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provincetown vs nantucket

Amsterdam, The...
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provincetown vs nantucket

we want to spend 4 days in and around the cape but dont want to spend all of our time driving . we want to be able to relax not be rushed. a friend has suggested that we spend the days on nantucket since we can walk cycle, eat and drink well.

someone else has also recommeneded provincetown although not necessarily for 4 days.

can someone tell me the differences between the two locations?

thanks

Cape Cod...
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1. Re: provincetown vs nantucket

First let me say that both places are great and are popular tourist destinations. During the height of the summer season both will be very busy with crowds of day-trippers. You can leave your car behind if you take the ferry to Nantucket since the main town is right next to the ferry. Nantucket has beautiful architecture, very expensive shopping/restaurants/lodging and a genteel feeling reminiscent of the late 1800's. Personally, we like to visit the island for a day or possibly 2 days...it's a rather small island with a small year round population that swells during the summer. You didn't say when you were going....fall months are lovely on the island and not nearly as crowded.

Provincetown has more of a diverse, bohemian feeling with narrow streets, art galleries and a bit more "honky-tonk" on the Commercial Street. You can take the ferry from Boston and rent bikes to get around, dine to your hearts content (lots of great restaurants), and take your pick of Ocean or bay beaches. Again...Provincetown is quieter in the fall and more conducive to relaxing but I don't usually think of the two words "Provincetown and relaxation" together since the liveliness of the place is what attracts me there.

Have you considered staying in one of the other outer cape towns like Eastham, Wellfleet or Truro? These locations will be quieter and give you easy access to Provincetown and the ferry to Nantucket for a day trip. Wellfleet has a charming village center, Eastham is central with easy access to restaurants in Orleans, Eastham beaches, the bike path. Truro is remote but close to Provincetown.

Let us know if you need more information about the cape or islands or if you need specific recommendations for your dining and lodging.

Edited: 28 May 2010, 16:57
Baltimore, Maryland
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2. Re: provincetown vs nantucket

Do some reading on both areas as the only similarity is being surrounded by water. But both are great. If your biggest concern is not driving too much then that is entirely up to you no matter where you may stay. Great cycling along the Cape Cod Rail Trail. Do a search of past posts as I have written a few about it. You can access it at various points from dennis, Chatham and Wellfleet and in between. The experience of Nantucket vs Provincetown would be like asking should I stay at Buckingham Palace or Picadilly Circus.

Boston
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3. Re: provincetown vs nantucket

Yeah, they're very different. Since you emphasize relaxation, I am going to guess that Provincetown would not be your best bet. It's very lively, at least in the town center. You can go spend the 4 days on either Nantucket or Martha's Vineyard, which would be generally a bit quieter, and still have lots to do in each place. However, you have to get to the island(s). Taking a car over is a big deal, and can only be done for Martha's vineyard (not Nantucket). You need to work on a ferry reservation for your car right away, if you're thinking of going this season. Cape Cod is a bit easier than the islands, as far as transportation. There are lots of sleepier towns on Cape Cod that would be relaxing, and then if you feel like it, take a daytrip to visit Provincetown for an afternoon. On Cape Cod itself, you might want to look into Wellfleet or Chatham.

Chicago, IL
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4. Re: provincetown vs nantucket

While Provincetown is not the cheapest town on Cape Cod, Nantucket is most definately for folks who have and want to spend lots of $$$. I like the idea of you staying in Eastham or Truro.

Atlantic Coast
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5. Re: provincetown vs nantucket

Nantucket is a unique island and will give you exactly the kind of vacation you're looking for. You can get on the ferry and leave your car behind for a few days and just relax. You'll have the chance to visit beaches that will be deserted except for your group and that is a Priceless experience. I think you'll be able to find lodging that echoes the summer prices of hotels in Provincetown and Eastham. You can eat very economically on Nantucket as you can on Cape Cod. Our family visits Nantucket regularly and I assure you we are not made of $$$$!

Provincetown is just wild in the summer and I'm surprised it was recommended as a relaxing summer destination. Eastham and Truro are closer to what you're hoping for, but neither is similar to Nantucket.

NJ
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6. Re: provincetown vs nantucket

Those who don't think Provincetown can be quiet and relaxing, even on the 4th of July, don't know Provincetown other than Commercial St.

Provincetown is the best of both worlds -- on Commercial Street *in the center of town only* you'll find tons of great restaurants, shops, shows. Both the east and west ends are residential and quiet, yet very conducive to walkign to the center of town if you decide you want to shop, dine, or people watch.

What I love about Provincetown is that you can be at the busiest corner in 10, and then 10 minutes later be in the dunes and have a virtually private beach. Cape Cod National Seashore runs the entire length of Provincetown's ocean side. There are great walking trails right from Route 6 up and over the dunes. You can just hang out in the dunes, if you like. You can grab a cheap town shuttle and get to the ocean beaches then walk to where you want.

I do love Nantucket, too, but I find the beaches to be more accessible and yet more private in Provincetown, and it's super easy to find relaxing places to stay on the east or west end, even on the water.

Wherever you go... enjoy! :-)

Saint Paul...
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7. Re: provincetown vs nantucket

If you want to see and experience other parts of the Cape I probably wouldn't recommend either of these options as they are both fairly isolated from everything else. I agree with others that if you are looking for relaxation try the Outer Cape...everything from Eastham to Truro has a bit of a slower pace then the rest of the Cape in the hectic summer months.

If you are looking to be able to explore multiple areas on the Cape somewhere near the elbow (Chatham, Orleans) is more accessible to both the quiet areas of the National Seashore on the Outer Cape and the activity of towns west of there.

Cape Cod...
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8. Re: provincetown vs nantucket

Actually, Chatham is also one of those towns that is off by itself at the elbow of the Cape so although it makes a great destination for a day trip, getting from Chatham to other locations on the Cape is not a time saver.

9. Re: provincetown vs nantucket

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