Great Fall Getaways: Provincetown, Massachusetts

Photograph by Christopher Churchill

Photograph by Christopher Churchill

For the Epicurean

Provincetown is teeming with tasty attractions. Start the day at Connie’s Bakery, where the windows are full of glossy cinnamon rolls and buttery quiches; enjoy your breakfast while strolling along MacMillan Pier. For lunch, the fried clams at the new Native Cape Cod Seafood in the Aquarium Marketplace are a terrific choice. Order inside at the counter, then eat on Aqua Bar’s shaded deck. Come dinnertime, grab a seat at Ten Tables Provincetown, which debuted in April. Chef Alex Saenz worked at the Cambridge outpost, and his polished yet unfussy plates — think grilled bluefish with Woodbury clams and chorizo — reflect everything we love about the city locations.

For the Adventurer

Now that the sun worshipers have scattered, the tip of the Cape — with its miles of unspoiled seashore — is yours to explore. Survey the land in a 4WD Suburban with Art’s Dune Tours, which take you past the “dune shacks” where famed artists once lived and onto remote beaches. Those with energy to burn should don sturdy shoes for the surprisingly tough three-mile hike along the breakwater to the Long Point Lighthouse and an incredible secluded stretch of sand. (If a round-trip trek seems daunting, Flyer’s Boat Rentals runs a $10 shuttle from Long Point back to the West End.) Animal lovers, meanwhile, will want to hoof it to the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary for birding boot camps, seal sails, and oyster-reef tours. If all those amazing vistas still aren’t enough for you, take a flying lesson from Race Point Aviation and see the Cape the way the sea birds do.

For the Escapist

It’s a low-key getaway you’re after, so you’ll want to avoid busy P-town, right? Wrong. With the exception of rowdy events like Women’s Week (10/7–10/16), fall on the outer Cape is surprisingly mellow. For a true retreat, schedule an Earth & Sea scrub and body wrap at the Crowne Pointe Inn’s Shui Spa. A tipple can take the edge off, too, and an Adirondack chair by the fire pit at the newly revamped Harbor Hotel is the perfect place to sip. Prefer a crisp chardonnay? The Cape isn’t exactly Napa, but a Truro Vineyards tasting will take you worlds away from the Hub.

Where to Stay

The Carpe Diem Guesthouse and Spa (fall rates from $119) has 19 rooms named after writers and poets. (Don’t snooze through the European-style breakfast, complete with muesli and fresh breads.) A stay at the swish Crowne Pointe Inn (fall rates from $99) includes afternoon wine and sweets and access to the spa facilities.

Save this Date: October 15 – 16

Shucking contests, cooking demos, live music, and bivalve slurping are all part of the weekend-long OysterFest in Wellfleet (

The Essentials

Drive time: Two hours