Winter in Provincetown is a remarkable time  of year, the special season when you can experience the quiet side of  the leading LGBTQ+ destination in the United States. The crowds along Commercial Street, which can admittedly be fantastic, exhilarating and as dramatic as outlandish street theater, are long gone.

In their stead is a quieter daily life that’s a lot more peaceful, reflective and beautiful. There are about 1,000 residents who spend the winter here, a time when everything slows down and the high aesthetics that the town is known for really standout. Those drop dead gorgeous Greek Revival houses and their white picket fences? They evoke New England tranquility in winter, with a backdrop of that deep blue harbor. If you’re lucky enough to be here during a snowfall, you’ll agree that then entire town takes on a magical air.

Provincetown in winter. Photo Provincetown Tourism.

The winter months are when to walk or bike or take a romantic stroll along the beaches, Race Point and Herring Cove, both close to town and part of the Cape Cod National Seashore. You’ll need to bundle up but while it can be blustery, the winter here is usually much milder than the rest of the Northeast. This is the time to walk on the jetty, explore the undulating dunes and experience the extraordinary painterly light that Provincetown is famed for. The wintertime is when local artists settle down to paint and draw, when photographers head out to the dunes for the light and the open spaces, when creatives of all stripes have the time to dream and to do their work under cobalt blue skies. These months may not be for everyone but they seem tailor-made for those who have a deep appreciation of art and beauty, as well as the all-accepting nature of Provincetown.

Provincetown in winter. Photo Provincetown Chamber.

There are other tangible benefits to visiting at this time of year. The hotels and guesthouses that brave the winter months offer cozy lodgings for intrepid visitors. You can easily get into the 20 or so restaurants that remain open during the winter.

The winter offers you a chance to become one of the locals, if only temporarily. This is Provincetown as it was decades ago, proud, independent and defining, a hidden secret during the Cape’s quiet months.

Visit Provincetown Tourism.