In an incredibly busy summer, I finally found time to make a trip to see some water which I have been sorely missing. I thought a trip to Provincetown sounded fun, so I checked out our options and made it happen, on Thursday, July 27th!
Boston Express Bus
We are absolutely no strangers to the Boston Express Bus, and once again it provided great service from the station in Londonderry Exit 5 down to South Station. We took the 6:30am bus, and arrived in Boston at 7:38am. When we arrived, we grabbed a drink from Dunkins and made our way up to Long Wharf.
Provincetown Fast Ferry
From the Long Wharf in Boston, we took the 9:00am Provincetown Ferry which makes 3 runs per day, and it takes 90 minutes. You get to travel on board the Salacia which is one of the largest and fastest passenger-only catamarans in the northeast. Boarding was a breeze, and there were plenty of seats for all passengers.
They have a nice variety of tables, stationary seats, benches, and outdoor seating if you like the wind in your hair. At 45 miles per hour, you get quite a breeze! There is a full café and bar on board for all your snacks, cocktails and beer needs. It was a treat to grab a blueberry vodka and lemonade and sit back and relax.
Arriving at MacMillan Wharf is a treat! This is where the tourists come and go, off the different ferry lines that run into P-town, as well as the occasional cruise ship. There are plenty of photo ops with which to embarrass your teenage sons. At the end of the wharf, you run smack into the center of Commercial Street, and also the very handy public bathrooms.
Provincetown Portuguese Bakery
Our first stop for food was at the iconic Provincetown Portuguese Bakery for their famous malassadas! These delicious fried dough treats fly out the door all day long. You can see them making batch after batch right in the front window. The line inside the bakery is long and snakes around the interior, but it does move quickly.
Just behind the Portuguese Bakery you will find Kung Fu Dumplings! This was a nice little discovery that has bubble tea and also….. dumplings! It was a great place for a little savory snack before we started exploring. These were their pork, chive, and ginger steamed dumplings.
Provincetown Pilgrim Monument
Rising above Provincetown is a tower that looks exactly like the famous one in Siena, Italy. This is the Provincetown Pilgrim Monument and if it’s hot enough outside, you can sweatily climb up all 166 steps and 60 ramps for a nice view. Our day clocked in at 90 degrees so it was game on.
You buy your tickets from a machine and then take the little funicular up the hill to the base of the monument. I can’t say I thoroughly enjoyed this activity because it was very difficult and very HOT but my kids just basically ran to the top and then back down like it was nothing. I didn’t even really take any photos. Here is a picture of the view from the top.
Art’s Dune Tours
One of the best things we did in Provincetown was to take a dune tour! Everyone says you have to get off of Commercial Street, as fun as it is, and get out into the wilds of the dunes to truly experience P-town. Art’s Dune Tours offer 1-hour tours by SUV and they take you right out into the dunes of Cape Cod National Seashore. The whole area is protected, and Art’s has exclusive rights to drive into that area. The guide tells you all about the history of Provincetown, the dunes, as well as all the art colonies and artists that lived in the dune shacks. So interesting!
After we got back to Commercial Street, it was time for some food! I had done some homework to figure out which restaurant to take my teen boys to, and The Canteen was the perfect choice. It looks small from the street, but what you can’t see is that the whole backside goes all the way down to the beach and you can sit anywhere you like. It’s full of festive picnic tables right in the sand.
Also, the food is delicious and it looks amazing too. You order at the counter, and then go find a table in the back. They bring your food out to you when it’s ready.
Drew and I both had the fish and chips which was soooo good. Huge thick fried fish and delicious fries. And Parker had the fish sandwich and clam chowder. That clam chowder was seriously some of the best I’ve ever had. It had legit flavor, and I think lots of bacon.
Their amazing signature drink is the Frosé!! This is nothing but rosé wine poured from a frozen concoction machine and it’s incredible. Frozen Rosé = Frosé! And on that sticky 90 degree day, it was perfection.
I was really so very surprised by the quality of the food at this place. Expectations were that being on a very touristy main drag that the flavor and portions would be a little diminished, but that was not true at all. I think this is a very high quality restaurant that just happens to be banging out massive amounts of dishes all day long.
I love to just walk around and snap photos. There is so much to see on Commercial Street, and it’s great to just wander around. The town beaches are just steps away and fun to explore.
We even had a little time to get our feet in the sand on the Town Beach.
To get home, we just did the whole thing in reverse. We took the 5:30 ferry from MacMillan Wharf, arrived in Boston at 7:00, and then walked down to South Station (in the rain and thunderstorm) to wait for our 8:30 bus back to New Hampshire.
It was a long day for sure and we got back tired and a little sunburned! But I think it was worth it because we made lots of memories and saw some neat things. And I sure won’t forget that dining experience at The Canteen!
If you like Provincetown, you’ll love Portland, Maine! Check out our little trip.