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Plymouth

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The Mayflower II in Plymouth Harbor

Plymouth, Massachusetts is located on the South Shore. Known as "American's Hometown," Plymouth is most famous for being the final landing place of the Pilgrims who arrived on board the Mayflower in 1620. The settlement they established, Plimouth Colony, was one of the earliest successful settlements of Europeans in North America. In addition to its obvious historical draws, modern-day Plymouth is a picturesque seaside town with a bustling summer resident population who come back year after year to enjoy its beaches, ponds, and forests. Although summer is Plymouth's peak tourist season, spring (before Memorial Day) and fall (after Labor Day) can be excellent times to visit. These bumper seasons are less crowded and certainly more comfortable temperature-wise. Spring has mild temperatures and flowers in bloom, and fall has beautiful New England foliage, warm days with cool nights, and different events to explore, such as observing a cranberry harvest.

Understand[edit]

In area, Plymouth is the largest town in the state of Massachusetts, covering about 100 square miles (259 km²). Although the center of tourist activity is in Plymouth's historic downtown and waterfront areas, the rest of the town is divided into many smaller villages such as Chiltonville, Manomet, Cedarville, North Plymouth, and West Plymouth. Although somewhat homogeneous on the surface, each village has it's own unique characteristics which makes it worth venturing outside the harbor-side to visit. North Plymouth, for example, was once home to the Cordage Company, the largest rope-maker in the world. Cordage employed many Italian and Portuguese immigrants who settled in company housing in this part of town, which many of their descendants still proudly call home. The Holy Ghost Festa, a major holiday for Portuguese of Azorean descent, is still widely celebrated in North Plymouth each summer.

Plymouth still has many residents who can trace their ancestry to the original Mayflower passengers and/or Native American tribes. Plymouth receives many visitors who are interested in researching their own colonial ancestry, and provides several key resources for doing so. The General Society of Mayflower Descendants Library is the recognized authority on Pilgrim ancestry and has plenty of resources to assist you. Plymouth Public Library also maintains a large room dedicated to genealogy.

The Pilgrim Mother

It should go without saying that Plymouth residents feel Thanksgiving Day belongs to them; after all, the holiday commemorates a feast shared by the surviving Mayflower passengers and local Native Americans following the Pilgrims' first harvest in 1621. That said, Thanksgiving in Plymouth isn't celebrated that much differently than in most places; local activities include a morning parade through town and a local high school football game between cross-town rivals Plymouth North and Plymouth South. For tourists, Plimouth Plantation offers a Thanksgiving Dinner on location at their site with the opportunity to learn more about the facts and fictions surrounding the historical event. Since 1970, the United American Indians of New England (UAINE) have observed the National Day of Mourning on Thanksgiving Day. Observance takes place annually at noon on Cole's Hill, acknowledging European settlement as the beginning of the genocide and forcible relocation of millions of Native Americans.

As a final note, "Plimoth," the old English spelling, is sometimes used to denote a historic site (e.g. Plimoth Plantation), while town sites will be spelled with the modern spelling, "Plymouth" (e.g. Plymouth Town Hall). Keep this in mind to avoid confusion if you notice signage such as the exit maker on Route 3 that helpfully reads, "Plymouth / Plimoth Plantation."

Get in[edit]

Plymouth makes an excellent day trip (or several days' trip) when exploring the Boston, Providence, or Cape Cod areas.

By car[edit]

Plymouth covers the entire southern end of Route 3, extending from Exit 7 along Route 44 to Exit 2 approaching Sagamore and the Cape Cod Canal. The historic section of Downtown Plymouth is accessed via Exit 6A. Metered parking is available downtown at both public lots and on street. The lots often have ticketing machines while street spots have individual meters. All parking fills up quickly during summer tourist season and during events such as festivals and parades. Get an early start or plan to do a lot of circling to find a spot.

From Boston and points north: Plymouth is about an hour south of Boston, Massachusetts via Interstate 93 South to Route 3 South. Traffic is notorious during weekday rush hours, especially in the summer months where Route 3 is congested with vacationers heading south past Plymouth towards Cape Cod. Travel in off-peak hours is strongly advised for an enjoyable and timely trip. Route 3A, a two-lane back road which runs parallel to Route 3 from Boston down through the South Shore and directly through Plymouth, was the original road from Plymouth to Boston prior to the national highway system being built in the 1950s. Although quite scenic, it is a lengthy drive and not typically worth traveling the entire route.

From Providence, Rhode Island and points west: Plymouth is connected to the west via Route 44, which runs into the western part of Plymouth through Carver. Major interstates to the west such as Interstate 95 connect somewhat haphazardly with Plymouth via I93/Route 3 on the more northern part of I95, and I495/Route 44 on the more southern end.

From Cape Cod and points south: Plymouth connects to the Cape via Route 6 over the Sagamore Bridge, which turns into Route 3 North. It is also accessible via Route 28 on the Cape, which goes over the Bourne Bridge. From Bourne, you can take Route 6 to connect to Route 3 North, or continue north on I495 to Route 44.

