As Thanksgiving Day preparations are in full swing at our house, I can’t help but think about the very first Thanksgiving. On our recent Road Trip through New England, we spent a day exploring the rich history in Plymouth, Massachusetts. It was an unforgettable day, and definitely a must for anyone’s bucket list. I’d like to take you on a tour with me today of Plimouth Plantation, The Mayflower II, Plymouth Rock, Burial Hill, the Monument to the Forefathers, and more!
So, pull up a comfy chair, grab a pumpkin spice latte or hot cider, and take this trip with me back to the beginning of America and our very First Thanksgiving! The turkey day prep can wait a little while longer!
Plymouth was the destination on the 10th day of our epic New England Road Trip that took us to 8 states and over 3000 miles in just 13 days. It was the trip of a lifetime, that I will share with you in smaller posts much like this over the next few months. I can’t wait to share all the details with you! It was the highlight of my Pre-Baby Bucket List Busting Year!
We left Bar Harbor, Maine early in the morning, took a coastal drive down the eastern seaboard, through Boston, and disembarked (already starting my Mayflower talk!! 😂) in Plymouth by lunchtime.
Our first destination in this history filled locale, was Plimouth Plantation.
Entering Plimouth Plantation felt like we had just stepped back in time. The village and reservation were very authentic, and the characters acted like we had just arrived from England back in the 1600’s as they escorted us around their town, and acclimated us to their everyday colonial life.
When asked where we were from, I responded, “Michigan”. One of the girls looked really puzzled, and said she’d never heard of Michigan! I was concerned about her schooling, and if she’d ever looked at a map, when Adam leaned over and said, “Duh! Michigan was not a state yet in 1620!” They didn’t break character for even a second! 🙄
Oiy! 😟 I felt like I needed to have studied my American History textbooks from Middle School again just to converse with those people. 😂 So, we kept it simple and asked them questions, like “How was your voyage on the Mayflower?” and “How do you prepare for winter?”.
This gentleman, was terrific! I believe he was Myles Standish. I’m not an historian, never claimed to be. If you want to learn more about Myles Standish, click here! He never left character, and shared so much about early colonial history. It felt like we had legitimately ridden in a time machine or something! He blew my mind!
We bought combo tickets at Plimouth Plantation, that also got us admittance into the Mayflower II and the Plimouth Grist Mill. All three attractions were a distance apart from each other. We drove to Plymouth Harbor where the Mayflower II was docked, and was able to walk to several other landmarks from there.
The Mayflower II is a full scale replica of the tall ship that brought 102 pilgrims across the ocean to Plymouth’s shores back in 1620. On our road trip, the Mayflower was anchored in State Pier in downtown Plymouth. But, currently it is parked in Mystic Seaport for a restoration. We also visited Mystic, Connecticut on our New England Road Trip, which we’ll talk about soon!
The Mayflower II was definitely worth visiting. We were able to board the ship, and get a first hand glimpse at what the pilgrims had to endure for several weeks. How 102 people crammed into that ship, and survived to make it to dry land, is beyond me.
This was especially interesting to Adam, who’s family ancestry has been linked back to the Mayflower. It’s hard to believe someone in his family was aboard this ship, and helped settle our country. Amazing!
Plymouth Rock was a short walk away from the Mayflower II, encased in quite a shrine. I’m not sure what was so nostalgic about gazing down at a rock in the sand, but there was something about this place that filled me with pride.
Learning the history of America growing up in school was one thing, but actually getting to see where history took place was priceless.
After a quick visit to the Plimouth Grist Mill, we crossed the street and climbed the hill to an old graveyard. Many of the pilgrims are buried here in grave sites with headstones that are barely still standing. It was surreal to stand there at dusk meandering though the rows of graves, and be surrounded by all those who were brave enough cross the ocean and start a New World.
The view from Burial Hill was beautiful. The Ocean in the distance with gorgeous church steeples rising above the historic first street in America.
While the sun was setting, we raced (not really…) to our final historical stop for the day. And, boy oh boy, was it worth it.
We had heard about the National Monument to the Forefathers while watching a TV show called Painting the Town, that visited Plymouth. But, quite honestly nothing could have prepared us for how breathtaking the monument was.
And, watching the sun set beautifully around the monument was the perfect end to our historical tour of Plymouth!
Before heading to our hotel, we searched the downtown Plymouth area for a place to eat. We saw Cabby Shack right on the water, and lo and behold, they had some Food Network award winning clam chowdah. A must try in our book. Plus, they had wonderful burgers and fries since we were a little tired of seafood after spending the previous 4 days in Maine and practically eating our body weight in lobster.
I also had seen Cupcake Charlie’s on Pinterest, as a must try in Plymouth, and it just so happened to be in the same parking lot at Cabby’s. But, they had literally just closed 5 minutes prior to our arrival. I was bummed.
Luckily, after checking into our amazing hotel for the night, the Mirbeau Inn at The Pinehills, we discovered some homemade marshmellows on our pillow as a goodnight snack. That was enough to satisfy my sweet tooth, and was just one of the many reasons why I fell in love with the Mirbeau Inn & Spa. I’ll tell you all about The Mirbeau in a future post. But, let me just paint this picture for you….
Monet inspired gardens just outside our balcony room in the chateau; a claw foot tub and a cozy fireplace at the foot of our bed to help us relax after a day of exploring Plymouth; and a world renowned spa and fabulous French inspired restaurants right at our fingertips…if you visit Plymouth, you must stay at the Mirbeau. It will knock your socks off and beg to give you a pedicure!
I hope you all enjoy your thanksgiving, and remember the sacrifice that it took for our forefathers to come to America. If you’ve never walked where pilgrims have, a visit to Plymouth Massachusetts should be on your travel bucket list! You won’t regret it!
I’m thankful for all of you, my friends and readers. And, I’m especially grateful for my wonderful family and husband who’ve been so encouraging as I share my story here.
Please share in the comments what you are thankful for this year…
Happy Thanksgiving! See you again soon!
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