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Anyone been to Plymouth, Massachusetts

I'm planning a day trip to Plymouth Mass. Plan to visit Plimouth Plantation, the Mayflower, and the Howland House. And to get some take out seafood. Google lists a number of places but was wondering if anyone has been there lately and can suggest something. Not fancy. Also what streets/areas of town are the most photogenic/interesting to explore? About how long do you think Plimouth Plantation, the Mayflower and the Howland house would take (on average)? Anyone been to this area ( or live around there) and have any tips? Thanks

Posted by
4148 posts

You shou;d be able to see the three sites in a day . Get an early start , Plimoth Plantation will need the most time , if you delve deeply while there . The Mayflower II has recently returned from Mystic Seaport , after having undergone a multi year restoration . . It was quite interesting to see the work advancing , as I am a longtime member there , and visit frequently . If you go before Columbus Day , the seafood joints should still be open . I can't recommend a specific one , being far more familiar with those on Cape Ann and the North Shore . The downtown historic district is a charmer , like all New England coastal towns , look here -,+MA/@41.9573081,-70.6659195,16.25z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x89e4b9efe1b22d71:0xe99070cab6ea2e23!8m2!3d41.9584457!4d-70.6672621 Also , before you go , try to read Nathaniel Philbrick's wonderful history - " Mayflower " ( 2007 ) . This will greatly enhance your visit . Since you are doing this as a day trip , where in the Bay State are you from ? , just curious .

Posted by
176 posts

The historical interpreters are top notch. Take the time to talk to them. They really know how to stay in character. Be sure to educate yourself before going. I have huge respect for the original settlers of the Plymouth Colony, who were separatists, but we call them Pilgrims. Don't confuse them with their related immigrants, the Puritans who founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The name of the colony is being changed to reflect the relationship with the local Native American tribe.

Posted by
11350 posts

We have spent a lot of time just south of Plymouth and always eat at East Bay Grill or Surfside Smokehouse. Both have terrific seafood, lobster rolls. I have never done takeout but imagine they both offer it now. Give them a call to check.
Walk up the side streets from the harbor area to see some historic homes.
The Mayflower is so small it shouldn’t take too much time to see it all.

Posted by
1464 posts

If you have time visit, the Old Ship Church in Hingham which is about 25 miles north of Plymouth on Boston Harbor. The town was established in 1633 and was part of the Plymouth Colony Militia Group. There were many marriages between the two locations. If you are a Mayflower Descendent you may find some Ancestors here and in Boston.

Posted by
847 posts

Thanks to everyone for your perspective on this trip. We did go on Saturday, a beautiful fall day. It felt very safe and was sooooo good to feel at least a little bit like a tourist again. My photos are posted here:

We got to Plimoth Plantation around 10. Parking lot less than 20% full. One couple buying tickets in the visitor center. Everyone we saw all day was masked, at Plimouth there were hand sanitizer stations every few feet and lots of signs to stay 6 feet apart. There were costumed interpreters all over the 'English Village', some inside the houses, others outside. But the houses are all just one room and guests had to stand in the doorway - but you could easily see everything. A few times we had to wait while another 'group/family' was in the doorway but overall it was very easy to not come within 6 feet of anyone. It seemed like everything was open. The Indian Village only had a couple of interpreters and seemed kind of empty so I suspect they have somethings they weren't doing but in general we felt it was 'business as usual'. We spent about 2 hours there. The introductory video that they show in the visitor center was posted on line so we watched it before we left home. I'm not sure if they were showing it there or not. You did not need reservations, timed or otherwise. When we left the parking lot was just slightly more full than it had been two hours earlier.

We then drove the 3 miles to downtown Plymouth. There was a good amount of traffic (and a small Trump vs anti-Trump rally in front of the rock) and most of the on street parking was full but we only had to go about 2 blocks to find a space (metered, there was really quite a lot including the side streets). I had debated if going on the Mayflower would be 'safe' but I think it was. A guide was keeping track of how many were on the ship at a time (max 25) and while we on it we were easily 6 feet from anyone else. It's small. We were there maybe 15 minutes.

We walked through town (lots of outdoor dining options, some places looked to be also serving inside). We looked at but didn't go into the Gristmill.

We did have reservations for the Jabez Howland House (which are required even in non pandemic times). Built in 1667 it's the only remaining house in Plymouth where Pilgrims actually lived. Jabez was the son of John and Elizabeth Tilley Howland who were both on the Mayflower and they lived with him for a time. It's a really interesting house even if you aren't a descendant (although since there are about 3 million of them you chances may be higher than you think). There is the original 1667 section (two rooms, one up one down), a 1720 addition and a 1750 addition. A private guided tour (which is all they do) was about 45 minutes.

Despite having been to Plimouth Plantation before (although it was like 30 years ago) and having done quite a bit of research on line, I still learned a lot.

We planned to have lunch at a seafood restaurant in Plymouth but by mid afternoon it was pretty crowded, all outside tables we saw were full and we just didn't think it was worth it so we went to the Bramhall Country Store (back near Plimoth Plantation) which had lobster grilled cheese sandwiches (very good, not sure they were worth $16 each though). They had well spaced picnic tables. We were in Plymouth a total of about 6 hours including lunch.

Posted by
3292 posts

Thanks for the trip report. My mother had relatives in Carver, and we saw the Plymouth/Plimouth sites nearly 60 years ago - not what I would call "lately"! It was fun to read about them today.