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Things To Do In P-Town: Harbor, MacMillan and Cabral’s Piers

Continuing our highlight of ideal activities during your Provincetown getaway, we present to you this sea-worthy option!

MacMillan and Cabral’s Piers are truly the ocean-oriented focal points of town.  Both jut almost 1000 feet into the water and fall just 750 feet short of the seemingly mysterious stone wall that protects the harbor. And Both are ideal locations to visit during your bed and breakfast getaway here in Provincetown!

MacMillan Pier is named after Donald Baxter MacMillan who was born here in 1874 and was famous for his 30 treks to the Arctic and exploration of Greenland and Labrador.  His work provided film and photos of the Arctic, as well as knowledge of the Native Americans who lived there.

Cabral’s Pier was once the site of commercial fishing here in Provincetown.  The Fisherman’s Wharf still stands at the end of the pier as a testament to its heyday, now moved over to MacMillan Pier.  It is home to the noted outdoor art mural “They Also Faced The Sea” by Ewa Nogiec and Norma Holt, which honors the town’s early Portuguese residents and their fishing heritage: these women depicted also faced the sea here on land even while their husbands, sons, and fathers made their living on the waters.

Like many piers around the world, both locals and visitors will end up on either pier for a variety of reasons:

  • See the sights: besides giving a vast view of the ocean beyond the harbor, these piers offer a panoramic view of town, all three area lighthouses (Long Point Light, Highland Light, and Wood End Light), and unobstructed sky views.
  • Fish: of course, a pier is a great place to catch some dinner!  If you don’t feel like trying your casting skills in the surf itself, or going out onto the water in a boat, either pier is a logical next choice.  A $10 fishing license (good for a calendar year) is needed to fish from the pier.
  • Get inspired: whether painters, sketchers, poets, or minstrels, you’ll often see artists out on the piers drawing inspiration from their surroundings.
  • Take a trip: Whale watches, fishing charters, ferries, and shuttles all leave from either or both piers.  Whether you want to visit Boston or Plymouth, go drop a line in the ocean, or find marine life, there’s a good chance you’ll start your voyage here on the harbor.
  • Visit museums: the Whydah Museum is located on MacMillan Pier itself.  Learn about the REAL life of pirates, and of the Whydah shipwreck.  The heaquarters of Whydah artifact recovery are based in this very museum!
  • Catch some thrills: Provincetown Parasail is headquartered on MacMillan Pier – see the entire town from hundres of feet in the air at 50 MPH!
  • Art appreciation and shopping: The Blueberry Lane Potter and Blue Gallery is located on MacMillan Pier.  33 crafters and artisans offer their wears to you as a beautiful reminder of your visit to the top of Cape Cod.
  • Satisfy your Hunger: Cabral’s Pier is home to the 9 Ryder Italian restaurant, located in what was once Thompson’s Fish Market. This 5-star restaurant is perfect for celebrations or a romantic dinner for two!

With so much to do, you may find yourself spending many warm days walking out into the sea on these two landmarks.  Your Distinctive Inns of Provincetown host can let you know of any special events on the piers during your visit!

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