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Fun Thanksgiving Getaway Ideas In Plymouth

Updated on November 9, 2013
Mayflower II at the State Pier in Plymouth Center.
Mayflower II at the State Pier in Plymouth Center. | Source

150th Anniversary of Lincoln's Thanksgiving

The year 2013 marked the 150th Anniversary of Thanksgiving declared by 16th President Abraham Lincoln on the fourth Thursday of November, 1863. I that year, the US President declared a second Thanksgiving as well in order to commemorate the Battle of Gettysburg. This fourth-Thursday holiday came about as a result of the lobbying of Sarah Josepha Hale, her magazine Godey's Lady's Book, and the growing Retail Industry in America. Beginning her own campaign for the holiday back in 1827, she persisted until she saw results, although they celebrated a Thanksgiving completely different than occurred in 1621 (for historic details, see Thanksgiving Images of Sarah Hale).

In 2013, additional preparations and improvements in the tourist and historic districts around Plymouth and Barnstable Counties, Massachusetts made the month of November more interesting in the Cape Cod Area.

Pilgrim Hall Museum
Pilgrim Hall Museum | Source

Weekend Before Thaksgiving

Plymouth MA is the site of festivals, parades, and concerts during the weekend before Thanksgiving.

A New England Food Festival and a Farmers' Market operate among the tents along the route of the parade is popular. A historical village takes shape in Brewster Gardens and a children's learning center is active all weekend. Massasoit Community College offers Native American historical exhibits and a number of bands provide music. Dozens of additional activities and events fill the weekend. For particulars each year, visit

Setters' Male Hat after 1620


National Monument to the Forefathers

Th Town Brook and Brewster Gardens
Th Town Brook and Brewster Gardens | Source

Ferry Destinations

Plymouth MA:
Plymouth, MA, USA

get directions

Provincetown MA:
Provincetown, MA, USA

get directions

Plymouth Rock Monument

Location of Plymouth Rock on Plymouth Harbor.
Location of Plymouth Rock on Plymouth Harbor. | Source

Places To Visit

Outside of the Downtown Area

  • Colony Place Mall is located about two miles inland from Plymouth Harbor at 174 Colony Place. It is open daily with over 40 retail stores and eating places,
  • The National Monument to the Forefathers is also called The Colossus of Plymouth. The tall monument is located since 1889 near the harbor, on Allerton Street. It is a statue over 80 feet tall and illustrates the founding principles of America - Faith, Liberty, Education, Law, and Morality. The first and last of these five are the principals Sarah Hale decided to highlight the most and hammer home in her campaign for a National Thanksgiving. In the 2010s, some that seem to be political extremists wrote on travel sites that America is disintegrating because one political party supposedly works against the five founding principles.
  • Village Landing Marketplace is located east of the monument named above and on the waterfront of Plymouth Harbor at 170 Water Street. Retail, services, and dining establishments are houses in shops that look like homes. Open air cafes and bars are offered in appropriate weather.

Plymouth Center (Downtown Plymouth MA)

