Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Plymouth, MA

  • Published 2023/02/19

Although Plymouth is just 64 kilometers from Boston, it feels like a world away.

Plymouth, a classic coastal town with a rich history and a thriving cultural scene, has something for everybody.

Plymouth comprises streets lined with buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries.

It also has a portion of the Plymouth Colony’s initial settlement.

Plymouth has long valued and conserved its history, as seen by the well-kept early residences.

Although Plymouth is near enough to be a short trip from Boston, you may also want to spend more time there to visit its historical sites.

Use our list of things to do in Plymouth to plan your visit now!

See Various Paintings at Pilgrim Hall Museum

The Pilgrim Hall Museum

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The Pilgrim Hall Museum, established in 1824 and still open today, is America’s oldest public museum.

It includes an unrivaled exhibit of Pilgrim artifacts and personal belongings that tell the intriguing tale of these courageous individuals who traversed the seas and created new livelihoods in the New World.

Art exhibits at Pilgrim Hall Museum

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The cradle of Peregrine White, the sword of Myles Standish, the picture of Edward Winslow, the Bible of William Bradford, New England’s firstborn, William Brewster’s big chair, and the first tapestry stitched in the USA by Myles Standish’s daughter are among the most important artifacts.

The Wampanoag, a group of Native Americans who resided in the Plymouth region for centuries, are also featured in the museum.

Exterior view of Pilgrim Hall Museum

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Have Fun at Russell Blake Planetarium

Russell Blake Planetarium‘s full-dome planetarium’s Digital Sky projection technology casts visuals of the evening sky throughout the entire arch interior, immersing guests in the soundscape and astronomical magnificence.

You may learn to read a sky chart, recognize constellations, planets, and brilliant stars, and know other cosmic mysteries.

Grab Some Beers at Mayflower Brewing Company

Periodic artisan beers, tasting, and trips are available at this handmade microbrewery founded by pilgrim ancestors.

Browse the gift shop for a memento of this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

Mayflower Brewing Company is a mini-brewery in historic Plymouth, Massachusetts, specializing in artisan beer.

They are devoted to commemorating the legacy and culture of the Pilgrims by making distinctive, high-quality brews for the New England marketplace.

Visit Plimoth Grist Mill

Plimoth Grist Mill

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

The Plimoth Grist Mill is a replica of the Pilgrims’ first grist or grain grinding mill, erected in 1636.

The replica, which was finished in 1970, is made up of components recovered from an early 1800s mill near Philadelphia, such as stone furniture, stones, and spindle.

View of Plimoth Grist Mill

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It is a monument to the Pilgrims’ first grain mill and is as historically correct as possible to the actual Pilgrim Plymouth grist mill.

The colonists used to grind maize by hand before the mill was erected.

Before this mill was made, the people who ran it were grinding corn by hand.

See Brewster Gardens’ Beauty

Brewster Gardens

Nature’s Charm /

Brewster Gardens is a beautiful garden in the heart of Plymouth, with the Town Brook running through it.

The Pilgrims chose Plymouth partly because of this lovely stream, which gave them potable water and allowed them to thatch their houses with the reeds that grew beside it.

Beautiful flowers at Brewster Gardens' Beauty

Dee Browning /

Brewster Gardens is now tenderly preserved as a beautiful green space for the neighborhood and a site for historical contemplation, complete with sculptures and plaques.

Leyden Roadway, the first street established by the Pilgrims and affectionately dubbed “The First Street in America,” is located adjacent to the park.

It’s a simple and fast walk up the road to see what you can find.

Wooden bridge at Brewster Gardens' Beauty

Dee Browning /

Enjoy the Cultural Scene

Plymouth Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra at Plymouth Guildhall

Howie777, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Plymouth has a remarkably lively cultural landscape for such a tiny town.

Many of the neighborhood restaurants and pubs have live bands.

Outdoor performances are held on the waterfront every month, and the Plymouth Center for the Arts, on North Street, is a fantastic little art museum.

