Steph Yiu

Bike + Backpack = Workcation

One Saturday morning, Corey and I were hanging out at a local coffeeshop getting a lazy breakfast.

“You know what my favorite trip was from last summer?” I said. “PTown. I’m so bummed that we couldn’t make it this year.”

Corey’s reply: “Let’s go. This week.”

Within the hour, we had booked our hotel and ferry from our phones. Corey and I can work from anywhere, but we don’t take advantage of that often and… I’m glad we tried out this workcation.

For those that don’t live in the Boston area, Provincetown (or, “PTown”) a magical place. It has beautiful beaches. Whale watching. Amazing food. Lively downtown. Interesting art. Awesome people.

Provincetown aerial view, courtesy of Wikimedia

But one of the best things about PTown? You don’t need a car to get there. Instead of a frustrating 3 hour drive in Cape traffic, you can take a 90 minute fast ferry, cruising on the water while enjoying your favorite drink (yes, there’s a bar onboard). And, bikes are welcome.

So on Monday night, we packed our bags. This is much easier to do in the summer when you don’t have bulky winter clothes!

On Tuesday morning, Corey and I dropped off the dog, loaded our bike baskets, and biked into downtown Boston to catch the ferry.

This was actually the worst bike ride of the whole trip — biking into downtown Boston at rush hour. But after a 45 minute bike ride, I was happily at my “office desk” by 8:30am.

You know that “vacation” feeling you get when you walk into a seaside town? That’s what it felt like when the ferry pulled into the heart of PTown. We checked into Gabriel’s, a bed and breakfast where we booked a last minute stay. It was comfortable, lovely, had excellent wifi, was fairly affordable, and included an impressive breakfast.

For lunch, we took a long bike ride to the beach. My friend Lori is a book agent and one of her authors recently released a book, which came along for the ride! Lori was essentially our travel guide for the few days we were there — we followed her recommendations almost to a T.

After work we grabbed snacks and drinks at Victor’s where we met the loveliest folks. We hung out at the fireplace there for a bit, and then got late night pizza at Spiritus.

The next morning we were pleasantly surprised by a killer breakfast at Gabriel’s!

Next morning, coffee on the beach… not a bad way to start the work day. Something happens to your mood when you’re in PTown… everything feels happy and fun — and that includes work!

At lunch I went for a walk around downtown. Since we were traveling with just a bike and a backpack… I couldn’t buy anything, which was probably for the best.

It’s a personal tradition of mine to go for a whale watch once a year, so after work, we joined a sunset ride. The best whale watches I’ve been on are always from Provincetown. This time, we got to see a mom and baby flop and play in the ocean. I was giddy with joy the whole time. Corey couldn’t believe how close we got.

On our last morning in PTown, we savored our coffee walk by the beach.

We tried out the most amazing coworking space called The Commons, and spent some time speaking with Jill Stauffer, the Executive Director. It’s a gorgeous nonprofit space she helped create after a long career managing operations at big companies. The space is focused on supporting artists, creative workers, and small businesses in Provincetown. Basically, I want to be Jill when I grow up, and I highly recommend it as a place to cowork!

After work, we went to get drinks at The Red Inn. Lori’s recommendation was in all caps: “YOU MUST GO TO THE RED INN FOR A DRINK.” She was right, the view was beautiful. We also met an adorable pup!

And then that was it! We caught the last ferry back to Boston and enjoyed a showstopping sunset. We leisurely biked through (almost) no traffic and were home by 10pm.

Just a bike, a backpack, and a wonderful 3-day workcation. PTown was, again, one of the best decisions we made this summer.


The Lists

Where we stayed: Gabriel’s, a Provincetown Hotel. One of the best bed and breakfasts I’ve ever stayed at, with a lush garden, spacious rooms, and stellar breakfast.

Where we worked: The Commons. It’s $25 a day and includes a beautiful, quiet space with excellent wifi. Your money supports their work in creating a shared space for artists, creative workers, and small business in Provincetown.

Where we ate:

  • Victor’s – Sat at the bar and met so many lovely people. Food was very good, cocktails were ok.
  • Joon Bar Kitchen – spectacular food and drink. A little off the beaten path, but we loved hanging out here late night.
  • The Canteen – did we come back here twice for frosés? Yes. Do they have some of the best fast casual in PTown, including seafood? Absolutely. And, they have a stunning outdoor patio and bar to boot.
  • Pop+Dutch – incredible sandwiches. They make everything in house. I would absolutely come here for a quick lunch in the future.
  • Mama Matcha – a popular health food place downtown. We grabbed a quick bite here when we arrived, and it was very good, though pricey.
  • Spiritus Pizza – I don’t like pizza but this place was pretty great for a late night slice!

Where we drank

  • Kohi Coffee – Corey was won over by their New Orleans iced coffee and we went back two mornings in a row. They have a pretty view of the beach.
  • The Red Inn – Built in 1805, this adorable inn is in a neighborhood tucked away in Provincetown’s West End. Great drinks, even better view.

What we did

  • Race Point Beach – The most protected and scenic beach in the New England area. You may see seals swimming by (and hopefully no sharks). Gorgeous sunsets.
  • Province Lands Bike Trails – I love biking around PTown’s bike trails. While they can be challenging, it’s quiet and scenic.
  • Dolphin Whale Watch – The best whale watches are from Provincetown, and each watch has a whale researcher onboard, so you’re funding their work.

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