Provincetown Gay Travel
wolfyy’s Provincetown gay guide to popular gay hotels, resorts & guesthouses, things to do, gay bars, clubs, events, & the gay beach.
The Gay Travel Experience: Provincetown, Massachusetts
A historic and legendary gay enclave, Provincetown is the gayest city in the United States. This ultra-gay area of Cape Cod also ranks second among the most popular gay destinations worldwide!
Provincetown is both special and unique for many reasons. Aside from the fact that literally everyone’s gay, it’s a place that gives the LGBT community a huge variety of things to do.
There are dozens of high-end restaurants, coffee shops, and gay clothing stores, a notable difference from other secluded gay escapes, like Fire Island Pines for example.
The town’s quintessential New England vibe adds even more charm. Exceptionally manicured Cape-style houses, townhomes with water views, and cozy gay hotels all fit together along narrow streets where everyone politely says hello as they pass each other.
Provincetown has a rich gay history. The town’s remote location attracted lots of artists and performers who helped form it into a well-known artist colony.
Through the 1960s and 70s, Ptown’s gay population grew significantly as it was discovered by the greater LGBT community as a safe haven.
Gay travelers who haven’t been to Ptown often wonder why this gay haven is so specifically attractive. But after spending some time here, it’ll be clear why people from all over the United States and other parts of the world fly such long distances to visit.
Provincetown Gay Hotels, Resorts, & Guesthouses
Travelers love staying in Provincetown’s gay accommodations—and there are so many to choose from!
The most convenient location to stay is in the Provincetown Historic District, specifically in what locals refer to as the “West End,” which is the area west of the marina.
Most of the gay resorts and guesthouses in Ptown are situated here along Commercial Street and Bradford Street, the two main thoroughfares that run parallel to the bay.
Let’s dive into all the options you need to know about!
The Brasswood Inn is one of the best-rated gay hotels in Provincetown. Everyone really raves about this place! It has an unbeatable location on Commercial Street, right in the heart of Ptown.
Guests mention how wonderful the staff are here. They’re wonderful people who make you feel right at home.
There are plenty of common spaces to meet people, including a cozy living room, a backyard patio area, and seating out on the iconic front porch. Grab a cocktail from the Brasswood’s in-house bar and make yourself comfortable!
Rooms at the Brasswood Inn are named after legendary musicians and all come with one queen bed. Some rooms are even pet-friendly, allowing up to two dogs for a small extra fee.
Brass Key Guesthouse
Brass Key Guesthouse is by far the most stylish and luxurious of all the Provincetown gay guesthouses. It’s an adults-only property, so you can bet on a tranquil boutique experience.
The guesthouse has over 40 accommodation types, ranging from plush courtyard-facing rooms to ultra-luxury options like the spacious Penthouse Suite that includes a roof deck.
There’s also the poolside Cabana Suite, which features a fireplace and whirlpool tub, all within a separate building with its own private entrance.
A few elements that make different rooms at the Brass Key unique include European-style body spray showers, limestone tile, custom four-post bed frames, vaulted ceilings, and highly curated interior décor.
The Brass Key is also attached to Shipwreck Lounge, one of the most popular and high-end local gay bars that everyone loves for their outdoor fireplace and cozy ambiance.
Queen Vic Guest House
Queen Vic Guest House has an unbeatable location on Commercial Street in the very heart of Provincetown, right across the street from the famous Boatslip Resort.
Perks of this gay guesthouse include a relaxing rooftop terrace, pet-friendly rooms, and a steamy jacuzzi in the courtyard. Rates here are also quite affordable if book far enough in advance!
All 9 rooms include either a king or queen-sized bed with high-end linens, flat-screen televisions, and a daily homemade breakfast prepared by the hosts.
The Queen Vic is also known for their front yard meet and greets and happy hours thrown for guests. They create such a friendly, community-oriented vibe.
There’s also a full bar on-site, so you can enjoy beer or cocktails around the property’s deck and garden areas.
Prince Albert Guest House
Prince Albert Guest House is another gay guesthouse with a fabulously central location. In fact, it’s right next door to Queen Vic!
