Anne's Cape Cod Favorites

Intro | Tours | Maps | Restaurants
Walking | Bicycling | Boating | Sightseeing | Beaches
Brewster | Chatham | Orleans | Eastham | Wellfleet | Truro | Provincetown


Provincetown commercial and night life provide much entertainment. But the isolated dunes, windswept beaches and natural harbors are just as fascinating to explore. The National Seashore has custody of the land outside town, known as the Province Lands.

See the Provincetown overview and Chamber of Commerce sites, and check out Provincetown restaurants

Race Point, Provincelands

Race Point in the Province Lands

Things to Do

sightseeingNational Seashore Provincelands Visitor Center

The Cape Cod National Seashore Visitor Center at the Province Lands is about a mile from Provincetown. Set on a sand dune, it offers great views from its 360 degree observation tower. The National Seashore sponsors many tours and programs at the Visitor Center and elsewhere. The Visitor Center is 1.6 miles from Rte 6 on Race Point Rd. See the Tours page for additional information, or go directly to the National Seashore web site.

walkingBeech Forest Trail

On the way to the Visitor Center, just one-half mile from Rte 6, is the Beech Forest trail. The National Seashore web site and the Short Nature Walks book describe the trail. The one-mile trail goes around Beech Forest Pond and into the heart of the forest.

bicyclingProvince Lands Bicycle Trails

The bicycle trails at the Province Lands Visitor Center take you through a wonderful variety of landscapes. Trails criss-cross the sand dunes, duck into the Beech Forest, and skirt the beaches. Way out in the dunes you view the expanse of sand as you zoom up and down the hills. The round trip is seven miles if you follow all the trails to Herring Cove Beach, Race Point Beach and Bennet Pond. The National Seashore web site and the Short Bicycle Rides book describe the trail.

walkingDune Walks or Art's Dune Tours

For those who want to experience the sand dunes directly, the National Seashore offers guided walks. Their "Art in the Dunes" hike takes you on a 3-hour, 4-mile walk to meet an artist-in-residence and experience the quality of light, natural environment, and isolation that attract artists and writers. A 1-hour, 1-mile walk explores the dunes below the Visitor Center. In Truro, The National Seashore leads a 2-mile hike into the unusual parabolic dunes at Pilgrim Lake.

For the most comfort, call Art's Dune Tours at 487-1950 or 1050. Art takes you out cruising the dunes in a sturdy 4-wheel drive vehicle, and he makes a stop to meet the resident of a dune shack too. The tour begins where Art parks his vehicles at Standish and Commercial St.

sightseeingwalkingHatches Harbor Exploration

The National Seashore offers a 3-hour exploration of Hatches Harbor, with a guide explaining the ecology of salt marshes and projects to restore the marshes. The walk provides beautiful views of the Race Point Light.

beachesHerring Cove Beach Campfire

The National Seashore offers an evening of stories around the campfire at Herring Cove Beach on Province Lands Rd.

beachessightseeingOld Harbor Life-Saving Station at Race Point

Continuing past the Province Lands Visitor Center on Race Point Road takes you to Race Point Beach. Here the Old Harbor Live-Saving Station reenacts a 1902 rescue drill once a week, complete with surfmen, firing of the Lyle gun, and use of the breeches buoy. They also have open house for a couple of hours most afternoons. Check for schedule with National Seashore. The Visitor Center also shows an excellent film on Cape Cod shipwrecks and lifesaving history.

walkingDike to Long Point

At the end of Commercial Street, a dike built of stone and just wide enough for walking crosses the water to Long Point. It's a long walk, and this one really requires sturdy shoes, but it's kind of fun to cross it just because it's there. If you keep going on the other side you get to an isolated beach.

sightseeingwalkingPilgrim Monument and Tour of Provincetown

At the top of High Pole Hill Rd, climb to the top of Pilgrim Monument for a great view, and visit the museum. The Pilgrim Monument and Museum teams with the National Seashore to offer a 2-hour, 3-mile walking tour of the history of Provincetown. Call the museum (487-1310) for schedule and reservations