Rain or Shine: Ptown Indoors

Ptown Rain


Ok, so we haven’t had that many rainy days this summer-too few, honestly.  But they are bound to arrive eventually.  They always do.  The Cape is an outdoor, sunshiny kind of place.  We do outside really well.  Rainy days?  Inside?  Well, rainy days are a challenge.  So, if the weather outside is frightful (frightfully hot or frightfully wet¾either way) there are some indoor places in Ptown that are definitely worth checking out-as an excuse to escape the rain, or perhaps, to enjoy some a/c for an hour or two!


Provincetown Public Library

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 a half-scale fishing schooner (the Rosa Dorothea) inside the library (in the children’s room).  If you can’t be outside on a boat, might as well be inside, right?  356 Commercial Street, 508-487-7094.


Provincetown Art Association and Museum

PAAM is your local, neighborhood art museum that just happens to show national caliber contemporary art.  Right now, I’m excited to see the new exhibition of Boston photographer David Hilliard.  In their exhibitions, PAAM usually strikes a nice balance between the imported and the homegrown.  Since it’s Ptown, there is plenty to pick from.  General admission: $10, free on Fridays after 5pm.  460 Commercial Street, 508-487-1750.


Waters Edge Cinema

Waters Edge Cinema is the home of the Provincetown Film Society (that sponsors the Provincetown International Film Festival every year).  The theater offers a range of films from the mainstream to the indie, including local filmmakers, international art films and more.  237 Commercial Street, 2nd floor, 508-413-9369.

PTown is for (Bird) Lovers!

Piping Plover

Summer is here, the sun is shining, and…it’s bear week!  So, it’s a great time to get outside and enjoy nature!  Come to think of it, does anyone really stay indoors in Ptown anyways, if so, who are these strange people?  The bears are, of course, plentiful this time of year and can be found on the beaches, in the water, even walking down Commercial Street!  It may be a challenge to pull yourself away from the fabulous tiki drinks constantly flowing by the pool at the Shipwreck Lounge.  But if you need a breather from downtown and feathered sky friends are more your style (you get giddy and geek out over terns, plovers, and Wilson’s Storm Petrels, for example), here’s how to see em:

Hike to Race Point Lighthouse

Recently, Race Point has had some of the best birding on the Cape and no wonder.  Located at the very tip of the peninsula and jutting out straight into the Ocean, it is an ideal stopping point for birds on the move.

The old Ptown Fire Road (about 4 miles total), off Province Lands Rd, is not only the best way to get to the Lighthouse (WAY easier than hauling through the sand), it is also a good birding trail.  Plovers are earlier in the season.  Right now, it’s tern season.  Many other bird species, of all shapes and sizes have been sighted.  You’ll want to choose a non-windy day and, as all birders know, get out there early for the most variety.  July marks the tail end of tick season and the mosquitoes are out this time of year, so if you go, pants may be the most practical option, along with a generous helping of bug spray.

Pelagic Birding Trips

When you’ve gotten your fill of shore birds, Seasalt Charters offers four-hour Pelagic birding/ photography trips in July, August, and September, complete with an onboard naturalist.  Shearwaters, Jaegers, Wilson’s Storm Petrels, Northern Gannets—an offshore boat charter offers a chance to see rare marine birds up close.  The birding is also amazing out on whale watching trips to Stellwagen Bank.  I have heard that volunteers for the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary are often aboard the whale watch boats to do bird counts.  It’s a perk of volunteering: you get a free trip on the boat.

If you are looking for advice and updates on the Cape Cod birding scene, you’ll definitely want to check out the Weekly Bird Report on WCAI, the local NPR station.  Mark Faherty, Science Coordinator at Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, posts a new report every Wednesday, but you can stream or read online here.