Plymouth County:

Pilgrims, Mayflower II & Whaling History Tour

View Map

Plymouth to Wareham to Mattapoisett to New Bedford

Total distance one way is 45 miles. Plan to spend two days on this route to allow time for detailed visits to attractions. Learn more at See Plymouth.


Pilgrim Memorial State Park and Plymouth Rock. Thousands of people come every year to visit the town where, in 1620, English colonists first made a home in New England, and to see Plymouth Rock, where history claims the passengers of the Mayflower first set foot on North America. A waterfront park provides scenic views of Plymouth Harbor. Mayflower II, a replica of the ship that brought the Pilgrims, is anchored at the park.
Pilgrim Hall Museum. This 100-year-old museum, at 75 Court Street, displays actual Pilgrim possessions, including William Bradford’s Bible and Myles Standish’s sword. Enjoy a film telling the dramatic story of the Mayflower Pilgrims, their voyage across the Atlantic, and their courageous early years in Plymouth.
Paddlewheel boat cruise. Cruise Plymouth Harbor in comfort aboard the Pilgrim Belle, an authentic paddle-wheeler. You will hear a narrated account of this historic town and seaport and get a mariner's-eye view of Plymouth Rock, Mayflower II, Plymouth Beach, and local lighthouses.
Docked in Plymouth Harbor, Mayflower II is replica of the ship that carried the Pilgrims to the New World. Visitors will meet guides who speak from a present-day perspective and also role players in period costume who will share their personal accounts of shipboard life, as they play the part of sailors or Mayflower passengers. Open daily in July and August.
Plimoth Plantation. Plimoth Plantation at 137 Warren Avenue is a hands-on, living history experience dedicated to the native Wampanoag and Pilgrim colonists of 17th-century Plymouth. History comes alive at this immersive museum featuring costumed interpreters and modern day artisans in four major exhibits, including the recreated Wampanoag Homesite, the 17th Century English Village, and the Crafts Center.
Whale watch cruises. Captain John Whale Watching and Fishing Tours at the Town Wharf in Plymouth guarantees whale sightings as you cruise Cape Cod Bay in comfort. Climate-controlled main cabin and full galley service. Operate April 6 through fall.
Plymouth Grist Mill. Located next to Town Brook in downtown Plymouth, this is a functional mill built in 1636 by the Pilgrim John Jenney. Today, visitors can watch how a grist mill operates and delve into the work and life of a 17th-century New England miller. Also, Leo the Miller describes the challenges the Pilgrims faced in their journey to America. Discover little known facts and hear interesting stories of American history as you walk the same paths the Pilgrims traveled hundreds of years ago.
-- Take Route 3A to Sagamore and change to the Scenic Highway (Route 6) North of the Cape Cod Canal. Continue on Scenic Hwy (Route 6) to Cranberry Highway (Route 28) about 31 miles to ….


The A.D. Makepeace Company. The world’s largest cranberry grower offers cranberry bog tours from its headquarters at 158 Tihonet Road. While the most popular time of year to see the bogs is during the cranberry harvest in September and October, your group may visit at any time of the year. During the tour, your guide will show the group examples of bogs, in production. Tours are available of groups of six or more. Individuals can sign up for tours during the harvest season in 2012 on September 29, October 13, 17, 20, and 27.
-- Take Route 6 about 9 miles to …


Nasketucket Bay State Reservation in Mattapoisett. Acquired by the state in 1999, Nasketucket Bay State Reservation in Mattapoisett offers 209 acres of wooded trails, open field and rocky shoreline for the public to enjoy. Lots to wonderful walking trails if you need a break from the car to stretch your legs. 508-992-4524.
-- Take Route 6 about 7 miles to …

New Bedford

New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park. In Herman Melville's epic novel Moby-Dick, Melville describes New Bedford as "perhaps the dearest place to live in, in all New England." He would recognize many of the 19th century buildings in the park today. Start your visit at the national park visitor center to get a brief orientation from the file, "The City That Lit the World." Other parts of the park include a historic house and garden museum, the Seamen's Bethel, Waterfront Visitor Center, the Schooner Ernestina, and the New Bedford Whaling Museum.
New Bedford Whaling Museum. New Bedford was the mid-19th century’s preeminent whaling port and for a time the richest city in the world. At the New Bedford Whaling Park and Museum, 18 Johnny Cake Hill, visitors can explore the world of whaling in the 18th and 19th centuries and the profound effect the industry had on New England and the world. The museum is part of New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, a neighborhood filled with actual buildings and artifacts from that era.
Zeiterion Theatre. For lively, dynamic, creative entertainment of all stripes, stay tuned to the Zeiterion Theatre on Purchase Street in New Bedford. This historic performing arts center is located in a restored 1923 vaudeville house, and its programs include summer musicals, comedy, great American music, dance, special events, and family fun.