Originally settled in 1620, the birthplace of Thanksgiving remains a great place to connect with the origins of American history.
For many, Plymouth remains a distant, folkloric place more often read about than seen. The oceanfront view from Burial Hill is where Colonial Pilgrims first landed in the New World. In this community the Pilgrims braved harsh conditions to establish a haven for religious and political freedom. Come to Plymouth to deepen your understanding of this town’s special spot in American history and stay for the fruits of its New England maritime industry.
History tourism in Plymouth centers on Plymouth Harbor. Walk down the coast from Mayflower II, the working replica of the original Mayflower boat on which the Pilgrims arrived. Relax in the oasis of Brewster Gardens. Wander to the end of the gardens to find the Jenney Museum, showcasing the Pilgrims’ industrial and agricultural life.
Continue the Pilgrim experience at Plimoth Plantation, a full-scale reenactment of Pilgrim society in the 17th century. See a sweeping collection of objects from Pilgrim art, culture and daily life at the Pilgrim Hall Museum.
Plymouth also features coastal attractions that proudly represent New England maritime culture. Look out onto the harbor during sunrise or sunset and watch fishing boats make their rounds. Enjoy their catches at casual cafés or fine dining restaurants. Wherever you eat, sample the fresh fish and boiled lobster that this region is known for.
Boat trips are a popular summer pastime. The Pilgrim Belle offers a paddlewheel tour of several of Plymouth’s historical sites, as well as Clark’s Island and Gurnet Point. If you have a longer stay, ride the Plymouth-Provincetown Express Ferry to Plymouth’s bohemian neighbor, Provincetown, Massachusetts. This pleasant cruise is worth the trip in itself.
Plymouth is a 45-minute drive from Boston and an hour from Providence. Fly into Boston’s Logan International Airport or the airport at Warwick near Providence and drive down the coast. Most of Plymouth’s historic sites and many hotels are walkable distances from each other. Plan enough time to appreciate the significance of the historic events that unfolded here.