic productions, although there are retreats and workshops during the summer for those interested in acting themselves.

The Barley Neck Inn dates back to 1848 when Isaac and Mary Doane purchased the land where the property now sits. Part of the original building now makes up this venue, which hosts live music every Friday and Saturday night. It's not glamorous, but catching a performance at The Barley Neck is a quintessential thing to do while on Cape Cod.


Finding Your Performances

As you can see, no matter what type of entertainment you’re into, you’re sure to find it on the Outer Cape during the summer. Once you book your vacation rental on Cape Cod, start looking at the local venues holding events because you’re sure to find a new and exciting way to spend your nights, no matter what you are looking to experience.



Cape Cod Festivals Jazz Orleans Outer Cape Provincetown Theater Truro Wellfleet

Getting To and Around Provincetown Without a Vehicle
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, April 30, 2018


So, you’re coming to Provincetown, but don’t want to bring your car? On the surface, this might seem like a tall task, particularly since the various communities on the Cape are spread out, and the closest major city is hours away.

Fortunately, you’ll have many different options if you wish to visit Provincetown and other towns on Cape Cod without a vehicle because not only are there plenty of ways to get here, but also an abundance of transportation options after you arrive.

Avoiding the traffic and parking issues during the summer months is reason enough to try out one of these methods for visiting Provincetown without a car.

How to Get to Provincetown

The first thing you’ll have to do is figure out how you’re going to reach Provincetown without a car. Provincetown obviously isn’t a major city with numerous transportation links but, luckily, you’ll have some choice on travel methods, depending on where you’re coming from and how much time you have.

Fly into Town

Provincetown Municipal Airport is less than three miles north of the town centre and offers daily, year-round flights from Logan International Airport Boston on Cape Air. The trip only takes about 20 minutes, and since Cape Air has ticketing and baggage arrangements with most of the country's major carriers, you can catch a connecting flight from anywhere in the country.

Seasonal flights from New York City are also available through Cape Air. Once you arrive at the airport, there are plenty of taxis and shuttles to take you into town or other parts of the Cape.

Arrive By Boat

If you’re looking to capture the essence of Cape Cod, arriving by boat, just like the Pilgrims, is the way to do it. The good news is you’ll have plenty of options when coming on the water, depending on where you depart from and how long you wish to be at sea.

One fast method is through Boston Harbor Cruises, a company that operates the United States' largest luxury catamaran. The cruise leaves from One Long Wharf in Boston and reaches MacMillan Pier in Provincetown in about 90 minutes.

Bay State Cruise Company also operates a ferry between Boston and Provincetown, with this one leaving from Boston World Trade Center. This company has the Provincetown Express boat, which runs between May and October and takes about 90 minutes, in addition to a more scenic ride between June and September that takes three hours.

Even if you're not leaving from Boston, you can take the ferry to Provincetown through Plymouth. The Captain John Fast Ferry takes an hour and 15 minutes to reach Provincetown and even has a bar on board, so it's a perfect choice if you don’t have to get behind the wheel.

Travel on the Bus

The main commuter bus on Cape Cod is courtesy of the Plymouth & Brockton Street Railway Company, which features bus service from Boston to Hyannis and Provincetown. The bus stops at various towns along the way, so if you're not coming from Boston, you'll still have options.

Connections from Providence, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and New York are possible through Peter Pan Bus Lines, as well. Taking the bus is a straightforward way to reach central Provincetown because you'll get off the bus right at MacMillan Pier.

Take the Train

While you can’t take the train directly to Provincetown, the Cape Flyer train runs from Boston to Hyannis. Amtrak runs the Acela Express to both Providence and Boston, making it easy to take one of the other methods into Provincetown after you arrive. This method is ideal if you love the comfort of traveling on the train or try to avoid flying as much as possible.

Getting Around Provincetown

Now that you've made it to Provincetown, you'll have to make your way around town. You might also want to visit other towns on the Cape but, luckily, this is very easy to do, and you'll have plenty of options.

On the Bus

To start, check out the local bus service. The Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority operates buses throughout the Cape and Provincetown is served by the Flex route. This route runs between Provincetown and Harwich, with stops in places like Wellfleet, Eastham, Orleans, and Brewster. The Flex route is unique because you can get on the bus at any designated stop, or you can flag the bus down anywhere along the route, as long as the bus isn't on Route 6.

