One of Provincetown’s main attractions is the fabulous shopping opportunities available. Whether it’s a Cape Cod souvenir or a designer label that you’re hunting for, we have something for everyone! If you’re looking for the big chain stores, though, you’ll be disappointed. Nearly all of Provincetown’s shops are independently owned, one-of-a-kind, specialty stores that offer an experience unlike anything you’ll find at the mall back home. What this means is that every shop you’ll visit has its own personality, quirkiness, and individuality - the kind of funky eclectic mix that’s exactly what you come to Provincetown to find.
What’s more, there’s something here for every taste and every price range. Specialty foods jostle for space beside vintage clothing shops, and you’ll want to pick up some fudge (from one of several vendors) as you continue on your walk. You can visit upscale stores that specialize in luxurious home furnishings and then turn around and buy postcards and bumper stickers next door. Or buy some earrings made from local sea glass and then cross the street to look at old Soviet Army surplus jackets.
Surprised? Don’t be - it’s the Provincetown shopping experience!
Most of the shops you’ll want to visit are on Commercial Street or along some of the side streets. Commercial Street stretches from the East End to the West End, with plenty of places to find exactly what you’re looking for at every step along the way.
Souvenirs and beach accessories—sunglasses, towels, the ubiquitous t-shirts—are all readily available. Several shops offer leather goods, from the extremely proper to the nearly salacious (window displays are a giveaway here!). Others specialize in imported goods, particularly from Asia (on my own first-ever visit to Provincetown many years ago I bought a Buddha figure that still holds pride of place in my home).
A number of different bookstores are available that offer both new and used books, on topics from LGBT fiction and nonfiction to 12-step literature, from obscure dusty tomes published eighty years ago to the latest from the bestseller lists.
No shopping trip in Provincetown is complete without visiting the plethora of art galleries that line Commercial Street or appear in alleyways off it. Provincetown is the oldest continuously running art colony in the United States, and our galleries prove that talent and innovation in art are alive and well. More often than not, when you visit one of our galleries, it’s the artist him or herself who will be sitting at the front desk, and it’s an amazing experience to be able to talk about the art you’re seeing with its creator! You’ll be surprised at the affordability of much of the art on display.
Many Provincetown shop owners spend the winter on buying trips and bring back collections of gift items that you won’t find elsewhere. This much variety may mean you find yourself doing all your gift shopping in town. Window shopping and browsing will give you ideas that will last you long after your visit is over, and several of the shops will accommodate online shopping if you find a certain item haunting your thoughts.
All of Provincetown’s museums include shops the offer terrific quality souvenirs not available elsewhere, either in town or on the Cape itself. You can buy kid-friendly toys, art reprints, historic-themed items, magnets, and more at the museum stores. And speaking of kids, we have lots of stores that offer shells, games, toys, puzzles, and other fun stuff to keep them engaged and interested while you do your own vacation shopping.