Stunning Sunset Tours with Art’s Dune Tours

Arts Dune Tours Sunset Tour

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Art’s Dune Tours in Provincetown has been in business for over 70 years. First run by Art Costa in a wood-paneled station wagon, his son Rob now runs the business with his husband – also named Rob – with a fleet of SUVs from a convenient location at 4 Standish Street. When I arrived for the sunset tour, it was clear to see that it’s a family business. The atmosphere in the office was fun and friendly, with a side of gentle teasing that you only get when you’re family or considered family.

The Sunset Tour is just over two hours long. It combines a tour over the dunes with a trip to Race Point Beach to watch the sunset, while enjoying your own snacks or a pre-arranged meal. I opted for the traditional clambake, but other choices included BBQ and Sushi.

My tour guide for the evening was Peter. He’s a washashore who first went on an Art’s Dune Tour in 1985 with Art himself! He fell in love with the outer Cape and always knew he would live there one day. His passion and love for the area is clear in his knowledge and storytelling. I made a note of the time – just 4 minutes into the tour – when I realized I’d already learned more about Provincetown than I had in my many years of visiting.

Peter easily wove through interesting stories and facts, ranging from the pilgrims to Provincetown’s deep Portuguese heritage. He included details about the native plants and trees, animal life, and celebrities that have lived in the artists shacks dotting the dunes; Jack Kerouac, Tennessee Williams, and Jackson Pollack all got a mention. Oh, and quotes from Henry David Thoreau’s ‘Cape Cod’ never sounded so good as I was gazing across the landscape.

Driving through the dunes is not only a unique experience, but an exclusive one. There are only three groups allowed on the dunes. Aside from Art’s Dune Tours, the only other two are the Cape Cod National Seashore Park Rangers, and the Peaked Hill Trust who take artists out to the shacks.

It was a beautiful, serene drive that left everyone in the vehicle feeling as though they’d gained a real appreciation and knowledge of the area and the dunes. It’s perfect for both out-of-town visitors and those who have lived here all their lives. You’re guaranteed to walk away knowing something new. The family who joined me in the SUV said the tour was even better than they expected. And thanks to Peter, they had taken notes of other things to check out while visiting Provincetown.

We left the dunes and went to the beach. With the sun beginning to set, our guide arranged our dinners. Lobster, clam chowder, mussels and more was the perfect accompaniment to the backdrop of the sunset on the beach. It was an amazing end to an amazing evening. I highly recommend it.

Art’s Dune Tours runs a variety of tours and experiences from their base in Provincetown, including experiences that integrate sailing, kayaking, painting and photography. Check out their website for tour descriptions and to book your next adventure. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be hooked and want to try them all!

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