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Provincetown, Cape Cod

Guest donaltopablo

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Guest donaltopablo

Actually, although there are light houses all over the place up there, that's strictly an observation tower, not a light house.

BTW This is a spot you guys outta really consider going to check out. This is one of my favorite vacation destinations, tons of stuff to do. The whale watching there is amazing. Unlike a lot of whale watch tours, I mean you boat out 30 minutes from the dock and sit for 3 hours as Dolphins and Whales just swim around the boat. I think I've got some pictures, but it's amazing.

I hate to do this to the Florida guys, but I've been on boating tours in Florida, GA, and the Carolinas and one of these trips was better than all of those combined.

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Guest donaltopablo

monsoon - It is well worth the trip, great place to take a gf/bf/husband/wife kind of place. Very true to roots cape cod town.

I've got some various other pics, including several on my other computer. I'll try to get them over here and get some posted up.

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I've only been to Provincetown once, but I think it's a fantastic place. I would definitely go back. It's got great beaches and the town itself is full of stores, restaurants, museums and bars--there's a lot to do, but it doesn't ruin the natural beauty of the place, either.

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Provincetown is also known as a gay mecca, well known for its theater and growing Independent film fest. Of course my favorite part is the sand dunes and the army/navy store, but that's just the kid in me talkin`.

There is a ferry to p-town out of Boston as the drive is a few hours, it's a good option.

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Guest donaltopablo

Provincetown is also known as a gay mecca, well known for its theater and growing Independent film fest. Of course my favorite part is the sand dunes and the army/navy store, but that's just the kid in me talkin`.

There is a ferry to p-town out of Boston as the drive is a few hours, it's a good option.

It is very much a popular spot for gays and really alternative lifestyles in general. I think this rep scares away a lot of people who are not comfortable with this. All I can say, is there loss. The fact is, p-town is a amazing mix of cultures and ideals from gay to alternative to many stream conservative. The mix of cultures and the tolerance for each is one of things that is truly enjoyable about it. Throw in great food, tons of history, lots to do, water, architecture and you've got one of my personal favorite vacation spots.

Haven't done the ferry thing yet, but I may do that next time.

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Construction Started: The cornerstone was laid August 20, 1907 by Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States.

Completed: The Pilgrim Monument was completed in 1910 and a dedication ceremony was held on August 5, 1910 with William H. Taft, 27th President of the United States present.

Location: Provincetown, MA at the tip of Cape Cod.

Height: The tower is 252 feet 7 1/2 inches high. The top of the Monument is 353 feet above sea level. Enjoy a leisurely walk to the top on 116 stairs and 60 ramps. The view from the top is superb!

Facts: The Monument is the tallest all-granite structure in the United States and is built wholly of granite from Stonington, Maine. Each stone is the thickness of the wall. The Pilgrim Monument was erected to commemorate the first landfall of the Pilgrims in the New World at Provincetown on November 11, 1620. The Pilgrim Monument was erected by the Cape Cod Pilgrim Memorial Association. The maintenance expenses of the Monument are met wholly from admission fees. The design of the Monument is copied from the tower of the Torre Del Mangia in Siena, Italy and is of the Italian Renaissance order of architecture.

From: The Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum

Decked out for the Holidays:


This year's lighting is November 26 at 6pm

Under Construction in 1909:








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It's Provincetown time

An off-season visit offers all the sights without the crowds

By Pippin Ross, Globe Correspondent, 11/5/2003

PROVINCETOWN -- The little fingertip beckoned me. The zany spit. The end of New England's world where the next stop is old England. I wanted to go to Provincetown -- I love P-town -- but I had been avoiding it. It wasn't the gay thing. Some of my best friends are gay. Actually, it was. I can't stand the way, particularly at the height of the season, tourists swarm Commercial Street to gawk. All that ogling seems rude and intrusive to me. And besides, I can't stand the height of tourist season anywhere. But the 50th birthday of my boyfriend, Robert, was approaching. Since he's not a birthday bash kind of a guy, I started searching for a romantic alternative. P-town! Off-season, I thought, when the weather and water are still warm and the town is more about meandering than Mardi Gras. Robert, who couldn't remember the last time he had been there, asked, "Is it comfortable being heterosexual in such a famously gay place?" "Trust me," I said. Privately, I shared his anxiety.

