Maybe not as well known as Key West or Palm Springs, Provincetown on the
Massachusetts coast is actually America's
premier gay resort, and has more than 60 gay-owned
and B&Bs and many others which are gay-friendly. You can fly
from the UK into Boston and then it's a short hop to Provincetown, or P-town as it's known.
It can be tough to find somewhere in high season (late May - early Sep), and because of the huge
selection tricky to choose the perfect room.
P-town is the perfect place to enjoy the New Year with the First Light celebrations including fireworks on the pier.
You can come and watch or ride in the Lite Brite Bike Ride, or if you're really brave join the Polar Bear Plunge.
In recent years, numerous upmarket properties have opened, many of them
exceptionally attractive and well-run, but Provincetown still abounds
affordable gay resorts that retain the feel of the old boarding houses
dominated the town's art colony days of the early 20th century. Many
P-town share baths; most places do not have air conditioning (although that's rarely
needed), extensive off-street parking, or substantial
space; and quite a few are without TVs, although they may have wi-fi. Only a smattering
pools, though several have hot tubs. Many places require four-to-seven-night
minimums in summer, especially around holidays.|
What follows are detailed recommendations of some exceptional
lodgings, but keep in mind that this list is a cross-section of
representing different prices, styles, and locations. There are many
outstanding guest houses and resorts to consider, and the Provincetown
Business Guild Website has the details on dozens of others.
Bar-hopper's Delight - The Crown and Anchor (mixed gay/straight).
rebuilt after a fire leveled this historic hotel and entertainment
in 1998, the Crown and Anchor is much improved in its present
Rooms come in both standard (with pleasant, modern hotel decor) and
(with whirlpool baths, fireplaces, and private decks). Of course, a big
advantage is staying in the heart of the Commercial Street action, with
several rollicking bars on-site.
Classic Elegance - The Brass Key (mixed gay male/lesbian). While
outstanding new or refurbished inns now compare favourably with the
this splendid resort still sets the standard for top-notch service and
amenities in Provincetown. Rooms are in a few Victorian and newer
set around a central pool as well as inside the original 1828 inn:
conceivable detail has been considered; furnishings are subtle and
New England-style, and the craftsmanship in the bedrooms and bathrooms
stunning. All units have goose-down pillows, 250-thread-count
and many have whirlpool tubs and fireplaces. The pool, hot tub, and
patio are among the prettiest in town.
(c) P-town Office of Tourism
Lazing by the Pool - Benchmark Inn and Central (mostly gay male). This
beautifully restored property comprises two buildings. The 1840s Greek
Revival has rooms with fireplaces, separate entrances, refrigerators,
and AC; some have whirlpool tubs, and many have bay views. Rooms next
the Benchmark Central (the inn's former annexe that was completely and
dramatically rebuilt in 2000) are ultra-plush with the same amenities
the inn but with an airier and more contemporary feel. Over here you'll
the pool (and spa and sauna), one of the few at any gay resort in
whole complex is lovely, with great furnishings and sun-filled rooms.|
Private and Convenient - The Gaslamp Bed & Breakfast (gay male) is a true Victorian era gem nestled
in the very centre of P-Town with five major clubs within a 1/2 block. There's a
secluded private deck which is clothing optional festooned with flowers and
a very sociable hot tub. You're not far from antique shops, clothing stores, galleries,
ocean beaches and P-Town's historical points of interest. All rooms have cable TV, air-conditioning and most have small refrigerators.
Town History - The Crowne Point (mixed gay male/lesbian). The 33-room
Point is one of the top accommodations in Provincetown, comprising
historic buildings (including the former Dusty Miller inn, previously a
women's establishment) that have been magnificently renovated
Everything from period wallpaper and colors to original moldings now
this upscale establishment, whose guest rooms all have period antiques,
elegant pine floors, TVs , refrigerators, AC, and fine bath
amenities. The staff is highly courteous and professional - this place
Revellers' Retreat - Crew's Quarters (mostly gay male). One of the most social
houses in town, Crew's Quarters draws a frisky bunch of younger guys seeking
but very clean rooms and bathrooms and plenty of camaraderie. It's down
street from the Gifford House, which draws a similar bunch. It's very
run, and it offers some of the lowest rates around.
