My own private Provincetown - the best east coast vacation for your money - PHOTOS


Why should you go? Because in Provincetown every side street leads to the sparkling water or it takes you into the leafy undiscovered world of accomplished gardening and Cape Cod architecture. If there was a geiger counter to locate the presence of old world charm it would operate at maximum tilt here. Flowers, climbing vines, fragrant herb gardens, quite unspoiled beaches that stretch for miles, they're on every corner here and they add immeasurably to the charm of the place.

PHOTOS - Holiday snaps of the beautiful Provincetown, Cape Cod

Theatre lovers are going to find P-Town a home away from home. After all Broadway is run by the gays so can you be surprised when they bring a show or two with them on holiday? On our recent visit we caught a new kind of boy band on stage at the surprisingly huge theatre venue Art House, located at 214 Commercial Street. Forget One Direction and say hello to Well Strung. This accomplished all-male string quartet featured classical musicians (who also happened to be muscle bound hunks) who astounded the audience with pieces by Mozart, Vivaldi, Rhianna and Lady Gaga. Well Strung were the perfect P-Town blend of accomplishment and fun and they brought the house down.

The dining in P-Town features attractions to suit all tastes and wallets. One thing you absolutely have to do - I insist - is visit the Provincetown Portuguese Bakery located at 299 Commercial Street to order a freshly made malasada (sweet fried dough) topped with sugar. Imagine the best doughnut you have ever tasted and you still haven't come close to its utter majesty. Forget your figure, you're on vacation you can do this, just buy one.

For our money, some immediate dining standouts included Napi's located at 7 Freeman Street, an American Italian restaurant, which is open for lunch and dinner and features standouts like Portuguese Kale Soup and wonderfully rich Clam Chowder. They feature a fresh catch of the day menu with unmissable dishes like the Cod Provencal (prepared in olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, olives, basil and white wine. We found the place offered a perfect mix of seasonal and seafood dishes and it could easily become your go to restaurant.

Another delightful place we found was the aptly named Jimmy's HideAway (named after Jimmy McNulty, a local who co-owns it) located at 179 Commercial Street. What do you want on a night out on vacation? Great food, great service, strong drinks, attentive waiters and killer deserts. We found this restaurant to excel in all points.  Call ahead for reservations (it's popular) and ask for a table facing the water.

The Lobster Pot at 321 Commercial Street obviously places an emphasis on seafood dining. The sea views from the dining area are popular with tourists and make this a pleasant throwback of a restaurant offering signature dishes like the clam chowder, fried clams and baked cod - are all superb (and you can't miss their signature lobster dishes).

Absolutely do not miss Connie's Bakery, located at 205 Commercial Street (in the Aquarium Mall). Their choices, hand prepared by Connie O’Meara, include made-to-order egg sandwiches, fresh muffins, amazing cinnamon rolls, coffee cakes, bagels, croissants, and a full line of coffees and specialty teas. But for us the standouts included the Pulled Pork Pie (I actually want to rebook my vacation just to experience another one, they're that good) which, served with a fresh green salad, can set you up for the entire day. Do not miss this place. It's one of the keys to the real P-Town.

PHOTOS - Holiday snaps of the beautiful Provincetown, Cape Cod