Live Like a Pilgrim in Plymouth, Massachusetts

Posted November 19, 2009 by Kate Hamman

MA-Plymouth-Mayflower2-DEF Most people are familiar with the Mayflower voyage and the Pilgrim landing at Plymouth Rock, but few have actually experienced the tales first-hand. There's no better time than Thanksgiving to explore the ship and town where the traditions all started. Or, you can lay your head where the original settlers dreamt of the new world. And, no visit would be complete without touring a few cranberry bogs, which, not surprisingly, run rampant in these parts.

Mayflower II: Step aboard the Mayflower II located at Plimoth Plantation to learn about the Pilgrims' experiences crossing the Atlantic Ocean. The recreated ship captures the glory and hardship of the original vessel with detailed precision, even down to the claustrophobic passenger quarters. You can discuss the journey with role-players acting as Mayflower passengers, who keep in perfect character no matter how hard you try to trip them up. You can visit the ship March 21 through November 29, and admission costs $10, which includes entrance to the ship and dockside exhibit.

John Carver Inn: The original Pilgrim settlement may be long gone, but you can still sleep where they slept, just in much nicer conditions at the John Carver Inn. This boutique hotel located in the center of historic Plymouth pampers you with fireplace suites, in-room Jacuzzis, and an on-site spa. Even if you don't take advantage of these extra perks, you can still hang out by the water at the Pilgrim Cove Indoor Theme pool. Rooms start at $103 per night for winter stays, and can be more expensive during high seasons and holidays.

Cranberry Harvest Trail Guide: In the spirit of Thanksgiving, take a drive through the towns of Southeastern Massachusetts, including Plymouth, to tour more than 14,000 acres of cranberry bogs. The Harvest Trail Guide sponsored by the Cape Cod Cranberry Grower's Association lists the farms you where can see the growing and harvesting of the tart fruit. You can also stock up on cranberries and cranberry products at several of the farms' shops or roadside stands just in time for the holiday feast. The fall harvest season varies by year, but is usually over by November. It doesn't cost a thing to follow the trail.

To search for flights and compare prices to Boston, which is home to Plymouth’s nearest major airport, please use our price-comparison tool.

(Photo: Don Teague)

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