Blake Walsh

17 Best Things to Do in Plymouth County, MA

  • Published 2023/06/11

Plymouth County is one of the closest counties to Boston in Massachusetts, renowned for its sprawling nature and outdoor activities.

It’s situated right along the coastline of Massachusetts, facing the Atlantic Ocean—this makes it a popular place for beach activities and boating.

Besides that, Plymouth County also has a lot of history to unpack; its county seat, Plymouth, is one of my favorite experiences near Boston.

There are also a lot of scenic attractions here, ranging from monuments to lighthouses.

I thoroughly enjoyed my trip here, so allow me to share with you what I think are the best things to do in Plymouth County, Massachusetts.

Go Trekking at World’s End

Beautiful butterfly sitting on the bark of a tree at World’s End

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World’s End is one of the most memorable nature spots in Plymouth County for me, simply because of how serene it is.

Located in the town of Hingham, World’s End is situated right along the Hingham Bay that flows out to the Massachusetts Bay.

Because of this, it experiences a lot of biodiversity thanks to its rich ecology; the wildlife and plant life here are some of the most abundant I’ve seen in the county.

Hiking trail at the World’s End

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One thing I appreciated about this place is that it doesn’t feel too dense—the greenery are spacious and it doesn’t give off dense forest vibes.

This makes World’s End perfect for all kinds of adventurers, but it works best for those who want a more tranquil and relaxing time with nature.

Shoreline at the World’s End

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Explore Peddocks Island

View of the Peddocks Island

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Located in the town of Hull, Peddocks Island is a perfect place to visit if you want an island experience.

You can do a boatload of activities here that can take up an entire day—there’s boating, hiking, and even camping if you don’t want a short day trip.

What I loved the most about Peddocks Island is its gorgeous waters—there are plenty of beach areas here to appreciate once you’ve set foot on the island.

Aerial view of the Peddocks Island

Doc Searls from Santa Barbara, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Besides that, the state park also features Peddocks Visitor Center with some cool things to see inside.

I also found some ruins of an old fort called Fort Andrews here, which was a great surprise that made the trip even better.

View of the Peddocks Island

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Learn About the Native Americans in the 17th-Century English Village

Huts used by native americans at 17th-Century English Village

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One of my most favorite destinations in Plymouth County is the 17th-Century English Village found in its namesake township.

It’s a living museum where you can immerse in the lifestyle of 17th Century Native Americans; the indigenous houses here will really take you back in a time that’s unfamiliar.

View of the 17th-Century English Village

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Besides the Native American houses and artifacts, there are also reenactments here between the Pilgrims and the indigenous tribes—the Pilgrims were the ones who waged war against the Natives for their ancestral lands.

The village even has actors that portray what happened centuries ago, so it’s a great place for children to immerse in this often overlooked side of U.S. history.

Because of its accurate depiction of the village, be sure to take tons of photos here as it’s one of the most unique things in Plymouth County.

Ancient cooking method used by native americans at 17th-Century English Village

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Visit the Plimoth Grist Mill

View of the Plimoth Grist Mill

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The Plimoth Grist Mill is another attraction found in the historic town of Plymouth, and it’s a must-see as well after visiting the 17th Century English Village.

The place feels like it was just built yesterday with how gorgeous and well-preserved it is, and yet it gives off such austere and vintage vibes as well.

There’s an allure seeing the interior of Plimoth Grist Mill—you’ll see all the wooden contraptions that were integral in producing cornmeal and flour.

During my visit here, I was pleasantly surprised that the Plimoth Grist Mill is still functional and does live operations at certain times.

The place also has a gift shop which I thoroughly enjoyed because of its solid selection of items that are great for souvenirs.

See the History of Pilgrim Memorial State Park

Monument at the Pilgrim Memorial State Park

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Pilgrim Memorial State Park is one of the most heavily visited places in Plymouth County.

It’s situated along the coast of Plymouth, as it’s the historic grounds where the Pilgrims first landed in Massachusetts.

Today, there’s a ton of historical evidence found in the state park, and there’s even a replica of the Mayflower II—the ship that landed on the shores of Plymouth.

Replica of the Mayflower II Ship at the Pilgrim Memorial State Park

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The Plymouth Rock is easily the top attraction here in terms of historical significance; the rock serves as the symbol of all that transpired from the 17th Century.

