Plymouth, MA, is a charming New England town, steeped in rich American history, that has been dubbed America’s hometown. If you are planning a trip to Plymouth, then check out our list of nine of the best things to do in Plymouth, MA.
Deciding what is important to you, and preparing a list of things to do in Plymouth, MA will give you a better understanding of the sites you will be seeing.
1) Richard Sparrow House
In 1633 Richard Sparrow, his wife Pandora, and their son Jonathan left England and sailed to Plymouth. He was awarded six acres in Plymouth to build a house on, and the house needed to be done in four years.
That home is now a historic attraction and the oldest surviving house in Plymouth. The original portion of the house, prior to additions, is now a 17th-century museum.
There is also an art gallery and a gift shop here selling locally made items.
The museum is open daily, and there is a small admission charge.
2) Mayflower II
The Mayflower II is a carefully built reproduction of the original 17th-century tall ship that carried the pilgrims across the sea. It was built in Devon, England, using traditional methods that would have been used in the construction of the original ship back in 1620.
Touring the Mayflower II should be at the top of every American’s list of things to do in Plymouth, MA. Imagine 102 men, women, and children spending 66 days on this ship, sailing to New England, in extremely tight quarters.
The ship is open to visitors during the tourist season. Tickets can be purchased in advance online.
3) Burial Hill
Visit Burial Hill to see where Plymouth residents and Mayflower passengers have been buried since the 1600s. Initially, a fort was constructed on this site in 1620-1621 that was also used as a meeting house. The fort was subsequently moved.
Early grave markers were made of wood and did not last through the years. The oldest stone marker at Burial Hill is dated from 1681 and marks the resting place for Edward Gray. In 1957 the last burial took place here.
4) Plymouth Rock
From a very young age, American children are taught that it was on this rock that the Pilgrims first disembarked from the Mayflower. Is the story true? No one knows for sure. The first recorded reference that Plymouth Rock was the site of that first landing came from Thomas Faunce in 1741, 121 years later.
Plymouth Rock and the National Monument to the Forefathers are the two memorials located in Pilgrim Memorial State Park. Both memorials are open daily, year-round.
5) Town Brook
Meandering through Plymouth from Billington Sea to Plymouth Harbor, Town Brook served as the freshwater source for the pilgrims when they first settled in Plymouth. There is a walking path that follows Town Brook, which is approximately two miles long. You can hike the full length of the trail or segments to appreciate the scenery and imagine what life was like in those early days.
Town Brook is also the water source that powers the Plimouth Grist Mill. This grist mill is a recreation of the one that was initially built on this same site in 1636.
6) Cole’s Hill
Cole’s Hill is the site of the first pilgrim burial ground. There is a granite sarcophagus here that contains the remains of settlers who were thought to have died in the harsh winter of 1620-1621.
Cole’s Hill is now a public park and National Historic Landmark.
7) Leyden Street
After disembarking from the Mayflower, the settlers began to lay out a street plan. Leyden was the first street where they built their houses.
Houses were built along Leyden Street from the shore of Plymouth Harbor to Burial Hill. From the time of those first settlers, the street continues to be inhabited today. The street is lined with typical New England houses.
8) Mayflower Society House
This 18th century home was originally built by Edward Winslow, the grandson of a pilgrim who was also named Edward Winslow. This grand house and historic place is located at 4 Winslow Street, across from Plymouth Rock.
The house became the property of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants back in December of 1941. Shortly after that, it served as headquarters for the Red Cross during World War II. It now contains the Mayflower Society Research Library.
The house is open for tours seasonally.
9) 1749 Courthouse Museum
Be sure to add the 1749 Courthouse Museum to your list of historic places to see. It is the oldest wooden courthouse in America. It’s located in the center of town and showcases various memorabilia from Plymouth’s history.
Some of the interesting items on display here include:
- A fire engine from 1828
- The town hearse
- A courthouse reproduction
This is a free museum that opens seasonally.
Let Us Create A Plan Of Things To Do In Plymouth, MA For You
If you are planning a trip to New England and visiting Plymouth, we can help. Let us guide you on a walking tour of America’s Hometown. You’ll walk the same path the Pilgrims trod and hear their inspirational stories.
Our walking tour uncovers the stories behind the Plymouth monuments, as recorded in the Separatist’s own words. You’ll visit Plymouth’s historic attractions and gain a better insight into 400 years of history.
Let’s go on a journey of historic places together. Call or go online today to book our Plymouth – Pilgrim Walk Tour.