John Waters Loves This Town For A Reason. Check Out The BUST Guide To Provincetown.

by gabrielle kupfer

Provincetown is a small seashore town with big-city culture, perched at the tippy-top of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Sandwiched between the peaceful bay and the roaring Atlantic Ocean, it’s home year-round to a creative, inviting, and open-minded community. P-town swells to 30 times its size in the summer, but ride in on the shoulders of tourist season and you can still enjoy good weather and the ease of ferry access, with a little extra elbow room. Plus, fall features a number of iconic local events, including Art Provincetown, the Washashore Festival, and, of course, the LGBTQ-friendly Women’s Week in October. Once a sleepy fishermen’s port known as Helltown by its smugglers and deviants, Provincetown is still a place where you can do almost whatever the hell you want, and find good company to do it with.

A great way to start your day in town is by fueling up with a huge and gooey cinnamon roll from Connie’s Bakery & Café and a lavender latte at Kohi Coffee Company, located right across the way on the waterfront. Enjoy your coffee on one of Kohi’s two porches—the front is prime P-Town people-watching, and the back deck offers the perfect place to appreciate the bay’s many moods in the fall, from misty ennui to bright, beachy energy. 


Kohi Coffee Company on Commercial Street


If the weather’s holding up, grab a to-go lunch of specialty sandies and prepared salads (def don’t skip the key lime pie) at Angel Foods and eat it on the beach. For those who partake, b\well—a local-, veteran-, woman-, and LGBTQ-owned dispensary in the heart of town—offers a wide selection of recreational products that will elevate your experience in Provincetown to another level. Get yourself some gummies and hop on a dune buggy with Topless Tours to enjoy the wind in your hair while riding in an open Jeep on the seashore. Scope out the dune shacks, where many famous historical and contemporary artists and authors—like Mary Oliver, Liz Collins, Ann Patchett, Jan Gelb, and many more—holed up and found inspiration to create some of their best works. The views of this special landscape are magnificent any time of the year, but the light that rakes across the foliage is particularly stunning in the fall. 

Commercial Street


When you’re done exploring the Province Lands, refuel on the West End at Liz’s Café, Anybody’s Bar. Perch at the restaurant’s Dory Bar with a Liz’s Fizz—a cucumber-mint-and-vodka concoction—while you wait for a table to eat from their menu of comfort foods, which includes a wedge salad, fried Cape Codder fish sandwich, and hearty eggplant Parmesan. Continue your night at The Club, co-owned by Lea DeLaria (Boo of Orange Is the New Black), for some after-dinner drinks and live music. Then dance off all your drinking at The Underground, a comfortably divey bar that features pool tables, ping-pong, and a punk-packed jukebox. Tuck in for the night at Gabriel’s, one of the town’s classic bed and breakfasts. Dozing off here means you’ll be right in the center of town and ready to wake up in the morning and do it all again. 

Treasure Hunting

MAP: Home to a really cool, well-curated selection of art books, androgynous fashion, and stylish accessories. Check their calendar when you come to town—you may be able to get in on a John Waters signing! The Pope of Trash is just one of P-Town’s iconic residents. 

Human Rights Campaign Store: If you’re still looking for statement-making fashion, stop in here, the only HRC store in existence, and look good while supporting equal rights for all. 

Womencrafts: This shop has been vital to the women’s community in Provincetown for decades. The institution is filled with art, apparel, books, jewelry, and more—made only by women. 

Art Gazing

Take some time to swing by the Provincetown Art Association and Museum and then meander around the surrounding gallery district, where you can scope out the wide range of artists on display at the town’s 45-plus galleries. Be sure to hit Art Market Provincetown, where big-market artists display their conceptual, experimental, and process-based work. 

Halloween near the Gallery District

P Is for Party

Don’t miss Babes and Bois’ weekly party, CU Next Tuesday, at the Provincetown Brewery. Play some pool, throw some darts, and hit the flippers on the Dolly Parton pinball machine while in the company of queer and sapphically inclined friends. On Sundays at the brewery, check out the wild and rowdy Dyke Dock, where you might be able to egg effigies of hateful politicians and also win a twerk-off. 


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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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