Like any tourist destination, Provincetown can be an expensive place to stay and play. But we’re here to tell you—it doesn’t have to be! You can spend a lot of money, but there’s also a lot you can do while staying within your budget, especially if your interest is enjoying the natural beauty of the Outer Cape.
The least expensive option is camping. There are two campgrounds in Provincetown, Coastal Acres and Dune’s Edge, but that they fill up fast. If you can live dormitory-style with a shared kitchen, check out the Outermost Hostel. While renting a condo for a week can be expensive, if you’re sharing the cost with a group of friends, this can work out even better than more rustic alternatives… and you won’t need camping gear or mosquito repellent!
The Aquarium Marketplace/Mall on Commercial Street has a wide selection of take-away foods, from burritos to fish to a bakery to healthy salads and more. Pick up something and take it down to the Aqua Bar at the end of the mall, where for the price of a drink you can sit and watch the harbor while eating your takeaway.
Chach a longtime favorite for breakfast and brunch, offers great affordable food.
The Canteen on Commercial Street features excellent soups, sharing-sized portions, and side dishes that can truly stand in for a whole meal.
Truro Vineyards features a food truck called the Crush Pad that’s run by the famous Blackfish restaurant. For a great afternoon, buy some wine and food, and enjoy it all at a picnic table under the trees!
John’s Footlong isn’t just a hotdog and hamburger stand, it’s a town institution… and an affordable one! Try the Portuguese rice for a taste of something uber-local.
The Coffee Pot is a terrific place for a quick breakfast on-the-go—as well as a place to sit and people-watch at the outside tables at Lopes Square—that won’t leave you poor for the rest of the day. The same can be said for Café Maria just across the square, where early mornings see all the locals hanging out and sharing news.
Perfect Picnic will pack up a meal-to-go that’s both fun and satisfying.
The best entertainment in Provincetown is free: To see and be seen, take a saunter down Commercial Street where during the season you will stumble across a great variety of street performers.
Renting a bicycle is inexpensive and opens up lots of possibilities. The bike path through the National Seashore on the Province Lands Bike Trail is a solid workout. Park your bike or car at Beech Forest and have a wander on either of the two loops around the pond.
You have to pay to enter the National Seashore beaches, but they’re free after 5pm. Bring a picnic and some wine (or buy food and wine/beer at Far Land On The Beach at Herring Cove) and watch the sunset!
Check for re-opening after the pandemic: The library is free and often sponsors activities. Plus, it’s a museum in and of itself, with paintings, the famous Lipton Cup, and an impressive half-scale model of the Rose Dorothea.
National Seashore beaches are free after 5pm. Bring a picnic and some wine (or buy food and wine/beer at Far Land On The Beach at Herring Cove) and watch the sunset! The shuttle bus charges a small fee each way.
Park your car or bike on Snail Road and head up the fire road to instantly be in the woods and miles from anywhere. Alternately, cross Route Six and hike into the dunes: you can walk all the way to the ocean. (Whichever you choose, take plenty of water—it’s easy to become dehydrated!)
Check out Provincetown’s art galleries! Friday evenings there’s an official “gallery stroll,” when some galleries serve wine and cheese; but even if it’s not Friday, it’s a pleasant way to see some fabulous art, and most galleries stay open well into the evening.
For the cost of a drink you can enjoy great entertainment at Provincetown piano bars. Tin Pan Alley, Crown & Anchor, and the Gifford House are favorites.
Far Land on the Beach offers food, wine, and beer—and free concerts by local musicians performing a couple of evenings a week, again with health precautions permitting. Check their Facebook page for details as they become available.
A slice at Spiritus Pizza is an inexpensive late-night must-do.