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Riding the Provincetown Inclined Elevator

PROVINCETOWN – In 2022, a new addition to the many Provincetown attractions rose up on a sandy hill leading to the highest point in town.

The folks at the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum built an inclined elevator, resembling a ski lift, as an easy way for pedestrians to access the Monument, which previously involved a walk up the 85-foot High Pole Hill.

While popularly called a “funicular,” apparently the single track makes this an “inclined elevator.” They are more popular in Europe than here in the US. There are only two in Massachusetts and the Provincetown one is the only one accessible to the public.

The inclined elevator is on Bradford Street in the center of town, next to the Bas Relief Park, which houses a bronze memorial that etches the town’s claim to fame as the first stop of the Pilgrims in 1620, before they sailed the Mayflower on to Plymouth.

Getting the $5 million, 50-ton inclined elevator built in this historic town took five years, numerous community meetings and 11 different architecture, engineering and construction firms for the Cape Cod Pilgrim Memorial Association, which owns the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum.

The fare to ride the inclined elevator, $20, also gives you access to the Provincetown Museum, which offers an encyclopedic review of the history of this fascinating town at Cape Cod’s tip.

As the contraption rises up the hill in just over a minute, passengers in the glass elevator get a majestic view over the town’s rooftops and then out to Provincetown Harbor, Long Point, which is the very tip of the Cape, and out to Cape Cod Bay–a new and quintessential Cape Cod experience.

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Cape Cod Wave’s Provincetown stories

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About the author

Laura M. Reckford

Laura M. Reckford is co-founder of Cape Cod Wave. She has been a reporter and editor on Cape Cod for more than 20 years in magazines, newspapers and radio. She has also authored numerous Frommer's Travel Guide editions on Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.

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