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Exclusive | Provincetown: Where to Stay Part Eight

Exclusive | Provincetown: Where to Stay Part Eight

It's hard not to love Provincetown, or P-town as anyone who has been there calls it. Great New England cuisine, sunny beaches and thriving seasonal nightlife attract a diverse, friendly range of queer folks from every walk of life.

The Cape Codder (570 Commercial St; 508-487-0131; $50-160, $300-960 weekly) is a Spartan, clean and attractive if very simple budget inn in the east end, popular with a mixed clientele, including European backpackers (thanks in part to a listing in French travel bible Le Routard.) The rooms have nice old-fashioned iron beds, crocheted bedspreads, great light, and a winsome flair. Some have great water views. Really a cute place, with its own private beach across the road. The most expensive accommodation is a full apartment that sleeps up to four and has a dishwasher, cable TV, and phone -- it books up early. Rooms=16, mixed clientele, water view=some.

Captain's House (350-A Commercial St; 800-457-8885 or 508-487-9353; $99-149) The rooms are cozy and basic, straddling the line between charm and kitsch. The alley location, off Commercial Street, is convenient and quiet. You won't want to miss the collections of Marilyn Monroe and Lucy memorabilia in the common areas. Then again, maybe you will. Rooms=12, mostly men, water view=none.

Carl's Guest House (68 Bradford St; 800-348-2275 or 508-487-1650; $79-169) Friendly, clean and basic, with a few too many silk flowers. Markets itself as a place for "gentler, friendly? gay men. Pleasant sundeck and living room. Popular with Europeans. Rooms=14, men only, water view=none.

The Center Street Inn (17 Center St; 508-487-3987; $100-120) is a cheap place to stay, which seems perfectly evident from the bleak exterior. The watchword here is "Comfortable, Affordable Rooms," and they offer just that. Expect an arty and attractive d?cor with tastefully simple pieces throughout, and a very casual, cozy vibe. There's even a nice split-level roof deck. The rates are low, because all rooms have shared baths, but they're fine if you're not planning to spend much time in your room. Rooms=6, mixed clientele, water view=none.

Chicago House (6 Winslow St; 800-733-7869 or 508-487-0537; $105-195) Homey and friendly, the house has a deserved reputation for attentive yet informal service. Rooms are on the small side, and furnishings are basic; the location is residential but just steps away from the action. There's a shady, pleasant side porch and an ivy-covered back terrace where breakfast is served. If you're not planning to spend much time in your room, save some money and stay here. Rooms=9, mixed clientele, water view=none.

Dexter's Inn (6 Conwell St; 888-521-1999 or 508-487-1911; $75-150) Set back a bit from the Commercial Street scene, Dexter's Inn is for those with a car (or who don't mind a bit of a walk) seeking a quieter place with basic good value. Your friendly hosts can offer any and all assistance to make you feel at home. Nice decks overlook the attractively landscaped entry. Rooms aren't fancy, but they're nicely and adequately decorated with a colorful style. Private entrances are a plus. Rooms =15, mixed clientele, water view=none.

In a historic and attractive shingled house just a few steps from Commercial Street, the Gallery Inn (3 Johnson St; 800-676-3010 or 508-487-3010; $119-185) is in what your host, Robert, humorously concedes was a "last resort" accommodation in 1999. Now the property is a winningly simple bunking option, with its bright, cozy rooms and upgrades every season. Some of the rooms have great views of the bay, and there are decks perfect for sunning or watching the town sashay by. All rooms have a TV/VCR. Original artworks can be found throughout. A homey, affordable choice. Rooms=10, clientele=mixed, water view=some.

Gifford House (9-11 Carver St; 800-434-0130 or 508-487-0688; $105-239) Ulysses S. Grant slept here. So did Teddy Roosevelt. For the past several years, this old coaching inn, home also to the Porchside Bar (see below) and Purgatory dance club, has offered gay visitors simple, affordable, if rather shabby rooms complimented by an airy bustling lobby. Bright and spacious, all of the rooms have private baths and some boast great views. This is a no-frills place with uneven service, but it's an inexpensive and very social place to stay, especially popular with the under-30s. Note that rooms do not have phones and rooms are not air-conditioned. A plus is the on-site restaurant, Thai Aroi, which serves the best Thai food in town. Rooms=31, mostly men, water view=some.

The Ranch (198 Commercial St; 800-942-1542 or 508-487-1542; $129-145) is a Provincetown institution; an almost corny bunkhouse geared toward the leather/Levi crowd but welcoming all men who will appreciate its down-home, rustic flavor. Clean, small rooms with names like Stud Stall and Bull Pen offer brass beds, natty quilted bedspreads, photos of beefy men, and rugged wood paneling. The lusty vibe pervades the entire establishment. All of the rooms have shared baths, and the general feel is that of a festive, manly dormitory. The larger room with the bay window fronting the street has mirrors on the ceiling. The owners are kind and welcoming and the inn dates back to 1960; call it Early American Homo. Right in the heart of the Commercial Street action, this central location, small on-site bar, friendly atmosphere, and efficient management make this a one-of-a-kind, no-frills winner. Rooms=20, men only, water view=some.

If you're coming to Provincetown for a week or two in the summer and you want the classic Cape Cod experience, rent one of the fantastic apartments at Captain Jack's Wharf (73A Commercial St; 508-487-1450; $1,400-2,800 per week). These are not posh, luxury accommodations, but what they lack in fancy amenities they more than make up for in their beautifully colorful and authentic d?cor and atmosphere. The 13 apartments here are perfect hideaways. Manager Greg Saint Jean has decorated each of the units here perfectly, and some have high vaulted ceilings, or rooftop sun decks. Each features lovely water views, are stocked with fabulous old paperbacks, festive beach-house style furnishings, and character galore, with dreamy names like "Rainbow,? "Venus," and "Windswept Wreck." Tennessee Williams stayed here when he was writing The Glass Menagerie. Perhaps you'll be so inspired. Open only in the summer. Book far ahead. Many units allow pets.

Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part Five | Part Six

Part Seven | Part Eight

Related Articles:
Provincetown: Introduction
Provincetown: Gay Life
Provincetown: Where to Eat
Provincetown: Where to Play
Provincetown: What to See & Do
Provincetown: Where to Shop
Provincetown: Artistic/Cultural
Provincetown: Resources

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