Plymouth Massachusetts holds a place of great prominence in American history, folklore, and culture, and is known as “America’s Hometown.” Plymouth was the site of the colony founded in 1620 by the Pilgrims, passengers of the famous ship the Mayflower. Plymouth is where New England was first established. It is the oldest municipality in New England and one of the oldest in the United States. The town has served as the location of several prominent events, one of the more notable being the First Thanksgiving feast. Plymouth served as the capital of Plymouth Colony from its founding in 1620 until the colony’s merger with the Massachusetts Bay colony in 1691.Plymouth is named after the English city of the same name.
Here are ways to enjoy Plymouth Massachusetts on a budget when you are visiting
Where to eat out on the Plymouth Waterfront from our sister dining guide
PILGRIM HALL MUSEUM
75 Court St
Plymouth, MA 02360
Admission fees are $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens (62+), $6 for children (6-15), and $25 for a family (2 adults with their children aged 6-15). Residents of Plymouth, Massachusetts are admitted free, as are members of the Pilgrim Society
Pilgrim Hall Museum, built in 1824, offers a chance to touch an authentic piece of Plymouth Rock! You can view actual 17th century Pilgrim possessions, including William Bradford’s Bible, Peregrine White’s cradle and Myles Standish’s sword. Enjoy a 15 minute film telling the dramatic story of the Mayflower Pilgrims, their voyage across the Atlantic and their courageous early years in Plymouth. Young visitors enjoy a Treasure Hunt in the galleries with a prize at the end. Museum shop, free on-site parking, air-conditioning, full accessibility Pilgrim Hall Museum is open 7 days a week from 9:30-4:30, February 1 – December 30. Closed Christmas Day, OPEN Thanksgiving Day with special programming Accredited by the American Association of Museums.
48 Summer Street
Plymouth, MA 02360
Adults $6.00 Museum only
Children $4.00 age 5-17yrs. Museum only
Located in the heart of the historic district, the Jenney Museum offers exhibits that tell the story of history and industry that began here in Plymouth.
“Family – the Cornerstone of Society”
This exhibit highlights the family and their role in our society beginning with the Pilgrim family. Learn how the Pilgrims valued the family, how they educated the children, about their work ethic, the structure of the family, and how these family values influenced our civil society.
“Pilgrim Pursuit of Happiness” – Our Declaration of Independence states that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. In the midst of all their suffering and hardships what happiness were the Pilgrims searching for? Visit the Museum to find out what we think they were searching for.
“Story of the Cranberry Harvest” – In this exhibit learn all about the cranberry industry. Discover how the cranberry is grown and how it is harvested. The cranberry industry is the result of free trade and capitalism in our country. It is one of the largest industries in our country.
1749 COURT HOUSE AND MUSEUM
Plymouth, MA 02360
Located right in the center of Plymouth, The 1749 Court House is a free museum filled with interesting items from Plymouth’s history. It is the oldest wooden Court House and the longest used municipal building in America. The 1749 Court House was originally built for the joint use of the county and the Town of Plymouth. The town used it during those periods when the circuit court was not in session. When the new courthouse was built in 1820, the town purchased this building for the sum of $2,000 and from that time until the early 1950’s, virtually every town department has had its office there. The building was restored and opened to the public as a museum in 1970. It houses a fire engine from 1828, the town hearse, items from Parting Ways settlement, a display of gifts from Plymouth’s sister city Schigahama, and panels featuring the recent local history book Beyond Plymouth Rock. The 1749 Court House is only steps away from historic Burial Hill cemetery, The First Parish Church (the Pilgrims’ church), Brewster Gardens and Leyden Street. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
PLYMOUTH ROCK AT PILGRIM MEMORIAL STATE PARK
79 Water Street
Plymouth, MA 02360
The smallest park in the Massachusetts state forest and park system, Pilgrim Memorial State Park is also one of the the most heavily visited. Nearly one million people a year come from all over the world to visit the town where where English colonists first made their home in New England back in 1620, and to see one of the most famous historic landmarks in America, Plymouth Rock. According to tradition, Plymouth Rock is the spot where passengers of the Mayflower first set foot in their new home. This simple glacial boulder on the shore of Plymouth Harbor has become a world famous symbol of the courage and faith of the men and women who founded the first permanent colony in New England. Interpreters from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation are often stationed at Plymouth Rock, sharing its history and answering visitors’ questions.