The property has seven standard guest rooms, each with its own advantages. Some have their own private entrances, while others offer more space, private balconies, or larger bathrooms.
The third level of the guesthouse is called the Prince Albert Lookout, a 4-bed unit with its own kitchen and epic views of the harbor.
The Prince Albert Guest House also manages larger cottage and apartment-style accommodations on the east end of Provincetown, ideal for groups of visitors who prefer to share a private unit that has multiple bedrooms.
Foxberry Inn was renovated a couple of years ago and is now the most colorful gay resort in Provincetown!
It’s located at the westernmost end of Bradford Street, which is a quieter part of town that is right next to the entrance to Ptown’s gay beach.
The Foxberry Inn is gay-owned and operated, and guests love the tight-knit and friendly environment of the resort’s host, Matt.
Guests socialize and relax in the resort’s colorful streetside garden area, with bright pink chairs and gay flags behind a white picket fence. Every time I’ve walked by, it seems like everyone is having a lovely time!
White Porch Inn
The White Porch Inn is another one of the highest-rated Provincetown gay hotels. Recently renovated, every room is beautifully decorated and full of character.
All rooms have king or queen-size beds, refrigerators, coffee makers, and smart TVs. And a few even come with fireplaces, spa tubs, and private porches.
Breakfast at the White Porch Inn is another highlight. The staff will deliver it to your room, or you can eat in the lovely garden area.
The Boatslip Resort is perfect for travelers who want to consistently be in the center of the action.
Staying at this adults-only gay resort, you’ll be steps away from the daily tea dance. You might even have a view of the pool deck from your room, too!
With several room options that include two double beds, Boatslip is a good option for groups of friends to book.
The Boatslip also offers a complimentary breakfast buffet and access to the beach club and pool deck. Take note of their minimum night requirements during special gay event weeks.
Vacation Rentals in Ptown
Although local gay hotels and guesthouses tend to offer more flexibility for travelers who only plan to stay for a few days, booking a vacation rental can be a better alternative for those looking to book a week or more.
Provincetown vacation rentals are available all throughout the West End and greater Historic District area. In my opinion, anything from the marina (the divide between the East and West End areas) westward as far as the gay beach is perfect.
Of course, many travelers prefer to be as close to the center of Provincetown’s gay scene near the gay bars on Commercial Street, but with lower nightly rates and more availability, choosing a rental further west can be just as desirable.
More Gay Friendly Hotels in Ptown
Here are a few more highly-rated and centrally located gay friendly hotels in Provincetown that I recommend if the other I’ve mentioned are fully booked!
Provincetown Gay Travel Experiences
Go to the Tea Dance
A staple activity for Provincetown gay travelers, attending an afternoon tea dance at The Boatslip Resort is an absolute must.
Beginning at 4 PM, everyone pours onto the pool deck of this waterfront resort for cocktails, dancing, and social time. Tea is the biggest and most popular celebration in town, so you can expect everyone to be there!
People wear anything and everything to tea. Casual clothes are the norm, but there’s no limit to how extravagant your outfit can be. I’ve seen everything from crop tops to ball gowns.
The tea dance strictly ends at 7 PM, so don’t arrive too late. You’ll also need your photo ID along with $10 cash for the entry fee (ATMs are available inside).
Take in the Vibe of Commercial Street
Commercial Street is the heart of gay Provincetown. All day long, friendly gay visitors and locals walk and bike along this quaint street that runs parallel to the waterfront.
There’s so much to experience along Commercial Street, from restaurants and coffee shops to all the picturesque homes. Definitely make a point to explore as much of it as you can. Lots of guys go for morning runs along Commercial Steet—an easy way to take in the ambiance.
Look your best during your run with these awesome ideas for sexy men’s gym clothes.
Walk The Provincetown Jetty
Provincetown’s jetty, known as the Provincetown Causeway, is such a scenic place for a morning or afternoon walk.
As you traverse the rocks, seeing the waters quickly flow with the tides is beautiful. You’ll spot little fish, take in the wonderful natural landscape, and of course, say hello to everyone who passes you.
