A July 2005 trip
to Provincetown by SFPhotocraft
Quote: Provincetown has always had a unique and independent history. It is a part of America that has always marched to its own drummer. Once a year, gay families gather here to celebrate Family Week. It's a week that our family could not and would not miss!
Provincetown has always been a place for the rebel or the person who wanted to get lost. Even the pilgrims first set foot on these sands. Even though they were Puritans, they were running away from the establishment!
The first week of each August is Family Week. This is a week when gay families come from all over the world to vacation together. Our kids can be themselves, no questions from their peers - it's just a time to run on the beach, look for shells, and eat lobster. It's a week for parents to meet fellow parents and exchange our stories.
The kids love it. They can walk the streets en masse, and we never have to worry about them. They have their actitivies and seem to look out for each other. During Family Week, there are dinners, dances, group discussions, and even a drag show just for the kids! This was the first year our kids got to see a drag show, and they laughed all the way through it! Not many kids can go back to school in September and, when asked what they did for their summer holiday, say, "I went to a drag show in Provincetown!"
In Provincetown, everyone is themselves - there is no pretense here. You might see a man walking down the street in a silver dress, a busload of seniors from Boston, two African-American lesbians with an Asian baby, a Portuguese fisherman grabbing a beer, or chubby tourists from Iowa buying ice cream. It all mixes up here - everyone just lives side by side. Nobody cares. Oh, if only the whole world was a little bit more like Provincetown!
My one word of warning is, don't wait too long to book. This week fills quickly, and if you snooze, you lose.
You can take the ferry; it only operates in the summer from Boston. It's fun and the cheapest way.
You can also drive. The drive is painfully slow, as the traffic on the cape is horrible. Don't plan to drive there on Friday afternoon or home on Sunday. You will be in bumper-to-bumper traffic! Plus, once in Provincetown, you don't need a car. We had one, and it sat in its parking place all week.
In P'town, walk or rent a bike. Commercial Street is packed with folks on foot, and you can barely get a bike through downtown, much less a car. P'Town is a street fair all summer long, and you don't want to miss a single thing. The only way to see it all is by foot or by bike!
Hotel | "Provincetown Inn"
The hotel is by no means fancy. It's a basic, large American motel. Its best feature is its location. It's surrounded on three sides by water. It's near Herring Cove Beach, and the views of Proviencetown from its beach are stunning. The best place on the entire Cape to view a sunset is from the beach wall here at the inn.
The motel is a sprawling complex, with a pool in the center. A pool at a hotel in P'town is hard to find, and it's a nice selling feature here. There are 100 rooms, and many are different. The room rates run a wide range from $57 to $379 a night. The rates depend on room location and time of year. The hotel is open most of the year and only closes for 6 weeks after New Year's.
We have never stayed here, but have been to many of the family week functions here. The staff does an outstanding job feeding 300 hungry guests at these events. The food always is fresh and tasty, and the staff is friendly. Their events run smoothly. Judging by the events here, I would guess that the level of service one can expect here would be pretty good. They always seem to have enough staff on duty and everyone seems cheerful.
I have walked by rooms, which seem pretty basic. They look clean and of an average size. The rooms are exactly what you picture when you think about an American-style motel. The lobby too is pretty basic, but again comfortable. The motel is also home to the Provincetown Theater Company, which has theater productions all summer just off the lobby.
Okay, if this hotel was in another location, I would barely give it a second glance. There is nothing offensive about it, but it's not a place that will WOW you, except for one thing - the location! You can forgive a lot with a location and views like this! This is my vote for the best views in P'Town, if not the entire Cape.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 3, 2005
Provincetown Inn Resort
1 Commercial Street
Provincetown, Massachusetts 02657
Restaurant | "Ciro & Sal's"
In 1951 Proviencetown was an artist colony. Artists from all over the globe flocked to the Cape to study painting and hang with fellow artists. However it was void of the Bohemian type cafes and late night hang-outs that artists requrie. Two local artists Ciriaco Cozza and Salvatore Del Deo opened a late night coffee shop. They opened it with only $200.00. Friends donated silverware, glassware and other odds-n-ends. It was said all the artists of that time could be found here, eating and drinking until late into the night.
