Below is an excerpt from the French travel guide 2019 Michelin Boston and New England, which was researched and written by Mathilde Piton who visited our region in June 2018. Plymouth appears on page 119. The Plymouth portion of the guide has been translated by Google Translate.
Plymouth is a pleasant coastal town, overlooking a vast bay. Its sloping streets descend from the hills to the harbor where the first settlers who settled in New England landed: the Pilgrim Fathers of the Mayflower. The center, dotted with many statues and well-preserved historic buildings, pays homage to this heritage. It is, quite naturally, a true pilgrimage that the Americans go there.
Information: Plymouth Visitor Center - 508.747.7525 - www.seeplymouth.com.
To See: Region Map Plymouth, accessible by Route 3, is 40 miles (64.3 km) southeast of Boston. Plimoth Plantation is 3 miles (4.8 km) south of the city center. From Boston South Station, a bus (www.p-b.com - 50mn - $ 35 AR) serves Plymouth, then a shuttle bus to the center ($ 1 / pers.)
There are several free or paid car parks, including one near the Visitor Center on Water Street.
Do Not Miss: Plimoth Plantation
Organize Your Time: Start by visiting Plimoth Plantation (count 2 hours), then head to Plymouth to discover the historic center.
With Children: Plimoth Plantation
Tour from the Visitor Center - Allow 1/2 day.
Good to Know - The Visitor Center provides brochures to follow a self-guided tour of the historic center. The Jenney Museum (48 Summer St. - 508-747-4544- www.jenneymuseum.org) offers guided English tours of the city ($ 1 - $ 15).
Mayflower II - State Pier - t 508.746.1622 - www.plimoth.org - Since 2016, the boat has left her home port and is now at Mystic Seaport for a complete renovation, scheduled until the end of 2019...This boat, surprising for its small size, is the replica of the one that transported the pilgrims in 1620. It was built in England and made the trip Plymouth-Plymouth in 1957.
Plymouth Rock - On the beach bordering Water St.
It is on this rock, it is said, that the Pilgrim Fathers landed. Its size has decreased considerably, because for years, visitors left with a small piece. It is now housed under a granite construction. Opposite, a fountain, The Pilgrim Mother (1), is dedicated to the brave women of these pioneers.
DESCENDANTS OF THE MAYFLOWER PILGRIMS
Of the 102 passengers of the Mayflower, it is estimated that only 29 of them had descendants, which still represents today 11% of the US population, or 35 million people! Only 25,000 have been able to justify their origins and are registered with the Mayflower Society (4 Winslow St. - Plymouth). These include Winston Churchill, the poet Longfellow, former Presidents Bush, and even Marylin Monroe.
Massasoit Statue: Carver St. Massasoit was the leader (or sachem) of the Wampanoag tribe, who helped the Pilgrim Fathers when they arrived in Plymouth. His statue is much larger than that of Governor William Bradford, one of the leaders of the Plymouth Colony below.
Sparrow House - 42 Summer St. - T 508 747 1240 - www.sparrowhouse.com - 10 am-5pm - $ 2. This historic house, the oldest in Plymouth (1640), contains 18C furniture. You can see a potter working there.
Jabez Howland House - 33 Sandwich St. 508 746 9590 - www.pilgrimjohnhowlandsociety.org - guided tour (1h) - from late May to mid-Oct. : 10h-16h30 - 6 $.
This house is the only remnant of the cottages inhabited by the Pilgrim Fathers at Pilgrim Hall Museum - 75 Court St. - T 508 746 1620 - www.pilgrimhall.org - Feb-Dec. : 9:30 to 16:30 - closed Jan - $ 12 (seniors $ 10, 6-15 years $ 8).
This austere granite building, designed in 1824 by Alexander Parris, houses a museum dedicated to the Plymouth Colony. It contains furniture and artifacts that belonged to the pilgrims, including the birthplace of Peregine White, born aboard the Mayflower, and the bible of Governor William Bradford.
Plimoth Grist Mill - 6 Spring Lane - t 508 747 4544 - www.plimoth.org/mill - from late March to late November: 9 am-5pm - $ 6.95 - Heritage Pass (giving access to Plimoth Plantation) $ 36. Built on the edge of Town Brook, which continues to fuel its wheel, this museum recreates the water mill built by John Jenney in 1636, the first mill in the country, which spared the colonists the laborious task of grinding corn using of a mortar.
National Monument to the Forefathers - Allerton St. (Access by Route 44).
This 25m granite monument, erected in 1888, commemorates the Pilgrim Fathers: the names of the passengers of the Mayflower are engraved in the base. It honors the founding values of the United States: the central figure, pointing towards the sky, represents the Faith, the other four being Liberty, Morality, Law and Education.
THE ECOMUSEUM ON PILGRIMS AND INDIANS
Plimoth Plantation City Map opposite 3 miles (4.8 km) southeast of Plymouth via Route 3 (Exit 4). t 508 746 1622 - www.plimoth.org - jf - from the end of March to the end of November: 9 am-5pm - $ 28; Heritage Pass (giving access to Plimoth Grist Mill) $ 36.
FROM PLYMOUTH TO PLYMOUTH
In England, in the 16C, dissident groups, the separatists, eager to reform the Anglican Church, whose rules and morals they found too lax, were persecuted. They emigrated to more tolerant lands and went first to Holland in 1607.
In 1620, 102 passengers (including 35 separatists) boarded the Mayflower for the distant lands of Virginia on the other side of the Atlantic. They set sail from Plymouth, England. After two months of difficult navigation, they finally saw the land, but the coasts were those of Cape Cod and not those of Virginia. For more than a month, they explored the area and eventually settled in Plymouth Bay, named by Captain John Smith six years earlier. The pilgrims faced a terrible winter. They had built little cottages that did not protect them enough from the cold. The food was lacking, and soon half of the people in the colony disappeared. The dead were secretly buried at night on Cole's Hill, and there were no signs marking their graves so that the Indians could not count their losses. After a few months, Indians from the Wampanoag tribe came to meet them and were very friendly: they taught the English how to farm the land, fish and hunt. In the following autumn, the harvest was so abundant that a big feast was organized to bless the harvest: it was the first Thanksgiving.
Good to know - Allow at least 2 hours to visit, and apart from the museum, everything is in the open air. The visit starts with a film (15 minutes) of presentation of the site. We then go to Hobbamock's Wampanoag Indian Homesite, a reconstruction of a 17C Indian camp. The staff, in traditional clothing, shows the various activities that occupied the Wampanoag (cereal cultivation, weaving, etc.). We can enter the wetus, shelters that built this tribe. Continuing along the path, we arrive at the reconstruction of the village of Plymouth, as it appeared in 1627; the Plimoth spelling comes from Governor Bradford's logbooks. This village was then located on the site of the current city. Characters in costumes animate the village and allow visitors to attend the daily tasks (gardening, cooking, harvest, etc.) that occupied the first settlers. For information, ask them questions! Fort, which also served as a meeting-house, offers an overview, especially on wooden houses covered with thatch.
At the exit of the village, the Craft Center allows to attend the work of the craftsmen who manufacture the furniture and the crockery used in the village.
Duxbury Beach - In Duxbury, 11 miles (17.7 km) north of Plymouth. Cross the wooden bridge. This 5-mile (8 km) stretch of land is home to a lovely, protected beach. The Myles Standish Monument, which overlooks the bay, can be seen in the distance. Duxbury oysters are well known in the region.