| BY MAGGIE KULBOKAS - CapeCodToday.com
Last week Fodor’s listed Provincetown as one of its choices for Best Small Towns in America. This week, the town at the Cape’s tip has been added to another high profile list, Smithsonian’s 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2013.
For their April edition, Smithsonian hand-picked 20 towns from sea to shining sea with Provincetown coming in at #10, right between Sitka, AK (#9) and Galena, IL (#11).
To make the grade, towns were chosen based on what Smithsonian calls their “cultural blessings”.
If you doubt that Ptown, as it’s known, is radiantly beautiful, flip through Cape Light, featuring photographs by Joel Meyerowitz, one of the many artists who have gravitated there.
Better yet, go: in season when day-trippers head for National Seashore beaches and mob downtown, or out of season when geese cry and time slows, leaving the village to residents and artists and writers on retreat. They come from afar to seek inspiration at the Fine Arts Work Center, and in historic National Park Service-administered shingle shacks on the dunes where Jack Kerouac made notes for On the Road.
But it wasn’t history or fried clams that created Ptown in all its singularity. It was the artists from World War I-torn Europe who found safe harbor on Cape Cod Bay, establishing the venerable Provincetown Art Association and Museum, where American Post-Impressionism met Modernism. The organization still sponsors lectures, garden tours, concerts and exhibitions like last year’s “Robert Motherwell: Beside the Sea.” Artists and art-lovers gather at Beachcombers Club clambakes to shoot the breeze about new shows at the galleries on Commercial Street.
As the bohemian art colony took shape, Provincetown laid cultural claim to its position on the outré edge of the Outer Cape. “This is the freest town in America,” resident Norman Mailer once said. The town’s gay and lesbian community helps set it apart. The December light festival, Holly Folly, has all the trappings of similar events in other small towns, except it’s sponsored by the gay and lesbian Provincetown Business Guild. How to Survive a Plague, a film about AIDs activism nominated for a 2012 Oscar for best feature documentary, got its launch at the Provincetown International Film Festival.
P-Town is an easy 45 minute drive from the Inn. Come stay with us and enjoy P-Town during your Cape Cod getaway.