Go north to P-Town and Bean Town

Go north to P-Town and Bean Town

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Provincetown is a classic New England town at the very end of Cape Cod, Mass. There are plenty of daytime outdoor activities, including sunbathing on the picturesque seashore, gallery hopping, shopping on Commercial Street and people watching from Joe’s Café (170 Commercial St.). A great way to spend the afternoon is to rent a bike at Ptown Bikes ($22/day; 42 Bedford St.) for a ride along the Cape Cod National Seashore Bike Trails (nps.org). Or go for one of Art’s Dune Tours (4 Standish St.).

Nightlife begins every day at 4 at Boat Slip’s Tea Dance (161 Commercial St.). Provincetown is a foodie town; reservations are recommended in-season. The hot spots are Bistro at Crown Pointe (82 Bradford St.) and the brand-new Ten Tables (133 Bradford). Shipwreck Lounge (10 Carver St.) and Porchside Lounge at the Gifford House (9 Craver) are casual spots for an after-dinner drink.

P-Town is known for entertainment. Comedians, drag queens and celebrities perform nightly at the Crown and Anchor (247 Commercial; onlyattheanchor.com). Be sure to catch Miss Richfield 1981 in her new show, “30 Years on the Throne” (Philadelphia is her sponsor).

Summertime is peak season for P-Town and, depending on which “theme” week you plan to attend, you will have to book soon. Be prepared to pay “in-season” rates, around $300 per night. There are terrific options for B&Bs, hotels and weeklong private rentals. The undisputed champion is Brass Key Guesthouse (67 Bradford St.). Nine buildings create a luxurious compound for men and women. A stay comes with a continental breakfast, heated swimming pool, hot tub and evening cocktails. Across the street is Crowne Pointe Inn (82 Bradford) with graciously appointed rooms and the Shui Spa. Insider tip: Book a Sunday Shui Spa appointment while staying at Brass Key or Crowne Pointe and you have a chance for a late check out. For those who like to see and be seen, stay at Prince Albert Guest House (166 Commercial). This B&B offers large rooms, wireless Internet and the Royal Spa. For a cozy place on a quiet street, check out the Dyer Hotel (8 Dyer St.).

Boston

Boston is rich in American history and a great dining city with a vibrant LGBT nightlife. Summer is a beautiful time to visit with plenty of things to do. Check out www.bostonusa.com for information on tours, trails, museums, attractions and nightlife.

Recently, I discovered two great restaurants. The first was Pops Restaurant (560 Tremont St.), located in the South End. Executive chef and Philly native Amanda Howell was trained in Philadelphia’s Four Seasons Hotel and serves a delicious, affordable comfort-food menu with her own take on our iconic Philly cheesesteak. Don’t miss the see-and-be-seen Sunday brunch. The second not-to-miss restaurant is Masa (439 Tremont St.), walking distance from Pops. Here you’ll find a Southwest menu and the best margaritas in Boston.

Kimpton’s Hotel Nine Zero (90 Tremont) is a perfect downtown location close to the city’s major tourist attractions, including the Freedom Trail and Boston Common. Along the waterfront is Intercontinental Boston Hotel (510 Atlantic Ave.), with elegant suites and fabulous views. The hotel has a rooftop beehive and uses fresh honey in the restaurants and even in the spa. The Intercontinental is close to the Bay State Cruise Company’s ferry to Provincetown.

How to get there

Getting to Boston and Provincetown couldn’t be easier and is more affordable than ever. You can drive (seven-eight hours), take Amtrak (five hours) or fly. This summer, USAirways and Southwest Airlines are offering very competitive roundtrip fares. On a recent search, roundtrip airfares on USAirways were less than $100. Insider tip: If you are flying into Boston Logan, you can take Cape Air directly to Provincetown. You can also take the Silver Line Bus ($2) to the first stop to the World Trade Center for the Bay State Cruise Company’s high-speed ferry to P-Town: It’s a 90-minute trip with free Internet and a stocked bar (www.baystatecruisecompany.com).

Jeff Guaracino is a vice president for Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation and author of “Gay and Lesbian Tourism: The Essential Guide for Marketing.” Locally, check out visitphilly.com/gay and friend him at visitgayphilly.com/facebook.


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