Not only is Plymouth one of the most important tourism centers in the South Shore region of Massachusetts, but it's also one of the most important towns in the history and mythology of America. Plymouth is known as where the Pilgrims landed after sailing across the Atlantic. It's where the First Thanksgiving was held and is a popular destination today for Thanksgiving. The town is also one of the oldest in the nation and was once the capital of the Plymouth Colony before it merged with the Massachusetts Bay Colony years later. The Waterfront District along Water Street features large marinas, bread and breakfasts and other lodging. Here you'll find the original Plymouth Rock along with a replica of the Mayflower. And, of course, here you'll find plenty of gift shops, ice cream parlors, and waterfront dining to serve the tourists who flock to the area.
The Downtown District is just a few blocks away from the waterfront. The Main Street through downtown Plymouth goes by multiple names. It's all Massachusetts State Route 3A if you're keeping track, but the name changes from Court Street to Main Street to Main Street Extension. You can stroll the entire stretch without noticing the name ever even changes. Along here you'll find more shopping and dining. The shopping here is slightly less touristy than what you'll find on Water Street, so you'll find antique stores, galleries, and boutiques. But there are also plenty of historic sites as well from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The town of Plymouth is located in Plymouth County southeastern part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Plymouth is about 50 miles south of Boston by way of Massachusetts State Route 3 which is the primary expressway in the area, heading towards Cape Cod.
You'll find antique stores, boutiques, and restaurants along Main Street in downtown Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Shops and historic architecture dating back hundreds of years are located throughout Plymouth, including these examples at the intersection of Main Street and Town Square.
The Village Landing Marketplace is a quaint replica of a New England seaport located along Plymouth's waterfront and not far from some of the area's most popular tourist attractions.
We start our tour close to the waterfront at this conveniently located Visitor Information center. This is where we parked. And there are bathrooms here too. Always important.
Many of the structures located close to the waterfront and its marina have been repurposed into businesses serving tourists, including lots of gift shops and ice cream parlors.
Here's a view of the exterior of the Village Landing Marketplace as seen from the appropriately named Water Street, which runs along Plymouth's waterfront.
The Village Landing Marketplace features many gift shops and cafes with architecture reminiscent of a New England seaside town.
In case you couldn't tell, these passageways would be too narrow for cars to drive down. Village Landing Marketplace is pedestrian only.
Many of the area's Bed & Breakfasts and Inns are located along Water Street. We saw a lot of No Vacancy signs while we were in Plymouth.
More gift shops and lodging along Water Street. At the height of Plymouth's maritime economy, this road was more industrial and populated with large wharves and commercial buildings.
You knew we'd get to this eventually. What's Plymouth known for? This is the Mayflower II, which is a replica of the original Mayflower that brought the pilgrims to America hundreds of years ago.
Here's a view of the shops and bed and breakfasts from the pier where the Mayflower II is located.
When the weather's right, you'll find a lot of people (and even a dog in this case) out boating in Plymouth Bay.
This is the monument that was built around Plymouth Rock.
And in the center, is what's left of Plymouth Rock, with 1620 stamped on it for the year the Pilgrims landed.
Across the street are more gift shops and even a pub. The majority of the gift shops are close to the area's most popular tourist attractions, the Mayflower II, and Plymouth Rock.
North Street is one of the routes that connects Plymouth's Waterfront to Downtown. Some shops and galleries are also found along this stretch.
The Plymouth Center for the Arts is located on North Street and features art shows, classes, and a gift shop.
Another way to get from the Waterfront to Downtown is to follow the trails along the scenic Brewster Gardens. The sculpture down below is The Pilgrim Maiden by Henry Hudson Kitson.
On the southern end of downtown along Main Street Extension is Old Post Office Square, which is home to shops, offices, residences, and yes, even a post office. With its distinct clock tower, it's a fine example of neoclassical design.
Continuing north, Main Street Extension becomes Main Street at its intersection with Town Square.
Here's a view of the south side of Town Square. On the left is the 1749 Court House and Museum. On the right, at the far end of Town Square is the National Memorial Pilgrim Church, which can trace its roots back to 1606 when a group of dissenters from the Church of England banded together in Scrooby, England.
Here's a view of the north side of Town Square. The National Memorial Pilgrim Church is on the left and the Church of the Pilgrimage is on the right. This church was built in 1840.
We continue heading north. This is a view of the zero hundred block of Main Street.
Downtown Plymouth features a wide variety of cuisines to choose from.
Just an example of some the restaurants, boutiques, and other businesses along Main Street in Plymouth.
Another view of the same block from across the street. Be careful where you park. Notice that no parking is allowed on this portion of Main Street.
This Mexican restaurant is located in the historic Station One Firehouse. The interior has exposed brick wall and beautiful Mahogany woodwork, featuring a staircase leading to a second floor level.
A row of motorcycles is parked in front of this food market that features organic groceries and other healthy items.
From this angle you can see how Main Street curves through the area. Main Street is also signed as Massachusetts State Route 3A.
At the intersection of Main Street and North Street, the sidewalk widens to conform to the winding road. This gives the area a pleasant park like setting with large trees and benches. Notice the town even provides useful maps to help you find your way around.
At North Street, Main Street turns into Court Street. If you're keeping track, Massachusetts State Route 3A goes from Main Street Extension to Main Street to Court Street as it heads north through Plymouth's downtown.
Another view of the intersection of North Street with Main Street and Court Street. This is a view looking north towards Court Street.
We continue heading north along Court Street. Here is another view of the zero hundred block of Court Street.
More shops and even a bakery at the intersection of Court Street and Russell Street.
The 1820 Court House will be renovated and become the new location of Plymouth's Town Hall.
Formerly a Methodist church built in 1886, this structure is due for a renovation and is now The Spire Center for Performing Arts.
More shops and businesses along the zero hundred block of Court Street.
Unfortunately, this otherwise nice looking brick building on the left side of the picture does not feature any ground floor shops, which sort of breaks up the window shopping a little bit.
As we continue to head north along Court Street, the shopping becomes a bit more sparse, but you'll still find a few more shops and restaurants.
Once we reach the intersection with Clyfton Street, we come to the end of downtown Plymouth's primary shopping district. But there are still a few more attractions to see.
Pilgrim Hall Museum was built in 1824 and is the oldest continuously operating museum in the country. The museum tells the story of the Pilgrims and is also home to many original artifacts.
Built in 1926, Plymouth Memorial Building (more commonly known as Memorial Hall) is a venue for events, meetings, and shows.
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For More Information
Destination Plymouth County
Plymouth Antiquarian Society
The Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce
Village Landing Marketplace
Check out these other nearby Main Streets!