You can also transfer to other buses to reach other parts of Cape Cod, making the bus a very efficient method of exploring everything the area has to offer. Keep in mind that the bus service ends early in the evening, so you might have to find an alternative ride back to your holiday rental if you want to go for dinner or drinks.

Hop on a Trolley

Between May and October, the Mayflower Trolley provides daily sightseeing tours. The tour departs four times per day and will take you to many of Provincetown's top attractions, including the beaches and Race Point Lighthouse. The tour includes a guide, so you can learn about the town and its sights as you travel through the region.

Hail a Cab

Of course, if you just want to get from Point A to Point B in a hurry, you should probably just hire a cab. A taxi is the fastest way to travel on the Cape because you can have someone drive you wherever you want to go and you don't have to worry about finding a parking spot.

Mercedes Cab Company has a fleet of vintage cars that make for a unique experience, while Jody's Taxi, Cape Cab, Queen Cab, Pride Taxi, and Black & White Taxi provide a more traditional ride. Most companies offer a flat rate from the airport or MacMillan Pier to other destinations in Provincetown, providing cost certainty.

Ptown Pedicabs is also an option if you need to get from one point on Commercial Street to another. All you do is flag down one of the drivers and at the end of the ride, you pay whatever you feel is fair. You won't find this type of business practice in New York or Boston, but it's just the way things are done on the Cape.

Provincetown is Walkable

Of course, if you arrive in Provincetown without a vehicle and don’t plan to venture far from your vacation rental, you could always walk to most destinations. Once downtown, you can reach most of the in-town attractions in a matter of minutes on foot, although you’ll probably want to find transportation when heading to Race Point Lighthouse or one of the surrounding beaches.

You might also consider renting a bike, especially if you plan to explore the biking trails throughout Cape Cod. Bike rentals are affordable and give you more flexibility than other forms of travel.

The good news is that we’ve laid it all out for you, so all you have to do now is make your plans for your trip to Provincetown by booking your vacation home today.



Getting To Ptown Provincetown Traveling To Provincetown

A Guide to Festivals and Events in P-Town
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Tuesday, March 20, 2018


Provincetown, or P-Town, has long been a favorite vacation destination for members of the LGBTQ community, principally due to the town's open and tolerant attitude. In fact, the growth of the area's gay and lesbian community goes all the way back to the 1920s, a time when the country was much less welcoming and tolerant. 

In those early years, vacationers and residents alike were able to experience the freedom to live their lives without judgment, while participating in the area's thriving arts and culture scene.

Today, Provincetown remains an inclusive town that retains its spot as a cultural and artistic hub on Cape Cod, while providing a whole series of events and festivals to celebrate the past, present, and future of the both the LGBTQ community and the area as a whole.

P-Town Spring Events on Cape Cod

Springtime means the return of good weather to the Cape and the people of P-Town know that this is when festival season begins. The event that kicks it all off is CabaretFest, which takes place in late May or early June and involves a series of concerts, parties, and workshops at The Crown & Anchor, a building containing seven different gay bars and nightclubs. Performances and parties tend to fill up quickly, so you'll want to book your tickets and Cape Cod vacation rental much earlier in the year.

The Provincetown International Film Festivalattracts filmmakers from all over the country, as well as the globe, and has become one of the United States' preeminent film festivals. The festival produces a wide variety of film types while doing an excellent job of highlighting the area's rich history as a fishing village, gay and lesbian haven, and colony of the arts.

Just as spring comes to an end, and summer kicks off, comes the Provincetown Portuguese Festival and Blessing of the Fleet, a four-day gathering filled with dancing, concerts, parades, and dining. The event ends with a bishop blessing the town's fishing and lobstering fleets for the year, which is a nod to the area's Portuguese fishing village heritage. 

Summer Events in Provincetown

As we move into summer, P-Town’s festivals surely take flight, and it all starts with the 4th of July Celebrations. Independence Week is full of events at the town's various nightclubs, including pool parties and performances by a plethora of gay DJs. If you plan on spending the entire week on the Cape, you can pick up a pass to every event at a discounted price. Independence Week also involves the annual fireworks display, which takes place at Provincetown Harbor.

Provincetown Bear Week is a nationally recognized festival that actually last for nine days and is full of pool parties and special events, including guest DJs and leather nights, at various local dance clubs. The festival is basically a week full of parties, and since it takes place in the middle of July, it's the perfect time to let loose.