By plane[edit]

Plymouth has its own regional airport, the Plymouth Municipal Airport (PYM IATA), located at 246 South Meadow Road. This airport is home to over 170 aircraft, most of which are one to ten seat, single or twin engine planes. Although the airport mainly serves pilot hobbyists and Cessna-style aircraft, Boston Med Flight, the State Police Air Wing, and the Plymouth County Fire Plane are also based there.

For those who don't wish to pilot themselves into town, travelers arriving by plane usually land at Boston's Logan International Airport (BOS IATA). Coach bus and MBTA rail connections can be made from Boston Logan to the Plymouth area. Other travelers may elect to arrive at Rhode Island's T.F. Green Airport (PVD IATA) as flights are often cheaper, but there are no direct public transit options to Plymouth from Warwick.

By train[edit]

Commuter Rail service from Boston to Plymouth is available Monday-Sunday from South Station terminal via the MBTA's Plymouth/Kingston Line. Note that this train line diverges at its final stop, with some runs ending at the Kingston terminal, while others end at the Plymouth terminal in Cordage Park. Cordage Park is about a mile away from the downtown area, so it is advisable to plan for additional transit either by taxi or GATRA bus (see: Get Around) prior to departing.

By bus[edit]

Motor coach service from Boston's South Station and Logan Airport to the exit 5 service plaza on Route 3 is available via the Plymouth and Brockton Street Railway Co. The bus service continues south after the Plymouth stop to Cape Cod, and is used often by residents commuting into the city. Parking for the bus at the exit 5 plaza is free, and there is a McDonald's located at the exit 5 area, as well as an ATM and pay phones. The plaza is not a walkable distance to any particular location, however, so it is advisable to plan to take a GATRA bus or a taxi to your final destination.

By boat[edit]

Ferry service to Plymouth from Provincetown on Cape Cod is available via the Plymouth-Provincetown Fast Ferry. Seasonal ferry service runs June through September, seven days a week. The ferry departs and arrives in Plymouth at the state pier on Water Street in the heart of downtown Plymouth, and all downtown attractions and hotels are within walkable distance.

Get around[edit]

Map of Plymouth (Massachusetts)

The main tourism areas are all very walkable, especially if you are staying at one of the downtown or waterfront area hotels. The "Pilgrim Path" is similar in design to the Freedom Trail in Boston, taking you on a self-guided walking tour past most of the major historical sights downtown. The trail is designated by painted little Pilgrim hats along the sidewalk. You can pick up a pamphlet guide, Pilgrim Path, A Walk Through History at the Visitor Center on Water St. There you can also speak with helpful staff, pick up local maps, and purchase postcards, cameras, and tour tickets.

The downtown area also has a few, but not extensive, public transit options:

  • GATRA Buses. Best way to access different points in town, including the villages outside the downtown area via multiple routes. Wheelchair accessible. Runs daily; times vary based upon day of the week and the route.
  • America's Hometown Trolley. 10am-5pm daily. Runs only during the summer tourist season. Offers an all-day hop on/hop off fare or one way trips. Route begins and ends at Plymouth Rock and loop includes Plimoth Plantation and Plymouth Beach, which are not easy to walk too. Loop also includes the John Carver Inn and the Best Western Cold Spring, which is convenient for visitors staying at those locations.

Outside of downtown, a car remains the easiest way to travel between points of interest. Most visitors arrive in Plymouth via car, so this is not an issue, but if you are without a ride renting a car for the day is your best bet. Several car rental agencies are located in the downtown area.

See[edit]

Portico over Plymouth Rock from Cole's Hill

There are many historical sites in the downtown area within walking distance; the most popular are listed below.

Exhibits and museums[edit]

  • 1 Mayflower II and dockside exhibits, State Pier, Water St. 9AM-5PM. A historically accurate, full-scale replica of the 17th-century vessel the Pilgrims arrived aboard. The reproduction was made in England using traditional shipbuilding methods in conjunction with Plimoth Plantation. Upon its completion, it set sail on April 20, 1957 from Plymouth, England across the Atlantic to Plymouth, Massachusetts, recreating the original voyage. Tickets are sold packaged with Plimoth Plantation admission. Adults $28; Children $18; Senior Citizens $25.
  • 2 Old County Courthouse & Museum, Town Square, +1 508 830-4075. Built in 1749, the two story wood frame building is believed to be the oldest wooden courthouse in the United States; it stands on the site of the first (1620) courthouse built by Plimoth Colony settlers, and may incorporate elements of a 1670 building. Vintage firetruck inside.
  • 4 Plimoth Grist Mill Museum, 6 Spring Ln (off Summer St., a short walk away from the waterfront), +1 508 747-4544. Formerly known as the Jenny Grist Mill but now affiliated with Plimoth Plantation. An authentic working mill rebuilt on the site of the original 1636 mill. Tours and exhibits.
  • 5 Plimoth Plantation, 137 Warren Av., +1 508 746-1622. Mar 22-Nov 30 9AM-5:30PM. A historical farm and educational site renowned among academic historians and history-recreation buffs alike. Includes a 1627 living history reenactment of early colonial life where visitors can roam the village, enter the homes, and interact with colonists who stay in character. If visiting in summer, find a Plantation employee to describe the various home garden plants and what they were used for - the explanations are fascinating! There is also a recreation of a Wampanoag homesite of the period staffed with interpreters who trace their ancestry to Native tribes, although they will speak with visitors as themselves rather than as characters. You can also visit a 17th century craft center and observe various clothing, candles, pottery, and other items being made by hand using traditional techniques.

