Provincetown Shopping: A Commercial Street Stroll


It’s amazing. No matter how long you have lived here. No matter how many times you’ve done it. Walking down Commercial Street never gets old. Strolling, window shopping, browsing—it is a multi-course feast with flavors suited to anyone and everyone’s taste. On a recent walk, I checked out a few shops that just opened and a few that were new to me. I suppose you could call this a round-up but it is admittedly a random smattering. That is the beauty of Provincetown: the delight in discovering a new hidden gem of a shop—with a crazy, distinctive personality—that was probably there all along.


This brand spanking new shop just opened this season with goods produced by the two partner/owners: Karole Moe (hence the origins of the name, kmoe) and Karen Baker.  It is a random combo: hefty, rugged leather jewelry, custom-made light fixtures, often built from repurposed materials, and slick, glossy wall décor in firey hues of reds and oranges.  But somehow, it works.

The Captain’s Daughters

When I stopped by, this store was only weeks into its first season. It’s an interesting mix, combining a tea bar with vintage goods and nautical apparel and accessories. It totally won me over with courteous, personal service and a tasty cup of tea. I’m a fan of any shop where boxes of hard-to-find loose leaf tea stand within arm’s reach of piles of stunning indigo-dyed vintage textiles.


This shop has been around for four years but was totally new for me. Not sure how I missed it before. Statement pieces for your house that would totally make a room without screaming about it.  Pricey but completely unique.

Kenneth Scott

Another relative newcomer, this men’s apparel shop features casual wear, swimsuits, basically everything you need for summer living here in Provincetown (or to capture dreams of it when you are elsewhere).

Loveland Provincetown

This shop is so cool, it doesn’t even have a website. Every now and again you walk into a shop and think, OMG, someone opened a store JUST FOR ME! I imagine a lot of people have that reaction when they enter this rich, colorful bohemian pirate ship. As far as Commercial Street goes, it’s a little out of the way in the West End. Totally worth the detour. It will make you happy.

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Indulge Your Sweet Tooth—Provincetown Edition


We New Englanders take our ice cream VERY seriously. And Provincetown is no exception. As I write this, I am on my way to Commercial Street for my mid-day indulgence. Summer is a couple weeks off, but that has never stopped any self-respecting Cape Codder I know (myself included) from grabbing a little something. The sun is shining, the bees are buzzing, and well, it’s time. There are plenty of places to go.  In the list below, I stopped at seven, but there are undoubtedly more (sorry Ben & Jerry’s).  The best part?  They are all on Commercial Street, so you could even do your own uh, ice cream crawl? Yeah!  Hit them all up!  Wow, how come I never thought of that before?  Let’s do it!

Purple Feather Café and Treatery  The Purple Feather features 24 Flavors of gelato.  With names like Turtle Dove, Chocolate Sundae, and Mojhito, I’m swooning already.  Plus, they have sandwiches and regular food, if you are feeling like you should be practical.  Desserts, wines, and cocktails plus fruit tarts, brownies, molten lava, biscotti, chocolate chip cookies, and their specialty, homemade éclairs round out a very full menu.  Everything is homemade on premises.   If you go, try the Mermaid’s Orgasm.  Peach, pineapple, coconut.  Yup, I’m in.

The Nut House Obviously, roasted nuts are a specialty at this 16-year-old joint but the chocolate chip cookies and ice cream are equally amazing.  Travel & Leisure magazine agreed and named them one of the must stop ice cream shops in the USA.  Their recommendation? The brown butter brownie ice cream.  Sounds just about right.

PtownScoop Small on size, big on flavor.  This place the perfect spot to hit up after ogling art in the East End.  Plus, it’s location is just far away enough from the main hustle and bustle that there’s rarely a crowd.

Bliss! P’town Frozen Yogurt Word on the street is this is the best soft serve in town.  Homemade ice cream, homemade waffle cones.  And good people watching!

Happy Camper If you’re not totally committed to ice cream, this place may be your speed.  They’ve got house made popsicles, ice cream, donuts, and more.  Donuts are really their jam. National Donut Day is June 2 (later this week!).  I’m guessing they’ll be celebrating it right.

Lewis Brothers Ice Cream The institution.  All ice cream is made fresh in the store every day.  Keep an eye out for their solar powered Ice Cream Truck!  They’ve got over 25 flavors plus some adult only flavors with names like Belle De Brillet, Chocolate Guiness, Limoncello, Mint Julep (Kentucky Derby Special), Mudslide Chip, and White Russian.

