Provincetown Day Trip Itinerary (from Boston)

Provincetown

One of my favorite things about Boston is its close proximity to everything the Northeast has to offer: beaches, mountains, big cities, and small towns. No matter what kind of escape you’re seeking, it can likely be found within a 3 hour drive. After sharing a day trip itinerary for Brattleboro, Vermont, there’s been a request to share more of my tried-and-true day trip ideas. So today, I’m outlining one of my favorite excursions that is perfect for a warm weather escape: Provincetown, MA.

Provincetown, or Ptown as its affectionately known, is located at the very end of Cape Cod. If you were to drive from Boston, particularly during the summer, it could easily take upwards of 3 hours in traffic. Luckily, there’s a faster, more delightful way to get there… by boat!

Both Bay State Cruise Company and Boston Harbor Cruises offer a “fast ferry” from Boston to Provincetown, which is only 1 ½ hours each way. Admittedly, this is NOT a cheap option, as ferry tickets run about $93 per person round trip. But since it’s a day trip, at least you’re not on the hook for a hotel! Plus, this is an especially convenient option for locals who don’t own a car, or tourists who aren’t renting a car.

I’ve been to Provincetown about 5 times over the past 4 years, and in my opinion, the summer shoulder season is the best time to go: in late May, early-mid June, or early September. In July and August, Commercial Street is swarming with slow-walking tourists, and all of the crowds and chaos can take away from the ambiance.

Ready for a trip to Ptown? Hop aboard the ferry, then follow my lead…

You’ll arrive in Provincetown at MacMillan Pier. From the Pier, take a right onto Commercial Street and start wandering along the “East End” of Provincetown. If you had to wake up early to catch the ferry, you’ll probably want a coffee to perk yourself up. I always start my adventures at the Wired Puppy or the Ptown Cafe, both conveniently located in the East End. For tea drinkers, The Captain’s Daughters is a must.

Drink in hand, it’s now time to soak up the adorable New England charm and wander in and out of shops and art galleries. Some of my favorite stores are Utilities and Salt Supply, and if we’re being honest, Monty’s Christmas, because Christmas ornaments are my favorite travel memento.

Once you start getting hungry, turn around and start heading west on Commercial St, going a little past the pier. You can’t come all the way to Cape Cod and not get a lobster roll, and in that case, I recommend Canteen. Canteen is a bit pricey for such a casual spot, but the food is delicious and the ambiance can’t be beat. (Be sure to grab a seat out back, in the funky back patio overlooking the water.) The portions are large, so if you want a side, I recommend sharing with a friend. My favorite sides are the crispy brussels sprouts and the baked beans. If you’re lobstered-out, or are just looking for a lighter option, there are also a number of delicious looking salads and quinoa bowls. I say delicious-looking, because, uh, when in Rome 😉

With a hearty lunch behind you, it’s time to get some steps in. Continue strolling west down Commercial street, throughout the “West End” of Provincetown. The charming New England bungalows are prime Instagram bait, and it’s hard to walk very far without stopping for a photo. A mile west of Canteen, you’ll reach Pilgrim’s First Landing Park. From here, follow the jetty of large boulders (Provincetown Causeway) all the way across to the beach. The beach here is never crowded, and is the perfect place to sprawl out on a blanket and nap, read or play card games.

By late afternoon or early evening, once you’ve had enough sun, make your way back across the jetty, and walk to the Red Inn for a pre-dinner drink. Feel free to seat yourself in one of the white Adirondack chairs overlooking the water, and a waiter will come by and take your drink order. There are often happy hour specials around this time too. If you can stay here for dinner, all the better, but it’s a popular spot (and quite upscale too), so you really need to make a reservation several weeks in advance.

If you decide to head elsewhere for dinner, you’ll have no shortage of options. I’ve eaten at Mac’s Fish House (which was recommended to me by a vegan friend who made an exception for this fish), Nor’East Beer Garden (such a nice ambiance if you want to eat outside),  and Squealing Pig, a casual pub.

If you’re taking the 8:30pm ferry back, you’ll have plenty of time for a leisurely meal. And if at any point in the day you still find yourself with extra time on your hands, you can climb to the top of Pilgrim Monument, relax by the water, or grab a frozen yogurt.

