Plymouth is historian’s heaven, but there’s plenty to do for all visitors

Posted November 28, 2014


PLYMOUTH, Mass. — As the grey smoke rises between the weathered sticks, her black solemn eyes do not squint in the slightest.

Focusing on the task at hand, making a fire to cook her fish, the sun-worn skin of the Native American woman begins to blacken from the now encasing smoke cloud. Adorned in a knee length wrap made of a coffee-colored deer skin, she eventually stands up in her moccasin covered feet and looks over at the little children watching her with careful eyes.

Tilting her head ever so slightly, her intricate beadwork and feathered headdress swaying in the wind, her eyes and mouth crinkle into a big smile, showing off her pearl white teeth in satisfaction of the knowledge her dinner is now being cooked over her fire.

Standing amongst the wooded land with a straight view ocean to the Atlantic Ocean, the only things in sight are little wooden huts with grey thatched roofing. Gardens placed strategically on the sides of the homes are dwindling with the approaching cold winter weather, yet if you look close enough you may find a few stocks of corn along with a couple bunches of tomatoes.

The year is 2014, not 1620, but in Plymouth, Mass., one can feel like they have traveled back in time to live with the Pilgrims and Indians.

A historian’s haven, Plymouth does not leave out any detail of the 1620s, creating an authentic atmosphere for those who desire an immersion into an old time culture.

Most Americans love Thanksgiving, but what does the holiday really represent and how did it truly emerge? This town will make sure you understand the origins of Thanksgiving. Plymouth not only has a living museum, The Plymouth Plantation, it also gives tourists and locals the opportunity to get on board the Mayflower, the ship which carried the Pilgrims over from England.

Of course not all scenes are as grand as the museum and the ship, rating No. 3 in the top 10 most disappointing landmarks, Plymouth Rock is only about two yards wide and one yard tall, etched with the iconic date 1620.

In a tourist oriented town there are always dozens of places to stay, but if one wants to get the most for his or her money there is no where to stay but the Pilgrim Sands on Long Beach. The Sands is the only ocean front hotel in the area and is also less expensive than other hotels. Starting room prices around $100, the family owned and run hotel is friendly and inviting, as well as more than willing to help their guests get the inside scoop.

Plymouth has much more to offer than just the Pilgrims and Indians. Beach bums tend to know Massachusetts for one or two things, Cape Cod or Martha’s Vineyard.

The best part of Plymouth is that one can find gorgeous beaches, comparable if not nicer than the Cape and Vineyard, with half of the traffic.

Twenty miles from the Sagamore Bridge, Plymouth is often skipped over as tourists make their way to fight for parking spots in Cape Cod, yet Plymouth offers everything found in the Cape and more.

One has not really been to New England if they have not eaten the seafood. Plymouth locals refuse to eat anywhere but Wood’s Seafood, a little cafeteria style shack on the dwarf where diners can chose their own lobsters fresh from the tank of the days catch.

The locals love their seafood but there are still more than 40 restaurants in the downtown waterfront area from which to choose. Italian, Japanese, Chinese and Brazilian, there really is something for everyone. Mama Mia’s is another local favorite, run by the Viscerello family for the last 35 years, the food is fresh and authentic.

Walking through the streets of Plymouth feels like home. The people are often gathered along the waterfront streets and parks. Little boutiques sell everything from nautical treasures to high end clothing.

Surf shops, smoothie huts, coffee houses and Walk over Coles Hill and stand next to a larger than life Sacajawea statue with the breath-taking view of the entire downtown. T-bones bar and grill brings in a rowdy crowd just two streets away from the local favorite, Pillory Pub, where the locals enjoy three dollar beers and rocking chair seating.

The first town in New England to begin whale watching, the tradition is still very much alive. With the guarantee to see a whale or you get your money back, the Capt. John Whale Watching tour takes passengers out to the tip of the Cape, about 35 miles into the sea, on a six-hour ride to see the gorgeous creatures.

Plymouth Water Sports is another local favorite. Renting out Jet Skis, paddle boards, fly boards, kayaks and skiffs, the locals and tourists flood the shop rain or shine. $30 for two hours of paddle boarding and kayaking, $100 an hour for sky boarding, the prices are fair and the staff is knowledgeable and friendly. Constantly putting on shows, the staff encourages users to get up and try something new.

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