Today Ciro & Sal's still has a Bohemian charm. It's still in the basement of a house off Commercial Street. It's only open for dinner. The restaurant does not have a parking lot and this area of town does not have a lot of parking. If you are staying in P'Town the best way to get here is to walk. Look for the sign on Commercial Street and head around the back of the building to enter. The door is unmarked and the little patio out back seems overgrown. This is the charm of Ciro & Sal's. Inside it's dark, and the ceiling is low--empty Chianti bottles dangle above your head.
The place has a charm and a feeling of "fun". Like many places on the Cape, it's a mix of locals, tourists, gays, families, and fishermen. Folks drive in from all over the cape, to eat here. Everyone just blends together here for good food and a good time.
The menu is Italian and has all the favorite pasta dishes and Italian meat dishes that you would expect to find. However this is Cape Cod and the fish is fresh and local. I had a wonderful halibut that came with a generous side of pasta. It was prepared perfect and needless to say it was fresh. They offer a kid's menu and the kids gave thumbs up to their pasta dishes. The wait staff is International and does a good job at taking care of you and keeping the atomosere lively.
Fifty-five years is a long time for a restaurant in P'town to keep going. However when you offer good food, good service and a bit of local charm I can see why Ciro & Sal's is a favorite choice of many, and you will need reservations to join the crowds who flock here.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 18, 2005
Ciro & Sal's
4 Kiley Court
Provincetown, Massachusetts 02657
Restaurant | "Post Office Cafe"
The café downstairs is small, narrow, and even a little dark. I assume that at one time this building was the post office, as even today one wall is lined with mail boxes. Most of the front room is taken up by the bar. The café has put in some colorful, modern lights and some bright art in hopes of cheering the place up a bit.
We ate here early one evening. Our server was pleasant and there was a lot of banter between the staff. It almost seemed like a bit of a comedy act and was fun to watch and even partake in. During dinner, several drag queens would scurry in to change into new frocks in the back dressing room. The kids were enjoying the real show of life in a café in Provincetown. Some of the best entertainment just "happens" here.
Our meal was okay. I had fried clams. My plate was overflowing with them. They tasted fresh. They, however, were just a tad too greasy for my taste. The kids both had burgers, and they were pretty good basic burgers. They were cooked right and a good size.
This isn't a place I would seek out or suggest to a first-time visitor as a "must-do." It's more a place that you can duck into when you are hungry and need a quick fill. The service is friendly and the food is basic, and there is lots of it.
The main business here is the cabaret upstairs and the bar. It's seems like the meals are an afterthought. So, if you find yourself without dinner reservations and are walking the streets looking for dinner, don't hesitate to try The Post Office. It will fill your needs. However, if this is your one night in town and you want a really special, unforgettable meal, there are a lot of other choices in town for you.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 3, 2005
Post Office Cafe & Cabaret
303 Commercial St.
Provincetown, Massachusetts 02657
Each summer, we find ourselves having at least one meal here. The line to get in is usually long, but it moves fast. There is a second dining room upstairs and there is a lot more space than what it looks like. Things are hectic here. There is nothing calm about having dinner here. Things are load and life moves quickly here. The prices are also a little steep. By Provincetown standards, they seem in line, but you can get the same seafood dinner down-Cape for a lot less money. The Lobster Pot is also not open year round, they operate only from April to November each year.
Some how even with those negatives, we always come back. The views in the back of the building are great and some how the whole place feels like you would hope a Cape Cod seafood restaurant would feel, smell and sound like.
I always start with one of their famous Bloody Marys, they are the best on the Cape. This year I had fresh steamer clams with my Bloody, and it was a winning combination! For my main course I had breaded scallops. I have to say for all the times I have eaten here, this was the only disappointing meal I have ever eaten here. The breading was not done, and the scallops had no taste. Although I was disappointed, this was the only bad meal I have ever had here.
321 Commercial Street
Provincetown, Massachusetts 02657