Web Extra: A Day Trip Detour to P-Town
It's just like Wickford or Newport, but with more bears.
The October issue of Rhode Island Monthly features a fun cover story on fall day trips. I was tasked with tracking down great food and wine spots on Cape Cod — just far enough for a getaway but close enough to do in a day. (I know; my job is terrible.)
You'll have to check out the magazine (on newsstands now!) for my top wine and dine picks, plus day trips for outdoor adventurers, families and art hounds. But one element of my Cape adventure didn't make it into the magazine, and you need to know about it. It's P-Town, people. Provincetown, for the uninitiated.
My day trip companion and I arrived at P-Town, a small resort community on the tip of the Cape, at around 2 p.m. one overcast day in July. We were greeted by huge signs announcing Bear Week, the community's annual celebration of burly gay men with plentiful body hair. If you didn't already know, P-Town is a haven for the nation's LGBTQ community. Here, you'll see rainbow flags and drag queens and "I Love My Two Moms" onsies hanging in store windows.
Curiosities abound, including this inexplicable Barbie pool party in the front yard of Romeo's Holiday inn, complete with urinating fountain statue. At Romeo's, the rooms are named after Shakespearean plays and a vacancy is hard to come by. romeosholiday.com
We trotted around P-Town's main drag and found ourselves drawn to a sweet little shop called Mimere's Homemade, which sells small-batch jams, jellies and preserves made by proprietor and chef Andrew Hood. He uses his grandmother's recipes, as well as local and organic ingredients when they're available. Mimere's also offers honey — and colorful honey pots aka impulse buys — plus a covetable collection of walnut serving utensils. mimereshomemade.com
But the best part of our P-Town adventure was — you can probably guess — the food. Some in-the-know locals pointed us to the Canteen, a shack of a place by the ocean that serves quite possibly the best lobster roll I've ever eaten. I ordered the hot roll with butter and my companion ordered a cold one with just a touch of mayo. Heaven on a toasted bun, I tell you, with a great view of the harbor. thecanteenptown.com
My only P-Town complaint — aside from the fact that ScottCakes bakery didn't have a pink-frosted cupcake T-shirt in my husband's size — was that it was SO hot when we visited in July. The streets were packed, and we thanked the skies for cloud coverage. But our Canteen server said fall is the best time to visit, so we're going back. ScottCakes, have a size medium T-shirt waiting.