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Provincetown in November -- a short visit

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Boston, MA
Destination Expert
for Boston
posts: 16,535
reviews: 62
Provincetown in November -- a short visit

I just returned from a mini get away to Provincetown with my teen daugther Sat Nov 17 - Sun Nov 18 (the weekend before Thanksgiving ... for those who may be reading next year. ;)

We stayed at the Harbor Hotel in Provincetown on Rte 6a and it met our needs perfectly.

First the good:

* Both days were sunny and not-too-cold, but you can't count on that.

* Not too bad getting there ... no traffic at the the bridge, but before the bridge we encountered a major slow down in on Rte 3 in the Plymouth area. The back-up was caused by LOTS of people going to a parade on Saturday.

* We stopped at the Eastham Visitors Center and Nauset light beach and walked the beach a bit.

* Provincetown itself was good. Not summer-time-busy, free parking at MacMillian Wharf, but the lot was nearly full.

* It was great visiting our favorite shops .. Spark's; Good Scents; the Penny Patch, Puzzle Me, This; Kids' Stuff; Friends of the Heart, Fresh Produce and the antiques store up near Bubala's.

* Lots of markdowns and lots of time to chat with the staff. A very pleasant shopping experience for a me. I'm not one who 'shops for fun', seriously, I'd rather go to the dentist than the mall ... but if you don't know what you want, it's tough to shop on-line, kwim? Our objective was Christmas Shopping. We got a lot done and it . was a good experience

Now, the not so good:

* Many businesses were closed. Some I expected ... the hotdog stands in Lopes Square, the ice cream shops and so-on. But others I was surprised to see closed ... Sal's Place, the Portuguese Bakery, even the Provincetown House of Pizza was closed.

*Many shops that were opened, closed as soon as it got dark. While I didn't expect to be shopping at 10pm like in July, I expected to be able to shop until 5:30 or 6. But some places were shut tight at 4:30.

*With it getting dark early and the shops closing early, there just weren't enough hours in the day to do what we wanted to do. I had hoped to drive parts of 6A and do some antiquing, but didn't ahve time. We had hoped to do the Cedar Swamp walk, but didn't leave P-town early enough to do that before dark.

Ah well, all in all a great experience. Glad we did it and we will be back. Maybe we'll do that walk in May.

Some of the businesses we spoke to expect to close the after Thanksgiving or the week after. The Lobster Pot plans to close next Sunday and others had similar plans.

Thanks for reading!!!

Boston...
posts: 4,728
1. Re: Provincetown in November -- a short visit

Thanks for reporting back with the good and the bad. Very useful information for those contemplating a late season trip. Glad you had a good time.

Kent, Connecticut
Destination Expert
for Provincetown, Wellfleet
posts: 2,704
reviews: 134
2. Re: Provincetown in November -- a short visit

Shops seem to be closing earlier and earlier during the day and more are not staying open during the off-season. I was there at the end of September and noticed that the Portuguese Bakery was closing earlier for the day than it did in 2011. Other places were open at odd hours. It would be nice if the shops could post their hours during the off-season with clear times. Frappo66 had a sign on their door saying "Last Supper 6:00 PM." I wasn't sure if they were going to serve food then or it was some religious thing.

The off-season is nice, but I miss the real P-Town atmosphere that you get during the summer.

Chicago, IL
Destination Expert
for Cape Cod
posts: 9,250
reviews: 20
3. Re: Provincetown in November -- a short visit

I agree with your desire for business hours to be posted but, even in summer, the merchants just close when they get the urge if it gets slow. Even our favorite pizza place can't be counted on to be open later in the evening just when you might want a pizza the most. This is pretty routine on the Cape I find too. And it is incongruous with the attitude of so many (other) small business owners who want to please the public plus be available to make every sale. It's almost like the French attitude. Oui, Oui Monsoir, we are closed.

Canada
Destination Expert
for Cape Cod
posts: 8,470
reviews: 1
4. Re: Provincetown in November -- a short visit

It becomes a vicious circle in the end doesn't it? Business is slow so they close early or don't open at all. Visitors arrive and it's hit and miss so they stop coming. It's a bit the same in Bermuda where I am at the moment, especially in St George. Don't know what the answer is. Off to lunch while I think about it.

5. Re: Provincetown in November -- a short visit

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