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Exploring Plymouth Past and Present

Plymouth is a picturesque town on Plymouth Bay, with a pretty harbor, beautiful beaches, cranberry bogs, and an abundance of activities during the fall. All of this is within a very easy drive from your nearby Cape Cod vacation rentals, or even Boston and other northeast metropolitan areas.

Plimouth Plantation
Plimoth Plantation

Plymouth is also the site of the first Thanksgiving when, in 1621, the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians shared in a 3-day feast to celebrate their first successful harvest. But did you know that the Pilgrims actually first landed in Wellfleet on Cape Cod?

On November 9, 1620, Mayflower's crew first sighted land off Cape Cod near the Wampanoag village of Pamet. The next day, the ship attempted to travel south around the Cape to the colonists' intended destination at the mouth of the Hudson River (present-day New York). Bad weather and dangerous shoals forced the Mayflower to turn back. The ship made landfall on November 11 at the tip of Cape Cod (now Provincetown). After exploring the Cape Cod area for several weeks, the colonists finally decided to settle at Plymouth.

At historic Plimoth Plantation, you can experience what that first Thanksgiving was like for the Pilgrims who came to live side by side with, and learn from, the Wampanoag Indians. The English Village is a re-creation of the settlement that existed in 1627. You will meet role playing colonists who speak, act, and dress as the Pilgrims did then, and they always stay in character.

At the Wampanoag Homesite, you will meet modern day Native People in traditional dress, who will tell you about traditional Wampanoag life and culture as it existed in the 17th century during the time of the Pilgrims.

Also, be sure to visit the Mayflower II, which will return to Plymouth Harbor in the spring of 2020 after being restored. The ship is a full-scale reproduction of the original 17th century vessel. On board, you will meet “Pilgrims” in period costume who will describe their difficult 66-day journey in 1620.

The symbolic Plymouth Rock is located along the waterfront very near to where Mayflower II is anchored. This is the spot where the Mayflower Pilgrims were believed to have disembarked from the ship.

If you are planning a fall trip, see our Plymouth area vacation rentals, many of which are available for rent by the week or for long weekends.

About Becky Fischer

About Becky Fischer: I have worked for since 2003. Currently my position entails providing photography, video, and consultation services to vacation rental homeowners, and I have photographed over 700 homes on the Cape and Islands. My husband and three children moved to Brewster in 2006. I grew up outside of Boston, spent summer vacations on Nantucket, and was married in Orleans. My favorite activities on the Cape are walking on the CCRT, deep breaths at the beach, visiting great coffee shops, and working with my community to support the schools and local events.