There are many places to visit for a Thanksgiving trip, ranging from snowy mountains to sunny beaches. But, if you’re looking for an authentic Thanksgiving vacation, visit Plymouth, Massachusetts, where the Pilgrims first stepped foot on America's shores in 1620. Spending time with the Pilgrims will be a Thanksgiving your youngsters will never forget.
The modern town of Plymouth, the oldest continually inhabited settlement in the United States, has a population of almost 60,000, but there are plenty of places to explore in and around the town that will transport you back to the Mayflower, including the Mayflower II (a full-size replica of the original Mayflower). Located in Plymouth Harbor, this sea-worthy ship is a museum showcasing the pilgrim's arduous ocean crossing. You'll be surprised when you see how small a vessel the Mayflower really was.
Plymouth Rock itself, the traditional stone on which a pilgrim's foot is said to have first stepped in the New World, is housed in a granite canopy memorial, and is the centerpiece of the Pilgrim Memorial State Park. Another monument, on nearby Cole Hill, is a sarcophagus containing the remains of 51 of the pilgrims who died during the harsh winter of 1620.
Located at Plymouth Center, visit Pilgrim Hall Museum, the oldest public museum in the country. Nearby, the National Monument to the Forefathers, dedicated in 1889, is the tallest free-standing granite monument in the United States.
For an authentic taste of seventeenth century life, don't miss Plimoth Plantation (the historic spelling of "Plymouth") just south of Plymouth Center. With the help of role-playing tour guides your family will be immersed in the world of our country's forefathers. A fascinating living-history museum, it re-creates a 1627 fortified town and a Wampanoag homesite. A farm homestead complete with live animals is sure to delight the children.
To get the full impact of our historical ties to the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving, plan to take the time to explore not only Plymouth, but also the colonial history of the surrounding area, including Boston. Rent a timeshare which will give you a "home-base" and set out on these fascinating historic trails. Many budget-friendly Boston timeshares are available and are only an hour's drive from Plymouth, or stay at a Cape Cod timeshare, just 30-minutes away. This is truly a Thanksgiving vacation that will thrill the entire family.