Historic homes[edit]

  • 6 Harlow Old Fort House, 117 Sandwich St, +1 508 746-0012. Built in 1677, the Harlow Old Fort House is one of the few remaining 17th century buildings in town. Tours and educational programs are offered seasonally. A series of festive special events is held at the site each year, including a range of craft demonstrations and the annual Pilgrim Breakfast.
  • 8 Jabez Howland House, 33 Sandwich Av., +1 508 746-9590. The oldest portion of this two-story wood frame house was built by Jacob Mitchell (son of Experience Mitchell) in 1667. The house was then purchased by Jabez Howland, son of Mayflower passengers John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley Howland.
  • 9 Mayflower Society House, 4 Winslow St, +1 508 746-3188. M-F 10AM-3:30PM. Run by the Society of Mayflower Descendants, tour a beautiful 1750s house and visit the authoritative library on Pilgrim genealogy.
  • 10 Richard Sparrow House, 42 Summer St, +1 508 747-1240. Th-Tu 10AM-5PM. Built in 1640, it is the oldest surviving house in Plymouth. Displays and sells work of local artisan jewelry, pottery and more.

Parks and monuments[edit]

  • 11 Brewster Gardens and Town Brook, 11 Lincoln Street (Enter around the back of the Plimoth Grist Mill and follow the path along Town Brook towards the waterfront, or start at the waterfront end to the left of Leyden Street). Created in the early 1920s, the park covers the original garden plot that was granted to Elser William Brewster in 1620. Located in the park are several historical monuments, as well as a pretty nature walk along Town Brook, which originally supplied water to the colony. Events are held here often, including a rubber ducky race down the brook. Free.
Burial Hill
  • 12 Burial Hill Cemetery, Behind First Church at the top of Leyden St (Climb steps to right of First Church. There is another entrance next to the John Carver Inn.), +1 508 830-4078. One of the oldest cemeteries in America containing graves of several Mayflower passengers, many early settlers, and some interesting epitaphs. High spot with nice views of downtown and the harbor. Free.
  • 13 National Monument to the Forefathers, Allerton St (off Court Street). Always open. Thought to be the world's largest solid granite monument, it stands over 80 ft (24 m) tall and was erected in 1889. The monument faces northeast towards Plymouth Harbor (and, roughly, towards Plymouth, England). Free.
  • 14 Plymouth Rock and Pilgrim Memorial State Park, Water St, +1 508 747-5360. Always available. Pilgrim Memorial State Park commemorates the landing site of the Pilgrims in 1620 and contains several historical monuments, a craft shop run by Plimoth Plantation, and the portico enshrining Plymouth Rock itself. Locals will roll their eyes if you express disappointment with the fact that Plymouth Rock is, in fact, just a rock. "What did you expect?" is the reaction you are likely to receive. To be fair, the rock is small, with the year "1620" engraved on it as its only decoration. The rock was once much larger, weighing over 20,000 lb (9,100 kg). It was displayed at several different locations in town over several hundred years, but was broken in half by transport and several large pieces of it were taken or sold. A 40-lb. piece resides in the Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims in Brooklyn Heights, New York. Smaller pieces were reportedly chipped off and stolen as "souvenirs." The surviving Plymouth Rock is only 1/3 of the upper half of the original stone, so keep that in mind before passing judgement.

Do[edit]

A calendar of events is maintained Destination Plymouth County.

Cultural activities[edit]

  • 1 Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra, 16 Court St, +1 508 746-8008. Concert season runs from Sept-May with performances at Memorial Hall. The off season includes a July Fourth free concert on the waterfront, annual gala, and other events.
  • 2 Priscilla Beach Theater, 800 Rocky Hill Road Plymouth, MA 02360, +1 508 224-4888, e-mail: . The historic Priscilla Beach Theatre is the oldest barn theater still in operation in America. Founded by Dr. Franklin Trask in 1937, the theater quickly became one of the most respected schools of theater training in America. In its heyday, as many as 150 actors and actresses were in residence, including Paul Newman, Pat Carroll, Peter Gallagher, and Rob Reiner. Today the recently renovated theater performs professional summer stock plays and musicals and also offers classes and workshops for children and adults. Summer stock season runs from May-October.
  • 3 Project Arts Free Concerts on the Waterfront. Performances by various bands are given Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights outdoors during the summer near Plymouth Rock.