Victorian Splendour - Tucker Inn (mixed gay male/lesbian). This
restored former sea captain's home in the Second Empire style is
east of the center of town. The light and spacious rooms are warmly
with elegant antiques, and the handsome bathrooms have tile floors. Run
congenial host Howard Burchman, this alluring yet reasonably priced
house is less publicized than some and a real find.
On the Waterfront - BayShore Condo Community (mixed gay/straight)
is located in the P-town art district. On Friday nights May to September, the galleries host
opening receptions for their latest shows, called Friday Night Gallery Stroll!
This attractive women-owned and pet-friendly complex is one of the best
town for long-term visitors - (during high season, only weekly rates
offered). Each of the one and two bedroom units has a fully (and impressively) equipped kitchen,
furnishings, and plenty of space; most have decks or patios, and many
direct bay views. Best of all, guests have use of a private beach and
lawn that extend down to the bay.
(c) P-town Office of Tourism
Where the Girls Are - The Provincetown Hotel at Gabriel's (mostly lesbian). Chiefly a women's
house for many years, Gabriel's increasingly welcomes a mixed crowd.
the 20 rooms and apartments (which have full kitchens) are still named
themed after famous women: the Georgia O'Keeffe Room has Southwestern
furnishings; the Diane Fosse Room has a loft filled with stuffed
and many units have fireplaces. For general use, there's a large
whirlpools, a gym and sauna, and a women's lending library and workshop
center. All in all, an excellent, professionally run guest house.|
Year-round Romance - The Mercury Hotel (mixed gay male/lesbian). One of the
inns in P-town that keeps the light burning year-round (and
be unbelievably enchanting during the brooding, windy winter months),
The Mercury Hotel which used to be called the
Beaconlight has long ranked among the region's most sumptuous
building, part of which dates to the 1850s, is surrounded by lushly
landscaped grounds; inside, a piano is often heard from the living
an octagonal roof deck affords panoramic views. The thoroughly plush
rooms are beautifully furnished and have refrigerators and private
several have fireplaces. The hotel is in part a homage to Freddie Mercury and includes a display of memorabilia
THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK
BayShore Condo Community (493 Commercial St.; T: +1 508-487-9133; Website)
Benchmark Inn and Central (8 Dyer St.; T: +1 508-487-7440 or 888-487-7440; Website)
Brass Key (67 Bradford St.; T: +1 508-487-9005 or 800-842-9858; Website)
Crew's Quarters (198 Commercial St.; T: +1 508-487-5900; Website)
Provincetown Business Guild (Gay/lesbian business and tourism association; 3 Freeman St # 2; T: +1 508-487-2313 or 800-637-8696; Website)
Provincetown Chamber of Commerce (307 Commercial St #5; T: +1 508-487-3424; Website)
The Crown and Anchor (247 Commercial St.; T: +1 508-487-1430; Website)
The Crowne Point (82 Bradford St.; T: +1 508-487-6767; Website)
The Gaslamp Bed & Breakfast (97 Bradford St.; T: +1 508-487-6636; Website)
The Mercury Hotel (12 Winthrop St.; T: +1 508-487-9603 or 800-696-9603; Website)
The Provincetown Hotel at Gabriel's (104 Bradford St.; T: +1 508-487-3234; Website)
Tucker Inn (12 Center St.; T: +1 508-487-0381 or 800-477-1867; Website)
Revised November 2023.
Andrew Collins authored Fodor's Gay Guide to the USA, the Connecticut
Handbook, and six regional gay guides for Fodor's.
New Year & Nightlife in P-town