Besides the rich attractions found here, Pilgrim Memorial State Park is also scenic thanks to the ocean.

It’s one of my can’t-miss destinations in Plymouth County, so be sure to prioritize this during your trip.

View of the Pilgrim Memorial State Park

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Have a Wonderful Time at Westgate Lanes

During your visit to Plymouth County, I’d highly recommend that you visit the city of Brockton for Westgate Lanes.

This place is a bowling alley plus more—it has billiards, arcades, and a restaurant and pub to boot.

Westgate Lanes has been running since 1959, becoming one of the staples in Brockton for amusement and family fun.

The arcade section is what I find underrated, there are enjoyable games like air hockey that makes your money all the more worth it.

To make things even better, Westgate Lanes is a stone’s throw away from Westgate Mall—easily the largest and most bustling mall in Plymouth County.

Go Swimming at Rexhame Beach

Scenic view of the Rexhame Beach

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Rexhame Beach is one of the best beaches in Plymouth County for me, located in the township of Marshfield.

What I like about the beach is its simplicity—you’ll get fine sand and beautiful clean waters here without too many crowds.

Rexhame Beach also has a bit of austerity to it, as it has a couple of prairies nearby that’s perfect if you have a dog with you.

Dunes at the Rexhame Beach

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Still, it’s the powdery sand here and the sweeping views of the ocean that makes this a heavy favorite of mine in the county.

If you wait until sunset, the intimate atmosphere the beach gives off is something worth remembering.

Bike and Reach the Gurnet Lighthouse

Bird's eye view of the Gurnet Lighthouse

Wangkun Jia / Shutterstock.com

The Gurnet Lighthouse is located in Plymouth, but it has an interesting process when it comes to reaching this destination.

You can’t reach Gurnet Lighthouse through a vehicle—the only way to reach it is on a bike or on foot.

The lighthouse is situated at the tip of Gurnet Road which is a long and winding barrier island that connects Plymouth to Duxbury.

Straight view of the Gurnet Lighthouse

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What I personally did here was park at Duxbury Beach Park, and then bike through the entire road to reach Gurnet Lighthouse.

When I reached the lighthouse, I was rewarded with spectacular views that felt like being at the end of the world—it was truly an amazing experience.

Appreciate Art at Fuller Craft Museum

View of the Fuller Craft Museum

John Phelan, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Also found in Brockton is Fuller Craft Museum, one of the few art museums in the county.

For me, this is the best destination in the county to appreciate art because of its unique collections.

It has amazing exhibits that are found both in its indoor areas and outdoor gardens—many of which are sculptures and hand-woven designs.

Pond at the Fuller Craft Museum

Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The place is gorgeous and is a haven for art photography thanks to its modern interior design.

Fuller Craft Museum also has a great gift shop, something where I splurged on because of all the cool stuff there by local artists.

Fountain at the Fuller Craft Museum

Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Observe Wildlife at Burrage Pond Wildlife Area

Flora at the Burrage Pond Wildlife Area

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Another scenic place to see all sorts of wild animals is Burrage Pond Wildlife Area.

It’s found in Hanson Township, offering sprawling nature trails that involve no elevation—it’s perfect for people of all ages.

There are a lot of bogs in the place, so expect to encounter amphibians, reptiles, along with other small mammalian critters.

Because all sorts of trees are abundant, various species of birds are also found here.

If you want to be more adventurous, there are plenty of boat launches as well once you go deeper inside Burrage Pond Wildlife Area.

Take the Kids to Paragon Carousel

Outside view of the Paragon Carousel

Marcbela (Marc N. Belanger), CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Paragon Carousel is one of the hidden gems in Plymouth County that’s found in the township of Hull.

It’s a vintage carousel that’s geared for children and those who simply appreciate these vintage amusement rides back in the day.

The carousel is huge—it contains a lot of horses that each have intricate details that really give off its vintage vibe.

Besides that, Paragon Carousel is also conveniently located in a touristy area in Hull.

It’s along the shore drive of the town, so expect to see a lot of hustle and bustle here from seafood restaurants, museums, and other nearby attractions.

Drive by at Moonrise Cinemas

Moonrise Cinemas is a drive-in cinema unlike any other I’ve experienced, found in Plymouth as well.