Events[edit]

  • 4 Cultural Survival Bazaar: A Festival of Native Arts and Culture, Plymouth Waterfront. For 35 years, the Cultural Survival Bazaars have brought together Indigenous artists and craftspeople from around the world. Brimming with colors, sounds, and art, the Bazaars are a celebration of the world's cultural diversity. Craft vendors, music performances, cultural food options. Typically held in July.
  • 5 Bonfire Night. Manomet village's annual July 3rd festival, celebrated by setting giant bonfires ablaze on Priscilla, White Horse, and Manomet beaches and amateur fireworks displays so numerous one might be convinced fireworks aren't illegal in Massachusetts (they are). This tradition dates back to the 1700s, and is not organized or sanctioned by the town past emergency services setting some limits in the 1990s: permits are now needed for the larger fires, attempts are made to confiscate fireworks, the beaches are patrolled by police on foot, by boat, and by helicopter, and White Horse Beach is cleared by police at 11PM. Despite earning a somewhat bad reputation after trouble-causing out-of-towners overran the parties in the 1990s, today's Bonfire Nights are relatively family-friendly and the town makes every effort to restrict the festivities to residents-only. The majority of the beaches are private and access to them is restricted anyway, and roads leading to and parking anywhere near the beach access points is blocked by police the day of the festival. If you want the chance to experience this unique local tradition, make friends with a local who lives in the area or secure a rental property with access to one of these beaches during this period.
  • 6 Holy Ghost Festa, 12 S Cherry Street. The Holy Ghost Society celebrates the traditional Portuguese festival each summer with a procession through North Plymouth before and after morning Mass, followed by an afternoon of Portuguese food, auctions, folk dancing, and music at Holy Ghost Field.
  • 7 Fourth of July Celebration. A parade through downtown in the morning is followed by activities on the Waterfront including food trucks, vendors, and The Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra playing a free patriotic-themed concert. A fireworks display in the harbor occurs after dark. Free.
  • 8 Pirates Ashore in Plymouth. Annual May festival commemorating the visit of three pirate ships to Plymouth in May of 1646 as described in Governor William Bradford’s “Of Plimoth Plantation”. Musket and pike drills, sword fights, and pirate reenactors frolicking at the Mayflower Society House and around town.
  • 9 Pilgrim Progress. Reenactment of a description of the Pilgrims walking to church given by Isaac DeRaisiers, a Dutch trader, in 1627. Costumed actors parade from the Mayflower Society House, down Water Street past Plymouth Rock, and up Leyden Street to Burial Hill. Organized by the Plymouth Rock Foundation and occurs on Friday evenings during the month of August and on Thanksgiving Day.
  • 10 Plymouth Center for the Arts: Annual Juried Art Show, 11 North Street. Held annually late September-October. Features an art stroll, live poetry performances, concerts, and viewing of the accepted entries and winners of the annual exhibition in painting, drawing, photography, and other media. Artwork submissions for the show are typically submitted in late August for review. Accepted entries are displayed in the show and considered for prizes.
  • 11 Waterfront Festival. Annual weekend event held in mid-late August. Live shows, crafts, vendors, children's activities and more.

History and food tours[edit]

  • 12 Colonial Lantern Tours, +1 508 747-4161. Regular tours Apr-Nov 7:30PM, Dec-Apr tours available upon advance reservation.. 90 minute guided walking history tour in downtown Plymouth, with lessons about the Pilgrims, Native Americans, statues, and monuments of the area. You also get to carry around a metal lantern. Tours depart from the John Carver Inn.
  • 13 Dead of Night Ghost Tours, 31 North St, +1 508-866-7171. Twilight lantern tours through cemeteries and haunted historical areas. Scavenger hunt for the young and young at heart.
  • 14 Lobster Tales Tours, 9 Town Wharf, +1 508 746-5342. Take a hands-on lobstering tour and learn how to haul the traps.
  • 15 Mayflower Brewing Company, 12 Resnik Road, +1 508-746-2674, e-mail: . Retail store and tastings available Wednesdays-Saturdays, Noon-8PM and Sunday Noon-6PM; Brewery tours Saturdays and Sundays, noon-5:30PM
  • 16 Pilgrim Belle History Cruises, Mayflower II State Pier, Plymouth, +1 508-747-3434. Cruise Plymouth Harbor aboard the Pilgrim Belle, a Mississippi-style paddlewheeler. Get a narrated account of this historic town and seaport and a mariner’s view of Plymouth Rock, Mayflower II, Plymouth Beach, Clarks Island and Gurnet Lighthouse. Pilgrim history, maritime lore and fascinating information about commercial fishing & lobstering await you on this 1-hour-and-15-minute cruise.
  • 17 Pirate Adventure Cruise Tour, 9 Town Wharf, +1 508 746-5342. A pirate themed adventure for kids on Plymouth Harbor. Hats, face paint, and the best part - sea battles with water cannons shooting at each other! Ideal for ages 4-11.
  • 18 Plymouth Colony Winery, 56 Pinewood Rd (Three miles west of Rt 3, Exit 6), +1 508 747-3334. May-Dec M-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su noon-5PM; Feb-Apr Sa 10AM-4PM, Su noon-4PM. Picturesque winery features working cranberry bogs and vineyards in West Plymouth. Sample cranberry, blended and other wines at a free tour and tasting.