It was late on a Friday afternoon when we took off from Logan on a riveting 20-minute flight aboard a Cape Air eight-seater. As the delicate fingertip loomed, Robert said, "How was it possible that the Pilgrims missed such a jutting point of land?" That is a common misconception. They didn't. But schoolchildren are so often taught that Plymouth -- the Pilgrims' second stop -- is where they made landfall. I couldn't help but think how little the town's culture has changed since 1621, when 102 people came looking for a place to shape a new social code and find the freedom of expression they craved. This theme of abandoning a former existence to pursue a soul-satisfying lifestyle is recurrent in Provincetown. Checking into the Crowne Point Inn, we were greeted by proprietors Tom Walter and Dave Sanford, who, you guessed it, ditched city life to become innkeepers. The inn personifies the almost persnickety domesticity that has become a kind of hallmark of the little town. Right down to the intricate molding, the inn is an exacting display of Victorian architecture, even though just four years ago the cluster of buildings that constitute it were gutted and renovated. Gratefully, we arrived in time for Crowne Pointe's nocturnal offering of wine and cheese.

Though we were calm and relaxed, the weather was not. Tom and Dave offered us a ride through a drilling rain to Fanizzi's, a cavernous wooden restaurant at the water's edge. While most restaurants are into nouvelle cuisine, Fanizzi's is among a few clinging to old school P-town food. We plowed through a mountain of lightly fried and wickedly fresh cod, scallops, shrimp, and bellied clams. We slurped penne in a saffron and leek broth crested by hunks of shrimp and lobster. We shared a tender rib eye on a soft pillow of Gorgonzola mashed potatoes. We picked -- because we were so stuffed -- at warm bread-and-brown-sugar pudding. We called a cab to drive us back to the inn with a bag full of leftovers warm and fragrant between us. With the combination of the bluster, our full bellies, the silky sheets, and the salt air wafting through an open window, we were soon fast asleep.Mornings at Crowne Pointe, "Mom" is the word. She is Jane Walter, Tom's 78-year-old mother, a petite and gentle woman who lays out a dazzling spread of homemade baked goods and fruit, accompanied by a hot breakfast -- a Texas-sized breakfast burrito on Saturday, and eggs Benedict, bacon, and home fries on Sunday. Mom's breakfast and her massive cookies offered during the day pretty much kill any need for lunch. Good thing, since our list of activities was as dense as our post-breakfast cholesterol.

First off, Rob Costa of Art's Dune Tours corralled us into a giant four-wheel-drive Suburban for a drive through the dunes. We were wary of a mission we suspected was environmentally unfriendly until Rob regaled us with his infectious passion for the carefully regulated route that weaves through the rolling sands, 3,000 acres of National Seashore brilliantly turned into preserve in the 1960s. The artistic backbone of Provincetown is apparent in the collection of "beach shacks," which over the years have been the temporary dwellings, and inspiration, for artists such as Jack Kerouac, ee cummings, Jackson Pollack, and Eugene O'Neill -- who wrote 26 plays during a four-year stint as a squatter. It was a stunning reminder that the urbane flamboyance of town is not entirely where the action is. Ironically, the official motto of the Life-Saving Stations once set up to rescue sailors on this nor'easter-buffeted stretch was, "You have to go out. You don't have to come back."After Rob dropped us off, we rented a couple of jazzy-looking mountain bikes. But before returning to the dunes, we locked our bikes to a fence on the east end of Commercial Street and took our own gawkers' tour. We poked in and out of galleries, jewelry stores, and leather shops. We didn't buy a thing but still managed to spend an hour and a half wandering. Our favorite pleasure? An enviable bounty of fascinating houses and cottages with flawless landscaping.

We made the 10-minute climb to the top of the Pilgrim Monument and learned more about the Pilgrims' brave expedition. Again, history and reality coalesced. Upon landing in Provincetown, the Pilgrims drafted a document declaring all members of the new society "straightly tied to care of each other's good and of the whole by everyone." We collected our bikes and rode the excellent National Seashore bike path. Though we were unsure it was sanctioned, we took a detour so we could use all 21 gears on an off-path hiking trail that swirled beneath a canopy of scrub oak.

Our day was not complete without a visit to an After Tea T-Dance, a cocktail hour institution. Though they are not quite of the magnitude of the in-season soirees, it was not hard to find one. We danced in complete comfort, albeit with far less grace than some male couples, all of us enjoying our own version of a romantic weekend in P-town.

Pippin Ross is a freelance journalist living in Western Massachusetts.

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Guest donaltopablo

In the summer there is ferry service from Boston to Ptown. It's great to bring your bike and hang out for the weekend.

I've been to PTown twice now and just realized the last time I was there that there was a ferry from Boston to PTown. I will certainly be doing that if I go again in May.

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Provincetown hopes gay wedding bells ring in profits

By Benjamin Gedan, Globe Correspondent, 3/1/2004

PROVINCETOWN -- The storefronts on Commercial Street are boarded up, and the plywood won't come down until the weather turns in April. But behind the sleepy winter facades, the town's business owners and local officials see another image: a wedding mecca.