What makes this place special is its focus on good food and beer—they have amazing chicken dishes here along with a beer garden before the movie starts.

Beyond that, Moonrise Cinemas also hosts fun lawn games as you wait for the movie, all great bonuses.

Once the movie starts rolling, it’s a delight to just sit back and enjoy the show.

Plenty of other day time events happen at this place too, so go check out what’s brewing when you visit Plymouth.

Camp at Wompatuck State Park

Pond at the Wompatuck State Park

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Wompatuck State Park is a camping paradise if you want a full-blown nature adventure for several days.

There are plenty of freshwater springs here near the camping grounds, and the park is also teeming with all sorts of nature trails for biking and hiking.

Wompatuck State Park is also huge—many locals here go multiple times because they haven’t explored the entirety of the place.

Hornet's nest at the Wompatuck State Park

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One of the best things to do here is to explore the waters—if you love amphibians and reptiles, there are a lot to see here.

It makes up a huge portion of Hingham, so don’t miss out on it if you’re all about nature exploration.

Plants at the Wompatuck State Park

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Explore the Ponds of Myles Standish State Forest

Landscape of the Myles Standish State Forest

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Another alternative to Wompatuck State Park is the Myles Standish State Forest.

Located in the town of Culver, this state forest is even bigger than Wompatuck, as it makes up a huge part of Plymouth County’s middle territory.

When I visited here briefly, I learned that the sprawling ponds here are what makes it a top attraction.

Nature trail at the Myles Standish State Forest

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Lots of its ponds are clean, so there is a good number of locals and tourists swimming here during the hot summer months.

Myles Standish State Forest is also great for hiking—unlike other state parks, this one has a couple of hilly areas with great elevation.

Inscription on a stone at the Myles Standish State Forest

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See the National Monument to the Forefathers

Front view of the National Monument to the Forefathers

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Another attraction you might want to check out in Plymouth is the National Monument to the Forefathers.

This is one of the symbols of Plymouth County, as it’s where you can see the rich history behind the Pilgrims who became pioneers of these lands.

The monument is huge and I find it a great spot to take souvenir photos.

View of the National Monument to the Forefathers

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Just to put it in perspective, I learned that the National Monument to the Forefathers is over 80-feet tall!

It’s also relatively easy to reach, as it’s not too far from the Pilgrim Memorial Park, only needing a few minutes.

Closeup of the statues at the National Monument to the Forefathers

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Go Sightseeing at Scituate Lighthouse

Top view of the Scituate Lighthouse

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Hidden in the township of Scituate, the Scituate Lighthouse is easily another favorite of mine during this trip.

Unlike the Gurnet Lighthouse that felt like reaching a desolate part of the county, Scituate Lighthouse feels like entering a quaint coastal village.

Lined with identical brick houses and a gorgeous rocky beach, this place seems like it’s straight out of a movie.

View of the Scituate Lighthouse

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The waters were beautiful to look at, and the breeze accentuates the entire aesthetic experience that you’ll get from visiting this lighthouse.

Unsurprisingly, this place is also beautiful during sunsets and at night, so consider those times of the day too.

View from the Scituate Lighthouse

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Have a Picnic at Ames Nowell State Park

Winter view of the Ames Nowell State Park

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Found in the town of Abington, Ames Nowell State Park is a great place to take the family for picnics.

It’s a laid-back state park with plenty of forests and a huge pond that’s a popular spot for fishing and boating.

During my stay here, I also did some trekking where I saw gorgeous streams and a lot of old trees.

Picnic area near the pond at Ames Nowell State Park

John Phelan, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

All these features make it a great all-rounder for the family, coupled with the fact that many dogs are also brought here by fur parents.

Ames Nowell State Park is also a quaint despite its popularity, mostly because it’s tucked in a residential neighborhood.

Final Thoughts

Just a few miles from Boston, Plymouth County is one of the best ways to extend your trip in Massachusetts.

It’s a paradise for those who love beaches, state parks, and lighthouses, but it also offers more beyond that.

Hidden gems like the Fuller Craft Museum and historical landmarks in Plymouth are great examples.

Excited to visit this place? Don’t forget to revisit my list of the best things to do in Plymouth County, Massachusetts when you do!

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