Parks and beaches[edit]

Plymouth is an excellent choice for a Cape Cod-style beach or camping/hiking vacation without the hassle of traveling down the Cape or to the western part of the state. Although many people visit Plymouth once for its history, those that come back summer after summer do so for its "get outside, get wet, get sandy, and have a blast" attitude during its short warm weather season.

Most beaches in Plymouth are private with access allowed only to shoreline residents or neighborhood associations. The best way to access these beaches is by staying at a B&B or a cottage rental that comes with private beach access privileges. However, the public beaches are no worse in quality and only come with the relatively minor inconveniences of finding parking or sharing the beach with strangers. Ocean beaches are not the only option; it's said Plymouth has 365 ponds - "One for every day of the year!" as locals like to say - where swimmers can enjoy water temperatures that are a little kinder than the often frigid Northern Atlantic.

  • 19 College Pond and Myles Standish State Forest (Take South Street and Long Pond Road (Rt. 3, Exit 5) for about 7 miles to Myles Standish State Forest. Enter state forest and follow signs to the pond.). Restrooms and lifeguard. Parking: $5.
  • 20 Ellisville Harbor State Park, Route 3A. 18th century farmstead, beachfront, salt marsh, rolling meadows, and red pine forest. Recreation activities include walking, bird watching, beach combing and sightseeing.
  • 21 Fresh Pond Park (Take Route 3A south to Bartlett Rd.). Restrooms, lifeguards in summer. Free.
  • 22 Morton Park, Morton Park Road. (From downtown take Summer Street west, go about 1.5 miles first street on left.). Beach park on Billington Sea pond. Picnic tables, food, playground, lifeguards in summer. Parking fee: $5. $8 on weekends.
  • 23 Plymouth Long Beach, 1 Ryder Way (From downtown head south on Route 3A about 2.5 miles. Beach entrance on the left just before Bert's restaurant.). Lifeguards, restrooms, food. A beach ferry is available for transportion to and from the limited access beach; inquiries can be made at Plymouth Watersport, 24 Town Wharf, +1 508-747-1577. Parking: $10; $15 weekends.
  • 24 White Horse Beach, Taylor Ave. (Take Rt. 3A south, go left at Rocky Hill Road. Follow to end, take a left onto White Horse Road look for parking on right.). Most of the beach is private but there is a public section. Public parking is very limited and most parking requires a resident sticker. Best option is to walk from local hotels or bed and breakfasts. Occasional ice cream truck, no restrooms or lifeguards. Parking: varies $2-$5.

Outdoor sport[edit]

Fishing and boating[edit]

Saltwater fishing for bluefish and striped bass is excellent just off the coast of Plymouth in late summer and early fall. Cod, haddock, pollock, tuna, mackerel, flounder, tautog and smelt are also caught in the area. Many people simply cast off the jetty in the harbor or from local beaches, but boat rentals and bait are available at Town Wharf for fishing in the harbor area. Freshwater fishing is available in Plymouth's many ponds; Long Pond is stocked with trout, as well as smallmouth and largemouth bass. Great Herring Pond has bass and pickerel. A concrete boat ramp is maintained at Long Pond. Some boats can also be launched at the very shallow south end of Great Herring Pond. Fishing is also possible throughout the Myles Standish State Forest in West Plymouth.

Fishing permits are required for recreational saltwater fishing and lobstering for those 16 years old and older. Several New England state permits also are valid in Massachusetts for saltwater fishing. Shellfishing is regulated by the town of Plymouth rather than the state; check the town's website for up-to-date requirements. If you want the experience without the hassle, several boating companies will take you out for deep sea fishing with no licenses required.

Fishing licenses are required for freshwater fishing for those 15 years old and older.

Golfing[edit]

Depending on who you talk to, Plymouth is a mecca for golf or overrun by golf courses. If you like to to golf, you will have plenty of options to explore.

Buy[edit]

  • 1 Bramhall's Country Store, 2 Sandwich Road, +1 508-746-1844. A Chiltonville village staple, this family-owned store was founded in 1828 by the great-great-great-great grandfather of the store’s present day owners. The building itself was built in the 1750s and was originally one of the first post offices in the United States. A must-stop shop for local corn and other produce, also sells ice cream and seafood. Open seasonally.
  • 3 Lobster Pound, 252 Manomet Point Road, +1 508 224-5700. A Manomet village staple, this tiny but well-loved seafood market on Manomet Point is famous for its premade lobster rolls and chowers, as well as its straight-off-the-boat locally caught seafood. Locals also visit for the views of Manomet Point; sunrises, sunsets, rainbows, and passing pods of whales or ships bring many an observer to visit. Any summer night during an approaching thunderstorm you will find half of the White Horse locals parked at the Lobster Pound to watch the natural light show over the water. Open seasonally.
  • 4 Village Landing Marketplace, 170 Water Street. A cute outdoor shopping plaza with cobblestone paths, specialty shops and restaurants that are all locally owned and operated, and regular music concerts at the gazebo in season. Great for unique and non-tacky souvenirs.

