Pilgrim Attractions in Massachusetts
We know Mayflower Society members visit Plymouth, MA numerous times throughout their lives and each trip brings new discoveries about the Pilgrim story. To help you, here is a sample of area places you may want to explore.
GSMD has also published a Mayflower Pilgrim Historic Sites booklet that you may find interesting. It can be found in our webshop here.
Mayflower Society House and Garden
The Mayflower Society House is an 18th-century period historic house museum operated by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants (GSMD). The mansion was originally built in 1754 by loyalist Edward Winslow, the great-grandson of Pilgrim Edward Winslow. The Society house’s history spans over three centuries, and contains many treasures.
4 Winslow Street, Plymouth, MA 02360
Pilgrim Hall Museum
Pilgrim Hall Museum is the oldest continuously operating public museum in the Unites States, having opened in 1824. The museum contains artifact collections, artwork, a library and archives. Prominent pieces include original Pilgrim era artifacts, such as the original Brewster Chair, a 1651 portrait of Edward Winslow (the only known contemporaneous Pilgrim portrait) and a portion of Plymouth Rock visitors are permitted to touch.
75 Court St., Plymouth, MA 02360
Plimoth Plantation, founded in 1947, is a living history museum that exhibits, through topography and reenactors, the original settlement of the Plymouth Colony established in the 17th century by the English Mayflower Pilgrims. The museum started with two English cottages and a fort on Plymouth’s historic waterfront. Since then, the Museum has grown to include Mayflower II, the English Village, the Wampanoag Homesite, the Hornblower Visitor Center, the Craft Center, the Maxwell and Nye Barns, and the Plimoth Grist Mill.
Plimoth Plantation - 137 Warren Ave, Plymouth, MA 02360
*Mayflower II is away for restoration; she will return in 2019.
Mayflower II, built in Devon England, is a replica of the 17th-century ship Mayflower that transported the Pilgrims to the New World.
MA-3A, Pilgrim Memorial State Park Pier, Plymouth, MA
Plimoth Grist Mill
Formerly known as the Jenney Grist Mill, the Plimoth Grist Mill is a working grist mill in downtown Plymouth. It is a reconstruction of the original 1636 mill, and was completed in 1970.
6 Spring Ln, Plymouth, MA
Plymouth Rock and Plymouth Rock Canopy
Located in Pilgrim Memorial State Park on the shore of Plymouth Harbor, Plymouth Rock is the world famous symbol of the courage and faith of the Pilgrims who founded the first New England colony in 1620.
National Monument to the Forefathers
The National monument to the Forefathers, formerly known as the Pilgrim Monument, commemorates the Mayflower Pilgrims. The monument is free to visit and open to the public year-round. Bring a picnic and enjoy the monuments expansive lawn.
Allerton Street, Plymouth, MA 02360
Cole’s Hill, the sarcophagus, and statue of Massasoit
Cole’s Hill is a National Historic Landmark used by the Mayflower Pilgrims in Plymouth, MA in 1620 to bury their dead out of sight of the Native Americans. A number of memorials and monuments are on the hill including a statue of the Wampanoag sachem Massasoit and a granite sarcophagus erected by GSMD in 1920 which contains the skeletal remains believed to be those of the Mayflower settlers.
Cole’s Hill is located along Carver Street near the foot of Leyden Street and across the street from Plymouth Rock.
Burial Hill is an historic cemetery or burying ground and the burial site of several Pilgrims. The cemetery was founded in the 17th century. There are grave markers and monuments for the following families: Bradford, Howland, Brewster, Cushman, Bartlett and Warren.
11 Lincoln St., Plymouth, MA 02360
Leyden Street, Plymouth
Originally named First Street, Leyden Street is a street in Plymouth, MA that was created in 1620 by the Pilgrims, and claims to be the oldest continuously habited street in the thirteen colonies of British North America. Governor William Bradford, Dr. Samuel Fuller, Peter Browne and other settlers owned lots on the road and assorted plaques are affixed on each residence to tell of their history.
The Jabez Howland House
The Jabez Howland House is an historic house museum that has been restored and decorated with 17th-century period furnishings. The oldest portion of this two-story wood frame house was built by Jacob Mitchell in 1667, and purchased by Jabez Howland, son of Mayflower Pilgrims John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley Howland. John and Elizabeth lived in the home with Jabez for a short time making it the only existing house in Plymouth where Pilgrims have actually lived.
33 Sandwich Street, Plymouth, MA 02360
Sacrifice Rock is an historic Native American site in the Pine Hills region of Plymouth, Massachusetts. Centuries before the arrival of English settlers in the area, generations of Wampanoag and other native people en route between Plymouth and points south and west placed offerings, perhaps a gesture of sacrifice, or to receive the blessing of safe passage, on Sacrifice Rock. It is owned by the Antiquarian Society.
394 Old Sandwich Road, Plymouth, MA
1677 Harlow Old Fort House
The Harlow Old Fort House is an historic First Period house in downtown Plymouth. Sergeant William Harlow built the house in 1677 using timbers from the Pilgrims’ original 1620-21 fort on Burial Hill. His house projects the Pilgrim home and way of life.
