Looking for the best things to do in Plymouth, MA? Whether you’re a history buff looking to visit all the sites or prefer to stay active in nature, Plymouth has something for you.
Plymouth boasts of a rich American history that attracts many visitors. It was the first place the Pilgrims settled in the new world alongside the native Wampanoag people, making it an ideal destination for history buffs.
Its rich historical background is characterized by buildings, museums, artifacts, a replica of the original Mayflower ship, the stepping stone from the ship, burial grounds, and monuments.
Besides historical attractions, there are other exciting things you can do in Plymouth, MA including swimming, kayaking, hiking, fishing, watching a movie and star constellations, attending the Plymouth Mass of Thanksgiving, beer and wine sampling, and falling in love with mother nature through experiencing whale-watching, the lush gardens, and nature trails.
In this article, we’ve discussed the various things you can do while in Plymouth. Read on to find out more.
The Best Things To Do In Plymouth, MA
Learn About History at the Plimoth Patuxet Museums
The Plimoth Patuxet Living History Museums is a collection of Plymouth’s museums. They offer a historical background of how the Native Americans in Plymouth lived before the arrival of the English settlers. Most people know the museum by its former name, Plimoth Plantation.
The largest installation of the museums is the 17th-century English Village. It constitutes a historic Patuxet mimicking the original settlement of the Wampanoag people. You can learn how to make a mishoon (canoe) and understand how natives lived in a wetu (a winter house) at the historic Patuxet.
Also, passionate customed reenactors provide a guided tour through the two-story building and house of Governor William Bradford and other Plymouth founders.
You can get a combo ticket to the historic sites and travel aboard the Mayflower II for as low as $32.
Climb Aboard the Mayflower II
Mayflower II is a full-size live replica of the original Mayflower ship that transported 102 pilgrim settlers to Plymouth MA. It’s docked at the Pilgrim Memorial State Park and forms part of the Plimoth Patuxet Museums.
The experience of boarding this historic monument is one of the best things to do in Plymouth. This waterfront exhibit has tour guides to educate you on the voyage of the English settlers. They do this through lively family-friendly role-playing activities.
See Plymouth Rock at Pilgrim Memorial State Park
According to popular belief, Plymouth Rock was the stepping stone of the pilgrims from the original Mayflower. This rock led to the establishment of the Plymouth colony, the first in the new world. And that’s why Plymouth County is regarded as America’s hometown.
The rock is housed under a granite portico to protect it. The portico is registered in the National Register of Historic Places, thus gaining popularity as one of the popular places to visit in Plymouth.
While you might be underwhelmed by the small size of Plymouth Rock, its historical importance and scenic views over the Plymouth Harbor are a beauty to watch making it worth visiting.
Plymouth Rock is located at 79 Water Street, Plymouth, MA 02360.
Take a Self-Guided Historical Walking Tour of Plymouth
You can take a self-guided historical walking tour of America’s hometown once you download the Tour Guide App. The app has a live GPS map with images, text, and audio guides to famous landmarks and attraction sites in Plymouth.
You’ll have access to these links for life, therefore, offering you a flexible travel schedule. The App also plays stories automatically based on your GPS and you don’t have to be online to use it.
The app is accessible for as low as $8, but entry tickets and attraction costs aren’t covered on the app.
Learn More about Pilgrims at Pilgrim Hall Museum
The Pilgrim Hall Museum houses the original artifacts of the Pilgrims from their voyage in England. Some of the popular artifacts worth touring are Myles Standish’s sword, the cradle of Peregrine White born aboard the Mayflower, and Governor Bradford’s bible.
The museum also focuses on how the Wampanoag, the original inhabitants of Plymouth, interacted with the English settlers throughout history, their conflicts, and their challenges. The museum is also home to the Sparrow Hawk shipwreck of 1626, off Cape Cod.
Admission tickets to the Pilgrim Hall Museum cost $15 per adult and it operates from Wednesday to Sunday. The museum’s location is 75 Court Street, Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Visit Burial Hill
Burial Hill was the final laying grounds of the Pilgrims and dates back to 1681. It falls under the National Register of Historic Places and has invaluable stone art that is one of the earliest countrywide. One of the things to do at this historic site is to track down the deaths of the Mayflower passengers on the graveyard’s headstone.
It’s worth noting that the initial burial ground of the Pilgrims was at Cole’s Hill before moving it to Burial Hill. The bones present at Cole’s Hill were exhumed and placed in a huge coffin that visitors can see while in Plymouth. The hill is above the original settlement of the Pilgrims and features the statute of Massasoit.
The address of Burial Hill is School Street, Plymouth, Massachusetts.
See the National Monument to Our Forefathers
The National Monument to Our Forefathers is the largest solid granite monument worldwide. The 81-foot monument was completed in 1888 and honors the first pilgrims in Plymouth, MA. It faces Plymouth, England where the pilgrims originated.
What’s more, the monument honors the virtues of the first pilgrims with its allegorical figures. These sculptures, at the side, represent Law, Liberty, Morality, and Education, while the middle one represents Faith. You must get up close to the sides of the monument to see lists of the pilgrims aboard the Mayflower.
