By Jeremy Miville
Plimouth Plantation is as big of a New England fall tradition as leaf raking and pumpkin flavored coffees. As children, our schools would bus us there on a crisp November day to learn about early American settlements, and of course, the first Thanksgiving.
I was able to not only visit the plantation with a team of InsureMyTrip employees back in 2013, but joined them in restoring and improving the facility with the Tourism Cares program. We rolled up our sleeves and painted the Mayflower II, built stairs to the visitor center, cleaned gravestones and rebuilt the wooden walls surrounding the historical village. It’s something our team will never forget.
In fact, Plimouth Plantation is a place we should all visit at least once in our lives, and here is why.
Sure, it’s a little goofy to whip out a cell phone and have some actor pretend you’re a wizard with a mystical box of magic. If you can get past that, it’s fun to ask questions as if you were really talking to someone from the 17th century. For actors on the Mayflower II, it is always March 24, 1620. Take a moment and play along. Start simple, with “Why did you want to leave England?” and dive deeper as you see fit!
Plan a REALLY traditional dinner.
Cranberry sauce wasn’t always served direct from the can, and no one had a pre-made pie crust in their 17th century ice chest. While you visit with residents of the village, you can ask them about meals and food preparations. Take notes, they’ll be willing to share. Take home the recipes and try them at your own Thanksgiving feasts.
Meet Native People.
Not everyone is acting. The Wampanoag Homesite is not staffed with actors, but is a gateway to learning more about Native Nations and their traditions and culture. You’ll be invited inside a ‘wetu’, maybe even asked to play ‘hubbub’, and learn about the traditions and heritage of the people who have lived in this region for more than 10,000 years.
Plymouth, Massachusetts, is called “America’s Hometown.” Located on the coast, and only a short ride from Boston, the area is perfect to include as part of a bigger travel plan. Be sure to stop at a cranberry bog for fresh ingredients to use with your new Plimouth Plantation recipe!