The jetty can become slightly submerged during high tide, so plan your trek when the water is lower.
Relax at Ptown’s Public Pool
Lots of Provincetown gay visitors love starting their day with some poolside relaxation.
The Provincetown Inn pool is accessible to the public for free, which has made it a popular gathering spot. It doesn’t get too rowdy here though—you’ll still be able to read a book or get your tan on without feeling like you’re in the middle of a party.
Cocktails and food are also available at the West End Grill, which is within the pool area.
Related → 30+ Popular Gay Swimwear Brands
Cruise the Dick Dock
After nightfall, guys looking for some “action” filter into the area that’s underneath the Boatslip Resort’s pool deck, entering via a short dead-end street to the right of the building.
Summer nights often bring quite a crowd of men, all excited to get down and dirty in the sand. Try it out if you dare!
See a Drag Show
Some of the world’s most famous drag queens spend summers performing in Provincetown, so if you have the time, go see one of their shows!
The Art House is the local venue where you’ll find these queens! Take a look at the sign by the street that lists which performers are around, along with the night’s showtimes. Get tickets ahead of time, as summer shows often sell out.
Shop Gay Clothing Stores in Provincetown
There’s no better place on earth to shop at gay clothing stores than in Provincetown. The gay clothing shops are endless! From button-downs with elegant prints to skimpy jockstraps—even wigs and other drag accessories—you can find it all here.
STEELE has the largest variety of gay clothing, from dress pants to swimwear. I especially loved their sets of matching summer shorts and button-downs. STEELE sells clothes made by other gay-popular brands, too. There’s a lot to choose from, and their quality is great.
Tim-Scapes is the most iconic local shop and brand created by Tim Convery. Everything in the store incorporates modern-feeling geometric elements that were inspired by the use of duct tape. As you walk around town, you’ll surely see the brand’s Ptown logo.
In addition to tank tops and fanny packs, Tim-Scapes is known for wall art displaying names of different world cities in the brand’s quintessential geometric font.
Toys of Eros is the staple local gay sex shop with a wide variety of toys for all genders. From BDSM gear to vibrators for two, the selection is endless.
House of La Rue (HOLR) is a flashy and colorful gay store in Provincetown specializing in everything drag-related! It’s also the perfect place for extravagant gay party accessories.
Whether it’s a fierce pair of heels, a wig, or just a pair of earrings, House of La Rue will have what you need.
Provincetown’s Gay Beach
While it’s not officially clothing optional, about half of everyone at the gay beach strips off their clothes to enjoy the sunshine while totally nude!
The crowd grows through the late morning and early afternoon. At around 4 PM, guys start heading back into town to get ready for other evening activities.
Cruising is always happening in the dunes behind the gay beach. If nothing else, this might make the beach worth the walk!
How to Get to The Provincetown Gay Beach
Reaching Boy Beach requires a bit of a walk, so you’ll want to pack light. The path begins at the Boy Beach Bike Racks and continues southward through the enormous tidal area.
Paying attention to the tide schedule is crucial. It’s easiest to arrive during the morning low tide and leave during the subsequent afternoon low tide. Otherwise, you’ll be wading through several feet of water to get home!
I highly recommend wearing a pair of water shoes. They make the long trek along the coarse sand (and through knee-height waters during high tides) much more comfortable.
Provincetown Gay Bars & Clubs
As you’d expect from the gayest town in the USA, Provincetown has a large variety of gay bars, clubs, drag venues, and theaters with special live entertainment to choose from.
And to the delight of many, the pace of Provincetown gay nightlife is a little different. Local gay bars and clubs close at 1 AM, so everyone begins celebrating earlier!
Here are all the Ptown gay bars and clubs you need to know about.
A-House is one of the most popular gay bars in Provincetown, and inside you’ll find three separate bar areas!
The main space is called Big Room, the super-popular main dance club. You can dance here among a crowd of shirtless men any night of the week. It can get pretty crowded, especially on weekends, but the bar’s outdoor patio area offers a space to take a breather.
