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    What to see in Plymouth: Plimoth Plantation and other historical attractions

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    Joel Fulleda

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    For those who love history but also the pleasant coastal towns Plymouth can reserve much more than a surprise: made famous by the famous Plymouth Rock, the stone where legend has it the Pilgrim Fathers landed, this New England town has become one of the most important centers for the study, research and conservation of the American past.

    Located on the Massachusetts coast, an hour's drive south of Boston, Plymouth is the home of the Plimoth Plantation, where an ancient Indian settlement Wampanoag (Wampanoag Homesite) and a XNUMXth century English settler village (17th-Century English Village), perfect for imagining with the mind's eye the famous Thanksgiving scene, the Thanksgiving American stuffed turkey dinner between natives and settlers; part of the complex is also a center where ancient artifacts are built according to the ancient artisan tradition (Craft center), the copy of the legendary ship Mayflower II and The Plimoth Grist Mill, faithful reproduction of a mill of 1636.

    The main characteristic of these reconstructions is that of combining, in my opinion in a truly appropriate way, the historical-scientific aspect with the one more strongly linked to entertainment. It is not a question of simple costume staging as often happens in the States, but of accurate reconstructions based on study and research, recreated with the desire to truly restore what it had to be originally.

    The participants will speak to you as if they were truly contemporary at the time represented and will also be able to involve you in the activities they have to deal with, an aspect that favors the identification of the visitor in a distant and unknown world.

    Add to this the pleasant Plymouth waterfront, with its many bars and restaurants, the beautiful promenade, a number of noteworthy historic houses and (of course) the famous Plymouth Rock!

    In short, there are many things to do and see in Plymouth, I recommend you take at least a full day (if not 2) to visit them all at your leisure. Let's see all the attractions one by one:

    Plimoth Plantation (MA 3A)

    Start from the Visitor Center, where you will be able to admire a nice video of about 15 minutes that will tell you the story of what you will soon be able to see with your own eyes ...

    Wampanoag Homesite

    Reconstruction of Patuxet, an Indian village from the 1600s that became extinct due to diseases brought by European settlers. The attention to detail is amazing: not only the huts, but also the crops, plants and boats are reconstructed with great philological attention.

    The figures really belong to the Wampanoag ethnic group and, although they are dressed as Indians of the sixteenth century, they will talk to you in modern language (they are not completely immersed in the part as it happens in other reconstructions). All preparations, food and artifacts (even the canoes) are built by hand by the figures themselves using traditional techniques.

    17th-Century English Village

    It is the recreation of a settlement of the Pilgrim Fathers. You will find yourself strolling among the wooden huts with thatched roofs, you can enter the houses and converse with the extras and help them carry out their work.

    They will address you as if they truly belonged to that historical era, telling you about their life and how they came to Plimoth Plantation. On one side of the village you will also find a fort with 2 nice cannons. Go up and take the opportunity to take a photo from the best panoramic position!

    Craft center

    A few steps from the village you will be able to see for yourself how certain foods were originally prepared and some indispensable artifacts were made. The craftsmen present will be more than available to satisfy your curiosity by answering all your questions.

    Mayflower II

    The one docked on Plymouth Harbor is not the original Mayflower, but it is nonetheless a relic of historical significance. It is in fact a life-size copy that the British government made and donated to the United States in the mid-50s.

    Once on the boat you can decide whether to dialogue with a costumed figure totally immersed in his era, or with modern guides. It is truly impressive to explore the ship, especially considering how more than 100 people could have endured such harsh conditions for over 10 weeks.

    The Plimoth Grist Mill (6 Spring Lane)

    Plimoth Grist Mill, like Mayflower II, is also located outside the Plimouth Plantation. It is a fully functional reproduction of the old mill that the locals built on the Town Brook. A detailed guided tour will show you its history and how it works.

    Plymouth waterfront and environs

    When you feel that the time has come to rest, fold up for a nice relaxing walk along the seafront (and why not for a nice break in one of the many restaurants). But the attractions of historical interest also arise in this area: in addition to the aforementioned Mayflower II, here you will find:

    • Plymouth Rock (Water Street): For a long time it was believed that the Pilgrim Fathers really landed here after their long journey, but it is a legend. The first landing was in Provincetown, only in the second place did they arrive in Plymouth and there is no evidence that proves the docking point. In any case, the Plymouth rock has nevertheless become a symbol of American history, even if its current size might disappoint you a little ...
    • Historic houses: not far from the rock and the waterfront, you will encounter some historic houses, such as the Harlow Old Fort House (1677), the Hedge House (1809) and the Mayflower Society Museum (housed in Edward Winslow's historic house dating back to 1754). Inland, always skirting the Town Brook, you can visit the home of Jabez Howland (33 Sandwich Street), dating back to 1667, the only house in the area that was certainly inhabited by a Mayflower passenger, and that of Richard Sparrow (42 Summer Street), the oldest, dating back to 1640.
    • Pilgrim Hall Musuem (75 Court Street): the museum, founded in 1824, is the oldest in the States, and exhibits numerous artefacts that originally belonged to the Pilgrim Fathers and the Wampanoags.

    As you may have understood, the things to see in Plymouth they are really many, and thanks to his Plimoth Plantation and the many nearby sites, the town is a real boon for history buffs (a bit like the historic sites of the Virginia Historic Triangle); moreover, its promenade can also give a pleasant day to those who are simply looking for relaxation and tranquility. In short, this small coastal settlement turned out to be a really pleasant surprise for me!

    Where to sleep to visit Plymouth and the Plimoth Plantation?

    To visit the town and the plantation, the ideal solution is to sleep in the city, although Plymouth can very well be an excellent destination for a day trip from neighboring cities: Boston, Providence and Newport. Below you will find some links to find accommodation:

    • List of available hotels in Plymouth
    • Advice on where to sleep in Boston
    • List of properties available in Providence (Rhode Island)
    • List of available hotels in Newport (Rhode Island)

    Other useful resources

    If you are thinking of embarking on a New England itinerary, I would like to point out some resources that may be useful for planning your trip.

    • Our guide on how to plan a tour of New England.
    • Our tips on Country Inn: the best Bed & Breakfasts in the region.
    • All you need to know about Acadia National Park, New England's most fascinating natural park.
    • Our advice on the city of Boston, a reference point for visiting the region.
    • Our section with all the recommended itineraries in New England.
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