I'm getting thirsty just thinking of this place! Are you thirsty for cranberry juice?! Then you've come to the right place. There is a unique exhibit here that traces the cranberry from colonial times to the present. There are several features here, including a few outdoor demonstration bogs, some antique and modern harvesting tools, a scale cranberry farm, and some demonstrations on how to cook cranberries. You'll be amazed to learn the differences between a good cranberry and a bad cranberry. Is it the color, the bounce, or both? Hmm.. How do you tell the difference? Tune in next time... or just go there and tell me when you've learned the answer!
It's been free admission with free cranberry refreshments, but you should always call ahead to verify this is still the case. There's a boardwalk there and there have been free concerts there, too!
They are open daily from May 1 to Nov. 30 from 9:30 to 5pm, including weekends. Always call ahead to ensure they are open, when the best times are to visit to avoid the crowds, and any entrance or parking fees. Last I knew, there were no charges for admission or parking! If it's for free, it's for me!! ;o)
They are located on the waterfront, about a 10 minute walk north from Plymouth Rock and the Mayflower.
This place seems to be owned by Ocean Spray, which has made a significant positive impact to the area.
The Mayflower II is a full scale replica of the original Mayflower. Extensive research resulted in this ship. It is as close to the original as available knowledge permits.
Tours are available. It is interesting just to see the ship docked. One of the most amazing aspects of the ship is its size. It is astounding that the original 102 Pilgrims and the ships crew made the Atlantic voyage in this small vessel.
At Plimoth Plantation you can go inside the reproduced homes. I sat comfortably imagining having a cup of coffee in this early home. The simplicity is rather refreshing...no microwave, TV, or rock music here!
Loved the pottery...had to buy some in their gift shop to bring home. In order to fully appreciate these photos and the detail of these buildings, you really need to click to enlarge the photos.
Part of the Plimoth Plantation reproduction village contains the Hobbamock's Homesite. Here we see the native American's camp. Costumed guides speak to visitors about the way they housed themselves as well as their hunting and cooking. The kids usually love this part of the tour. You can spend as much or as little time as you wish at each portion of the village.
Half of the Pilgrims died over that first bitter winter of 1620. The survivors, fearing attack from the Natives, buried their remains on this hill at night in secret so that their dwindling numbers wouldn't be so obvious. The graves, including that of my great-great-great-etc. grandfather, were unmarked.
At some point, rainstorms began to wash the buried bones from the hill. The remains were collected and placed in this memorial sarcophagus 300 years after the fact.
Nearby is a statue of Massasoit, the Native Wampanoag leader who befriended the Pilgrims.
Pilgrim Hall houses a collection of the material possessions of the Pilgrims as well as numerous paintings and the remains of the Sparrow-Hawk, a small ship which was wrecked off Cape Cod. Included in the collection are cradles, furniture, weapons, personal household items, etc. as well as important artifacts such as Myles Standish's sword and chest and the Brewster and Bradford chairs.
Admission is $6 - allow about an hour. Please note that half the museum's collection is down steep stairs, as are the restrooms, so is not wheelchair accessible (they're raising money to make it so). Photographs are not permitted.
The Mayflower II is a reproduction of the 1620 English vessel which carried the "Pilgrims" to America. There is a visitors' center where you find information and tickets. Plymouth rock is a short walk away...and across the street is a wax museum. Highly recommend that you take young children to this area...as well as the Plymouth Plantation just outside of town.
Built in 1749, it originally served as the courthouse for Plymouth County. The structure is the oldest wooden courthouse in the United States. It also had lengthy service as civil offices after its courthouse days ended.
In this building, John Adams defended the British soldiers charged with murder for their participation in the Boston Massacre. (The venue was changed since it was feared a fair trail might not be possible in Boston.) Mr. Adams was able to obtain an acquittal for the murder charges. Accepting this case brought Mr. Adams grief among his friends, but he held to his principal that the soldiers should receive representation. Walk through the building where a man, who was to become the Second President of the United States, had once walked, worked, and contemplated being torn between his convictions and his patriotism.
Admission is free. The first story is a museum, but the second story has a fully intact courtroom, so be sure to go up the stairs. The staff was friendly and informative.
Plimoth Plantation is a replica of the original Plymouth Colonial settlement, circa 1627. The plantation is as accurate as research can make it. The planners combined accounts of the original colony with archaeological research, old records, and the history written by the Pilgrims' leader, William Bradford (who often used the spelling "Plimoth"). At the main entrance are two modern buildings that house an interesting orientation show, exhibits, a gift shop, a bookstore, and a cafeteria. Above the entrance of the Plimoth Plantation is the caution: you are now entering 1627.
