Your Cape Cod vacation has the opportunity to be just as relaxing and fun as it is educational. Rent a bike and explore the area, catch some rays on one of the pristine beaches, and even learn about some of the first settlers of the United States. A visit to the Plimoth Plantation is the perfect day trip from Candleberry Inn. Learn about Plimoth Plantation history when you walk through this living museum. The recreated buildings of the settlement and actors in traditional Pilgrim dress will teach you everything you need to know about the Plymouth Colony. Take a step back in time with you visit the replica of one of the first English settlements in the U.S.!
Learning Plimoth Plantation history is just one of the many educational things you can do during your Cape Cod vacation! Download our free Vacation Guide for more information on other attractions, like the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum.
Building the Plimoth Plantation Replica
The full-sized replica of the 1620 settlement began construction in 1947. The architect, Henry Hornblower II, had a dream that he would one day bring the Plymouth Colony back to life. As a young boy, he had spent summers in Plymouth, MA. He became interested in telling the story of the Pilgrims that had once colonized there. His ultimate hope was to create an exciting experience for the public while keeping historic integrity. The museum started as 2 English cottages and a fort on Plymouth’s historic waterfront but has since grown to 7 other buildings and exhibits.
Learn Plimoth Plantation History Through Activities
Explore the 17th-Century English Village
It’s easy to learn about Plimoth Plantation history when you walk through the reproduction of the village once built by the Pilgrims! This farming community brings history to life with its timber-framed houses, aromatic kitchen gardens, and heritage breed livestock. There are even costumed actors and actresses that portray actual residents. You can ask them anything!
Visit the Wampanoag Homesite
Your Plimoth Plantation history lesson wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Wampanoag Homesite. Unlike the people you’ll meet in the 17th-Century English Village, the staff in this area are not role players. They are all Wampanoag or from other Native Nations, and they will be dressed in historically accurate clothing. They are all incredibly proud of their Native heritage and can tell you stories on how they have lived in the region for more than 10,000 years!
Watch Artisans at the Craft Center
The Craft Center is a great place to learn about Plimoth Plantation history because you get to watch artisans recreate the ancient techniques and technologies that our ancestors once used. Using tools, materials, and methods from the 1600s, Native artisans create stone tools, porcupine headdresses, and hand-coiled clay pots, among other items. Other artisans practice historic English trades by taking up the roles of cabinetmakers, tailors, and potters.
Experience the Plimoth Grist Mill
The creation of the Plimoth Grist Mill was a key point in Plimoth Plantation history. The colonists used to grind corn by hand until the construction of a water-powered corn grinding mill. During a tour of this working reproduction, you will learn about the importance of mills as well as the process of grinding corn. You can even buy the freshly ground cornmeal in the gift shop!
See Rare Breed Animals
This living museum also specializes in rare breeds of livestock to help teach Plimoth Plantation history. The Nye Barn cares for animals like sheep, cows, and goats that were once found in the 17th century Plymouth Colony. Due to changes in agriculture, many of these animals have become endangered. Plimoth Plantation is part of a global effort to save the genetic diversity of these breeds.
Watch a Movie
For an intro on Plimoth Plantation history, there is a short orientation video available in the Visitor Center. After the center closes, these small orientation theaters are converted into movie theaters for your viewing pleasure. Find the best foreign and independent films at the Plimoth Cinema. After a day touring, sit back and relax with a big-screen movie in an intimate cinema!
After Learning About Plimoth Plantation History
Return to the historic Candleberry Inn after learning about Plimoth Plantation history. Rest in our comfortable accommodations, like the Copeland Room. This room is steeped in tradition with its 200+-year-old wide plank floors, architecture, and period décor. You are sure to enjoy its cozy queen bed overlooking the lush gardens. Wake up to our homemade breakfast to discuss all you learned at the Plimoth Plantation!