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“It gets better with each visit” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Plimoth Plantation

Plimoth Plantation
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Admission to Plimoth Plantation, Mayflower II and Plimoth Grist Mill
Ranked #1 of 68 things to do in Plymouth
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Plimoth Plantation, less than an hour south of Boston and minutes from Cape Cod, is a living museum dedicated to telling the history of Plymouth Colony from the perspective of both the Pilgrims and the Native Wampanoag people. The museum is a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate that includes Mayflower II, a full-scale reproduction of the original ship that sailed to Plymouth in 1620. Visit our Craft Center and Plimoth Bread Company. Enjoy independent films at Plimoth Cinema.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase
Level Contributor
41 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
“It gets better with each visit”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 31, 2008

I am not surprised at the variation of reviews since when we were there there were clearly people who didn't get the idea of the experience-whether they did not attend the orientation, are too used to being entertained or what I was unable to tell.

I have been going to Plimouth Plantation since 1976 and last week was my 8th visit. I have been delighted to watch as it grows and adds new information (and changes, as we have become more honest about the experience of the settlers and native people.) When I first started going the area for the native people was non-existent. This time it has grown even from my last visit 12 years ago. While there was one reenactor who seemed to be bored with his job we talked with the most charming, informative and delightful 15 year old I have met in awhile. He was excellent! I actually think the role the Wampanoag's have to play is more difficult as they are trying to represent both the original members of Hobbamock's village as well as speaking from a modern day perspective AND they are battling what are still quite deeply ingrained ideas that many of us Americans have about the "savages" who met the settlers. You won't see any there who look like the crazy little characters who inhabit the Thanksgiving performances at grade schools.

The settlers ,as well, are not at all as we learned about them in school (and the Pilgrim Hall Museum in Plymouth has a very good display dealing with the changing understanding regarding this) They speak in the dialect of the area that particular settler came from in England. They dress as they would have in the 17th century. They have only chickens and goats because those were the only animals they could bring on Mayflower.

I have taken children as young as 3 (who tried valiantly to explain to a settler what a tractor is) and have gone with my mother who is in her 80's. I would say, however, that anyone whose child must be in a stroller should not go, as the child will not get anything (except a sunburn in summer) and you will have difficulty navigating the paths. However, part of the experience at Plimouth is to understand just how difficult it was for the settlers. Imagine having to do the work when the house is stifling-or freezing and having young ones in tow. Imagine trying to grow crops when there is too little/much rain. One of the brilliant things about Plimouth is that the "settlers" stay in character. I heard one person last week ask how long they lived. The settler's answer was "Well, no-one knows how long they will live, only God can say that." He went on to talk about the people who died the first winter and this opened the discussion up to others to ask about it. My son (12) was fascinated as this gave him an understanding about how new and difficult this experience really was for the settlers. I had a long conversation with several women who discussed the differences between the Separatists and members of the King's Church, how they got along as friends even with this basic disagreement-(which gave a good understanding of why this enterprise worked-especially compared to the later problems as Puritans began to immigrate and impose their views on all.) They also taught me that while gossiping is not good a woman then would have called her friends her "gossips" a word that comes from God's siblings. There was also another woman player who was from a boat that shipwrecked there on its way to Virginia colony.

It might help to have some previous understanding of the history of the Pilgrims but at every visit I have been able to listen to conversations with other visitors. If you are too shy to ask questions or don't know what to ask, even simply looking around and seeing what they did and didn't have (including hindsight) can give anyone something to take away. An alternative is to look at some of the stuff at the Plimouth Plantation website before you go and maybe form some questions from there.

Several of the reviews above give a good account of the procedure-I will add that :
-the combo ticket (with Mayflower II) is worthwhile
-we did the 2 sites on 2 different days
-you can buy the tickets online which saves a lot of time if there is a line
This place is one of the best places in the world for gaining an understanding of another time and place and how thinking then has changed or stayed the same as today.

2 Thank cruciangirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Devizes, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
279 reviews
77 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 124 helpful votes
“Two day pass with the Mayflower makes this a good option to pick and mix”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 31, 2008

Educational and fun. We liked the native area best as it was easier to find out more from the staff than the settler site as in the latter area most of them spent all there effort on staying in character and had little to spare for chat .

The combination ticket was great value as it is valid for two days. We were able to pick and mix the various attactions with chill out time at the nearby Scusset Beach.

Thank jobberdave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moray, Scotland
Level Contributor
251 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 183 helpful votes
“Experience depends on the role players - ours was good”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 26, 2008

We enjoyed our visit, but it's easy to see the why the reviews for this attraction are so varied.

We've visited a number of historical villages across the US and this was our favourite. Your experience really depends on how many questions you ask and the attitude of the role players. If you're with kids you must encourage them to ask loads of questions or they will be bored.

We really enjoyed the native american section due to one guy who kept us enthralled with stories of his ancestors and his passion and pride of their history. We also encountered two girls who shared interesting stories of cooking methods but were difficult to interact with. Our kids got to the point of feeling trepidation in case they asked the wrong question.

I thought the european section provided an excellent picture of what life must have been like for the first pilgrims. Talking to the role players gave me a much more vivid picture of why the pligrims had ventured west and what life was like for them than I had appreciated before. It does take effort though - the story is not easily accessible unless you keep asking questions. One role player - a young man with a beard - was particularly rude and quite aggressive. I don't really understand the differing attitudes of the role players - if they all had a positive attitudes like the best of them this could be a brilliant experience.

Ask questions!!!

1 Thank Boondoggler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“If you want to be ignored, spend the money...don't say you were not warned!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 27, 2008

We went last Saturday and wow, what a disappointment! I thought that 48 bucks (2 people) was far too much for what we saw. The Homesite was horrible; the Native People were rude and I felt like I was intruding. I was actually quite excited because I thought I would gain real insight. They had no desire to speak to us or answer any questions. The English Villiage was a little better - a bit more people - but nothing great. I really thought this was going to be one our highlights of our vacation but we were so wrong. :(

7 Thank Jan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santiago, Chile
Level Contributor
19 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Very interesting place”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 10, 2008

I went for a second time to Plimouth Plantation last week and it was very good. My first time there was last year during a weekend and I think that there are more pilgrims and native people then during weekdays. It is a well organize place for groups, like teachers and children especially for children who are studying history.

For families with young children it is not recommendable because it is a very rustic place, the strollers are not useful and the young children can not understand what it is all about. Good for 7+.

2 Thank Aunno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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