I Dream of Gelato Plenty for everyone to enjoy here—tons of flavors! With extraordinary flavors like Banana Killer, Cherry Tart, Nutella, and Fior di Latte w/Almond, they have arguably the best gelato (made with milk, not cream) around. Plus, the only vegan options in town.

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5 Reasons to Visit Provincetown this May & June


Here in Provincetown, we are finally emerging from our seasonal hibernation and don’t look now, but the thermometer outside says 65 degrees. Yippee! May and June are interesting months on Cape Cod, as the tourists arrive in a slow trickle. As locals, we notice that the traffic at lunch break gets a little slower, there’s a longer line at our favorite coffee shop, that sort of thing.  The deluge of people doesn’t really start until July, after schools get out. So the ‘shoulder season’ (a.k.a. now) is a really great time to get to Ptown for a visit.  Weather can be iffy but there’s no lack of indoor activities.  In fact, one perk of the iffy weather is that it forces you to explore beyond the beach in a way that you just wouldn’t do at the height of summer.  Rates are often cheaper for ferries and events. And no huge crowds (not yet anyways)—caveat to that is Memorial Day Weekend which, when Ptown gets its party on for the first real she-bang of the season.  If you are not the partying sort, better steer way clear.


Here are some fun events to catch in the next two months:


World-Class Concerts, Readings, & Speakers

Housed in the historic Hawthorne Barn (which was a famous Ptown art school

during the first half of the 20th century), Twenty Summers brings a lively slate of musicians, writers, poets, and leaders in their field for lectures, concerts, and readings every spring weekend, mid-May to mid-June.  We’re talking world-class offerings.  Not to be missed.  Buy your tickets early—some events are already sold out and the small space only allows about 50 seats.


One-Of-A-Kind Performances

The Provincetown Theater has opened its 2017 season with a bang. May 3-20, catch “Salome” by Oscar Wilde, a scandalous play that takes place at King Herod’s Birthday party. May 24-June 11 is “Amadeus” by Peter Shaffer, a Tony Award winning play telling a highly fictionalized biography of the lives of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his rival composer Antonio Salieri.


Great Music

Memorial Day Weekend, Melissa Ferrick performs at The Art House for two shows on May 27 & 28.  A Massachusetts native and a teacher at Berklee School of Music in Boston, Ferrick has played with the likes of Ani DiFranco, Morrissey, the Indigo Girls, Bob Dylan, and more over her long, successful career.  This show celebrates her newly released 12th album.


Just Plain Fun

On June 1-4, Provincetown CabaretFest 2017 returns with “Sentimental Journey,” a tribute to the music of World War II. Run by John O’Neil, the weekend is packed with four days and three nights of cabaret, music, workshops, networking, humor and fun.  Eric Comstock & Barbara Fasano are this year’s headliners.


The Galleries Are Open!

Head to the East End! The galleries have emerged from their winter slumber to share all that their busy artists have been cranking out over the winter. Here’s just a sampling: Cortile Gallery is showing “Freshly Created: New Works” for its opening show with new works by all 30 of its gallery artists.  Always scratching the avant-garde itch, AMP Gallery presents a group show of provocative paintings by Jay Critchley, Jackie Lipton, Dorothy Palanza & Jicky Schnee.  On view at Provincetown Art Association & Museum (PAAM) through July is On Bended Light, a retrospective of esteemed Provincetown photographer Marian Roth.  I don’t want to miss a selection of recently deceased Wellfleet painter Selina Trieff, on view at Berta Walker.





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Do-It-Yourself Provincetown Wellness Retreat



The daffodils and cherry trees are blooming so it is official, spring has arrived on Cape Cod. Spring cleaning season. Yay. Question: what’s way more fun than washing your windows or cleaning out your closets? A visit to Provincetown, of course! Since I’ve got the spring cleaning thing on my mind, I’ve been thinking of all the ways to ‘clean’ up my own lifestyle, physically and emotionally. A little rest and relaxation is a great place to start, but what if we add in exercise and a little TLC for the body too? Sounds perfect to me and the Crowne Pointe Historic Inn & Spa may just be the perfect spot from which to embark on this little cleansing adventure. Below I’ve outlined how I would spend a weekend refreshing body and soul, CPHI&S style.

This is a no-brainer but I would start with some pampering at the top-rated Shui Spa, conveniently located at the Inn. A soak in the mineral tub? Check. 90-minute Hot Stone Massage? Check. Or perhaps I’d go with one of the spa’s many packages, combining massages, facials, mani/pedis, body scrubs—so many flavors to choose from!

