I love meeting folks who are visiting Provincetown for the first time.  A few minutes into those conversations, said visitor always asks the perennial question: what are your favorite things to do here?  What can’t we miss?  Personally, I love playing this game and while your preferences will change depending on your interests, here are some of my go-to answers to the question:

Must See #1: Whale Watch

Yes, it’s a bit clichéd, but for good reason.  Whales are amazing creatures.  Best seen in person.  There’s only one way to do it: by boat.  And the kitschy/touristy vibe of the whole experience (think uncomfortable deck seating, naturalist guides in polo shirts and chino shorts, and cheap processed food as snacks)?  An added perk if you ask me.

Musts See #2: Sunrise on the Cape Cod National Seashore

If you are not the early rising type, just stay up all night instead.  Believe me, it’s worth it.  Cape Cod is the eastern most tip of the United States.  It sticks way out into the Atlantic Ocean.  So you get to see the sun before anyone else in the country¾wrap your head around that for a moment.  Seeing Mother Nature at her most glorious is also just stunning, awe-inspiring, and rejuvenating.  Plus, you’ll probably have the beach all to yourself…well, you may have to share it with the birds…and seals.

Must See #3:  Sunset at Long Point Light

You simply cannot leave Cape Cod without taking in at least one spectacular sunset and this west-facing vista, complete with lighthouse is the perfect way to do it.  The walk to Long Point Light provides the classic Cape Cod day: beaches, birds, ocean, etc.  It’s a long walk so timing is critical.  If you prefer a less physically taxing option, there is a ferry.

Must See #4: Commercial Street

Ptown wouldn’t be Ptown without Commercial Street.  The shops, restaurants, galleries and other small businesses that make up Ptown’s main thoroughfare celebrate the quirky, joyous, eccentric, eclectic, individual, artful, and charming.  Find a vintage clothing shop tucked away in a corner, enjoy acclaimed art exhibitions at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM) or pose for a selfie with one of many flamboyant characters you may meet. Commercial Street is a new adventure every day.  It never gets old.

Must See #5: Provincetown Public Library

To say this library is full of surprises is an understatement.  Housed in a former church, the library is a cultural center for the 21st century featuring programs and speakers, a robust archive and art collection, and…wait for it…a half-scale fishing schooner (the Rosa Dorothea) inside the library (in the children’s room).  Yes, you heard me right.  Just go see it.

This just scratches the surface of the best things to do in Ptown.  What’s on your list?