Plymouth Guide: Explore This Massachusetts Gem

In December 1620, a group of English men and women landed the Mayflower on the shores of Massachusetts. Legend goes they anchored at Plymouth Rock and formed the first permanent European settlement. In addition, Native Americans welcomed settlers to enjoy the first Thanksgiving feast. While much has changed since that time, Plymouth remains a desirable destination for all ages. If looking for a place to spend Thanksgiving or need a good history lesson, here’s a quick Plymouth guide and planning tips.

Plymouth Guide: Everything Guests Need for a Successful Day Trip

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Getting to Plymouth

There are multiple ways to get to Plymouth, Massachusetts. Those flying will land in Boston Logan International Airport, the area’s largest transportation center. From there, rent a vehicle and drive about 40 miles south to Plymouth.

Trains offer a popular alternative with commuter rail and weekend trains that serve communities from Boston to within Plymouth County. In addition, visitors from outside areas may enjoy ferry services.

Some people may prefer a scenic drive to Plymouth. Many communities in Connecticut sit within three hours; while travelers from New Hampshire and Rhode Island access the town in one to five hours. Additionally, Maine residents should expect a drive lasting from two to six hours.

Popular Activities

Plymouth provides a place to enjoy outdoor activities and indoor attractions. Those who want to tour the area can explore via guided boat tours, cruises, kayaks and fishing trips. In fact, fishing ranks among the top things to do. Visitors will also find plenty of space on Long Beach, White Horse Beach and Browns Beach.

In addition to water recreation, the Plymouth area also houses several golf courses. Here, players find challenging greens paired with scenic views and friendly vibes. Top courses include Pinehills Golf Club, Waverly Oaks Golf Club and Atlantic Country Club.

For the best local experience, book a guided walking tour. These daytime walks explore the area’s top attractions and local restaurants.

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Special Sites in Plymouth

Due to its significant place in history, Plymouth still maintains original historic sites and must-see attractions. Here’s a rundown of the best places to start:

Plimoth Plantation: A living history museum with 17th-century English village, the Mayflower, Plimoth Grist Mill and Wampanoag home-site.

Jenney Interpretive Center: Make reservations to tour this center. Home to exhibits and walking tours, The Jenney strives to provide a deeper understanding into Pilgrims, their beliefs and impact on society.

National Monument to the Forefathers: Completed in 1889, this monument features an 81-foot granite statue and educational programs. Located at The Jenney.

Pilgrim Hall Museum: Among the oldest museums in the U.S. Collections include Pilgrim possessions, armor, books, documents, furniture, paintings and household items.

Other noteworthy sites include Mayflower II, Pilgrim Memorial Park and Brewster Gardens.

Plymouth Guide: Where to Eat

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No trip to Plymouth will seem complete without sampling the local food scene. While the area offers many foods known to the Boston-New England area, visitors also find award-winning spots for fine dining, breakfast, seafood and international cuisine. Here are some favorites:

The Blueberry Muffin: Kick off the day with a hearty breakfast. Specials include eggs, sausage, bacon, steak, pancakes, waffles and muffins. Or create an omelet, dig into hash dishes, and sample decadent Benedicts.

KKatie’s Burger Bar: Top place in Plymouth for burgers. Guests order them with various toppings, such as caramelized apples and onions, cheese, sauces, hot peppers, bacon, guacamole, and other tasty flavors.

Wood’s Seafood: Ranks among the best places for seafood. Select from fresh clams, lobster and fresh catches. In addition, guests may select from broiled and fried plates. Fish includes haddock, salmon and swordfish.

Dillon’s Local: Offers an upscale dining experience. Select from American traditional, local favorites and pizza. Dillon’s also serves hot sandwiches. To start, order the Cape Cod Rueben, Seafood risotto or Shepard’s pie.

Plymouth Guide: What to Pack

Massachusetts has a four-season climate that varies in temperature and precipitation. In winter, expect drastic cold temperatures and snow. Spring brings some rain with highs from 50s to 60s. During summertime, temperatures reach as high as 90, but evenings remain in the 60s. Most enjoy Plymouth in the fall when temperatures are cool and fall foliage spreads through the area.

Depending on time of year, it’s best to pack multiple layers of clothing, jackets, hats, gloves and sun protection. If playing outdoors, bring swimsuits, sunglasses, sandals, shorts and breathable fabrics. Snow lovers need a heavy coat, thermal attire, hats, gloves, socks and boots. As always, look ahead at weather patterns and note any special circumstances.

Plan an unforgettable trip and book a vacation rental in Massachusetts. Then read about North Shore’s top beaches.

Main photo: Massachusetts Office of Tourism