Provincetown Festival ParadeFamilies come in all different forms and Provincetown's annual Family Week is the world's largest gathering of LGBTQ parents. This week-long event, held in late July and early August, provides family-friendly fun and welcomes families of all types. Games, crafts, dining, and workshops are all part of the festival, and there is even the chance for the kids to do some whale watching. 

The grandest festival in P-Town is Carnival Week. This week-long festival occurs in mid-August and attracts roughly 90,000 people to the town for its pool parties, cruises, parade, costume balls, and craft fairs. There are also plenty of dining options, along with nightlife that often features performances by icons of the gay community. If you plan on staying in Provincetown during the event, you'll have to reserve your vacation rentals well in advance.  

As summer comes to a close, the Afterglow Alternative Performance Arts Festival takes center stage. This festival highlights LGBTQ performers who might not have an extensive national following but are talented nonetheless. Close to 20 different performances take place over the week-long event.

Get to Know P-Town’s Fall Events

Just because summer is over doesn’t mean that P-Town shuts down, as there is always a reason to head to the Cape’s northern tip. Early to mid October means it's time for Women's Week, a multi-day festival with parties, comedy shows, special dining events, and concerts. There's even tours of the famous dunes of the Cape Cod National Seashore followed by bonfires on the beach, which is an amazing experience for anyone who has never participated.

The Fantasia Fair is an October conference designed for those questioning their genders, nonbinary-gendered individuals, and trans-gendered people. Many of the events are free, and the conference as a whole is a support system for those who are considering or have already made a life-altering choice in regards to their gender. 

One of the area’s newer festivals is the Provincetown Annual Day of the Dead Performing Arts Festival. The festival begins in mid-October and runs into early November. Exhibitions taking place throughout this two-week period include workshops, a parade, a dance, and a theatre performance. Keep in mind that all of the events, except for the seminars, take place in early November.

Some Provincetown Winter Events

Christmas time in Provincetown is something considerably different, as the Holly Folly Weekend, a free event complete with a Speedo run on Commercial Street and performances by the Gay Men's Chorus, kicks it all off. This event extends throughout the first weekend of December and also provides an excellent chance to see the decorations that local businesses have been able to come up with throughout the year. You can also find some great deals when looking for that special Christmas gift.

If you don't have any plans for New Year's Eve, First Light Provincetown is well worth a gander. This festival takes place over a six-day period leading up to the big day and involves drag bingo, a polar bear swim, live music, comedy events, and theater performances. There's even a fireworks display on the beach and a dance party, so it's well worth having a look if you're in the area.

Something for Everyone

Other events taking place throughout the year in the area include a dance party at the Pilgrim Monument, a leather weekend, and an international jazz festival, so there's something for people in all walks of life.

While P-Town is the country’s preeminent gay and lesbian community, it is also highly inclusive, and there unquestionably is something for everyone. So, whether you’re a member of the LGBTQ community or you just want to experience something different on your vacation and show your support, Provincetown is unmistakably worth checking out in any season.



Cape Cod Festivals Festivals Provincetown

Cape Cod National Seashore: More Than Just Beaches
Posted by Kinlin Grover | Monday, February 5, 2018


With nearly 40 miles of shoreline along the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Cod National Seashore is, rightly so, known for its beaches. The area has six main beaches, Coast Guard, Nauset Light, Marconi, Head of the Meadow, Race Point, and Herring Cove, in addition to smaller, lesser known ones, but there is so much more to the area than the waterfront.

In total, the National Seashore is 43,607 acres in size, and there are countless activities to be found in the space that are sure to keep you occupied throughout your vacation.

Want to go hiking? No problem!

Interested in history? We’ve got you covered!  

Love seeing animals? You’ll never run out of opportunities!

Yes, by all means, hit the beaches when you visit Cape Cod National Seashore but don't forget to explore the other sites and activities that this beautiful and diverse area has to offer. We’re confident you’ll love what you see.

A Little Bit of History

On an official basis, Cape Cod National Seashore is relatively new, as it was given its national park status in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy and his family spend plenty of time vacationing on Cape Cod, and he wanted to preserve this exceptional region for future generations.

Overall, however, the land has been in use for about 9,000 years, when it was first inhabited by American Indians.