Eat[edit]

This page uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
Budget Under $15
Mid-range $15 - $30
Splurge Over $30

Smoking is not permitted in restaurants unless outdoors.

Budget[edit]

  • 1 All American Diner, 60 Court St, +1 508 747-4763. Breakfast served all day. Snowbird pit stop during the summer migration. Sides of tapioca pudding and tomato juice. Voted best breakfast in Plymouth!
  • 2 Blue Blinds Bakery, 7 North St, e-mail: . Pastries, coffee & espresso, soups, and sandwiches.
  • 3 Blueberry Muffin, 2240 State Rd, +1 508 747-0462. Cederville village's staple bakery and breakfast meetup spot. Also serves lunch.
  • 4 Carmen's Cafe Nicole, 114 Water St, +1 508 747-4343. Casual waterfront eatery with outdoor seating serving Mexican & American breakfasts & lunches.
  • 5 Gellar's, 506 State Road. The unofficial "town hall" of Manomet, operated by the Gellar family since the 1920s. Most famous for it's ice cream, but also serves sandwiches, seafood, burgers, and other lunch staples.
  • 6 Hearth 'n Kettle (at the John Carver Inn), 25 Summer St, +1 508 747-7405. Daily 7AM-10PM. Excellent breakfasts all day long with a Pilgrim-themed vibe. Great for families with kids.
  • 7 Lobster Hut, 25 Town Wharf, +1 508 746-2270. Summer daily 11AM-9PM; winter daily 11AM-7PM.. Fairgrounds type atmosphere, casual but decent seafood a stone's throw from the sea. Eat inside or out. If out, beware of hungry gulls. $5-$15.
  • 8 Rose and Vicki's, 747 State Road, +1 508-224-3502. Monday-Sunday, 9am - 9pm. Manomet's staple sub shop. Sandwiches, wraps, salads, pizza, bakery items, apps, party platters. Dine-in and delivery.
  • 9 Water Street Cafe, 25 Water St, +1 508-746-2050. Daily 5:30AM-3PM. Winner of several Best Breakfast and Lunch awards. Large variety; homestyle feel.

Mid-range[edit]

  • 10 42 Degrees North Restaurant and Lounge, 690 State Road, +1 508 224-1500. Specializes in seafood with a separate "Fish Market Menu" that has a variety of fresh fish that can be prepared to your specifications. Also serves regular dinner fare such as beef, pasta, chicken, soups and salads. Outdoor deck open seasonally. Entree $15-$30.
  • 11 Blue-Eyed Crab Grille and Raw Bar, 170 Water St, +1 508 747-6776. Su-Th 11:30am–9pm, F-Sa 11:30am–10pm. Fresh seafood specials changing daily with a choice of toppings. Also miso salmon, rib eye steak, grilled jerk brick chicken, salads and burgers. Indoor and outdoor seating. Lunch and Dinner. Entrees $12-$45.
  • 12 Isaac's on the Waterfront, 114 Water St, +1 508 830-0001. Excellent view of the waterfront. Varied selection of almost all types of dinner fare and cocktails. Entrees $15-$25.
  • 13 Mama Mia's Restaurant & Pizzeria, 122 Water St, +1 508 747-4670. Long time local Italian favorite. Probably the best pizza on the South Shore or Cape. Family friendly.
  • 14 Sam Diego's Mexican Cookery & Bar (51 Main Street), +1 508 747-0048. 11:30AM-1AM. Mexican and Tex-Mex specialties and Southwestern specialty dishes. A great change of pace if you're getting tired of non-stop seafood and clam chowder. Kid's menu and family friendly. Bar upstairs quite popular with the younger crowd at night as it's open until 1AM (late by local standards). Entrees $8-$18.
  • 15 Surfside Smokehouse, 14 Union St, +1 508 927-4111. American BBQ and seafood; great for lunch or dinner. Kid's menu. Open seasonally. Eat indoors upstairs or join the more casual bar scene on the outside deck downstairs. Nice views of the marina. Entrees $12-$27.
  • 16 Waterfront Bar and Grille, 170 Water St, +1 508-591-8393. Lively upstairs bar scene with evening entertainment and a quiet downstairs dining room. El fresco dining is available on the outside deck upstairs and has a nice harbor view. Entrees $17-$35.
  • 17 Wood's Seafood Market and Restaurant, 15 Town Pier, +1 508 746-0261. Daily 11AM-9PM. Fresh seafood in the rough with a fish market as well. Top notch clam chowder and fried whole clams made by Exec. Chef JMitch. Voted Editor's Choice for Massachusetts by Yankee Magazine's Travel Guide to New England. Entrees $5-$22.