Look for the schedules for classic and contemporary concerts at Court Streets Memorial Hall or Spire Center.

Throughout the year, the Plymouth Philharmonic brings on some fantastic performances.

The Plimoth Cinema, located in Plimoth Patuxet’s visitor center, screens art, international, and well-received first-run movies.

See the Forefathers National Monument

Forefathers National Monument

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The Forefathers National Monument is the world’s biggest standalone granite monument.

It’s located atop a hill near Plymouth, Massachusetts, and appears to be looking over the sea at Plymouth, England.

The 81-foot-tall structure, which was finished in 1888 as a homage to the famous pilgrims who came on the Mayflower at Plymouth, took 30 years to build.

A 36-foot-tall statue named “Faith” stands atop the monument, while smaller, finely carved metaphorical images are carved into buttresses on all four sides of the platform where the monument stands.

The Pilgrim Society commissioned the monument given to the province in 2001.

Closeup of the statue at Forefathers National Monument

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The main pedestal is octagonal, with four little and four big faces and four buttresses projecting from the tiny faces.

The majestic figure of “Faith” perches on the central pedestal, her right hand pointing to the sky and her left hand grasping the Bible.

There are also sitting figures symbolic of the ideals based on which the Pilgrims built their Commonwealth on the four buttresses: Morality, Law, Education, and Liberty are placed counter-clockwise from the east.

Each was sculpted from a single block of granite and placed in a sitting position on seats with a sharp relief of minor features on either side.

“Prophet” and “Evangelist” are included under “Morality,” whereas “Law” is listed under “Law.”

Inscriptions at Forefathers National Monument

Michael Sean OLeary /

Go Swimming at Nelson Memorial Park

The Nelson Memorial Park is a waterfront area located at the north end of Water Street, near the top of Nelson Street.

The picnic and playground area will appeal to families with kids.

There is also a “splash pad” area where youngsters may cool down on hot summer days.

A modest boat terminal and a cycling route along the harbor to Hedge Road in North Plymouth are also available.

Many tourists come here to take in the breathtaking views of the ocean.

The park’s stunning landscape incorporates a modern stormwater management system.

A part of this land was donated in the Nelson family’s honor.

Park hours are from dawn to sunset every day.

Throwing a party or celebration at Nelson Beach Park: Nelson Beach Park is accessible to the public, and groups can utilize the space on a first-come, first-served basis.

Private meetings, marriages, and birthday parties are prohibited at Nelson Park by the Town of Plymouth.

Experience Cranberry Harvest Celebration

Cranberry Harvest Celebration

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Cranberry harvests are a very festive occasion in Massachusetts.

Residents and tourists converge in nearby Wareham every October for this weeklong celebration of the official berry of Massachusetts.

Take a bus to a line of cranberry bogs to learn about the harvesting procedure, or do some waders and dive directly into a flooded cranberry bog.

Food, crafts, music, children’s activities, Tihonet Pond paddleboat rides, culinary demos, wagon rides, and even chopper rides are all available.

The Cranberry Harvest Celebration is an excellent opportunity to view and educate ourselves about the beautiful cranberry harvest while having good old-fashioned family fun.

Observe as they continue to pick the scarlet berries every day.

Attend historical exhibits, take a helicopter ride to see the stunning topography and harvest, watch live cooking demos by some of the area’s best cooks and culinary experts, shop the markets with over 40 juried exhibitors from around the province, listen to local performers, and peruse the agricultural market and food discount areas for the freshest fare.

Pay a Visit to Mayflower II

Mayflower II


Mayflower II is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is parked in historic Plymouth Harbor.

Hop aboard and imagine what it was like for the Pilgrims to traverse the Atlantic in 1620.

Gift shop at Mayflower II

Dee Browning /

View the captain’s cabins and gallery below the decks, where the British colonists stayed throughout the 66-day trip.

Contemporary advisors will augment your experience by telling stories about 1620 and the Mayflower II.

