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Every gay man should visit Provincetown at least once in his life to explore this quaint New England town. Sitting on the very tip of Cape Cod, P-Town’s gay presence can be traced all the way back to the beginning of the 20th century, as Provincetown was an artist’s haven and was home to some of the first experimental theaters.
Summer months are the best time to visit this resort town. Few people live in Provincetown year-round, and people begin to filter in late spring, eventually taking off before snow covers the entire town. Most weeks during the summer are themed weeklong parties, including Bear Week, Carnival Week and others.
Commercial Street is the main thoroughfare of Provincetown, with plenty of restaurants (offering some of the country’s best seafood), cafés and boutiques (both high-end and touristy souvenirs). There are also tons of gay bars scattered down both sides of the street.
The Boatslip, for example, is renowned for its daily T-Dance that runs from 4-7 p.m. every afternoon. On a sunny day, of which there are plenty during the summer, half-naked men pack the deck to mingle, flirt and make plans for the rest of the evening. Drink stations surrounding the packed patio offer beer, cocktails and the Boatslip’s popular Planter’s Punch.
The Wave Video Bar is another popular spot to party. Part of the Crown and Anchor complex — which is comprised of several venues under one owner — it offers Top 40 music every night of the week, with an outdoor patio surrounding the swimming pool that is great for dance breaks. Also in the complex are Paramount, a space that often hosts circuit DJs and big events, and The Vault, a cruising bar featuring porn on the TVs and plenty of dark corners.
Atlantic House, or A-House, is P-Town’s year-round dance club, playing host to circuit events and the weekly amateur drag competition Showgirls. It’s part of a huge complex that also houses Little Bar and Macho Bar. Little Bar is a hole-in-the-wall spot with low ceilings and a great jukebox, while Macho Bar is the upstairs leather bar, quite a change of pace from most of the town’s dance clubs. Macho Bar is perfect for those gays who prefer leather, Levis and uniforms.
Bear Week and Carnival are without a doubt the two most popular times to visit Provincetown in the summer. Bear Week, typically taking place the second week of July, welcomes bears and their admirers and hosts a slew of fantastic parties. Carnival — held in mid-August — is similar to a Pride celebration, but since everyday in P-Town is Pride, it’s a week the entire town really goes all-out. Thursday is the week’s big parade, always with a new theme each year, and it features drag queens, costumed partiers and the occasional celebrity.
Featured image courtesy of Provincetown Tourism Office