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November day trip: Boston >>> Provincetown

Boston, MA
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November day trip: Boston >>> Provincetown

I plan to post this on both the Boston and Provincetown forums; I hope people find it useful

On Sunday Nov 10, my teen daughter and I took a day trip to Provincetown from our home just outside of Boston. Objective: Christmas shopping and a few photos for a school art project.

This sounds strange … I don’t like to shop but this trip is VERY worthwhile. It’s tough to shop on-line when you don’t know what to get people. Shopping P-town in November is a treat even for non-shoppers like me. They have unique things (same as summer time), but the stores are not packed, the shopkeepers are relaxed and the discounts are on.  I get a lot done in a single day.

The weather was less than ideal: Lots of clouds, intermittent rain and on rare occasions, a bit of sun.

We passed through the toll booths at the Ted Williams Tunnel right around 8. NO TRAFFIC at all … a slight “slowdown” when we found ourselves going a bit under the speed limit during the 13 mile stretch of Rte 6 that leads up to the Orleans rotary. We parked at the Eastham Visitor’s center around 10am.

After a brief stop there, it was back onto Rte 6. We stopped at a roadside stand to get our Eastham Turnips for Thanksgiving and some fresh cranberries which will go into muffins today or tomorrow.

Along Rte 6 from Orleans to P-town, lots of restaurants and hotels were closed for the season. We turned onto 6A, shortly after crossing into N.Truro.

Next stop, the closed-for-the-season Days’ Cottages where my daughter was able to snap her photos. The weather actually cooperated when the sun peeked out for a few minutes, which was ideal …. she needed shadows.

Then onto P-town. The town was quiet by summer standards, but busy by off-season standards. I think Veteran’s Day creating a 3-day weekend attracted visitors. We parked for free at the McMillan Pier lot (there was even a sign INVITING us to park for free --- dead give-away that it is truly “off season” – lol! We got right down to shopping.

Many restaurants and all the takeout food spots were closed. Most retail stores, but not all, were opened. And some that were opened, had posted hours for only Fri-Mon. All the stores that were open had sales, and some were storewide, such as 20% off everything. We visited Spark’s (costume jewelry), Kids’ Stuff (kids’ clothes), Fresh Produce (women’s clothes) … actually, I’m not sure of the store name, … but they carry the brand “Fresh Produce”. We stopped at the Wired Puppy for caffeine refreshment, visited Kennedy Studios (they have great notecards and of course prints and paintings). We went to Good Scents for lotions and potions. We did well, buying mostly gifts and not much for ourselves. ;) By now, the bags were getting heavy and we were getting hungry … so back to the car to ditch the bags and off to lunch.

There wasn’t much open, but it didn’t matter, my daughter had chosen her lunch the day before – clam chowder in a bread bowl at the Lobster Pot. The Pot was busy for November. We got there just after 1 and waited about 10 minutes for a table. The dining room was full and I heard some “tourist accents” from various places. Much to my daughter’s dismay, they scale down their menu after Columbus Day (mid-October) and they had no bread bowls because they go stale before they can sell them. Nonetheless, we had a great meal and emerged ready to continue our shopping journey.

This time we followed Commercial Street past town hall. There’s an antiques shop just beyond Bubala’s (on the “inland” side of the street). I cannot remember the name … but I usually find neat stuff there … but today, nothing there struck us and I made one tiny purchase.

Then onto Impulse! This store has magnificent kaleidoscopes and other things … but most of it is priced beyond my gift-buying budget. I bought some beautiful Christmas Cards that were also a fund raiser for an organization that provides baby supplies to those in need. We went to “id” and another shop. I cannot remember the name and I checked google street views, but there’s a beer truck blocking the view. HA! In any case, I bought a cool candle that will go into the family Christmas grab. Next up: Marine Specialties to replace the Guiness glasses that broke over the summer, Puzzle Me This, and the Provincetown Book Store. The bookstore always has local subject books in the window, so I often find interesting books there that I wouldn’t find elsewhere unless I looked very hard. Tim’s used books was open … it’s a FAVORITE spot, but we were low on time and were already carrying enough stuff.

We made another stop at the car. By then it was about 4:35. There is a “souvenir” shop right there in Lopes Square next to the Coffee Pot. I had seen a Christmas Tree ornament in the window .. an Adirondack chair that had “Provincetown” painted on it. I planned to buy it, but they were closed up already. There were still LOTS of people around. Somebody asked the clerk in Puzzle Me This when she was closing and she said “5:30 or 6, it depends on the foot traffic”. That makes sense … but IMHO, on that day, 4:30 was too early. I ran into this last year when I was there a bit later in November, too.

We then wandered over to the Purple Feather for dessert and then we were off. It was cloudy, very dark and rainy. On a whim we decided to drive through the Provincelands to see if we would see any coyotes like we did in the summer. I had read that they actually were closing down the Herring Cove parking lots just after sunset because were parking there and feeding dogfood to the coyotes.

We didn’t see any coyotes, but as we headed into the dunes we were treated to the most AMAZING site. It was dark, it was raining, but the clouds had lifted on the horizon and the gorgeous bright orange sunset made it look like fire on the horizon … very bright with the blackness of the ocean below and the black sky above. We quickly pulled into the Herring Cove parking lot and snapped photos. The photos don’t do it justice, but I wrote a review for Herring Cove beach and posted them there. I hope they’ll be up soon, but the app was doing some funky stuff when I tried to post. So I either submitted the review and photos more than once … or not at all!! Time will tell.

SO … that was our day … I hope others find something of use in all my details.

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1. Re: November day trip: Boston >>> Provincetown

Ah, you made me miss Provincetown. I'm another person who hates shopping unless I can relax and see things I don't see everywhere else. I'm sure the Ptown merchants are grateful for you loyalty and can really use the extra income you sent their way.

It also made a happy memory for you and your daughter to tuck away for years to come.



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2. Re: November day trip: Boston >>> Provincetown

Great report! Haven't been to P-town in a long while, might be a nice day trip for DH and I.

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3. Re: November day trip: Boston >>> Provincetown

Sounds like a great day!

North Shore, MA
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4. Re: November day trip: Boston >>> Provincetown

Your review is up. What gorgeous sunset photos! Thanks for sharing your day with us.

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5. Re: November day trip: Boston >>> Provincetown

Great trip report! Thanks for posting. Nice reminder that the Cape can be really neat off-season.

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6. Re: November day trip: Boston >>> Provincetown

Thanks for sharing your day with us. I never think to head down to the Cape and I am so close. After reading your report, I just may have to get down there and see if for myself.

7. Re: November day trip: Boston >>> Provincetown

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