Bird's eye view of Mayflower II

Wangkun Jia /

Attend a Performance held at Priscilla Beach Theatre

Outside view of Priscilla Beach Theatre

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

One of the earliest American barn summer stock theaters is Priscilla Beach Theatre (PBT).

Dr. Franklin Trask created it in 1937, and thousands of performers have trained under his strict summer stock program guidelines.

With a two-acre facility only a block from Brighton Beach, PBT stages six plays from May to October while also housing a resident company of performers from all over the country.

PBT offers kids’ theater instruction alongside professional mainstage performances.

The performance workshops are meant to equip aspiring performers with professional theatrical instruction and some of the most crucial skills they will ever learn.

Soak in the Fresh Air at Pilgrim Sands on Long Beach

Pilgrim Sands is a beachfront hotel that lets guests make the most of the area and surroundings.

It is close to Plymouth’s historical landmarks and other local attractions.

A private beach at The Pilgrim Sands connects to Plymouth Long Beach, a peninsula with several miles of pristine shoreline and overlooks Saquish Beach and Plymouth Harbor.

Long Beach is the ideal location for a memorable picturesque walk.

The Sands has both an outdoor pool and an indoor pool with a jacuzzi, so you can take advantage of the relaxation and sunshine.

Each non-smoking room has free WiFi, satellite TV, an alarm system, a fridge, a blow dryer, and an iron.

Savor Fresh Seafood at 42 Degrees North Restaurant & Lounge

In June 2012, 42 Degrees North Restaurant & Lounge opened for business, intending to be the go-to place for the finest seafood, excellently cooked steaks, and imaginative cuisine.

The restaurant strongly focuses on offering large quantities at fair rates and high quality and freshness.

A variety of fish, steak, pasta, chicken, soup, and veggie meals are available on the menu.

For those who want seafood, the chef features an additional menu option called the “42 Degrees North Fish Market Menu,” which comprises a range of fresh fish that may be prepared to your preferences.

Similar to a real fish market, the seafood available on any given day varies on seasons and the items that fishermen can supply.

Get Educated on Historical Events at Memorial Hall

Exterior view of Memorial Hall

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Plymouth, Massachusetts’s Memorial Hall is owned and run by the city.

When Memorial Hall opened its doors in 1926, it served as a venue for community events and dinners for troops and families to see black-and-white movies.

The venue is available for hire and works with various customers to bring these performances and events to the area for your entertainment.

It is a modest, historic theatre with the passion and determination to provide all audience members with top-notch entertainment and outstanding customer service.

As soon as you enter Memorial Hall, you are welcomed with the tales of individuals who served their nation

Play a Friendly Round of Golf at Southers Marsh Golf Club

Southers Marsh Golf Club, inaugurated in July 2001, was constructed on the lovely upland surrounding the 100-year-old cranberry bogs owned by the Stearns family.

Due to the rather constrained space on the 116-acre property, significant care was taken to ensure that the holes were diverse.

Ensure to hit every club in your bag, from the first hole’s expansive open links aspect to the eighth hole’s tree-lined corridor.

It has a laid-back, enjoyable setting where everyone has a good time.

Southers Marsh is a top-notch location with all the facilities you’ll need to make your adventure successful.

More than 100 tournaments are held there yearly, and most of them have been going to Southers Marsh for ten years or more.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Pay a Visit to Edaville Family Theme Park

Edaville Family Theme Park

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The Edaville houses a historic railway line and amusement park in South Carver, Massachusetts, that first launched in 1947 and is still running in 2021.

It is one of the country’s oldest historical railroad enterprises.

You’ll never experience and see everything at the Edaville Family Theme Park in a single day.

Fire engine ride at Edaville Family Theme Park

Wangkun Jia /

It has over 90 attractions and rides ranging from animatronic dinosaurs to arcade games and roller coasters, which are sure to leave you thrilled.

The lit Ferris wheel and the T.Rex at Dino Land Walking Trail are also worth seeing.

