The Beach Times

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.

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