mindgarden saidHmm... sounds like I missed out. I used to go to Woods Hole quite frequently, on business, but somehow, never made it up to Provincetown. Well... I was on business - no free time - and it was usually winter. So maybe no loss. Many of those east coast beach towns seem to be all boarded up and closed down in the winter.
Yeah, P-town is pretty bleak in the winter, not much open. It used to shut down right after Labor Day, but many businesses now stay open through October and even into early November.
Mid-September is when we like to go, after Labor Day. The crowds are way down, lodging prices drop, while lot of things are still open. The only gamble is the weather, but that's true of Cape Cod even in the summer.
We've been there the end of September and it was sunny and low-80s, T-shirt & shorts weather. I've also been there in July and it was cold, rainy & foggy, rain parka weather. But P-town being on a spit of land at the end of the Cape is almost like an island out in the Atlantic, and subject to these differences.
I don't know any very inexpensive places right in P-town, you may find some down in North Truro, Truro, Eastham, etc, within driving distance (but then P-town parking is a hassle in summer). Within town the Boatslip has some fair rates for a small single, with on-site parking, but not very attractive or stylish.
But the older quaint guest houses along Commercial can become quite pricey, and most have no on-site parking, so add the cost of a pay parking lot a few blocks away. At least the Boatslip has a pool overlooking the beach, and hopefully will resume their gay tea parties on the pool deck on Sundays this summer.