Louisville to Provincetown, Mass., for a postcard-perfect $12,000 vacation of sun, sand — and surreal

An occasional look at premium travel from Louisville.

With the world’s attention focused on the summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, what better time to jet off to Carnival — in Provincetown, Mass. Known to fans worldwide as P-town, the small, arty and very eclectic beach resort is perched on the tippy-tip of Cape Cod.

Provincetown aerial
At the tip of Cape Cod.

Held this year from Aug. 13 to 19, Carnival is one of the biggest annual outdoor celebrations in Massachusetts, attracting 90,000 revelers to an ultra-festive parade and parties from the east to west ends of lively Commercial Street along the waterfront. This year’s retro theme: “Back to the ’80s.” The Census Bureau says P-town is the gayest city in the world, which also means it’s all-inclusive.

The town’s year-round population is just 3,000, but swells to 60,000 during the summer, when seasonal residents and tourists from all around the world flock to its amazing seafood restaurants, art galleries, theaters, beaches and bike paths rolling through the dunes of the magnificent Cape Cod National Seashore Parks.

The itinerary

When: August 12-21. Airline: American and Cape Air. Route: Louisville to Chicago to Boston to Provincetown; total travel time is five hours and 30 minutes, excluding layovers. How much: $870; coach to Chicago, then first class to Boston. The Cape Air connecting flight is $318 aboard a nine-passenger prop. American reservations and Cape Air reservations.

If you don’t like the idea of small planes, two ferry companies offer frequent service from Boston to P-town: Boston Harbor Cruises and Bay State Cruise Co. Their fast-ferry service will get you there in about 90 minutes. By car from Boston’s Logan Airport, it’s about a 2½ drive.

Where to stay?

The Crowne Pointe Historic Inn and Spa hotel’s penthouse suite promises spectacular panoramic town views with two bedrooms; a chef’s kitchen with six-burner gas stove and double ovens, and two private decks. The rate: $749 a night, or $6,741 for our nine-day stay, excluding taxes.

Dina Martina

P-town’s theater scene is like nowhere else. Boulevard especially recommends the incomparable comedian Dina Martina: “tragic singer, horrible dancer, and surreal raconteur.” (Emphasis on the surreal.) When: through Sept. 17 at the Crown & Anchor Resort.

Don’t forget The New York Times’ 36 Hours in Provincetown; TripAdvisor’s Provincetown page, and Airbnb’s Provincetown rentals.

The bottom line

For two: airfare and hotel, plus $300 a day for meals and incidentals comes to just under $12,000.

Here’s a drone’s-eye view of what you’ll experience:

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