Below is an overview/schedule of what a day trip to Ptown might look like. I don’t think a swimsuit is necessary for this itinerary, but I do recommend bringing a blanket or towel (for sitting on at the beach), a pack of cards and/or a book (for the ferry ride and for the beach), and a water bottle, as well as comfortable shoes and a light layer (the ferry gets chilly, especially at night).

Provincetown Day Trip Itinerary (from Boston)

  • 9:00am Board the Fast Ferry from Long Wharf
  • 10:30am arrive in Provincetown
  • 10:30-noonish From the Pier, take a right onto Commercial Street and wander along the “East End” of Provincetown.
  •  Lunch: Lobster rolls at Canteen
  • 1:00pm-4:30pm stroll along the “West End” of Provincetown, over to Pilgrim’s First Landing Park. Walk across the jetty (Provincetown Causeway) to the beach, and relax on the beach
  • 5:00-6:00pm Grab a pre-dinner drink on the back patio at the Red Inn.
  • 6:00-8:00pm Enjoy a leisurely dinner, then treat yourself to any last souvenirs or an ice cream cone before boarding the ferry.
  • 8:30pm ferry departs
  • 10:00pm arrive in Boston

Have you been to Provincetown? What are your can’t-miss recommendations?

— Kelly

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Summer Harvest Linguine with Cannellini Beans

Whole Grain Linguine with Wheat Beans and Summer Vegetables

A somewhat unlikely duo, beans and pasta are an odd sounding but much loved combination in my repertoire. The beans contribute protein to an otherwise carb-heavy meal, offering a delightful change in texture, and a rich, hearty flavor. This Italian inspired dish uses creamy cannellini beans and whole wheat linguine as a canvas for sautéed summer vegetables (heirloom tomatoes, eggplant, and Tuscan kale). Grated parmigiano reggiano and fresh basil round out the meal.

Late Summer Farmers Market Vegetables

^^ Fresh from the farmers market! Pro tip: Pick up your eggplants and tomatoes now, before they retire for the season

Sauteed Summer Vegetables

Whole Grain Linguine with Tuscan Vegetables

^^ This recipe is great for entertaining, and was the first meal I served on my new roof patio

Summer Harvest Linguine with Cannellini Beans

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 8 oz whole wheat linguine
  • 2 tablespoons plus one teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium to large eggplant, chopped
  • 4 large heirloom tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 15 oz can cannellini beans (or other white bean), drained and rinsed
  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, cut or torn into ribbons

Method:

  1. Cook linguine according to package instructions. After draining, toss the pasta with one teaspoon olive oil (to prevent noodles from sticking) and set aside.
  2. Heat the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and eggplant.
  3. While the onion and eggplant are softening, chop the tomatoes.
  4. Once the tomatoes are chopped, add them to the skillet (the eggplant will have absorbed all of the oil by this point, so the pan will need the liquid from the tomatoes).
  5. Add the garlic, salt, oregano, and cannellini beans, stirring occasionally.
  6. While the vegetables are cooking, remove the kale leaves from their stems and tear or chop into bite sized pieces.
  7. Add the kale to the skillet, stirring until kale is wilted.
  8. Dive the pasta among four plates, then top each plate with the vegetable mixture. Garnish each plate with one tablespoon each parmigiano reggiano and fresh basil.

Whole Wheat Linguine with Summer Vegetables

Nutrition per Serving: 510 calories, 12g fat (2g saturated fat). 23g protein, 86g carbohydrates (20g fiber, 15g sugar*), 4mg cholesterol, 435mg sodium, 233% Vitamin A, 250% Vitamin C, 31% Calcium, 37% Iron

*none are added sugars

– Kelly

Chocolate Cherry Overnight Oatmeal

Chocolate Cherry Overnight Oatmeal

Don’t let cough syrup give cherries a bad rap. One taste of these juicy, summer rubies, and you’ll be declaring a new favorite fruit in no time. Fresh cherries have a pretty short season here in New England (peaking late June through mid July), but they are so deliciously addicting that most people can put down several weeks worth of cherries while simply standing in front of the refrigerator. Not that I know anything about that.

Delicious enough to enjoy straight out of a bowl, cherries are also the perfect natural sweetener, and that’s how I’m showcasing them in this chilled, chocolately recipe. These succulent little stone fruits eliminate the need for added sugars, while tangy yogurt and rich cocoa deepen the flavor. Overnight oatmeal is usually a breakfast pick, but I like to keep a bowl of this chocolate cherry concoction in the fridge for dessert, especially on hot summer nights.