Enter by the hilltop fort and walk down the hill to the farm area, visiting homes and gardens constructed with careful attention to historic detail. You can stroll downtown on Leyden Street and get to know many of the families who arrived on the Mayflower in 1620 to farm in the New World. They're actors who, in speech, dress, and manner, assume the personalities of members of the original community. The Fullers, Howlands, Aldens and Standishes will greet you in period costumes and invite you to share their history -- and their lives. You can watch them framing a house, splitting wood, shearing sheep, preserving foodstuffs, or cooking a pot of fish stew over an open hearth, all as it was done in the 1600s, and using only the tools and cookware available then. Feel free to engage them in conversation about their life, but expect only curious looks if you ask about anything that happened later than 1627. Visit the fort/meetinghouse that was used as a church and a courthouse; then, see rows of thatched houses complete with accurate reproductions of the furniture, cooking implements and tools used by the Pilgrims
Local tribes included the Wampanoags, who are represented near the village at Hobbamock's Home site where staff show off native foodstuffs, agricultural practices, and crafts. At the Nye Barn you can see descendants of 17th-century goats, cows, pigs, and chickens, bred to resemble animals raised in the original plantation. .
The ship is a well-researched replica of the original Mayflower on which the Pilgrim Fathers came to America. What is more, it is even built from the same English Devon oak that the first one was made of, and it was sailed to the U.S. in 1957. Of course it flies the Union Jack flag of the 1620. It's fun to tour the ship and listen to costumed guides telling the story of the voyage and giving you lots of other interesting details. This is great fun for kids! There's also a book/gift store on the pier right before you enter the Mayflower II.
The ship is owned by the non-profit Plimoth Plantation foundation. Check their website for lots of info and any details you may need to plan your tour.
The Mayflower II is a reproduction of what some believed the original Mayflower would have looked like. It was built in England and sailed across the Atlantic in the 1950s. The ship is staffed with re-enacters who "live" in the year 1620, as well as modern-day staffers and sailors. Feel free to ask questions of any of them - although the ones in Pilgrim dress won't have any answers beyond their time frame.
What's most striking about the Mayflower II is its size - it's a small ship, and the Pilgrim passengers were all contained in the lower deck. They very rarely went topside as they didn't want to mingle with the rough sailors or get in the way (or go overboard as one did - luckily he was rescued). Also notice the very large "Great Cabin" where the captain of the ship lived - it was quite spacious in comparison, and even in comparison to most London houses! The Mayflower was a cargo ship, so ordinarily there wouldn't have been 100 extra people riding along.
Admission is $8 but if you get the combo pass with Plimoth Plantation you save $5 ($24 total).
One of the things we did when we lived in Lexington for the summer of 1970 was to visit Plymouth. I remembered visiting Plymouth Rock under its little canopy when I was a kid, so we did that.
But we also went to Plimouth Plantation and walked down the path to the recreated 1627 village and talked to the reinactors and went aboard the Mayflower II. This picture is of the kids - my oldest daughter in the yellow dress, and my second daughter in the front. I also took the daughter of a lady who taught swimming with me at Hanscom AF base who was about the same age as my kids. She's in the back on the right.
I didn't know until I looked it up that the Plimouth Plantation and the Mayflower II are at two separate sites. The Mayflower II is at the waterfront. The URL given has a sketch with the specifications and information on the parts of the ship
2005 admission prices
Mayflower II: 1 day pass (good for any one day within one year of purchase)
* Dockside Exhibit
Children (6-12) $14.00
Senior Citizens (62 and over with ID) $21.00
*Plimoth Pass $90.00
*The Plimoth Pass = 2 adults and up to 4 children (6 - 17). Plimoth Passes are NOT available for online purchase and must be purchased at the museum's Admissions Desk.
These costumed guides never come out of character...or speak of times beyond the year they are portraying. This particular man spoke to Gosia and I for quite sometime and was quite knowledgeable. Gosia noted his knowledge of European history and many fascinating details of that time.
Not the typical tour of a historical site, colonial lantern tours are done after dark and are a walking tour of the city of Plymouth. There is an extremely large amount of history that you wouldn't learn if you were to take traditional tours.
One of the best touches is that all people on the tour get to have a lantern for the duration of the tour. The history behind the patterns on the lantern is explained.
This is a seasonal activity but goes until November 27 of each year.
There are two tours each night, the regular and the ghost tour.
This is the view of Plymouth Harbor and an outlying
peninsula. This sheltered harbor has a strip of
sand so as to protect from turbulent weather
This is from the hill above the cemetery.
William Bradford and many of the other
first settlers are buried near the place
of this view. This is Gurnet Point with the
lighthouse on a peninsula that comes out
from Duxbury Village
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