You can also ride Thomas the Tank Engine at Thomas Land (personality meals and meet-and-greets are available on the itinerary) or let the kids jump and play in the Sodor Play Zone.

People enjoying their day at Edaville Family Theme Park

Wangkun Jia /

See the Animals at Southwick’s Zoo

Southwick’s Zoo

Eric Kilby from USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Southwick’s Zoo is an excellent outing for the family.

The attractions here include A carnival, a jungle maze, a Skyari sky ride for a panoramic view of the African grasslands, a Woodland Express train ride, horse and camel tours, a gemstone and relic mine, and even a two-seater zipline.

They have everything from primates to big cats to reptiles and lemurs.

Signage of Southwick’s Zoo

Eric Kilby from USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Feed a parrot in the conservatory or a deer in the 35-acre deer forest, pet pygmy lambs at the local zoo, feed a giraffe or take in one of the numerous live-animal performances and informative displays.

Several eating alternatives range from hamburgers and sandwiches to New England pub fare.

Parrot at Southwick’s Zoo

Eric Savage, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visit the Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary

Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary

Monika Salvan /

The Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary in Eliot Street, Natick, provides nine miles of walking paths across various areas, forest, and wetland environments.

Photography, birdwatching, and sketching are all possible along a quarter-mile accessible route and walkway that runs along the side of Indian Brook and over the marshland.

Waterfall at Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary

Jesse Barnett /

Bring your snow boots or cross-country skis to enjoy this winter location.

From the 110-foot-long footbridge, walk along the side of Indian Brook, which runs into the Charles River at the reserve, looking for wood ducks and indications of beavers and otters.

Swamp at Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary

quiggyt4 /

Take Pictures of the Battleship Cove

Battleship Cove

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Located in Fall River, Massachusetts, the Battleship Cove is a non-profit marine museum and military monument.

It is home to the beautifully adorned battleship USS Massachusetts, which has the globe’s most extensive collection of World War II naval warships.

It is situated at the junction of the Taunton River and Mount Hope Bay, partly underneath the Braga Bridge and next to Fall River Heritage State Park, in the waterfront center.

The Massachusetts monument may be traced back to the military crew who battled to keep the ship from being torn up and preserve it as a museum vessel.

View of the Battleship Cove

Zack Frank /

During the summer, the battleship makes a tiny cove that acts as a sheltered port for pleasure vessels.

A dock is maintained onsite by the Fall River Yacht Club.

The historical 1920 Lincoln Park Carousel, PTC #54, built by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company, was repaired by regional technical high school students and put in a new pavilion in the early 1990s.

It was previously housed in Lincoln Park in adjacent North Dartmouth, Massachusetts.

The carousel’s music is provided by a carnival organ.

The organ’s make and model are unclear, although it plays Wurlitzer 150 rolls.

Outside view of Battleship Cove

EQRoy /

Go Kayaking at Myles Standish State Forest

Myles Standish State Forest

Michael Sean OLeary /

Myles Standish State Forest is approximately 72 kilometers from Boston, between Plymouth and Carver.

Myles Standish is the biggest public recreation region in this section of Massachusetts, and it is run by the Department of Conservation and Recreation.

The Atlantic Coastal Pine Barrens ecoregion is defined by its lush vegetation.

Trail at  Myles Standish State Forest

Conor Noonan /

It comprises primarily oak and pitch pine woods and covers 67 square kilometers, making it one of the biggest of its kind north of Long Island.

Inside the forest, there are six lakes and ponds, as well as many biologically significant coastal Kettle Ponds.

Boating, notably in College Pond, camping, horseback riding, and other activities are available in the forest, a favorite destination for family vacations.

Pond at  Myles Standish State Forest

NayaDadara /

Final Thoughts

Plymouth is a must-see location if you’re exploring the Massachusetts coast and if you want to learn about and appreciate American history firsthand.

Discover more about the Pilgrims’ belongings at the museums, houses erected by their ancestors, and even on the ship they came on.

Make use of the list of the best things to do in Plymouth to organize your family’s trip.

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