Macho Bar is on the second level, a space dedicated to leather and uniform lovers. The vibe here is very cruisy. The third space is called Little Bar, a snug and dimly lit hangout great for casual conversation. This is the part of A-House that opens at noon.
On busier weekend evenings, A-House charges a $20 cover to enter—even more of a reason to show up early and get the most out of the night! Also, the entire bar is cash only, so you might need to stop at the ATM.
Shipwreck Lounge is my favorite Provincetown gay bar for a fun and relaxed evening. It’s attached to the popular Brass Key gay guesthouse.
It’s not very often that you come across a gay bar with a large outdoor fireplace, patio seating, and plenty of handsome men. Shipwreck is popular all night long—earlier on, the vibe is subdued, but people really pack in as the evening progresses.
Porchside Bar, also referred to as Porch Bar, is a gay bar and lounge that’s part of the Gifford House Inn. Tucked away off the street, it’s a cute bar with a literal porch area that really draws a crowd. It’s just one of the many centrally located gay bar options in town.
The Crown & Anchor Gay Bars
The Crown & Anchor is a Provincetown gay landmark that encompasses several individually named gay bars, a restaurant, a theatre/performance space, and an 18-room hotel.
Wave Bar is a gay bar and dance club at the rear of the complex near the pool deck, where drag shows and other performances are often held.
The Vault is another one of the gay bars within The Crown & Anchor, located in the rear of the complex. It’s a smaller venue that’s better to attend on weekends. They open at 9 PM.
You can find other bar areas within the complex too, including the bar that serves the large outdoor seating area, as well as the small and cozy cocktail bar with a tavern feel that’s just up the steps near the street.
Purgatory at Gifford House
Purgatory is the go-to Provincetown gay dance club, an underground venue beneath Gifford House Inn that hosts tons of themed events like leather and gear dance parties and disco nights.
They’re open until 1 AM and also host one of the best weekly gay underwear parties, where everyone strips down and hits the dance floor.
There is a complimentary clothing check, so you’ll have a place to store your stuff. Tickets are only sold at the door, so there’s no need to buy them in advance.
Getting to Purgatory’s underwear party earlier is always better. The line can get pretty long, especially during event weeks when there are more visitors in Ptown than usual.
Make sure you wear your sexiest gay underwear or jockstrap!
Red Room is another local gay club and performance venue, hosting late afternoon and evening shows almost year-round. Their event calendar is always packed with performers the gay community adores.
They also host special themed dance parties, as well as the other well-known Provincetown gay underwear party every week throughout the summer, typically on Thursday and Saturday nights. You’ll often see posters around town for these, too.
Monkey Bar (Johnny Thai Bistro)
In business for over 30 years, Monkey Bar is a longstanding gay bar in Ptown that’s also a Thai restaurant.
It’s a low-key spot with tables, bar seating, and lounge space that’s perfect for enjoying cocktails with friends or some delicious Thai specialties. They have a long list of drinks with fun names like “Drink Your Juice, Shelby!”
Aqua Bar isn’t officially classified as a gay bar, but you’ll surely find an LGBT crowd in the late afternoons and evenings on their large waterfront cocktail deck.
The atmosphere is calm, and probably the only family-friendly gay bar alternative in Provincetown. Some nights they even have small live musical performances.
Provincetown Gay Events
There are over a dozen special gay event weeks and weekends in Ptown throughout the summer season. During any of these theme weeks, you’ll easily notice the presence of different tribes of gay travelers out and about.
Here are some of the most noteworthy yearly Provincetown gay events.
Provincetown Bear Week
Events typically include Bears on Bikes, bear-themed underwear parties, yoga sessions, the Bear Boat Cruise, and pool parties like Otter Pop.
Baby Dyke Weekend
Memorial Day Weekend in Provincetown is well-known as Baby Dyke Weekend. It’s the official start of summer when thousands of fabulous lesbian ladies take over the town to attend all sorts of events hosted by LesbianNightLife.
Baby Dyke Weekend is aimed at a younger crowd, but you’ll find people of all ages at the events and around town. You can find some gay men and non-binary folks at the parties, too.
