The tallest all-granite structure in the country, the 252-foot Pilgrim Monument was built to commemorate the landing of the Mayflower Pilgrims in 1620—several weeks before they decamped for Plymouth. A climb to the top of the tower is a must; from that height, you can appreciate the curl of the Cape’s arm and how the Cape’s tip is essentially a sandbar, between Cape Cod Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
The museum at the foot of the monument contains a variety of colorful exhibits. Is that a polar bear over there? Yes, because Admiral Donald Macmillan, the first to the North Pole, was raised in Provincetown. There are playbills from the Provincetown Players, a group that had Eugene O’Neill as a member, and even a replica dune shack, of the type lived in by Harry Kemp, who was called “the poet of the dunes.” A pair of recently added (and long overdue) exhibits chronicle the Mayflower landing from the perspective of the Indigenous Wampanoag people and, in an adjacent room, relate first-person narratives from members of the town’s thriving LGBTQ+ community.