Splurge[edit]

  • 18 Cafe Strega, 16 Main Street Ext., +1 508 732-9996. Authentic Italian restaurant overlooking Brewster Gardens. Entrees $15-$38.
  • 19 East Bay Grille, 173 Water St, +1 508 746-9751. Well-appointed New England fare: seafood, steaks, chowders, and the like with a waterside view. Patio dining available. Business casual dress code. Entrees $22-$42.
  • 20 Patrizia's, 170 Water Street (Located within Village Landing), +1 508 747-0015. Authentic Italian dining, wine tasting events. Smart casual dress code. Reservations recommended. Entrees $18-$39.
  • 21 Rye Tavern, 517 Old Sandwich Rd, +1 508 591-7515. Rural restaurant in historic tavern building, specializing in "farm to table" dining. Highly variable seasonal menu with exceptional food quality, more reminiscent of Nantucket than Plymouth. Beautiful gardens out back. Great place for a romantic date, and easily the most upscale restaurant in town. Taking a drive down Old Sandwich Road is an adventure onto itself; road follows an ancient woodland path that connected Cape Cod to the mainland in pre-Mayflower days. $$$$.

Drink[edit]

Several of the more popular bars are already mentioned in the "eat" sections above as they are also quite excellent restaurants; Sam Diego's, Surfside Smokehouse's deck, Waterfront Bar and Grille, and several others have lively cocktail and beer crowds after dinner. Below are some additional options known more for their nightlife:

  • 1 1620 Wine Bar, 170 Water Street. Patio wine bar on the waterfront. Fire pit, live entertainment. Special events such as Paint Nights.
  • 2 Black Raspberry Pub, 36 Cordage Park Cir # 111. Pub food, great drinks, pool tables, live entertainment.
  • 3 The Cabbyshack, 30 Town Wharf, +1 508 746-5354. Eat and or drink inside or out. Lively atmosphere on big outside decks. Popular with the motorcycle crowd. Entertainment most evenings.
  • 4 The Pillory Pub, 72 Water St. Rocking chairs overlook the waterfront at this popular pub across from the Mayflower II. Great beer selection, pub food, friendly bartenders, chill atmosphere.
  • 5 T-Bones Road House, 22 Main St. Popular party spot for the young and single kids in town. Frequently has live music.

Sleep[edit]

This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget Under $75
Mid-range $75 - $150
Splurge Over $150

If you intend to visit during peak tourist season (Memorial Day-Labor Day) or over the Thanksgiving holiday, hotels can sell out far in advance. Be certain to plan ahead!

Budget[edit]

  • 1 Blue Spruce Motel, 710 State Road, +1 508 224-3990, toll-free: +1-800-370-7080. Motel rooms and townhouses. Outdoor pool, full kitchen and dining area in the townhouses. Located in the Manomet village area on Route 3A. About a 15 minute drive into downtown Plymouth or 5 minute drive to White Horse Beach.
  • 2 Bradford Inn and Suites, 98 Water St (on the waterfront). Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Convenient location on the waterfront in walking distance to major attractions, shops, and resturants. Fitness center and outdoor pool.
  • 3 Ellis Haven Family Camping, 531 Federal Furnace Rd, +1 508 746-0803, e-mail: . Private beach on freshwater lake, paddleboats, recreation center, minigolf, ball fields. Hot showers, Laundry, 24 hour security, Grocery store, Restaurant, Snack bar, Sports Bar.Your choice of sunny or shady sites. Full hookups, including Cable TV. Furnished cabin rentals. Safari fields for group camping.
  • 4 Sandy Pond Campground, 834 Bourne Rd, +1 508 759-9336, e-mail: . From tent sites to full hookups to cabins. Nice sandy beach on freshwater pond. Store, RV Service, sports areas.

Mid-range[edit]

  • 5 A White Swan Bed and Breakfast, 146 Manomet Point Road, +1 508-224-3759.
  • 6 Best Western Plus Cold Spring, 180 Court St. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. About a 5 minute drive or 15 minute walk to downtown. Motel with cottages, but nicely upkept. Heated outdoor pool, free WIFI, breakfast.
  • 7 By the Sea Bed and Breakfast, 22 Winslow St, +1 508 830-9643, e-mail: . Great location overlooking the historic waterfront and Mayflower II. All suites have spectacular ocean views. The suites are air conditioned, have private entrances, private baths, TVs, and refrigerators.
  • 8 Hilton Garden Inn, 4 Home Depot Dr, +1 508 830-0200, fax: +1 508-830-0855. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Although located in an outlet shop area, hotel is about an 8 minute drive to downtown and a 15 minute drive to Long Beach. Fitness center and heated indoor pool.
  • 9 Pilgrim Sands Hotel on Long Beach, 150 Warren Ave., +1 508-747-0900, toll-free: +1-800-729-SANDS (72637). Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. About a 10 minute drive from downtown, but located right on the water with its own private beach, as well as an indoor/outdoor pool. Free WIFI and continental breakfast; all rooms non-smoking.
  • 10 Pinewood Lodge Campground, 190 Pinewood Rd., +1 508 746-3548. From tents to cabins to lakeside cottages available. Swimming, boating, fishing on freshwater pond. RV service on site, Store, laundry, lounge, function hall.

