A mere 20 minute ride from my home is one of the most historic towns in the country, Plymouth, Massachusetts. Located forty miles south of Boston, Plymouth is known as “America’s Home Town”, the place where the Pilgrims first set foot in the New World. Well, this is technically not true – but the myth seems to linger! The Pilgrims set out from England in search of a better way of life, and after months of grueling travel on the Mayflower in unimaginable conditions, they made landfall in November, 1620 . . . in Provincetown, Massachusetts. After exploring the Provincetown area and several other sites on Cape Cod, they eventually landed in Plymouth Harbor in December, 1620. Although it is said that they first stepped ashore onto Plymouth Rock, there is no factual evidence to support this claim.
Plymouth is a large town (the largest area-wise in Massachusetts) with a lovely downtown area and water front. There is so much to see in this historic town that I could go on for hours!
Statue of William Bradford in Pilgrim Memorial Park
By far the most famous landmark in this town if Plymouth Rock. This poor rock has been moved many times since its supposed identification. It was originally located at the waterfront, was moved to Plymouth Center (it broke in two during the move), then was moved to Pilgrim Hall, and finally to the location where it sits today, under a granite monument right on the water in Pilgrim Memorial State Park
Plymouth Rock, at high tide
Monument around Plymouth Rock
Located steps from Plymouth Rock is the Mayflower II, replica of the original ship that brought the Pilgrims in 1620. It is open for tours, but beware - if you have any kind of claustrophobia, I would settle for viewing it from the outside – it is very tight in the lower decks. If you do venture on board, try to imagine sailing on her with 100 other people through rough seas for 66 days – it is incomprehensible!
The Mayflower II from Pilgrim Memorial Park
The Mayflower II from Plymouth Town Pier
As a booming tourist location, there are many hotels, motels and inns to choose from. One of the most popular in the area is the John Carver Inn. A large hotel with many different types of rooms (including suites with fireplaces), a Pilgrim themed pool, and the Beach Plum Spa, it is a favorite with tourists and locals alike. The restaurant in the John Carver is the Hearth n' Kettle, a personal favorite of mine – don’t expect glamorous, fine dining - but the portions are large and the food is always good!
After a long day of sightseeing, take a break and enjoy some nightlife at The Cabby Shack. Located directly on the waterfront, it has become a popular hangout for tourists and natives over the past few years. The Cabby Shack offers entertainment nightly including trivia nights, dueling pianos and local bands. Its recent claim to fame that it was featured on the Food Network’s “Best Thing I Ever Ate” – their clam chowder is supposedly delish (I plan on testing this theory one day next week for lunch).