Single Women’s Weekend
Single Women’s Weekend is a wonderful yearly celebration in Provincetown that helps lesbians meet other single lesbians. These days, so many events cater to gay men, so it’s refreshing to have something for the ladies!
Held in May, the weekend consists of a welcome meet and greet, local dune tours, comedy shows, speed dating, and a ton of other events and mixers for single lesbians. If you’d like to attend, be sure to register in advance!
Carnival in Provincetown has been held for over 45 years. Like at other Carnival celebrations, everyone gathers to express themselves and their individuality at a bunch of parties.
Ptown Carnival has a different theme each year, which is always fun to create a special outfit for. 2023’s theme was Land of Toys and 2024’s theme will be Renaissance + Revolution.
More Ptown Gay Events
The events discussed above are just a select few of all the gay-oriented weekends and themed weeks that happen in Provincetown. Here is a quick list of even more to learn about.
Girl Splash — Long-weekend lesbian event in July packed with outdoorsy events like beach outings and whale-watching tours along with themed evening parties.
Frolic Men of Color Weekend — A celebration for queer men of color during Juneteenth that’s packed with social mixers, pool parties, club nights, and much more hosted by Men of Melanin Magic.
Women of Color Weekend — Weekend in early June that embraces intersectionality and intergenerational dialogue, focusing on individuals of color.
Family Week — A huge gathering of LGBT individuals and their families in late July/early August to celebrate community and empowerment with events targeting various age groups.
Independence Week — Provincetown’s busiest week, packed with gay circuit parties surrounding the July 4th holiday.
Cabaret Fest — Week in June dedicated to preserving the art of cabaret with daily masterclasses and nightly performances at different venues.
Provincetown Gay Travel Tips
Getting Around Ptown
All of Provincetown is walkable, so there’s no need for a car while visiting. Many people stick to walking back and forth from their hotels to local bars and events, especially when staying in the heart of the town’s gay scene.
Pedicabs are available everywhere too. They can be a bit expensive though, costing around $20 to $30 per ride. They’re great in a pinch, but not cost-efficient to rely on for more than a day or two.
Bike & Scooter Rentals
Provincetown has a huge bicycle culture and the majority of people staying for a week or more rent bikes. There are several local shops that rent bikes for the day, week, or month.
I’d recommend renting a bike if you’re not staying in the heart of the West End area. You can zip back and forth easily, which is convenient for quick clothing changes or grabbing food. Bike rentals are also much more affordable than taking pedicabs each way.
Electric scooters are also available around town, a lower-commitment option. Download the Storm Scooter app ahead of your trip to find pickup and drop-off locations.
Ferries to Provincetown from Boston
For travelers flying in from other cities, the best way to get to Provincetown is via a ferry that departs from Boston.
The Bay State Cruise Company offers a fast ferry that takes about 90 minutes and costs between $70 and $90 each way, depending on the departure time. It departs from Boston’s World Trade Center Pier.
From the airport, the SL1 bus can get you to this pier in about 20 minutes. Grabbing a taxi from the airport is also an option.
Boston Harbor Cruises operates a similar ferry service, which may be a better alternative if their departure schedule aligns better with your arrival time in Boston.
Some visitors also stay a night in Boston on their way to Ptown. If you’ll do the same, I recommend these Boston hotels for gay travelers.
Using Grindr in Ptown
In cities around the world, Grindr is an efficient way to meet other gay travelers. But in a place as densely packed with gay men as Provincetown, the app doesn’t get you as far!
Most people don’t want to spend their precious vacation time perusing gay apps. With so many LGBT people literally everywhere, along with plenty of social events, meeting in person the old-fashioned way is super easy.
Evening Temperatures Drop
With Provincetown’s location way out on the end of Cape Cod, evening temperatures drop much lower than other coastal destinations. Even during the height of summer, it can feel chilly.
Bring a hoodie or a light jacket with you. You’ll need the layers!
Ptown is one of the most popular gay hotspots in the world. See the rest of the top gay destinations.
Or, focus on these other summertime gay getaways.
Need more travel inspiration? Explore wolfyy’s full collection of gay travel guides.