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Getting There

After crossing the Sagamore Bridge, head east on Route 6 or 6A to Orleans, and then north on Route 6.

If you plan to spend your entire vacation in Provincetown, you don't need a car, because everything is within walking or biking distance. And because parking is a hassle in this tiny town, consider leaving your car at home and taking a boat from Boston or Plymouth. Another advantage is that you'll get to skip the horrendous Sagamore Bridge traffic jams and arrive like the Pilgrims did.

Bay State Cruises (tel. 877/783-3779; www.provincetownfastferry.com) makes round-trips from Boston, daily from May to early October.

The high-speed Provincetown Express boat takes 90 minutes and makes three round-trips daily from mid-May to mid-October. It leaves 200 Seaport Blvd., at Boston's World Trade Center, at 8:30am, 1pm, and 5:30pm. On the return trip, it leaves Provincetown at 10:30am, 3pm, and 7:30pm. Tickets on the high-speed boat cost $49 one-way, $79 round-trip for adults. Seniors are $44 one-way and $73 round-trip. Children ages 3 to 12 are $32 one-way, $58 round-trip. Reservations are recommended.

From late June to early September, the regular 3-hour boat, called Provincetown II, leaves from dockside at Boston's World Trade Center on Saturdays at 9am and arrives in Provincetown at noon. At 3:30pm the boat leaves Provincetown, arriving in Boston at 6:30pm. On the slow boat, round-trip fare is $44 for adults ($22 one-way) and free for children 11 and under.

Boston Harbor Cruises (tel. 877/733-9425 or 617/227-4321; www.bostonharborcruises.com) runs fast ferries from Boston's Long Wharf, next to the aquarium, to Provincetown's MacMillan Wharf. It's a 90-minute trip. In high season, there are two or three round-trips a day from Boston, leaving at 9am and 2pm, with an additional 6:30pm trip Thursdays to Sundays. The boat leaves from Provincetown at 11am and 4pm, with an additional 8:30pm trip on Thursdays through Sundays. In the shoulder season, beginning in late May to mid-June and from early September to mid-October, there are one or two trips a day. Ferry tickets cost $79 round-trip for adults ($49 one-way). Tickets for seniors cost $69 round-trip; tickets for children cost $58 round-trip. Bikes cost $6 each way. Reservations are a must on this popular boat.

You can also fly into Provincetown. Cape Air/Nantucket Airlines (tel. 800/352-0714 or 508/771-6944; www.flycapeair.com) offers flights from Boston in season. The trip takes about 25 minutes and costs $200 to $250 round-trip.

As far as getting around once you're settled, you can enjoy the vintage fleet of the Mercedes Cab Company (tel. 508/487-3333). There's also Jody's Taxi (tel. 508/487-0265). They charge only $8 per person to take passengers from MacMillan Pier to just about anywhere in town. Provincetown is such a funky place that it seems perfectly ordinary to use Ptown Pedicabs (tel. 508/487-0660; www.ptownpedicabs.com), "chariots for hire," for your transportation needs. These cheerful bikers will ferry you up and down Commercial Street for whatever you want to pay. That's right: You pay what you think the ride was worth. If you need to get from a gallery opening in the East End to dinner in the West End, this is the best way to do it.

Visitor Information

Contact the Provincetown Chamber of Commerce, 307 Commercial St., Provincetown, MA 02657 (tel. 508/487-3424; fax 508/487-8966; www.ptownchamber.com), open late May to mid-September daily from 9am to 5pm (call for off-season hours); the gay-oriented Provincetown Business Guild, 3 Freeman St., P.O. Box 421, Provincetown, MA 02657 (tel. 508/487-2313; fax 508/487-1252; www.ptown.org), open Monday to Friday from 10am to 2pm; or the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.