Day Trip to Plymouth
Plymouth is a town full of history and exciting places to explore. While it’s best experienced
over a long weekend, many people opt to go on a day trip to Plymouth from Boston. While it will certainly be a jampacked day, you can see all the highlights of Plymouth in a day.
History of Plymouth
Many people visit Plymouth due to its historical significance. Plymouth was the final landing spot of the Mayflower voyage and the location of the original Plymouth colony. When visiting Plymouth, you aren’t only seeing several sites key to the founding of the United States, but you are also following in the footsteps of the original colonists who arrived in Massachusetts from England.
Getting to Plymouth from Boston
If you are visiting Plymouth from Boston, the easiest way to get there is by car. It takes about 45 minutes with light traffic. Since you are going opposite of the traffic flow (i.e., out of Boston in the morning and to Boston in the evening), weekday traffic shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
If you’d rather avoid Boston traffic altogether, you can opt to use the commuter rail. Hop on the Kingston line, and you’ll arrive at the Plymouth train stop in about an hour’s time.
Day Trip to Plymouth: Itinerary
While Plymouth has a ton of historical sites, it also has a bounty of nature, cute shops, and top-tier restaurants to enjoy. Following the below itinerary will allow you to experience a brief taste of everything that Plymouth has to offer.
Pilgrim Memorial State Park
The first place that everyone visiting Plymouth for the first time should go to is the Pilgrim Memorial State Park. This park is the home of the famed Plymouth Rock and the docking site of the Mayflower II.
While this is not the original site of the Plymouth Rock, the structure surrounding the re-located rock combined with a gorgeous view of the harbor is well worth the visit.
The Mayflower II is a full-scale recreation of the original Mayflower ship that the colonists traveled to the “New World” on. There is a tour of the boat that gives a brief history of the voyage and what life was like upon arrival. You might be surprised at how small the boat actually is!
Pro-Tip: You can buy a ticket to view the Mayflower II for $15. However, if you plan on visiting Plimouth Patuxet and/or the Plimouth Grist Mill, you can buy a combination ticket that will save you some money.
Right next to the Pilgrim Memorial State Park is the Plymouth Waterfront. Depending on what time you arrive in Plymouth, you might want to check out a few of the shops or grab a quick bite
to eat before moving on to the next location. You will find lots of good waterfront restaurants in Plymouth, for lunch with a view.
Pilgrim Hall Museum
You may want to visit the Pilgrim Hall Museum. Constructed in 1824, the museum tells the history of the original Pilgrims and has some original artifacts from the colony. If you are a history buff, you may want to check out our full listing of Historic Sites in Plymouth.
Plimouth Patuxet Museum
Just a few miles down the road from the Pilgrim State Park is the Plimouth Patuxet Museum. This is where you will be spending the remainder of your afternoon.
The museum is broken into two distinct sections historic Patuxet and the 17th-Century English Village. In Historic Patuxet, you can learn what life was like for the native people living on the land prior to the arrival of the colonists. Here you can check out a wetu (house), learn about the Wampanoag cooking methods, or sometimes even watch staff build a canoe.
The 17th-Century English village is a living museum in which you can experience what it may have been like to live in the original Plymouth colony. You can play historical games, participate in a muster drill, or simply just talk to some of the inhabitants.
Looking for More to Do in Plymouth?
There is so much more to see in Plymouth than just the sites mentioned above. Spend an afternoon swimming in Myles Standish Forest, or hop on a fishing or boat excursion to enjoy Plymouth by sea.
Check out our article on the best things to do in Plymouth for a complete list of activities. We also have a few recommendations on the best places to stay in Plymouth if you are considering spending the whole weekend there.