The initial plans of the monument were twice its current height (almost taller than the Statute of Liberty). You can access this historic site at Allerton Street, Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Check Out the Jabez Howland House
The Jabez Howland House is a great place to visit since it’s the only free-standing house present in Plymouth where Pilgrims lived.
The house was turned into a museum and artifacts like tools, documents, and household equipment were preserved to tell the history of the Pilgrims.
The house is located at 33 Sandwich Street, Plymouth, Massachusetts
Wander Through Brewster Gardens
Brewster Gardens consists of the settler’s earliest freshwater source, Town Brook. The source still flows through the garden offering the best place for a picnic in the well-maintained lawns.
If you are a nature buff, get active and follow the nature trail surrounding the lush garden. Brewster Garden is one of the best places to wander through because of its relaxing effect.
It’s located at 30 Water St, Plymouth, MA.
Stroll Leyden Street
Leyden Street is the oldest continuously inhabited street in the United States and arguably the first street in America. It’s a great place to visit if you want to look back in time and see how settlers lived.
The street is named after Leyden City, Netherlands, where the Pilgrim’s religious freedom was found.
Sample local wine & beer
If you’re looking for adult-related activities to do in Plymouth, visit the following places;
The Mayflower Brewing Company offers visitors a chance to sample freshly brewed beers and signature brews. Live music and food events are also present throughout the year making it a worthy stop-over. The company is situated at 12 Resnik Rd, Plymouth, MA.
The Plymouth Bay Winery produces wine from locally sourced raw materials. You can sample their bottles of wine with cheese and crackers or decide to have your bottle of wine by the glass while touring the facility. The winery is located at 114 Water St, Plymouth, MA.
Watch a Show at the Americana Theatre Company
The Americana Theatre Company offers year-long live performances featuring professional actors, directors, and set designers. You must pass by the theatre to watch shows in comedy, musicals, mysteries, and family shows.
You can get your ticket and drop by 25 1/2 Court Street, Plymouth, Massachusetts for an eventful night.
Visit the Plimoth Grist Mill
The Plimoth Grist Mill was formerly known as Jenney Grist Mill. The mill is a replica of its predecessor and it still functions the same as before by using water from Town Brook to power its waterwheel when grinding corn.
This historical site is part of the Plimoth Patuxet Museums. It’s among the best places to visit with kids because of the hands-on activities involved in operating the mill. You can check it out at 6 Spring Lane, Plymouth, MA.
For those who love the outdoors, Plymouth has plenty to showcase through the following facilities;
Morton Park offers a ton of activities to do. They include swimming, relaxing by the shoreline, hiking, kayaking, canoeing, or bike-riding along its nature trails. The park gains its popularity as the largest in Plymouth with restrooms, concessions, and lifeguards on standby.
Myles Standish State Forest is a breathtaking forest that nature lovers will want to explore its cycling and walking nature trails. Or, go swimming, fishing, or kayaking on one of its ponds, which popularize the forest as one of the favorite in the state. The forest’s address is 60 Beaver Dam Road, Plymouth, MA.
Nelson Memorial Park is a park with sandy beaches allowing you to sunbathe. It’s also a popular attraction park for families with kids because the children’s park and splash pad are present for kids to enjoy. The park’s location is 255 Water St, Plymouth, MA.
Visit Plymouth Beach
Plymouth beach is filled with fun activities, restaurants, art exhibitions, and entertainment from the Plymouth Waterfront Amphitheater every August. These water street events celebrate The Waterfront Festival, the biggest annual event in Plymouth.
Get out on the Water
One of the best day trips you must make in Plymouth is a whale-watching excursion trip to the waterfront area. Sightings may include humpback, pilot, finback, mink, and right whales.
You can enjoy this exercise aboard Captain John Boats, which also offers private charters, deep-sea fishing, harbor cruises, and a ferry run to Provincetown.
Walk Through the Oldest House in Plymouth (Sparrow House)
Apart from being Plymouth’s oldest house, the Sparrow House is the oldest brick house in North America. It’s supposed to be the grandest house of its time dating back to the late 1930s.
Take a Tour of the Mayflower Society House
The Mayflower Society House is an important historical site as it played a hand in the American Revolution story. The house also accounts for the World War II story as it was the Red Cross headquarters. It also facilitated the wedding of Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Visit the historical site from May through to October at 4 Winslow Street, Plymouth, MA.
See the Stars at the W. Russell Blake Planetarium
You and your family can learn how to use a sky map by gazing at a DigitalSky projection at the W. Russell Blake Planetarium. You’ll get to do this by identifying constellations, planets, and other astronomical features.
The facility is at 117 Long Pond Road Plymouth, MA.
Watch the Plymouth Thanksgiving Parade
Come and participate in beer pongs, wine festivals, live music, truckloads of food, a live parade, and re-enact crucial historic events of the 17th to 20th century while celebrating the annual Plymouth Mass of Thanksgiving at the waterfront and harbor area.