Splurge[edit]

  • 11 Hotel 1620 Plymouth Harbor, 180 Water St, +1 508-747-4900, e-mail: . Located in Village Landing Marketplace right on the waterfront, with easy access to downtown attractions, shops, and restaurants. Amenities include fitness center, indoor pool, free WIFI, laundry facilities, and business center. Non-smoking facility.
  • 12 John Carver Inn and Spa, 25 Summer St, +1 508-746-7100, toll-free: +1-800-274-1620, fax: +1 508-746-8299. Well-located about a 3-5 minute walk to downtown Plymouth. Wireless internet and refrigerators in rooms, some rooms also have working fireplaces. Hotel includes Pilgrim Cove indoor theme pool with slides, waterfall, and cannons - great for kids! Other amenities include fitness gym, Beach Plum Spa, Waterfire Tavern, and Hearth & Kettle Restaurant.
  • 13 Mirbeau Inn and Spa Pinehills, 35 Landmark Drive. Located in the Pinehills planned community, the inn is about a 15 minute drive from downtown and the Myles Standish State Forest. Built to resemble a French villa, its close to the Pinehills golf course as well as the Pinehills shops and restaurants.

Stay safe[edit]

In Plymouth dial 911 if there is an emergency. This free call will summon police, medical, and fire services to assist you.

Crime is relatively low for a town of Plymouth's size, but take the normal precautions and don't leave your belongings unattended in public spaces, such as public beaches. Plymouth has been a part of the region's larger opiate epidemic, but you are unlikely to encounter many drug-related problems in any of the major tourist areas. However, keep an eye out for spent hypodermic needles which can be found alongside roads or on beaches.

Most beaches in Plymouth do not have lifeguards and many experience drastic tidal differences as sandbars are numerous. Follow the advice of locals and check tidal calendars before venturing off too far onto mudflats or long walks around bluffs - you may find yourself having to swim back when the beach disappears without much warning! Also take care when boating in the area; unexpected mudflats or large glacial rocks can be closer to the surface at certain tidal points, causing unassuming craft to run aground.

In the last decade, Plymouth has, along with Cape Cod, experienced a drastic rise in great white sharks as the harbor seal population, which is their main source of food, has exploded. Sharks can appear close to shore along Plymouth beaches and have made encounters with some kayakers, though despite knocking them into the water no injuries have been reported. The best defense is to stay alert and understand that the sharks are much more interested in finding seals than hurting you. To avoid being confused for their food, avoid swimming in murky water or anywhere near where seals can be spotted jumping, swimming, or sunbathing. Often times you can hear the seals barking before seeing them. If you spot a shark, exit the water immediately. If at a public beach, follow any warnings given by lifeguards or warning flags which may be posted along the shore.

Stay healthy[edit]

Plymouth has its own fully-equipped hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, which is the largest facility on the Cape end of the South Shore. Note that this facility was called the Jordan Hospital for over 100 years from its opening in 1901 until 2014. Since the name change is recent, it is very common for locals to still refer to the hospital as "Jordan"; i.e. "They're taking him to Jordan," when referring to the Beth Israel facility.

Connect[edit]

Mail services[edit]

Plymouth is a large town with multiple post offices, and as such has multiple zip codes depending on the post office being used:

  • The main zip code for Plymouth is 02360, and refers to mail being directed to or from the town's central post office at 100 Long Pond Rd.
  • 02345 is the zip code used for P.O. Boxes at the main village post office for Manomet, located at 12 Manomet Point Rd.
  • 02381 is the zip code used for P.O. Boxes at Manomet's even smaller post office at 119 White Horse Rd on White Horse Beach.
  • 02362 is the zip code used for the village post office in North Plymouth, located at 283 Court St.

Computing and internet access[edit]

Computer, internet use, and wireless printing services are available via the Plymouth Public Library system with day passes available for non-card holders. The main branch is located at 132 South Street and the Manomet branch is located at 12 Strand Avenue.

Local news[edit]

The local newspaper is the Old Colony Memorial, published every Wednesday and Saturday. You can find a copy at most convenience stores, and it is also often available at local hotels.

Go next[edit]

  • Boston is only about 45 minutes away by car or 30 minutes by commuter rail. Massachusetts' capital city has plenty of attractions for history buffs, such as the Freedom Trail and the USS Constitution. It is also a mecca for sports fans, and no trip is complete without a visit to Fenway Park. There are plenty of cultural attractions such as the Museum of Fine Arts and Museum of Science, and on a beautiful day a stroll through Boston Public Garden and a ride on the Swan Boats is a must. Boston is also a major transport hub, and you can access both its international airport and train and bus connections to other major cities along the East Coast.
  • Cape Cod, including the towns of Sandwich, Hyannis, and Provincetown are all a relatively easy drive south from Plymouth, especially in off-peak travel hours. Provincetown can also be accessed from Plymouth by a daily ferry running seasonally from the harbor. The Cape is known for its beaches, and a visit to the Cape Cod National Seashore is highly recommended.
  • Providence, Rhode Island is about 40 minutes away via car. Roger Williams Park and Zoo is a great place to visit and holds many annual events. An evening trip during one of its Waterfire celebrations is also worth experiencing; check out Waterfire.org for their annual schedule and to plan ahead.
Routes through Plymouth
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