A Visit To Provincetown
The title isn’t quite right. You cannot see Provincetown in “A” visit. There is so much to see, do, eat, experience. Since I try to keep my blogs short, I’ll hit some high points in this one, but I’ll be back with more another time.
You may know that the pilgrims landed on Cape Cod first, in 1620, where the Pilgrim Monument stands today in Provincetown. That was after the Native Americans, the Vikings, and the European explorers. But the pilgrims stuck. Except for a brave few, they only stayed for five weeks on the tip of the Cape before going to Plymouth to make the Rock famous. Later, Colonial settlers moved in, followed by Portuguese immigrants who came to work in the fishing industry, making their home in P’town. By the mid-1800s, Provincetown had one of the most prosperous fishing and whaling industries. One of P’town’s famous whalers, the Charles W. Morgan, is currently undergoing restoration in Mystic Seaport, CT. It will be coming to visit its old home harbor next year. Look for my face in the crowd.
Though there is still an active fishing industry, the busy, picturesque harbor is also home to Whale Watching boats, (a must do), and pleasure boats. P’town today is an artist colony and a tourist destination. The population of less than three thousand rises to sixty thousand in the summer season. Trying to find parking in season is not for the short of patience. If you don’t mind crowds, there are special events held in P’town that people flock to see. The Provincetown International Film Festival in June; the Portuguese Festival and Blessing of the Fleet; the Carnival in August, and more.
P’town has four beaches, a great bike trail, art galleries that snuggle up against each other along Commercial Street, amazing architecture from the littlest cottage to the majestic recently renovated Public Library. The oldest known Cape Cod house is in P’town. Don’t forget the museums, walking tours, shops, and restaurants.
My perfect visit is a sunny day in September when the crowds have diminished. We pack a picnic and drive to Herring Cove Beach to eat it. Then we find a parking place low down on Commercial Street and walk up to the town center. We shop, have coffee, stroll by the beautiful gardens, watch the always interesting folks go by. At about five o’clock, we head to Fanizzi’s Restaurant, http://www.fanizzisrestaurant.com. We go early so we can sit in the back room on the water. If you get a table along the outer wall, you can’t see the slim beach below, so it feels like you’re dining on a boat. Don’t do it on a rough seas day if you are prone to seasickness. Not kidding. Then go home early and watch the Red Sox game. A perfect place to sign off.