Plimouth (Plymouth) Plantation is a living museum of a 1627 Pilgrim Village, Wampanoag Indian Homesite, Carriage House Crafts Center, and Mayflower II. It is on the site of the first permanent English settlement which was established in southern New England in 1620.
Interpretive guides in period dress and with colonial dialects showcase the rigors of 17th century life. Several houses typical of the era can be observed as well as activities such as meal preparation, furniture, shoe, and pottery making and weaponry.
Pilgrim Hall Museum is the site of the oldest American public hall in continuous operation. Allow a minimum of one hour and as much as 3-4 hours, if you plan to dine and shop, to tour the Plantation.
Within this historic area is a replica of the Pilgrim sailing ship, the Mayflower II, which is open for modern day boarders to explore. It is a 180 ton vessel made in England and sailed to the U.S. in 1957. Allow about an hour to see the ship.
If you have babies in your group you might want to bring a back carrier since it is impossible to push a stroller around the ship, up and down the vertical ladders. Having bottled water in tow is also advisable since it gets very hot below decks in this cramped, stuffy, dark ship. Costumed docents are in character and add to the knowledge you can glean from your self-guided tour.
This is a great history lesson for the kids (great photo ops for those show and tell pictures), a delightful journey back in time for the adults, and a lesson in appreciation for how soft we all have it today.
Plimouth Plantation is open April through November from 9:00 to 5:00 seven days a week. Combination tickets for all the sites can be purchased ahead of time via the internet website at www.plimouth.org. They range from $14.00 for children 6-12, under 6 are free, to $22.00 for adults. Seniors and college students with I.D.'s get discounts.
There is a wide range of dining options available within the village. We were not fortunate enough to sample it, but there are special holiday dinners served Pilgrim style in October and November.
The Plantation and ship are in Plymouth Mass. off Route 3, exits 4 and 6, coming from Boston or points south. Metered parking is available at the ship and a parking lot that will accomodate RV's is at Plymouth Plantation. A commuter rail service from Boston to Plymouth Station will put you within a 10-15 minute taxi ride to the site. Plymouth-Brockton Bus runs from Boston to Plymouth where you transfer to the local Gatra Bus Line taking you directly to the Historic area.
For more information you can write to Plimouth Plantation, P.O. Box 1620, Plymouth, MA 02362 or call 508/746-1622.