Yoga classes abound here in Provincetown. Even at this time of year but especially once high summer season hits. There’s yoga on the beach, on a SUP—you name it, it’s probably here somewhere. But here are a few of my favorite yoga stops (for a longer list click here): Yoga East Wellness Center (wide range of classes including hatha, vinyasa, meditation and the Stand-Up Paddle Yoga classes), Yoga with Will Coons (from late May to mid-September, outdoor yoga on the deck of Boatslip Resort), and Strength & Clarity Pilates and Yoga Movement Studio (mixed practice studio offers daily yoga flow classes).

If yoga isn’t your idea of wellness, there are plenty of other ways to get exercise. Get out and enjoy the outdoors at the same time by renting bicycles, swimming and hiking along the Cape Cod National Seashore, or simply jogging around town. Or perhaps a stair workout up the 252 foot high Pilgrim Monument?

It’s often a challenge to eat healthy when traveling but not in Provincetown. In addition to having several vegan-friendly establishments (click here for some of our recommendations), there are several markets with a greener, healthier bend. My favorites? Bradford Natural Market and 141 To Go (plenty of gluten-free, non-GMO, organic produce and packaged foods; the Hot Bar is the only vegetarian buffet in town), the Grab n Go Health Bar (for juices, smoothies, and snacks), and for dinner, I’m excited to try Sal’s Place, the Italian Bistro recently reopened at the tail end of the 2016 season to rave reviews.

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Weddings: Provincetown Style


It’s spring.  My outdoor thermometer finally broke 60 degrees.  Yay!  That means summer is not far off and wedding season will be upon us in just a few short weeks. Did you know that we do weddings here at Crowne Pointe? Actually, when you get right down to it, the inn is an ideal spot to host any kind of gathering, from small, intimate dinners to large, formal functions and anything in between.  We do it right.  Personalized service from beginning to end so that the day feels like yours and like you.  Comfortable.  Classy.  Polished.  Stress-free.  That’s the goal.


What I love best are Crowne Pointe’s wedding packages for 2 (perhaps I’m biased since I eloped).  Think private ceremony, flowers, champagne, a small cake for two, dinner and more.  What more does one need, really?  If you want to tie the knot but eschew the pomp, then one of these special choices would be the way to go (I would personally go for the ride in the pedi-cab, but that’s me). And you really couldn’t ask for more tasteful surroundings or better amenities.  Picture clear blue skies, the gardens in full bloom, music (I’ll leave the style choice up to you), sensational food, wine, and cocktails courtesy of our award-winning restaurant, The Pointe.


If you are in the wedding planning stages, here are some quick fun facts to ruminate on:


  • We can accommodate parties as small as 2 and as large as 150.
  • Professional wedding planner services are standard.
  • Indoor and outdoor settings available.
  • Your event will be yours alone—we only do one event at a time. No double-booking.
  • Our packages offer ultimate flexibility. You dream it.  We do it.
  • From flowers to cocktails, food, and accommodations, we offer the best amenities to match your day.


For more details, click here for the inn’s full description of wedding services or here for more information on the wedding for 2 packages.

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Provincetown’s Best Coffee


It is still only in the 40s outside here in Provincetown (hello, it’s the end of March??!!).  On a bright note, the sun came out today.  As I shiver in my chair, I’m daydreaming about a stroll down Commercial Street and a toasty warm cup of coffee.  Spring and summer and all the frozen treats you can dream of are just around the corner but for now, a hot, nutty beverage is the perfect antidote to the never-ending New England Winter.  Provincetown’s got plenty of coffee shops, but here are three that stand out from the crowd.  Best part: they’re all open this time of year! Well, technically Joe opens this Saturday, April 1.


Wired Puppy

Voted best coffee by Cape Cod LIFE magazine for 8 years running, this place is a Commercial Street institution.  Plenty of specialty coffees on the menu as well as a single serve brewing station.  All of their coffee is certified organic and fair trade and I dare you to make it out without buying something—a shirt, a coffee cup—with that cute little dog on it.


Kohi Coffee

Also conveniently located on Commercial Street, this shop is a relative newcomer (opened in 2014) but is fast establishing its reputation as a haven for the coffee maven.  With all fair trade and certified organic offerings on a menu that changes daily, Kohi may just be the best cup of coffee you’ve ever had.


Joe Coffee & Café

For many folks, this is their GO TO spot for coffee in Provincetown.  While I will be forgoing their patio this time of year, it is awesome in the summer—quite possibly the best people watching ever (a claim that applies to just about any restaurant on Commercial Street, I suppose).  A perfect spot to start your day.  People rave about the croissants.  In the summer, it’s crowded, but we needn’t worry about that now.

