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Lovely, lively and fantastic for visitors of all ages, Provincetown is a great place for both the young and the young at heart—so bring the kids and bring the big kids, too.
What’s a better family travel spot than the beach? Whether your family loves to dive right into the waves or prefers to hang out and soak up the sun, Provincetown (affectionately referred to as "P-Town") has some of the best beaches the Cape has to offer. In addition to the Town Beaches, which are nice for public spots (but come with all the usual shortcomings, like overcrowding and somewhat poorer maintenance), P-Town has several National Seashore beaches including Herring Cove, Long Point and the most popular, Race Point Beach, right near the tip of the Cape. Bring a picnic, bring a Frisbee, and bring some sunscreen and have a blast! Practically all of the public beaches have an entrance (basically parking) fee of some sort, so be prepared to shell out some bucks if you're driving.
If you want to get even closer to the water and all it has to offer, P-Town, formerly the center of whaling on the Cape, now offers some of its best whale watching trips. One of the more popular companies offering the service directly from P-Town, Whale Watch Dolphin Fleet, departs as many as eight times daily during peak times right from MacMillan Pier.
Start your visit by stopping at the Cape Cod National Seashore Provincelands Visitor Center http://www.nps.gov/caco/ Get maps to the National Seashore and plan to attend some ranger-led activities. The dunes, tidal pool, and beach fireside chats are very fun for the kids. You can learn about the natural and cultural history of the Cape on these outings. Kids especially like learning about sea creatures. You can also purchase a beach pass for $45 or an annual passport for $55. These will get you access to all of the National Seashore beaches.
The ocean-side beaches are rougher and more intense. The bay-side beaches are calmer and better suited for younger children. The National Seashore beaches are mostly on the ocean side, except for Herring Cove in P-Town, which is very busy. Great Island, located south of P-Town in Wellfleet, is a nice National Seashore bay-side beach, but it has no beachhouse/bathrooms or life guards, and it's a hike to get to it. There are Truro Town beaches, also south of P-Town, but they have a daily use fee of $10. You can also get Truro beach passes, but you must prove residency (a rental or campsite will apparently suffice). The Truro Corn Hill beach is pleasant, but it only has porta potties. No showers or changing rooms.
And don't forget to take a hike in the dunes. It can be hot, so go during cooler parts of the day and bring plenty of water. A popular trailhead is located off the Route 6 northbound lane, a mile or so south of the Race Point intersection. A quick hike through the scrubby hardwoods and you're quickly in the desolate sand dunes. Continue due east and you'll eventually make it to the ocean, about a 30 minute walk.
When you're ready to take a break from all of the sunshine, take a walk down Commercial Street in P-Town. There are museums, galleries,shops, restaurants, and plenty of people-watching opportunities.
There's always something to do in P-Town!