Off-Season Beach Bargains
© Rick Friedman/Corbis
What It's Like: In winter, when temperatures hover in the low forties, the town slows down and reverts to its historic New England whaling town roots.
What to Do: Though the second-home real estate boom has displaced some year-round residents, enough shops and restaurants stay open to keep the town lively (as long as you don't go looking for dinner after 8 p.m.). Fly a kite on starkly beautiful beaches, enjoy Italian and Portuguese cuisine without waiting an hour for a table, and shop for antiques without getting jostled by other tourists.
Where to Stay and Dine: With fireplaces de rigueur and few guests around, B&B's offer ideal accommodations, even for travelers who prefer anonymity. Try Brass Key Guesthouse (off-season doubles from $120), a collection of nine restored buildings, including cottages, surrounding a private courtyard. For dinner, try The Red Inn, a 200-year-old inn and restaurant with a seasonal menu that features freshly caught fish, or experience a Provincetown tradition at the Northern Italian Ciro and Sal's.