North of town, nestled amid the Cape Cod National Seashore preserve, is one of the more spectacular bike paths in New England, the 7-mile Province Lands Trail, a heady swirl of steep dunes (watch out for sand drifts on the path) anchored by wind-stunted scrub pines. With its free parking, the Province Lands Visitor Center (tel. 508/487-1256; www.nps.gov/caco) is a good place to start: You can survey the landscape from the observation tower to try to get your bearings before setting off amid the dizzying maze. Signs point to spur paths leading to Race Point or Herring Cove beaches. The most centrally located bike rental store is Arnold's Where You Rent The Bikes (tel. 508/487-0844), at 329 Commercial St., near MacMillan Wharf. Bike rentals are also offered May through October at Gale Force Bikes, at 144 Bradford St. (tel. 508/487-4849; www.galeforcebikes.com), in the West End. The Province Lands Trail begins nearby. The Beach Market, on-site at Gale Force Bikes, offers delicious sandwiches and wraps (think Thanksgiving dinner -- complete with roast turkey, stuffing, and fresh cranberries -- in a wrap) and other picnic fare for your ride. It's also an easy jaunt from town, where you'll find plenty of good bike shops -- such as Ptown Bikes, at 42 Bradford St. (tel. 508/487-8735; www.ptownbikes.com), where you should reserve several days in advance during high season. Bike rentals cost $22 to $25 for 24 hours.
In addition to operating a Long Point shuttle from its own dock, Flyer's Boat Rental, at 131A Commercial St., in the West End (tel. 508/487-0898; www.flyersboats.com) -- established in 1945 -- offers all sorts of crafts, from kayaks ($30-$50 half-day for singles and tandems) to various sailboats ($60-$90 for a half-day).
Surf-casting is permitted at Herring Cove Beach (off Rte. 6) and Race Point Beach (near the Race Point Coast Guard Station); many people drop a hand-line or light tackle right off the West End breakwater. For low-cost deep-sea fishing via party boat, board the Cee Jay (tel. 508/487-4330; www.ceejayfishingparties.com); it makes two 4-hour trips a day and costs $45 for adults and $30 for children 12 and under. Night trips (6-9pm) cost $50. Both depart from MacMillan Wharf.
For days when the weather forces your workouts indoors, the Provincetown Gym, at 81 Shank Painter Rd. (tel. 508/487-2776; www.ptowngym.com), has the usual equipment and promises a nonintimidating atmosphere. Day passes cost $15. The Mussel Beach Health Club, 35 Bradford St. (tel. 508/487-0001; www.musselbeach.net), attracts a rather buff clientele. Day passes are $20. For post-workout pampering, book a massage or herbal wrap at the West End Salon & Spa, 155 Commercial St. (tel. 508/487-1872; www.westendsalon.com).
Within the Province Lands (off Race Point Rd., 1/2 mile north of Rte. 6), the Cape Cod National Seashore maintains the 1-mile, self-guided Beech Forest Trail, a shaded path that circles a shallow freshwater pond blanketed with water lilies (also look for sunning turtles) before heading into the woods. You can see the shifting dunes (much of this terrain is soft sand) gradually encroaching on the forest.
A walk along the West End breakwater and out to the end of Long Point, about 5 miles round-trip, is for hearty hikers. Walking just to the end of the wide breakwater, located at the end of Commercial Street, next to the Provincetown Inn, is quite popular and takes about 30 minutes each way. You'll see all ages maneuvering the layered boulders. If you want to continue to Long Point, the very tip of Cape Cod, it's about 1 1/2 hours across soft sand to the end of the point. At low tide, the distance can be shortened by cutting across the salt flats. Wood End Lighthouse is directly across the spit of sand near the breakwater; Long Point Lighthouse is at the end of the point. Hikers determined to reach the end of Long Point will want to bring a hat, water, and sunscreen for this intense trek along the beach. The outside of the arm, where you look out on Cape Cod Bay, tends to be the more scenic route for contemplative hikers; the inside of the arm has views of Provincetown and Provincetown Harbor and a couple of shipwrecks. The Long Point Shuttle runs from Flyer's Boat Rental in the West End across to Long Point for $15 round-trip. Service is continuous in season.
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.