How to Watch the Sunrise on Provincetown’s World Famous Dunes

The dunes of Provincetown have been attracting artists and writers seeking creative inspiration for over a century. Charles Webster Hawthorne opened his Cape Cod School of Art in the summer of 1899. From Jackson Pollock to Tennessee Williams, the dunes have been the backdrop for many paintings and plays that are now known worldwide.

Now, thanks to Art’s Dune Tours, you can experience that same inspiring landscape during their Sunrise Amateur Photography Tour. This three-hour extended tour allows you to take photos during the best light.

Photographers everywhere know that the best time to shoot is the “golden hour” – that magical hour just after sunrise or just before sunset. The sun is low in the sky, producing a soft, diffused light that’s flattering to any subject. The long shadows cast over the dunes will add an element of depth and texture to your images. During the “golden hour,” light changes quickly, so every photo you take will be slightly different.

The dunes are a place of solitude. The untouched beauty of the windswept landscape provides a welcome retreat from the hustle and bustle of Provincetown’s Commercial Street. During the Sunrise Photography Tour, you’ll be whisked away in one of Art’s Dune Tours’ spacious Suburbans to learn about the unique history and ecology of the area.

Art’s Dune Tours, founded in 1946, is now run by the second generation of the Costa family. Rob Costa grew up going on tours with his parents, and later, driving solo as a teenager. He loves the dunes, and calls them the Provincetown Outback. He even got married on the dunes.

Art’s Dune Tours’ guides are all extremely knowledgeable. Throughout the tour, you’ll learn the history of the dunes, as well as the history of Provincetown. You’ll learn about the different types of plants and berries that grow on the dunes and the unique ways they’ve learned to survive.

There are several amazing viewpoints where you’ll be spoiled for choice for photo opportunities. The tallest hill, dubbed the Ant Hill, has vistas of the Provincetown Monument and the Atlantic Ocean. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a whale in the distance.

The sunrise tour gives you a full three hours in the dunes to explore and take photos of the unique setting in complete solitude. The dunes can get cold at that time even during the summer, though, so don’t forget extra layers.

Sunrise Amateur Photography Tours run on Monday and Wednesday by appointment only. This is a one-of-a-kind experience you won’t forget, leaving you with stunning photographs from a unique part of Cape Cod rarely seen. Learn more about the tour on Art’s Dune Tours’ website, and call them at (508) 487-1950 to book your group tour before the season ends.

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