The Port of Provincetown can claim many unique qualities. It is home to the oldest art colony in the United States. It has been called the birthplace of playwriting in America. The Port of Provincetown has been called the "best gay resort town." Also called "PTown" by residents, the Port of Provincetown is also the country's most popular location for same-sex weddings. On the Atlantic Ocean side, the Port of Provincetown boasts pristine dunes and beaches. It also has one of the most tolerant local cultures in America. It is not unusual to see same-sex couples strolling hand in hand or to see men in drag strolling the Port of Provincetown's Commercial Street. Heterosexuals are welcome as well.
The weather at the Port of Provincetown is generally more moderate than inland locations in Massachusetts or on Cape Cod. The Port of Provincetown has been struck, however, by extreme weather as well (like Hurricane Bob or the Blizzard of 2005). The Atlantic Ocean's influence makes summers a little cooler and winters a little warmer than surrounding areas. With waters influenced by the Canadian Labrador Current, ocean temperatures around the Port of Provincetown rarely exceed 18°C (65°F). Spring may arrive a bit late in the Port of Provincetown, but its mild autumns (Indian summer) are welcomed. The highest-ever temperature recorded in the Port of Provincetown was 40°C (104°F). Average temperatures range from a high of 26°C (80i°F) in late July to a low of about -6.6°C (20°F) in January and February. Precipitation rarely exceeds 0.2 inches in the Port of Provincetown at any given month.
In 2010, the Port of Provincetown was recognized by Dog Fancy as the most dog-friendly city in the US. Many of the accommodations in the Port of Provincetown are pet-friendly, and dogs are allowed on some town beaches or National Seashore beaches. The Pilgrim Bark Park Provincetown is a gated off-leash space for residents, visitors, and their pets.
The Port of Provincetown is blessed with water on three sides. It is also home to some of the United States' best beaches. Just 1.6 kilometers (one mile) from town, Herring Cove Beach offers beautiful sand and gentle surf where people can swim, watch for whales, and enjoy breathtaking sunsets. Dune hiking is a popular activity there, and permits for bonfires are available.
Race Point Beach is two miles from the Port of Provincetown. At the very end of Cape Cod, this Port of Provincetown has a lighthouse, facilities, and a lifeguard station where families can enjoy the Atlantic Ocean surf. Beach-lovers can get to Race Point Beach by walking the West End Breakwater or taking a shuttle boat from either MacMillan Pier or Flyer's Boatyard.
Surrounding the Port of Provincetown, Cape Cod National Seashore Park's great Outer Beach was described by Henry David Thoreau as a place where "A man may stand there and put all America behind him." Today, that beach is protected within the national seashore which contains over 64 kilometers (40 miles) of pristine beach and marshes, uplands, and ponds. With natural wonders, the National Seashore also has lighthouses and cultural reminders of Cape Cod's past. Today, people come to Cape Cod National Seashore Park to swim, picnic, walk the beaches, hike the dunes, ride bikes, and watch birds. The Port of Provincetown is one of the few East Coast locations where one can watch the sunset.
The Whale Watch Dolphin Fleet of the Port of Provincetown conducts tours where visitors can see different types of whales. Experienced naturalists are the guides for the whale watches, and they explain how the microscopic plant and animal life in the sea are related to the largest whales through an intricate food chain adapted to local geological features in this critical marine habitat. The Whale Watch Dolphin Fleet departs the Port of Provincetown as many as 12 times per day in vessels with large enclosed heated cabins, full-service galleys, educational displays, wide-screen monitors, and a touch-screen informational kiosk. The whale watching season in the Port of Provincetown begins in early April and lasts until mid-October. The price for the three- to four-hour trip is $42 for adults and $29 for children.