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Best Ways to Enjoy Spring in Provincetown


Adventures out into nature are a Provincetown specialty.  This time of year, outer Cape Cod’s winter/spring landscape is rich and invigorating in its own way.  Two reasons why this time of year is awesome for exploring all Mother Nature has to offer: first, no crowds.  You’ll probably have the beach or hiking trail entirely to yourself.  Second, the wildlife.  Spring is an ideal time to catch peepers, right whales (just off shore around Race Point), and a variety of birds.  Here are three great walks/hikes that are perfect for this time of year.


Pamet Area Trails, Truro

The Pamet Area Trails, just down the road in Truro, are part of the Cape Cod National Seashore.  There’s easy parking, the walks are not too long, and you’ll get amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean, the great dunes, and now defunct cranberry bog that was once used in commercial cranberry harvesting.  Cranberry plants grow wild all along the trail.  If you are willing to negotiate some steep sand, you can even trek down to the beach and walk along the shore for as long as you want. Located at 111 North Pamet Road.


Directions: Take Truro Center/Pamet Roads exit off Route 6 in Truro. Proceed 1.5 miles on North Pamet Road to the end. Trail begins at the parking area adjacent to the Environmental Education Center (a hostel in summer).


Race Point Lighthouse, Provincetown

Birders, Dog walkers, and whale watchers, this old Ptown Fire Road is for you.  It’s also an easier route to Race Point Lighthouse than trekking across the soft sand of the beach.  People know Race Point Lighthouse as one of the quintessential symbols of Provincetown and the outer cape.  What is less well known is that it is also one of the best spots on the Cape, and most likely the East Coast, to see Right Whales up close.  Right Whales typically arrive off our shores anywhere from February to April.  Bring bug repellent (in summer) and choose a calm day.


Directions: From Route 6 take a right onto Province Lands Rd. heading towards Race Point.  In about ½ mile, just after the bike path crosses the road, there’s a small dirt parking lot on the left.  The trail starts from the parking lot.


Great Island, Welfleet

This state park is actually a peninsula that forms the outer boundary of Welfleet Harbor.  In a part of the world filled with jaw-dropping scenic vistas, Great Island stands above as one of the most beautiful spots on the Cape (in my opinion).  It can be a long hike if you want (going all the way around the peninsula is 8.4 miles) but you can do an out-and-back walk and make it any length you want.  There are wooded trails, a salt marsh, dunes, and a bayside beach.  There is also a historical tavern site that dates to the 17th century.  It is a challenging walk as most of it is in sand and you do have to pay attention to the tides.


Directions:  Follow Main Street in Welfleet all the way through town.  Turn left onto Holbrook Ave.  Take your first right onto Chequessett Neck Road.  Follow for 2.5 miles and the Park’s parking lot will be on your left.  The trail starts at the far end of the parking lot.

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Off Season in Provincetown: Getting Out This Winter


The Inn, Shui Spa, and the Pointe Restaurant are back open after a brief pause this winter.  Whether you are a guest of the inn or a Provincetown local, it is a challenge to get out this time of year.  Fortunately, most local businesses and organizations know that and so they come up with these brilliant, creative ways of stirring us off of our cozy couches (you can drink that hot tea later!) and back out into the world.  Here are a few of our favorites:


To Eat

Mac’s Fish House ‎Provincetown has its Winter to Spring Dinner Series on select Wednesdays through April 19.  Each special dinner event featured a multi-course meal and paired wines.  Upcoming dinner themes include St. Patrick’s Day Twist (March 15), New Southern (March 29), and Alsatian Cuisine (April 19).   A meal worth getting out of the house for?  Perfect for winter!


To Learn

Provincetown Library offers Winter Wednesdays, a free community program of compelling courses, perfect for these deep, dark winter months.  All sessions are offered for free on a drop-in basis. With classes in cooking, baking, art, film, yoga, geneology and more, there’s a flavor for everyone. Click here for more information.


To Listen

Now in it’s 26th (!!) year, the Coffeehouse @ The Mews is an open mic for writers, playwrights, poets, singers, songwriters, comedians, etc.  It is every Monday night through May 8, 2017 with host and co-founder, singer songwriter Peter Donnelly. You can also listen live, on Mondays, from 7-9:30pm here.


To Watch

We covered movies nights in a previous post, but they are worth mentioning again.

