Friday, April 30, 2010

America's Home Town . . .

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!

The Pilgrim Cove pool at the John Carver Inn

If a quick lunch is what you are looking for, I recommend Pebbles on the waterfront (my youngest son’s favorite place to eat!); they serve burgers, fried seafood and ice cream.  Pebbles is located directly across the street from the Mayflower II.
Pebble's Restaurant

When it comes to dining, you can find any kind of cuisine you fancy in Plymouth - Mexican, Indian, Italian, and of course, local seafood.  One of the longest operating establishments in Plymouth is Ernie's Restaurant on Court Street, which has been in business for over 65 years. With a menu ranging from sandwiches, seafood and hearty entrees like pot roast and turkey (how could you come to Plymouth and not eat a turkey dinner?) there is something for everyone. 


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).

The Cabby Shack

During the upcoming summer season, make a trip to Plymouth for history, food and ocean views! Visit their website and plan a historical getaway!

P.S. - It was bleak and rainy the day I visited - which is why some of the photos are so dark!  I recommend visiting on a warm, sunny day!

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