Boston boat to Provincetown a vacation experience

Steamer dockingThe above postcard was mailed in 1912, over 100 years ago, and shows the steamship the Dorothy May Bradford, pulling up to the dock in Provincetown harbor on the tip of Cape Cod. At the begiinning of the 20th century, taking what was referred to as the “Boston Boat” was the most efficient way to get from Boston to Provincetown and from Provincetown to Boston during the summer months. Back in those days the journey took a good half of the day, but today the Provincetown Fast Ferry makes the trip back and forth two and three times a day in 90 minutes.  While the Dorothy Bradford was named after one of the first Pilgrim travelers who traveled across the ocean on the Mayflower and then drowned in Provincetown Harbor after she slipped and fell off the boat, the newest Provincetown Fast Ferry Salacia, is named after the Neptune’s wife and goddess of the sea. Salacia’s name, derived from the  Latin word for salt, was thought to personify the calm and expansiveness of the sea. A beautiful sea nymph who bore three sons with Neptune, including Triton, she is usually personified in sculptures as having a crown of seaweed and driving alongside Neptune in a shell chariot drawn by dolphins.  Certainly the sleek and fast Salacia looks quite different in contour and shape from the more stalwart Dorothy Bradford. But different time periods in history call for different experiences. If you like postcards, you may want to enter the Boston Harbor Cruise “Design Your Own Postcard Contest” 
If reading a book during your vacation is more your idea of fun while relaxing on the beach, pick up a copy of Remaining in Provincetown, the new murder mystery everyone’s talking about. Now available at bookstores and online in trade paperback and ebook. Buy your copy today at Amazon .com or purchase a signed copy at the Provincetown bookshop while supplies last.  Like us on Facebook and keep the conversation going.

Remaining in Provincetown  By S.N.Cook.  Truro Works. 306 pages  $12.95 Trade Paperback

Remaining in Provincetown
By S.N.Cook.
Truro Works. 306 pages
$12.95 Trade Paperback

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Like our facebook fan page and you may be selected to receive a FREE advance cppy!

Bicycling Provincetown trails to discover true Cape Cod

Provncetown Bicycle trails near Race Point Beach Cape Cod.

Provncetown Bicycle trails near Race Point Beach Cape Cod.

Built in the 1960’s the bicycle trails on National Park Service lands take you across the sand dunes to the Beech Forest, Province Lands Visitor Center, Race Point Beach Parking lot and Herring Cove Beach Parking lot. The loop trail is almost five and half miles in length. On your drive along the steep winding trails you will see beautiful vistas of sand dunes as well the native vegetation which includes wild roses and beach plums along with the grasses that have been intentionally planted to help retard the shifting sands that cause dunes to shift and change shape each season.  If you are lucky, in the off-season you may encounter a fox. In summer there are small toads around Bennett Pond.

Don’t have a bicycle? You can rent one in Provincetown for a few hours or a day, to explore the trails. Bring a towel, bathing suit, and plenty of water as well as a picnic, if you’d like to enjoy a daylong adventure.

People of all ages enjoy using the bike trails.  The Carreiro children, in the recently released novel Remaining in Provincetown, can’t wait to get a hold of their bicycles so they can go riding on the trails, even if it is early spring—way too early for swimming. Want to gain a better insight as to what it’s like to live in Provincetown because you are planning a visit? Remaining in Provincetown by S.N. Cook makes a great beach read, or start reading it now in anticipation of your vacation.  Now available at local bookstores, online and at Amazon.com. Like us on facebook.  Show the big publishers you can make your own decisions on what to read. Join the conversation.

Remaining in Provincetown  By S.N.Cook.  Truro Works. 306 pages  $12.95 Trade Paperback

Remaining in Provincetown
By S.N.Cook.
Truro Works. 306 pages
$12.95 Trade Paperback

Like our facebook fan page and you may be selected to receive a FREE advance cppy!

Like our facebook fan page and you may be selected to receive a FREE advance cppy!

Destination Provincetown Cape Cod Beaches

Parking space, Race Point Coast Guard Station, Provioncetown, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Parking space, Race Point Coast Guard Station, Provincetown, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

In 1910, the automobile was still a relatively new luxury form of transportation. If you owned one, it was a treat to take a driving tour out to the very end of Cape Cod and visit the beaches, sand dunes, and town of Provincetown. This antique postcard shows the parking lot of the Race Point Coast Guard Station (now part of the National Seashore) on a clear sunny day with all of its original buildings. It’s still a great place to visit today, and summer is almost here. Want to get in the mood for your visit? Read the new novel, Remaining in Provincetown by S.N. Cook now available online and in bookstores and at Amazon.com in trade paperback and on kindle. Like us on Facebook.

