Provincetown Pilgrim Monument and Museum

On November 11th the Mayflower set anchor in the Provincetown Harbor. This was where they first set foot in Cape Cod and where they wrote and signed the Mayflower Compact prior to venturing on to Plymouth where they settled their colony.  Provincetown was the Pilgrims first landing in the “New World” or the United States as we call it now. This is an extremely brief explanation about why the Pilgrim Monument was built in Provincetown. For additional information on the history visit the Pilgrim Monument and Museum website at

The history is fascinating, to me anyways, but I am going to touch on the experience of visiting the monument. This is something Joseph and I have wanted to do for the past three visits we have made to Provincetown, but never had the opportunity until this year. We chose to go on a slightly cloudy day since the beach was not really an option for us. We hopped on our bikes and rode the five minutes to the monument and museum. Once there you realize just how high up on a hill the museum and monument is placed. You immediately realize that not only will you have spectacular views of Provincetown once you get to the top of the monument due to its size, but also because this towering monument is placed on such an elevated piece of land.

Honestly, as I locked my bike up outside of the museum I thought that I must be crazy. I was planning to climb to the top of this 252 foot tall monument with my right foot still in an air-cast due to the hairline fracture I have mentioned many times in earlier postings.

None-the-less we headed into the museum where we paid for our tickets and immediately headed out to the monument. Once outside again we approached the base of the monument to find stairs right in front of us. After just 10 – 20 steps we were surprised to find that the monument contained ramps for a majority of the climb as oppose to stairs like most towering monuments around the world. According to the monument and museum website the monument consist of “116 steps and 60 ramps.” The ramps really make a huge difference (you can see them pictured in the slide show).

After no more than 15 minutes, and mind you we were moving slowly to allow for pictures and for me to rest my foot as we climbed, we found ourselves at the top. We were standing at the top of the monument which, as I previously mentioned, is just over 252 feet tall and actually sits 350 feet above sea level due to the elevation of the hill it sits on. Even with the clouds hovering over Provincetown we had a spectacular view, which I have shared via a few pictures below.

If you haven’t ever been to Provincetown before I must tell you that one of the most spectacular things about it is the look of the town. It is the quintessential New England town. It has beautiful Cape Cod style houses, a beautiful white church, a breathtaking harbor, and a gorgeous light house in the distance.

It is a romantic thing to do if you are with your partner and it is child friendly if you happen to be in Provincetown as a family.

Once you make your way back to the bottom of the monument you can walk around the grounds. There is an adorable cottage on one side that has tall hedges and some really large trees near by. There are picnic tables and resting lounge style chairs if you pack a picnic. You can continue around the base of the monument and see how the natives use to harvest their crops and how they taught the pilgrims to plant them. If you continue some more you also can look out over the harbor and town again.

Once you have had your fill of the grounds you can continue inside for a detailed educational experience inside the museum. You will earn about the Mayflower’s voyage and how it set anchor in the Provincetown Harbor. You will learn about the signing of the Mayflower compact and about the pilgrims ventures onto land. The museum houses a number of interesting artifacts and fascinating videos as well.

All in all this was an amazing experience and worth stopping by. It is also another rainy day activity if you feel stuck inside. Provincetown has a lot to offer for people of all ages and no matter what the weather.

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What to do in Provincetown on a Rainy Day

Normally when you go on a vacation to a beach destination you are not happy if it rains on your first day. When we woke up Sunday morning, which was to be our first full day in Provincetown, it was pouring rain outside.

The first thing we did was check out the weather channel website and sure enough, it was supposed to rain all day. Instead of being stressed, annoyed or frustrated that we couldn’t go to the beach we made ourselves a pot of coffee and curled up on the over-sized brown couch in the living room of the apartment we were renting. Without hesitation or a second thought we plugged our computer into the TV and streamed “Cheers”, the television show, from Netflix.
Normally being stuck inside on the weekend watching TV would drive me insane, but this was different than usual. For starters it was vacation and not home, additionally it was Cheers.

Why Cheers? Well, it takes place in Boston, MA. Being that our vacation was in Massachusetts and we had to travel through Boston it just seemed appropriate.

After an episode of Cheers and a big cup of coffee I got on the Internet and started to do some Googling of “what to do when in rains in Provincetown?”

I can’t remember the exact website I found, but it was run by Provincetown with a listing for ideas on what to do. It included suggestions like:

1. Whale watching – after all, the whales are already wet so the rain won’t bother them. Additionally, the boats have nice indoor areas so you can whale watch, be entertained and stay relatively dry.

Mind you, we didn’t go whale watching on this rainy Sunday.

2. Truro Vineyards –The website suggested visiting the Truro Vineyards. I can’t argue that this was a bad suggestion because it was in fact an excellent one. We went a year ago and really enjoyed ourselves. They have wine for everyone. Some are sweet and some are dry. The staff, who mostly consist of those who are in the family who run the winery, are friendly and really know what they are talking about. Whether you do the wine tasting, the winery tour, or both you learn a tremendous amount about the winery itself and the wine at Truro Winery.

Of course, we decided not to do this. Partly because we didn’t have a car and figuring out how to get there was incredibly confusing.

3. Spa Day – Get a massage or book an entire spa day. Provincetown is not lacking in options when it comes to spas or places to get massage.

This option got Joseph and I thinking, relaxation could be an excellent way to begin a vacation. We both began to search for options on where we could possibly get massages. Their is a wide variety of prices and types of massages you can get in PTown. Some places charge $100 for a 60 minute massage and some charge over $400.

We realized that we would just be getting massages as oppose to an entire spa day package once we did a bit of research. That helped us narrow down the options of where to go. Then we decided on a price range we wanted to stay in. That narrowed down the playing field as well.

After 20 minutes we had decided on the Blu Day Spa in Provincetown. It charges around $95 for a 60 minute massage.

When we arrived at the spa we were greeted by a number of staff all sitting quietly with airy expressions on their faces. We each were directed to our private massage areas were we received pretty basic massages. They were perfect for the price and left us both filling relaxed. With that said I thought they were a little lacking and not the best massages I have ever gotten. It was just right for the money though.

Provincetown in the rain doesn’t have to be a downer. If you just whiz through the options you can find something to do. Don’t forget that the town offers a number of shows, shops and bars to entertain you with as well.