Provincetown : Massachusetts


What It Is Like to Retire in Provincetown

Located at the terminus of Cape Cod is one of America’s more interesting retirement communities, Provincetown, Massachusetts. P-town, as it known, reflects a combination of its early history as one of the first settlements in the new world (the Pilgrims signed the Mayflower Compact in its harbor), an early immigration of Portuguese sailors, and a long-standing tradition as an openly gay community. This interesting retirement community is located along the bay side of the cape and faces a large harbor. Many restaurants and interesting shops are the main street. Going away from the main harbor are picturesque homes, B and B’s, and small hotels. On the other side of town is the Cape Cod National Seashore - a priceless asset with a roaring ocean and towering sand dunes. An extensive system of hiking and biking trails make it possible for active adults 55+ to explore a landscape that is almost lunar in places.

Provincetown is unlike any other place on Cape Code. It has great seacoast charm. It also has a slight amount of honky-tonk provided by the remnants of a beatnik invasion that never left, along with a tangible gay presence. The result is a very “cosmopolitan hits fishing village” type of flavor that you will either enjoy or not appreciate. Active adults move here for the idyllic setting along the seashore in a town where you can walk or bike anywhere. Plenty of straight folks live here as well as the gay population.

Where to Retire in Provincetown and Home Prices

In this community one must generally must buy or rent a home, although a few condominiums are available. There are many quiet neighborhoods with water views of the ocean, bays, and inlets. Prices are high, reflecting the power of Cape Cod real estate.  Zillow reports in early 2021 the median home value was $657,528 .  Homes with proximity to the water and larger lots will easily go into the millions.


What Is Special about Provincetown

 Provincetown is home to the Pilgrim Monument designed by Willard Sears. It is also one of the most gay presences in America. Other things that make Provincetown special includes: Cape Cod's leading whaling community, an internationally famous artistic and literary tradition, many festivals including the Portuguese Festival, Leather Weekend, and the Provincetown Film Festival


What Is Not Special about Provincetown

Provincetown is crowded in season; many stores close up for the winter; it can have a gritty edge; some festivals are not family rated


Who Will Like Retirement in Provincetown

Provincetown attracts a community of retirees who want to live in a charming and vibrant seaside community. The town has a history of attracting gay residents, so it is a very tolerant community.

Local Economy Is Driven by

The economy is driven by tourism, construction, and fishing. The town of Chatham is nearby and offers a very establishment version of Cape Cod.


Climate and Physical Environment

Provincetown is on the outer end of Cape Cod as it hooks back toward Boston. Massive sand dunes are in the protected seashore area to the north and east of town. In many areas the sand has created a beautiful wasteland - perhapsf the nation's first environmental disaster - a result from the earliest colonists cutting down the forests and driving wagons through the soft sand.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Art and literature are big here, as a quick tour of the galleries and bookstores will show. The town is known internationally for its cultural output. Former and current cultural lights who have lived here include Tennessee Williams, Eugene O’Neill, and Norman Mailer. The Provincetown Film Festival is very important. Folks who need a fast cultural fix can take a quick ferry ride to Boston.


Crime rate is slightly above average.

Medical Facilities

Cape Cod Hospital is 29 miles away in Hyannis


Barnstable Airport is 28 miles away in Hyannis. You can take a ferry to Boston from the P-Town harbor. Or fly in or out of the small private airport.  Consider an electric bicycle or adult trikes in this bicycle friendly town.

Valuable Links

Provincetown, MA

What people are saying about Provincetown

No Comments

Leave a Comment

To comment you must be a registered member of

Login Here


Create Your Free Membership Account

Suggest a community we want to know about your top retirement spots
Please note that all contributions to Topretirements may be edited, altered, or removed by other contributors. If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly, then don't submit it here. By submitting content and/or photographs here you agree to give the rights to use them in any manner without cost or attribution.You are also promising us that you wrote this yourself, or copied it from a public domain or similar free resource (see Project:Copyrights for details). DO NOT SUBMIT COPYRIGHTED WORK WITHOUT PERMISSION!

Copyright © 2006-2021 All Rights Reserved.