Provincetown ferry to Boston living history

The Steamer Dorothy Bradford arriving in Provincetown in 1911

The Steamer Dorothy Bradford arriving in Provincetown in 1911

The “Boston Boat” has been a fixture in Provincetown culture since the first ferry boat connected the city of Boston to the furthermost tip of Cape Cod in 1883. The first boat was named The Longfellow and it was replaced in 1911 by the Dorothy Bradford shown above docking at Railroad Pier, now known as MacMillan Pier (named for the famous arctic explorer). Operated by the Cape Cod Steamship Company, the Dorothy Bradford was in service until 1937.  Today seasonal ferry service between Boston and Provincetown is provided by the Bay State Cruise Company. The Provincetown III makes it possible to get from Boston to Provincetown in just 90 minutes. The  2013 season begins on May 17th and will operate until mid October. For a lower price on Saturdays, visitors can take the Provincetown II for a lower price and a slower three hour journey. Either way, approaching Cape Cod by water provides beautiful scenery on a clear day.  And it’s the beautiful scenery and the proximity to water that has the characters in Remaining in Provincetown so committed to the town, despite its seasonal economic challenges. What is it like to live in the town when the “Boston Boat” is not running and tourists are few? You’ll have to read the book , now available at Amazon.com, to find out.

Provincetown Cape Cod railroad

Provincetown, Cape CodRailroad Station 1920

Provincetown, Cape Cod
Railroad Station 1920

Wouldn’t it be nice to take a train to Provincetown? The last train that provided service to Cape Cod as far as Hyannis, shut down operations in 1986.  Yet the railroad was an important mode of transportation to Provincetown businesses, residents and tourists 100 years ago.  It was by train that the fresh fish caught by Provincetown fisherman packed in ice was delivered directly to New York City and it was by train that summer tourists and weekend visitors from Boston and New Bedford could conveniently get to Cape Cod vacation resorts and beaches.

As recently as 1960, the freight train was still running all the way down to the end of Cape Cod. When you visit Provincetown and go for walks along the trails, you can walk along the old railroad track bed. The railroad ties left behind when the tracks were removed and have been put to other practical uses by local folk in gardens and landscaping projects, but if you close your eyes you can imagine the sounds of the train chugging through the woods.

The railroad station shown in the 1920 vintage postcard above, was located on Bradford Street in the center of town between Alden and Standish Streets.  It opened in 1873 and shut down in 1938. Initially operating as part of the Old Colony Railroad, the New Haven Railroad served the community from 1893 to 1960.

These days, you can get to Provincetown by airplane, car, bus, and boat.  Sarah Carreiro (a character in Remaining in Provincetown) takes the small plane from Boston to come back to Provincetown for her husband’s funeral.  Looking down from a small plane is a great way to see the unique geography of the Outer Cape, but that’s another story.

Atlantic House or A-House, a historically gay place

Atlantic House, Provincetown, Massachusetts and owner Frank Potter Smith

Atlantic House, Provincetown, Massachusetts and owner Frank Potter Smith

The Atlantic House, now affectionately known as the A-House, was given its current name by Portuguese sailor Frank Potter Smith, pictured in this antique postcard printed in the late 19th century. Smith (probably not his original family name) purchased the tavern in the early 1870s. Provincetown’s first Postmaster Daniel Pease built the historic building at 5 Masonic Place in 1798.

Before trains ran out to Provincetown you could reach the small town on the tip of Cape Cod by stagecoach. You could get on the stagecoach in Orleans and arrive in the center of Provincetown to be let off at what was then called the Alllstrum House (now the A-House).  You had literally reached “the end of the line.”

Considered by many social historians to be the oldest Gay Bar in the United States, among the memorabilia and art that grace the walls is a nude photograph of Tennessee Williams strolling on the beach.  Williams was one of many famous patrons in the 1940s.

Under the management of Reggie Cabral, who purchased the building with his sister and brother-in –law Mr. And Mrs. Frank Hurst in 1950 and subsequently took over full ownership, the business continued to become a favorite gathering place for locals and visitors, with its several intimate bars and happening dance floor.  Having a good time is definitely on the mind of several of the characters in Remaining in Provincetown. Will it cloud their judgment? When you live in a small town its hard to remain anonymous.