Walking Tour of Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
This historic town, on the east coast of New England, was the site of the first permanent colony in the New World. The Pilgrims landed here in 1620 and began the settlement of what would eventually become the United States of America. My walking tour of the town takes in many of the historical sights, however, visitors should also drive south of the city, before or after the walk, to experience Plimoth Plantation, an open-air museum with costumed workers authentically portraying life in the early colony.
My walk begins on Water Street, near the State Pier, which is the location of the Mayflower II, a full-size replica of the original vessel which brought the first colonists here, in 1620. Visit the ship first, before proceeding.
Now, walk south, along the waterfront, to the temple-like canopy which protects Plymouth Rock, reputedly the spot where the Pilgrims first disembarked from the Mayflower. Further south is the William Bradford Statue, dedicated to the Second Governor of the colony.
Continue south on Water Street, and turn right onto Leyden Street, the actual location of the first settlement in Plymouth. On the left, as you work your way west, are the Immigrant Monument and the Pilgrim Maiden Statue, acknowledging the contributions of Pilgrim women.
Turn left when you reach Main Street (which soon becomes Sandwich Street) to find the Howland House, home of one of the original Pilgrims. Further south is the Town Training Green, now a park, which was later landscaped by Frederick Law Olmstead, architect of Central Park, New York City.
Now, cross the park and turn right on Pleasant Street, which leads to Town Square, the main gathering place in the city until recently. Check out the Church of the Pilgrimage and the First Parish Church, two vintage New England churches, on the square.
From the square, walk west on Summer Street and find the Richard Sparrow House, dating to 1640. At Spring Lane, turn left to visit the Jenney Grist Mill, a reconstruction of the 1636 structure.
Now, retrace your steps to Summer Street and cross the road into the graveyard ahead, on Burial Hill. The Pilgrim’s first fort was situated here. After your short visit, return to Summer Street and turn left, back into the square, and then continue eastward to Main Street. Turn left on Main Street, and then right on North Street. Look for the Spooner House, on the right, and then turn left on Winslow Street. The Mayflower Society House Museum, on the left, contains numerous fine antiques in its nine furnished rooms.
Continue east on Winslow, and then turn left on Water Street, and left again on Clinton Street. At Court Street, turn right to find the Pilgrim Hall Museum, the oldest continuously operating public museum in the country. It displays many original Pilgrim artifacts. Finally, continue north on Court Street, and turn right on Memorial Drive, and right again on Water Street, to return to your starting point.