The people who came on the Mayflower left Plymouth, England on September 16, 1620, looking for a place where they could have the freedom to practice their religion and to live on land of their own.
After a stormy 66-day crossing they finally dropped anchor off the coast of Cape Cod On November 11, 1620. Their first landing was at Provincetown, on the tip of the Cape.
From there they explored the coast for five weeks, until they found a favorable place where they decided to establish “Plymouth Plantation”, one of the first English settlements in North America.
More than half of the English settlers died during that first winter, as a result of poor nutrition and housing that proved inadequate in the harsh weather. Leaders such as Bradford, Standish, John Carver, William Brewster and Edward Winslow played important roles in keeping the remaining settlers together.
The native inhabitants of the region around Plymouth Colony were the various tribes of the Wampanoag people, who had lived there for some 10,000 years before the Europeans arrived. They taught the Pilgrims how to plant corn, which became an important crop, as well as where to fish and hunt beaver.
- Orientation Tour and special presentation of the Pilgrims at the New England Historic Genealogical Society
- Visit the Kings Chapel Burial Ground in Boston to see the grave of Mary Chilton
- Listen to the stories of the First Encounters with the Pilgrims as told by the people of the Wampanoan Tribe who are still living on Cape Cod
- Tour the present-day city of Plymouth and visit Leyden Street, the original street of the Pilgrims
- Visit the Pilgrim Hall Museum, the oldest in America, and see the incredible collection of Pilgrim artifacts
- Relive the lives of the Pilgrims and the Native Inhabitants of the area at the Plimoth Plantation, the living history museum
- Step aboard the Mayflower II and see how they lived aboard for 65 days
- Visit Coles Hill and Burial Hill, the burial grounds of the Pilgrims
- Visit the home of John Alden and Priscilla Mullins in Duxbury and the grave of Miles Standish
- See where the Pilgrims first landed off the tip of Cape Cod in Provincetown and drew up the Mayflower Compact
- Travel to Corn Hill where they found the stash of corn belonging to the Wampanoags that helped to keep them alive the first winter. Also visit First Encounter Beach where the first skirmish with the Wampanoag people occurred
- Visit the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Museum for a taste of the history and culture from the stone age to the present of the first people to inhabit the area
- Sail to Martha’s Vineyard (Noepe) and visit the Aquinnah Cultural Center for a closer look into the lives of the native people of the area