119 Sandwich St., Plymouth, MA
National Pilgrim Memorial Meetinghouse
National Pilgrim Memorial Meetinghouse in Plymouth is used for worship services by the Unitarian Universalist church. It sits at the base of Burial Hill on town square off Leyden Street. Founded by the Pilgrims in 1620, the site hosts the oldest continuously operating ministry in the United States. It is known as the birthplace of religious freedom in America. The current Romanesque-style building was completed in 1899 and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014.
19 Town Square, Plymouth, MA 02360
Pilgrim John Howland’s Homestead Site and Plaque, Rocky Nook
The Pilgrim John Howland Society owns both the site of John Howland’s homestead where he and his wife Elizabeth lived from 1638-1672/3, and the site of Joseph Howland’s homestead across the road from his father’s house and farm. Both sites are marked with monuments, and have been the sites of multiple excavations.
Rocky Nook, Kingston, MA 02364
Legs of Myles Standish
12 ft. tall, 9-ton granite legs belong to the original Myles Standish statue funded back in 1876 by a group of local, cranberry-growing citizens. The original statue was 18-feet tall and had Standish holding a sword in one hand and the charter of the Colony in the other. In 1922, the statue was struck by lightning, destroying the top half. These legs were found in Quincy Quarry in the 1990’s. A replica of this statue currently stands in Duxbury, built five years after the original was hit.
They are now just off the road on route 58, just after Ocean Ave, but before the Hanson town line in Halifax, MA.
John and Priscilla Alden Family Sites
On the National Register of Historic Landmarks, the John and Priscilla Alden Family sites consist of two properties in Duxbury. The first property, the Alden Homestead Site, contains the archaeological remains of the house John Alden built c. 1630. The second property, the John Alden House, is a historic house museum that was purportedly home to John and Priscilla Alden, but by forensic analysis, judged to have been built around 1700, probably by John Alden’s grandson. The property has been under continuous ownership of the Alden Family and it is now managed by a family foundation.
105 Alden St., Duxbury, MA, 02332
Myles Standish Monument State Reservation, Myles Standish Statue and Monument
State-owned, this historic preservation and public recreation area is managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation with the focus being a 116-foot granite shaft topped by a statue of Captain Myles Standish. The tower has 125 steps, and yields views from the top of 19th-century lighthouses, Duxbury Beach, Plymouth Harbor, and the Blue Hills to the northwest.
Crescent St., Duxbury, MA, 02332
Myles Standish Burial Ground
Also know as the Old Burying ground, the Myles Standish Burial Ground is, according to the American Cemetery Association the oldest maintained cemetery in the United States. The 1.5-acre burying ground is the final resting place of several well-known Pilgrims, including Captain Myles Standish.
Chestnut St., Duxbury, MA, 02332
Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum
The Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown, Massachusetts, was built between 1907 and 1910 to commemorate the first landfall of the Pilgrims in 1620 and the signing in Provincetown Harbor of the Mayflower Compact. This 252-foot-7.5-inch-tall campanile is the tallest all-granite structure in the United States, and is part of the Provincetown Historic District. The Provincetown Museum is at the base of the monument. Its mission is to educate the public about the arrival of the Mayflower Pilgrims, the town’s rich maritime history, and the building of the monument.
High Pole Hill Rd., Provincetown, MA, 02657
Pilgrims’ First Landing Park
The Pilgrims’ first steps are commemorated with a plaque and a small park located in the middle of the rotary at the end of Commercial Street, appropriately called Pilgrims’ First Landing Park.
Commercial St., Provincetown, MA, 02657
Corn Hill Monument, Pilgrim Spring and Corn Hill Plaques
Having first arrived in Cape Cod, it was here that the Pilgrims drank their first fresh water and discovered a buried cache of Indian corn which provided their first food ashore. GSMD placed a granite marker commemorating the event atop Corn Hill. In 1920, a monument was erected at the bottom of the hill.
Corn Hill Rd., Truro, MA, 02666
First Encounter Beach
The beach’s name commemorates the “First Encounter” between the group of Pilgrims, led by Myles Standish and William Bradford, and the Nauset Tribe of the Wampanoags. A plaque commemorates this moment in history.
Samoset Rd., Eastham, MA, 02642
Aptucxet Trading Post Museum
The Aptucxet Trading Post is the oldest remains of a Pilgrim building and the first trading post in Massachusetts. It was founded by the Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony in 1627. The structure existing today is a replica erected on the original foundation, which was archaeologically excavated in the 1920s.
24 Aptucxet Rd., Bourne Village, Bourne, MA 02532
Brewster Islands, Brewster Islands plaque
The Brewster Islands consist of Greater Brewster, Middle Brewster, Little Brewster (on which stands the Boston Light, the oldest continuously used light station in the US – first lit on Sept. 14th, 1716!), and Outer Brewster. The plaque was a joint effort between GSMD and the Elder William Brewster Society. Located in Boston Harbor, a part of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area
Old King’s Chapel Burial Ground
Founded in 1630, this burial ground was the first cemetery in the city of Boston and is a site on the Freedom Trail. From 1630-1660 it was Boston’s only burial site. John and Mary (Chilton) Winslow are buried here. John was a brother to Pilgrim Edward Winslow and arrived in America on the Fortune. He married Mary, the daughter of Pilgrims James and Susanna Chilton. A legend passed through the Chilton family suggests that Pilgrim Mary Chilton was the first Englishwoman to step ashore in New England.
13 Freedom Trail, Boston, MA 02108