Arts + Culture

Explore These Provincetown History Museums

With its rich tradition of indigenous people, European colonists, and seafaring, Provincetown is a great place to explore museums dedicated to the history of the area. Guests of our boutique Provincetown hotel AWOL love to visit these Provincetown history museums to take in the culture, art, and stories of those that lived on this narrow hook of sand. Whether you're looking to learn about the Pilgrims' first stop in the New World or the swashbuckling history of the pirates of Cape Cod, these Provincetown history museums deliver an entertaining afternoon while you learn about one of our favorite Cape Cod beach towns.

Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum | 1 High Pole Hill Rd, Provincetown | (508) 487-1310

Did you know the Pilgrims stopped in Provincetown for 5 weeks before moving onto to Plymouth nearly 400 years ago? This monument and museum, built in 1907, memorializes the English explorers' time on the Cape. Climb P'town's signature granite tower to reach 350 feet above sea level, then head into the Provincetown museum to learn about the town's early history. The museum is preparing to mark the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrim's historic landing with a town-wide celebration in 2020.

Expedition Whydah | 16 MacMillan Pier, Provincetown | (508) 487-8899

The Wydah was a British cargo and slave ship that was captured by pirates and then sunk off the coast of Cape Cod in 1717. Its treasure lay undiscovered until an underwater archeologist found the shipwreck buried in the sand in 1984. The Expedition Whydah has made some of the recovered artifacts available to the public in this pier-side museum. Tour the learning center to learn about this incredible recovery effort and the history of the Golden Age of Pirates.

Old Harbor Life-Saving Station Museum | Race Point, Provincetown | (508) 487-1256

The predecessor to the U.S. Coast Guard, the Life-Saving Service was an indispensable resource on the rocky shoals of the Cape. This museum, housed in a former life-saving station, details the heroic efforts of the men of the Life-Saving Service. On Thursdays throughout the summer, demonstrations of the breeches buoy method of rescue are held, something you truly need to see to believe.