They are hoping legalized gay marriage -- set to start in Massachusetts in mid-May -- will turn this well-known summer tourism spot into a year-round destination that will revive the town's economy.

With that in mind, the town clerk asked the Board of Selectmen last week to raise the wedding license fee from $30 to $50. Later this month, Provincetown will launch a $10,000 advertising campaign, featuring same-sex couples in the winter, spring, and fall, and tout the town at the Gay and Lesbian Expo in New York City. Caterers, limousine companies, and bed and breakfasts are expanding, setting the town abuzz with entrepreneurial glee.

"It's the gold rush of the millennium," said David "Dixie" Federico, a drag queen who has spent $80 for an online certificate declaring him an ordained minister. "I'm going to be as excited as the grooms and the grooms, and the brides and the brides."

As residents tailor their companies to the wedding industry -- opening honeymoon suites, and hiring bakers and florists -- few appear concerned with opposition to gay marriage from President Bush and lawmakers on Beacon Hill, or fears among gay activists that Governor Mitt Romney will block licenses until voters decide on a proposed ballot initiative that would bar gay marriage in November 2006.

"Most people are very optimistic," Assistant Town Clerk Aaron Leventman said. "People think this is a sure thing."

Known to gays since the 1920s, when a train from New York City's Greenwich Village brought artists to the tip of Cape Cod, Provincetown is a popular destination for gays and lesbians. Its population, about 3,400 in February, jumps by 20,000 in the summer.

The town established a domestic partnership registry for gay couples in 1993, and 701 couples have signed up. Now, with the Supreme Judicial Court declaring gay marriage legal starting May 17, more couples are expected to tie the knot -- formally.

Twenty-five couples requested licenses from the town on the day the SJC ruling came out. At least four have called every day since. Patricia Fitzpatrick, the tourism director, said she hopes to attract 1,000 couples from May to October.

"This is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow," she said. "It just fell into our laps."

Town Manager Keith A. Bergman said he could use the windfall. In the last two years, he said, the town lost $100,000 in state aid, despite rising health care costs for municipal employees. A publicly operated nursing home, Cape End Manor, loses $1 million annually.

Expanded benefits for gay Provincetown employees who marry will cost the town $150,000 a year. But officials said the expense will be easily offset by rising room tax revenue -- a predicted 6 percent increase over last year's $970,000.

The increased tourism, town officials said, could help reverse declining year-round population, and a 14 percent drop in the housing stock since 1990.

"It's like San Francisco, everybody is going to want to come here," said Maghi Geary, who plans to hire additional staff at her flower shop, The Provincetown Florist. She said business will quadruple in May.

Several store owners have already invested in the wedding industry. David Schermacher, owner of Ptown Parties caterers, is buying a closed restaurant to host wedding receptions, and hiring two pastry chefs for wedding cakes.

At the Provincetown Museum, curators hope to erect a tent for wedding ceremonies next to the 252-foot high Pilgrim Monument. The owner of the White Wind Inn, Michael Valenti, is organizing a wedding planning business, with packages including sand dune tours and a traditional marriage ceremony at the town's two beaches, Herring Cove and Race Point.

A former selectman, David Atkinson, 62, is applying for a $45 mail-order reverend's license, hoping lovebirds will ask "Reverend Nude" to officiate their knot-tying.

"You'd be surprised how many people want to be naked," he said. "The sky's the limit."

In all, Fitzgerald said, 50 businesses have called Town Hall hawking wedding services, including an opera singer from New York and an Abraham Lincoln impersonator from Martha's Vineyard.

Last week, two limousine services joined the local chamber of commerce, as did P-Town Pedicabs, which offers romantic cart rides, propelled by a three-wheel bike.

Local shops are stocking up on tuxedos and gowns, and a resident has turned her seaside vacation home into a honeymoon cottage.

At the Unitarian Meeting House, one of only two chapels that will welcome the expected crowds, the white pine pews sit empty, with the mahogany pulpit covered by a black trash bag.

Candice Collins-Boden, the chamber's executive director, said tourism is the largest sector of Provincetown's economy. The fishing fleet, she said, is down to 13 boats, from 57 in 1970. Many residents, she said, are depending on a crush of honeymooners.

"I'm still a little cautious," she said. "What happens if this is deemed illegal? They would be in a bit of trouble."

But with registration for the chapel up, and room inquiries at the White Wind Inn up from once a month last year to three times a day, residents said they had reason for optimism.

"We're hoping and expecting it goes through," Geary said.

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