  • Brewster Gardens. These gardens run along both sides of the Town Brook. The land was originally given to Elder Brewster in 1620 when the English settlers landed at Plymouth.
  • Ferry - Plymouth to Provincetown. When the captain of the ferry spots a whale or a group of dolphins, he usually slows down to a cast with engines cut so riders can have a better view.
  • Ghost Tours - Dead of Night Cemetery Tour departs every day at 4:00 PM from 31 North Street and hits each cemetery and most other historic sites in Plymouth Center. July 4th is the only day of the year that the company is closed.
  • Hedge House - This is a preserved mansion where merchants and ship owners once lived.
  • Mayflower Society House Museum. Gardens, mansion, and nine rooms of period antiques at 4 Winslow Street. This museum is across the street from Plymouth Rock. Of note is that Edward Winslow lived here. His great-grandfather was one of the founding settlers and one of the few that left correspondence and diaries.
  • Pilgrim Hall Museum (A National Historic Place) is the oldest continually operational public museum in the USA. Some displays include settlers that Americans now call Pilgrims, dressed in black and white, which the settlers did not actually wear (see the Sarah Hale link above). Displays of historic documents and artifacts are more accurate and interesting to browse. I particularly enjoy reviewing the Last Wills and Testaments of several of the settlers, which include inventories of their possessions. Some of the women had a bolt of black cloth, but many had blue and other colors. Reading the correspondence shows that the hat worn by men after 1620 was most likely a knit cap called a Monmouth Cap (see photo). The museum stands at 75 Court Street.
  • Pilgrim Path Audio Tours allow visitors to use recorded narratives on their own walking tour of Plymouth Center. These audio files are presented by the Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce. Maps to go with the two sets of audio tour sites are available at the visitor's center listed below.
  • Plymouth Rock is located near the museum mentioned above, in a special monument at the Plymouth Harbor near Pilgrim Memorial State Park. Once divided into two parts by the early settlers, the pieces were reunited in the early 20th Century. A full scale replica of the Mayflower sits in the harbor nearby for visitors to enjoy.
  • Richard Sparrow House - This is the oldest preserved house in the town and features a large gallery of American crafts.
  • The Town Brook was most useful to early settlers. It is located near Plymouth Harbor and features a paved walking path along its route.
  • United American Indians of New England Plaque. This remembrance is located at Post Office Square for the National Day of Mourning.
  • Waterfront Visitors Center is located at 120 Water Street at Plymouth Harbor. Its toll-free phone is 1-800-USA-1620. A startling amenity in these times is the free Courtesy Phones you may use to make arrangements for a taxi, dinner reservations, and other needs. The public restrooms are clean and a brilliant features, along with myriad brochures and helpful staff.
  • Wood's Seafood at 15 Town Pier in the Plymouth Center is a fish market and restaurant that has been recognized by Yankee Magazine. it is open very day of the year, so it is good for a holiday meal. Visitors can see local lobster unloading their catch every middle afternoon.

Reference Map for Plymouth Attractions

Plimoth Plantation:
Plimoth Plantation, 137 Warren Avenue, Plymouth, MA 02360, USA

get directions

Brewster Gardens:
Brewster Gardens, 11 Lincoln Street, Plymouth, MA 02360, USA

get directions

Dead of Night Tours; 31 North Street, Plymouth MA:
31 North Street, Plymouth, MA 02360, USA

get directions

Pilgrim Hall Museum:
Pilgrim Hall Museum, 75 Court Street, Plymouth, MA 02360, USA

get directions

Waterfront Visitors Center:
120 Water Street, Plymouth, MA 02360, USA

get directions

Places To Stay

November in New England is too cool for staying at campgrounds, but a number of Bed and Breakast lodgings are available near the Plimouth Plantation and related historic sites. Many of these attractions have firmly stuck with the name Pilgrim and the Pilgrim images formulated by Sarah Hale.

Hall's Pilgrim's Pillow Bed & Breakfast was built in 1872 in Plymouth MA at 3 Sagamore Street.This B & B has very reasonable rates. It is near the National Monument to the Forefathers, Pilgrim Memorial State Park at the harbor, Brewster Gardens, Plymouth Center, and the historic Richard Sparrow House. Plimoth Plantation is approximately one mile to the southeast along Route 34, which is Sandwich Street that becomes Warren Street to the east. Plymouth Farmer's Market is located a few blocks to the south of the plantation. Plymouth Center is the nearby downtown district of the City of Plymouth and home to Plymouth Rock, the Mayflower II, and Pilgrim Hall Museum.

Bayberry Inn is also close the the Plymouth Center and its attractions, at 12 Hall Street. it is a restored Colonial house that overlooks Plymouth Bay. A jogging trail and bike path are across the street.

Along the Harbor B & B is located in the center of the downtown district with views of the Mayflower II. At 19 Winslow Street, it is very close to the Mayflower Society Museum.

Addition B & Bs are located in town, along with hotels like Comfort Inn, Radisson, and several others.

One unusual place to stay is the Blue Spruce Motel on Route 3A just six miles east of Downtown Plymouth and close to beaches. It features a breakfast buffet of cereals, boiled eggs, hard salami, breads, muffins, croissant, cheeses, fruit salad, yogurt, and beverages. A grocery store sits across the street ad the motel rooms of refrigerators. Within a short walk is the 42 North Degrees Restaurant, with reasonable prices. Rooms include a private deck, flat screen TV, and a variety of other amenities.

Additional accommodations can be found at


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