SPOONER HOUSE MUSEUM
27 North Street
Plymouth, MA 02360
Five generations of family heirlooms are on display in the cozy Spooner House, occupied by one Plymouth family for over 200 years. Features authentic furnishings from the colonial era to the 20th century, and an enclosed “secret garden.” Hours: Thursdays & Sundays, 2 to 6 pm
Admission: $6 adults; $3 children; free for PAS members and Plymouth residents
MAYFLOWER SOCIETY HOUSE
4 Winslow Street
Plymouth, MA 02360
Admission Adults: $7
AAA members and Seniors (62+): $5
Children (12 – 18 years): $5
Children under 12 years: FREE
Active Duty Military, Retired Military, Plymouth Residents, and Society Members: FREE
Across the street and around the corner from Plymouth Rock, in the heart of this quaint village’s historic district, is the Mayflower Society House. The grounds host the historic eighteenth century dwelling built by Edward Winslow. Behind this stately mansion are the offices and library of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants. The property overlooks a snug harbor where a reproduction of the blessed ship, Mayflower, is moored. Cole’s Hill, the final resting place of many of the Pilgrims, may also be seen.
Stop by to take a guided tour of the House, explore the beautiful garden, and visit our library. We would enjoy meeting you, telling you more about our organization and the history of this celebrated site.
This 18th century mansion overlooking Plymouth harbor has ten rooms, three centuries of furnishings and artifacts. Nominal admission. Group rates arranged.
1677 HARLOW OLD FORT HOUSE
119 Sandwich Street
Tuesday Free Days June 7th through August 30th, 11 am to 3 pm.
Built in 1677, the gambrel-roofed Harlow Old Fort House is one of the few remaining 17th century buildings in the oldest established town in the Commonwealth. It was originally the family residence of settler William Harlow, a farmer, cooper and town official, who also served as sergeant of the local militia and participated in King Philip’s War. In 1676, Harlow was granted permission to salvage material from the Pilgrim’s fort-house on Burial Hill to use in the construction of his new dwelling. From the early 19th century, the Harlow House has been notable for the hand-hewn beams attributed to this source. The house, a local landmark for generations, is listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places.
After hundreds of years of being lived in, the Harlow House remains a welcoming place for children and families to explore the past. Tours and educational programs are offered seasonally. A series of festive special events is held at the site annually, including “The Corn Planting,” enacted each year by local schoolchildren, a spinning bee and craft fair, and the annual Pilgrim Breakfast, a traditional New England repast featuring fish cakes, baked beans and corn bread. The Sgt. William Harlow Family Association holds a gathering for descendants of original settler William Harlow at the historic homestead every summer.
THE RICHARD SPARROW HOUSE
42 Summer Street
Admission to the Museum is $2. for adults, $1. for children
Richard Sparrow, his wife Pandora, and son Jonathan, left their home in England, and arrived in New Plimoth by 1633. As a freeman, Richard was granted a house tract of six acres in 1636, which required him to construct a house within four years. The original two-story house contained one room on each level and utilized cross summer beam construction. With its large rooms, leaded glass windows and paneled walls, it was a grand home on the banks of what is now known as Town Brook.
Upon Richard Sparrow’s death on January 8, 1660, he was buried in Eastham and his estate was divided among his wife, son and three surviving grandchildren.
Open Daily 10am-5pm. Visit the gift shop featuring a variety of unique items.
Free History Tours of Plymouth’s Ancient Burying Ground
Burial Hill TourLaunched independently in 2011 by the Plymouth Antiquarian Society, the Burial Hill series is now a collaborative program with the Pilgrim Society & Pilgrim Hall Museum. Join us every first Saturday of the month at 1 pm through 2016 (excepting January) for an engaging series of free history tours of Burial Hill, led by local historians and guides. Tours begin at the top of the Hill.