Chocolate Cherry Overnight Oatmeal

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup fresh pitted cherries (Don’t buy a cherry pitter! Use this trick)
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used nonfat organic)
  • 1/3 cup + 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons chia seeds

Optional garnishes: sliced almonds, fresh cherries

Method:

  1. In a small mixing bowl, mash cherries with a potato masher or a large fork, under cherries are smooshed and juices are released.
  2. Add all other ingredients to bowl and stir to combine.
  3. Transfer mixture to a mason jar or a breakfast bowl, and set covered in the refrigerator overnight.
  4. Serve cold, after mixture has chilled and the porridge has thickened (at least 8 hours).
  5. Top with optional garnishes, such as fresh cherries or sliced almonds, if desired.

Nutrition per Serving: 260 calories, 5g fat (1g saturated fat), 44g carbohydrates (10g fiber, 16g sugar*), 15g protein, 4mg cholesterol, 30mg sodium, 16% Iron, 12% Calcium, 1% Vitamin A, 12% Vitamin C

*all sugars are naturally occurring, none are added sugars

– Kelly

Cute Summer Fruit and Veggie Platters from around the Web

Today I’ve rounded up some of the best sea-inspired fruit and veggie platters, snacks, and lunches from around the web. Late summer is one of the best times of the year for local produce, so don’t let the season slip away without concocting one of these ocean-inspired spreads. And if you are looking for healthy dips to serve alongside your produce, check out this round-up of healthy dips.

zucc boat

Image via Mom Foodie

fish carrot

Image via Meet the Dubiens

apple crab

Image via Make-Handmade

Shark

Image via National Watermelon Promotion Board

octopus

Image via Spoonful

whale

Image via Fancy

For more cute summer foods, see my cute summer food Pinterest board!

– Kelly

FREE Outdoor Fitness Classes in Boston

That’s right, FREE! The summer is going by quickly, so don’t let these opportunities pass you by.

Yoga on the Boston Common:

yoga

Come to Frog Pond on Tuesday nights (6:00-7:15 p.m.) for a FREE expert-led yoga class (power vinyasa flow). Participants are encouraged to bring their own mats and blocks, and all ages and levels are welcome. For more information, read here. Classes run every week June 4 – August 27.

Healthy, Fit, & Fun at the Esplanade:

The Esplanade Association is hosting FREE Healthy, Fit, & Fun classes this summer (through August 30). All abilities and ages are welcome to participate. For more information, read here. See schedule below:

  • Mondays: 2.5 mile Community Power Walk (meet at the Hatch Shell at 6:00pm)
  • Tuesdays: Zumba (meet at the Hatch Shell at 6:00pm)
  • Wednesdays: Sunset Yoga (meet at Fiedler Field at 6 p.m) & Run Club (3, 5, & 8 mile options, meet in front of Marathon Sports Boston, 671 Boylston St., at 6:30 p.m. warm-up begins at 6 p.m.)
  • Thursdays: CrossFit (meet at Fiedler Field at 6 p.m)
  • Fridays: Boot Camp (meet at Fiedler Field at 7 a.m.)

Hope to see you there!

– Kelly

Course Spotlight: Effective Writing in Public Communication

Social Change Writing

Although the BU Gastronomy program offers a multitude of courses, the class that caught my eye for the first summer session this year was actually at Tufts University, in the Urban and Environmental Planning program. Louise Dunlap specializes in social change writing, which is why this course stuck out to me.

dunlapLouise Dunlap got her start during the free speech movement of the 1960’s. Since then, she has been giving activists the tools they need in order to communicate with the public effectively. The class centered on one main writing project that we worked and reworked each week using the tools from Undoing the Silence. One of the Louise’s former students had used this project to write the business plan for Equal Exchange. A tough act to follow, but inspiring nonetheless!

photo-25My project was focused on how dietitians can help reduce hunger by supporting sustainable food systems. We also had a short letter to the editor assignment, as well as journal and freewriting activities. The class was held in a picturesque red home on the Tufts Medford campus, which was the perfect setting for an intimate class of nine. If you are interested in social change writing, then check out a copy of Undoing the Silence.

Image via Undoing the Silence

– Kelly