Did you know this year marks the 400th anniversary of Thanksgiving? In 1621, the colonists of Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts, partook in a harvest celebration feast with the native Wampanoag tribe in what we call Thanksgiving. Today, families are getting ready to prepare their turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and casseroles for the holiday, and some may be getting ready to visit the town where the holiday started. Plymouth is brimming with early American history that will take you back to the days of the first colonists.
WHERE TO STAY
The Cape Codder Resort & Spa is the perfect place to stay for your Thanksgiving getaway. Whichever room you choose, you will have access to all the amenities and even a water park. Just outside your room is a three-story lighthouse with a water slide, along with a pirate ship, a kiddie play pool, and a spouting humpback whale, all of which are available year-round.
WHERE TO EAT
New England Harvest Feast
Join Plimoth Patuxet for a New England Harvest Feast. Dine like a true Pilgrim with fine 17th-century meals and lively entertainment. This season, the menu includes cider, sweet corn pudding, and turkey cheesecake. Or, if you’re in the area on Thanksgiving Day, why not have Thanksgiving at Plimoth Patuxet? The Thanksgiving Day Homestyle Buffet brings to life the classic tradition of a Thanksgiving meal with all your favorite dishes.
Get a taste of fresh, local seafood while looking over the Historic Plymouth Harbor. Want to cook your own seafood? Wood’s has a fish market stocked with lobster, cod, swordfish, salmon, haddock, clams, sole, scallops, and oysters, along with other seasonal fish like crabs and halibut. If you’re at the market in the afternoon, you may be able to see the lobstermen dropping by with their catch of the day. Start with some lobster bisque as an appetizer before feasting on a famous Clambake, some classic fish and chips, or a daily special.
You can find more local flare at Dillon’s Local. It’ll be tempting to fill up on appetizers, from the Mahi Mahi lettuce wraps, to the chicken wings, and to the pretzels and beer cheese, but save room for the clam chowder. Have your soup on the side of a melty Cape Cod Reuben or a Lobster BLT. Or, you may want to opt for the savory lobster ravioli with white wine garlic sauce and a berry salad on the side.
THINGS TO DO
Take a journey to the past at the Plimoth Patuxet Museums! Here, you can visit three museums (Historic Patuxet, a 17th century English village, and Mayflower II) in one that will take you back to the days of the English Pilgrims and Native Americans–400 years back.
Did you know Wampanoag can mean “People of the First Light,” “Eastern People,” or “People of the Dawn?” There is so much to learn at Historic Patuxet. You will learn about the indigenous people who inhabited this area on the Eel River for more than 12,000 years. Actors and interpreters will bring Wampanoag culture to life, everything from their houses, canoes, and diet.
You can also check out gardens full of beans, squash, and corn. Then, make your way to a recreation of Plymouth Colony, a 17th-century English village. You will be able to explore Pilgrim houses and gardens while interacting with actors. A Pilgrim woman may ask you to help her in her garden, or maybe you’ll participate in Captain Miles Standish’s muster drill.
To commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s arrival to Plymouth, Plimoth Patuxet is welcoming aboard visitors on Mayflower II, a reproduction of the ship that carried the Pilgrims to Plymouth in 1620. As you walk around the 106-foot long ship, pretend you are taking a voyage across the Atlantic ocean to live in a new world.