Cape Cod Nightlife
6 Masonic Place
Provincetown , Massachusetts
Tel: 508 487 3821
The premier nightspot in gay-oriented Provincetown is the Atlantic House. Known locally as the A-House, it opened in 1798 as a tavern and stagecoach stop and eventually became a magnet for bohemian visitors, including the playwrights Tennessee Williams and Eugene O'Neill. (O'Neill was arrested here one night during World War I for carrying a suspicious black box that turned out to contain nothing more sinister than a typewriter.) Today, the building is divided into a small, friendly bar called the Little Bar, a leather bar upstairs that is considerably more rowdy, and the town's most popular nightclub, where patrons wait in line less to crowd onto the tiny dance floor than to simply see and be seen.
Little Bar open daily noon to 1 am; Macho Bar and Big Room open daily 10 pm to 1 am.
1120 Cahoon Hollow Road
Wellfleet , Massachusetts
Tel: 508 349 6055
With its fun, West Coast–style surfer vibe, the Beachcomber (just "the 'Comb-ah' " to locals) is a Cape Cod mainstay, and the only right-on-the sand beachside restaurant and bar. The food is mediocre pub fare, but the cabana-style bar opens right onto the high sandy cliffs and powerful surf of Cahoon Hollow Beach, and there's often live music. Hanging out here is also a good way to avoid paying for parking at the beach: They'll credit you the $15 fee on your food-and-drink bill.
Open daily 11:30 am to 1 am, mid-June through Labor Day; Thursdays through Mondays 11:30 am to 1 am, Memorial Day through mid-June.
286 Grand Avenue
Falmouth , Massachusetts
Tel: 508 540 6160
Casino Wharf FX is slightly more decorous—and attracts a slightly older crowd—than the raucous Casino nightclub it replaced in 2007. But it's still fun, with a friendly staff, live jazz on many evenings, and unparalleled sunsets. There's a (pricey) seafood menu, but come instead for its two hopping bars—one on each balcony, overlooking the beach and (in the distance) Martha's Vineyard. Floor-to-ceiling windows guarantee the view, even if the weather's chilly.
38 Cove Road at Route 6A
Orleans , Massachusetts
Tel: 508 255 5165
The Land-Ho—a big bar in the center of Orleans—is a local hangout with brass fixtures, red-checkered tablecloths, and antique signs from local businesses covering the walls and ceiling. There's live music and food, including a (rare on Cape Cod) late-night bar menu, and the 14 beers on tap keep the conversation lively. If it's a local dive bar you're after (or a quieter place to toss back a cold one), the Yardarm—just around the corner from Land-Ho—is a favorite of fishermen and lawyers from the nearby district court who are happy to chat up visitors over a beer (48 S. Orleans Rd., Orleans; 508-255-4840; yardarmrestaurant.com).
Open Mondays through Saturdays 11:30 am to 1 am, Sundays noon to 1 am.
Route 28, Pleasant Bay
Chatham , Massachusetts
Tel: 508 432 5400
Libaytion is quite possibly the most stylish bar on the Cape. There are no bad seats at this circular bar sheltered by a pergola: On one side is Pleasant Bay; on the other is the Wequassett Inn's pool. There's live entertainment, and you can order food from the resort's Outer Bar & Grille. Since Libaytion closes at 5:30 (and is open only in summer), you can continue your evening in town at the Chatham Squire, where visitors and locals have been partying for 40 years. The Squire serves food but is the most fun when its friendly bar is in full swing, starting after dinner at around 9 pm (487 Main St., Chatham; 508-945-0945; thesquire.com).
Open daily 11:30 am to 5:30 pm, May through September.
Brewster Inn & Chowder House
1993 Main Street
Brewster , Massachusetts
Tel: 508 896 7771
Tucked behind the Brewster Inn & Chowder House, the Woodshed is a no-frills nightspot that hosts great up-and-coming New England bands (mostly rock and R&B) for a young crowd of visitors and locals that mingles around the bar. When there's live music, there's a cover charge, usually $5.
Open daily 4 pm to 1 am, April through October.