The first Europeans made their way to the region in 1620, spending about a month here before finally settling in what is now Plymouth. The area was attractive to settlers in future years because of its abundance of fresh water, fertile land, and protective landscape.

Cape Cod National Seashore has deep colonial roots that become clearer and clearer the more you spend time here. But first, you’ll want to get to know the natural environment, which is why so many people visit in the first place.

Hiking and Biking Trails

Feel like going for a hike? There are plenty of places to do so. In the South Wellfleet area sits Atlantic White Cedar Swamp Trail, a moderately challenging hiking area that goes through an oak and pine forest before coming out in a swampy area with a boardwalk. The trail is just over a mile in length, so it can be completed quickly.

Pilgrim Spring is another short hiking trail in North Truro. The path is relatively simple, with a moderate grade and plenty of on-site parking, and is only 0.7 miles long. The site leads to the place where the pilgrims first tasted fresh water on Cape Cod, making it a historically significant trail, as well.

For a biking experience, Nauset Marsh Trail provides a comfortable ride with the option to extend the trip to Coast Guard Beach. The actual trail is a 1.3-mile loop and is peaceful, with very few elevation changes, and has some breathtaking views along the way.

Wildlife Encounters

While you're out and about, keep an eye out for some of the area's unique wildlife. More than 450 animal species live at Cape Cod National Seashore, including 25 protected species and 32 endangered or rare species.

On the coastline, you could encounter large marine mammals, turtles, gulls, and waterbirds. As you move inland, you are more likely to see the land mammals and reptiles that live in the woodland, swaps, and grasslands. One particular animal to keep an eye out for is the piping plover, a rare bird that nests in the sand. About 5% of the world's population of piping plover live at Cape Cod National Seashore.

The Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is one place worth checking out nearby because it has salt marshes and woodlands that are a hot spot for wildlife sightings.

You might also consider taking a boat trip out into the ocean if you have your heart set on seeing some sea mammals up close. If you're lucky, you might even come across the endangered North Atlantic right whales that feed off Race Point.

Landmarks and Sights

Sitting in Eastham between Coast Guard Beach and the Salt Pond Visitors Center is Doane Rock, a large boulder left behind by the Laurentide Ice Sheet, which covered most of Canada and large chunks of the United States, about 15,000 years ago.

As the story goes, when the glaciers melted, they left behind some geological abnormalities and one of them is this rock. It is named after John Doane, a deacon who was one of the first settlers in the area. He lived on this land in 1644, in a time when very few Europeans were around. The rock’s appearance might not blow you away, but it’s worth having a look at if you have the time because of its history.

After that, swing by The Three Sisters Lighthouses or Nauset Light while in Eastham, The Pilgrim Monument and Race Point Light in Provincetown, and Highlands Light in Truro. There is something that draws people to lighthouses and monuments, and these are some of the most prominent on The Cape.

Museums and Visitor Centers

We mentioned the history of the area before and what better way to learn about the history of Cape Cod National Seashore than by spending time at a museum?

In the north, you have options like Provincetown Museum, which is right at Pilgrim Monument, and Old Harbor Life-Saving Station Museum, on Race Point Beach.

Moving further south, Highland House in Truro and The 1869 Schoolhouse Museum in Eastham are worth a visit, especially if Cape Cod's history excites you the way it does for many other people who spend time here.

The area’s visitor centers are top-notch when learning about what makes the district so distinctive. The Salt Pond Visitor Center is perhaps the top choice, as it is full of interactive displays and shows educational films. There is also an on-site museum and bookshop.

Further north is The Province Lands Visitor Center, a smaller building that also shows educational films in its indoor theater and has a bookstore. The building has an observation deck, as well, which provides panoramic views of the ocean, sand dunes, Pilgrim Monument, and Race Point.

Embrace Life Away From the Beach

Of course, you’re sure to get plenty of beach time in when visiting Cape Cod in the summer. After all, that’s probably the reason why you’re visiting this area in the first place. At the same time, it’s good to know that there are plenty of other activities to keep you occupied when spending time at Cape Cod National Seashore.

If you ever need a day away from the beach to let your sunburn heal or relax away from the heat, the National Seashore has you covered. So, plan your next Cape Cod Vacation around the Cape Cod National Seashore and you will soon notice that Cape Cod National Seashore is unlike the other National Parks you have visited in the past.



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