Must Sees in Pilgrim Memorial Park

Must Sees in Pilgrim Memorial Park
Every Thanksgiving the American imagination turns to pilgrims, Indians and a legendary feast. While the famous meal is a fable, it is based on real events that took place in Plymouth, Massachusetts in the 1620s. The pilgrims were real and their struggle to create new lives for themselves forms the foundation of America. Many venture to modern Plymouth in the autumn to explore both the historical attractions and the area's brilliant autumn colors.

Plymouth Rock

Foremost of the two major sites that are part of Pilgrim Memorial State Park is Plymouth Rock, the supposed 1620 landing site of the pilgrim settlers of the Mayflower. Whether the rock is the actual disembarkation site of pilgrim leader William Bradford is a matter of continuing speculation. What is known is that in 1741 the town of Plymouth wanted to build a wharf on the site of the rock. A 94- or 95-year-old Elder of the town church came forward and declared that his father, one of the original pilgrims, told him that the rock was the first bit of solid land the pilgrims set foot on upon landing. The rock has been moved since, but in the 20th century it was returned to its original resting place and a neo-classical monument built around it.

Pilgrim Memorial State Park
Water Street
Plymouth, MA 02360
(508) 747-5360

Forefathers' Monument

This 81-foot tall monument dates to the early 20th century and sits in an 11-acre park. It is the other half of the official Pilgrim Memorial State Park, and commemorates the reasons the pilgrims left England to found a colony in the New World.

Allerton Street
Plymouth, MA 02360

Plimoth Plantation

Plimoth Plantation is a living history park, recreating what the Plymouth settlement would have been like in 1627. The staff of the park portray actual people or composites of people known to have been among the real pilgrims. They are trained to act and speak in a historically accurate fashion. As part of the living history presentation, the plantation has 17th-century crafts exhibitions.
Next door is the Wampanoag Homesite, a living history presentation of a Native American village from the time. All the actors in the village are Native Americans, albeit not Wampanoags. There are 17th-century-themed dining options at the Plantation's cafe, as well as a variety of special Thanksgiving dinner programs.

137 Warren Avenue
Plymouth, MA 02360
(508) 746-1622

Mayflower II

Another Plymouth-area attraction is the Mayflower II, an authentic reconstruction of the original Mayflower that made the England-to-Massachusetts voyage in 1957. The ship is moored at the State Pier in Plymouth and is operated as a nautical museum by the same foundation that operates Plimoth Plantation.

Massachusetts State Pier
Plymouth, MA 02360

Myles Standish State Forest

This state forest is the largest public recreation area in the state of Massachusetts. The forest consists mostly of pine and scrub oak. It is dotted with lakes and ponds and criss-crossed by 13 miles of hiking trails and 15 miles of bike paths. Myles Standish State Forest also has campgrounds that are open from mid-April to mid-October. The forest offers the most accessible place for land-based outdoor fun in the Plymouth area.

Cranberry Road
S. Carver, MA 02366
(508) 866-2526

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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