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What do you think of when you think of Plymouth Rock? Like everyone else, as a child, I’d heard stories about the Mayflower and the Pilgrims, and I’d imagined this huge rock marking the historic event of when the Pilgrims landed. Over the years, I’d heard that the rock wasn’t all that large. And I’d heard that the site of the rock wasn’t all that amazing. Did that detour us from checking it out? Nope!

In July of 2023, we embarked on a huge road trip that started in Missouri, went up to Niagara Falls, then crossed over to Maine. From there, we made our way down the coast to Washington, D.C. This amazing trip took us past many historic sites that shaped the creation of our country. How could we resist Plymouth Rock? The answer is, we couldn’t. When I discovered that you could also visit Plimoth Patuxet, a living museum highlighting the people who lived in the area, I knew we had to make a day of it.

Incidentally, our arrival in Plymouth coincided with my birthday. After a delicious birthday steak at Texas Roadhouse, we settled into our home for the evening at Best Western before beginning our adventures the next morning.

Arriving at Plymouth Rock

Our first order of business was to check out the rock itself. Plymouth Rock is located in Pilgrim Memorial State Park, right on Plymouth Harbor. We were able to park nearby for free. The walk to Plymouth Rock was lovely. This land-locked Missouri girl loves to see all the boats in the harbor.
Near Plymouth Rock

Plymouth Rock is a short distance away in this building. It was a nice little morning walk from our parking spot.

Plymouth Rock

And here is the rock. It’s true. It’s not that big, but it’s still cool to say that you’ve been here and you’ve seen it. If nothing else, I found myself reflecting on the journey of the people who came here and how the lives of the people already here changed.

Plymouth Rock

You can also visit the Mayflower II in this area, but we skipped it. Maybe next time.

Mayflower II

Plimoth Patxet

Our next order of business was to check out Plimoth Patuxet.

Plimoth Patuxet

This amazing living history museum shows what daily life was like for the Pilgrims and the Patuxet people. You’ll have the opportunity to explore the daily lives of the English settlers and the native people in Plymouth Bay.

Plimoth Patuxet

Your adventure begins in the visitor center. Here, you’ll buy tickets, shop in the gift shop, and find food options.

Pllimoth Patuxet

The History of the Area

Plimoth Patuxet depicts life in the early 17th century. It is a significant chapter in American history as it marks the establishment of one of the first successful English colonies in North America.

In 1620, a group of English separatists set sail from Plymouth, England, aboard the Mayflower. Seeking religious freedom and a better life, they aimed to establish a settlement in the New World. After a treacherous journey, they landed in what is now known as Plymouth, Massachusetts, in December of the same year.

The Pilgrims initially encountered harsh conditions, including a harsh winter and a lack of shelter. They were ill-prepared for the challenges of the new environment, and many fell victim to disease and starvation. However, with the help of Squanto, a Native American from the Patuxet tribe, they learned essential survival skills, such as fishing, farming, and hunting.

In 1621, the Pilgrims celebrated their first successful harvest with the first Thanksgiving. This event marked the beginning of peaceful relations between the Pilgrims and the Native Americans in the region. Over time, more English settlers arrived, and the Plymouth Colony began to grow.

In 1691, Plymouth Colony merged with the Massachusetts Bay Colony, forming the Province of Massachusetts Bay. The area continued to develop, attracting more settlers and expanding its economy through industries like fishing, shipbuilding, and trade.

Today, Plimoth Patuxet is a living history museum that seeks to recreate the pilgrims’ settlement and the Native American village. It offers visitors a chance to step back in time and experience life as it was in the 17th century. The museum showcases reconstructed buildings, reenactments, and educational programs.

17th -Century English Village

We started our journey on a pathway through the forest.

Plimoth Patuxet

We started our exploration of Plimoth Patuxet at this fort. It’s a great place to get an overview of the village.

Plimoth Patuxet

It was fascinating to learn about the defense of the village. I was impressed that they got the cannons upstairs.

Plimoth Patuxet

Next, it was time to check out the village.

Plimoth Patuxet

As you walk into the village, you’ll quickly find yourself becoming a part of history.

Plimoth Patuxet

As you explore the village, you’ll encounter different homes of different status. Most homes had dirt floors. I love all the fireplaces in the houses.

Plimoth Patuxet

Eventually, people may add a wooden floor.

Plimoth Patuxet

Check out this broom.

Plimoth Patuxet

I can’t imagine having a baby in this situation.

Plimoth Patuxet

It’s cool to see the livestock and gardens that the Pilgrims needed to survive in the colony.

Plimoth Patuxet

Historic Patuxet Homesite

Patuxet Homesite

The next area we explored was the Patuxet Homesite. It was fascinating to learn the culture and lifestyle of the native people in the Bay.

Patuxet Homesite

We arrived as food was being prepared.

Patuxet Homesite

We also had an up-close look at the Patuxet canoes.

Patuxet Homesite

Here are some in the water.

Patuxet Homesite

Kristin always likes to check out the animal hides.

Patuxet Homesite

The most interesting part of the homesite was the house. We learned that during the winter, multiple families lived in the home together and it was a warm, cozy place. You can just see it in this picture through the trees.

Patuxet Homesite

Heading Back to the Visitor Center

After a fun-filled morning, it was time to make our way back. After all, we had more adventures ahead.

Of course, there’s a giant turkey.

Plimoth Patuxet

We walked past the dining area, but we didn’t eat.

Plimoth Patuxet

It looks like a nice place, though.

Plimoth Patuxet

And, of course, we exited through the gift shop. I wanted everything, but I settled on a book of ghost stories about Boston.

Plimoth Plantation

We’d just come from there, and we’d taken a ghost tour. Below is a TikTok of our Ghosts and Gravestones Ghost Tour adventure in Boston. It was one of my favorite ghost tours!

@staceybillingsley0

#TransformersVoices #ghostsandgravestones #ghostsandgravestonestour #ghostsandgravestonesboston #ghosttour #boston #whattodoinboston #bostontravel #visitboston #massachusetts #visitmassachusetts #familyfun #tripideas #vacationideas #traveltiktok #traveltok #travel

♬ Ghostbusters – Ray Parker Jr.

Soon, we were back on the road, heading to our next destination. There’s nothing like a long road trip in which the adventures don’t stop. If you’re wondering if you should take a trip along the East Coast, my answer would be–absolutely! You’ll never see everything the area has to offer, but you’ll have a blast trying!

Plimoth Patuxet
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Check out some of our other adventures!

Poe’s Tavern in Charleston, South Carolina

Family Fun in Savannah, Georgia

Disney/St. Augustine/ Savannah Road Trip 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Comments

  1. I have been to Plymouth Rock and Plimoth Paxtuet Plantation many times. It is a fun spot to visit.

  2. I love all the pictures you shared! I enjoyed visiting Plymouth Rock and Plimoth Patuxet a few years ago. Such a cool experience!

  3. Yes, it’s one of the things you stop to do, Plymouth Rock. I think it’d be cool to visit the Plimoth Paxtuet Museum and see what it was like at that time to compare it to now.

  4. I would love to visit Plymouth! As a teacher, I teach about the Pilgrims coming to America every year. I would love to actually see the location. Plus, how cool is it that the Mayflower is still there?!

  5. I’d want to see Plymouth Rock too if I was in the area. And that village was so cool. I love living history museums.

  6. I love all things history. So would love to check the living history museum of Plimoth Patuxet and Plymouth Rock.

  7. I love exploring places like this both here in Ireland and when I go abroad. The history really comes to life for me when it’s all reenacted and still in reasonable condition.

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