As part of the Film Art Series, the Provincetown Film Society presents screenings of a wide variety of films (from the early 20th century on) every Wednesday, 7p.m. at Waters Edge Cinema.  If Friday works better for you, every Friday, 7p.m., at the Sage Inn & Lounge, film historian Michelle Crone presents a different film from 1939, a year she describes as “the greatest year in the history of filmmaking.” Films include The Wizard of Oz (March 3), Wuthering Heights (March 10), and Goodbye Mr. Chips (March 24).

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Ptown Happenings-Presidents’ Weekend




Not going to lie, the calendar gets a little empty this time of year.  It does take a little bit of effort to get out (the intermittent snowstorms don’t help this situation).  And yet don’t despair because there are plenty of intriguing things going on if you know where to look.  And there are a few bright spots.  Presidents’ Day Weekend, February 17-19, is a mid-winter break in the humdrum, when we all emerge briefly from hibernation.  There is plenty going on this weekend to keep one busy.  Here are a few highlights of the upcoming weekend in Ptown.


Visual Art: Lester Johnson from the Permanent Collection

Opening Reception: Friday, February 17, 6pm

Provincetown Art Association & Museum

Johnson has deep roots to Ptown, going back to 1953 when he has his first show at Earle Pilgrim’s shop on Commercial Street.  Curated by Christine McCarthy, this show presents Johnson’s watercolors and block prints, a body of work gifted to PAAM in 2016.


Theater: The 7th Annual 24-Hour Theater Festival

Saturday, February 18, 7:30pm

Provincetown Theater, 238 Bradford Street

Eight ten-minute plays will be shown as script-in-hand performances in this perennially sold-out community event presented by Provincetown Playwrights’ Lab.  Playwrights, actors, and directors gather the night before to select cast and learn the mystery props that must be incorporated into every play.  The playwrights have until 7:00 am Saturday morning to produce the work that will be mounted later that evening.


For a Drink: Luv Lounge at Shipwreck Lounge

February 17 – 19, Doors open at 5pm.

Shipwreck Lounge, 10 Carver Street

Our favorite upscale lounge will be open for cocktails and conversation.  Looking forward to settling into one of those cozy chairs!


Music: Bobby Wetherbee

Saturday, February 18, 9:00pm

Central House, Crown & Anchor

Provincetown’s Favorite Piano Man, Bobby Wetherbee will be singing love songs and standards at the Central House Piano Bar.  No cover!


Writing: Reading With Fine Arts Work Center Visiting Writer Paul Lisicky
Saturday, February 18, 6:30pm

Stanley Kunitz Common Room, Fine Arts Work Center, 24 Pearl Street

The Fine Arts Work Center keeps a fairly busy winter schedule of readings and exhibitions.  Lisicky’s most recent book is The Narrow Door: A Memoir of Friendship (Graywolf, 2016). He teaches in the MFA Program at Rutgers University-Camden, where he is the editor of the journal StoryQuarterly.





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Valentine’s Day, Ptown Style

By February 3, 2017 STAY IN PROVINCETOWN


After a brief vacation, Crowne Pointe will be opening up in about a week, just in time for Valentine’s Day!  Time for a romantic winter getaway, yes?  Most people are probably looking for any excuse to fly south right now but hear me out.  Although we are in deep freeze territory here in Ptown, this winter hasn’t been bad at all.  I know I’m biased cause I’m a Yankee and grew up loving these frigid seasons, but winter has its perks too.  Beaches to yourself.  Hot chocolate can only really happen in cold weather.  And my favorite: falling asleep in front of a roaring, crackling fire (did I mention we have those? In the rooms?)  AND if you stay at a certain charming Inn in Ptown, even if frightful weather looms, you don’t have to shovel, you don’t have to drive, you don’t even have to get your boots dirty.


So here’s how you do it:  book a stay here at the hotel.  You can take advantage of our shoulder season specials.  Our signature “Escape to the Cape” includes accommodations in the Inn, meals (breakfast in bed and dinner at The Pointe Restaurant), and one spa treatment per person at Shui Spa, located right here at the Inn.  As a separate package, we are also offering Stay 2 nights and get the 3rd 50%.


Then, if you want to really treat yourself and your love, here are some local gift ideas.  Massages?  How about the 3 Pack Massage Saver from Shui Spa?  Sweet Tooth?  Check out this delectable assortment of Valentine’s Day cookies from Relish bakery.  Apparel?  How about one of Tim Scapes graphic tees.  Need other ideas?  The online Valentine’s Day shop at has jewelry, apparel, home décor and accessories and more¾all from local Ptown shops.


Well, I think we’ve got Valentine’s Day all figured out.  See how easy that was?  Call  508.487.6767 for reservations.  The crackling fire will be waiting for you.

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