After staying in Boston, we headed south for our day trip to the “Cape” as the locals call it, a dream of mine for many years as I have heard how scenically beautiful it was meant to be.
Cape Cod has been the summer playground of the rich and famous for the past hundred years or so, peaking in the 50’s and 60’s when the Kennedy’s called it home during the summer holidays.
Our first stop was at the small coastal town of Plymouth (about 30 km from Boston), to view Plymouth Rock, the landing place of the first pilgrims to America on the sailing ship the Mayflower. Plymouth Rock is literally a small rock about the size of a large suitcase with the engraving 1620 on it, so after about 10 seconds you can say you have been there, done that. The rock is more symbolic than exciting and has more meaning for Americans than guests from overseas.
May Flower 2
Next to Plymouth Rock is a replica of the May Flower, the original ship that sailed from England in 1620.
The original May Flower carried 102 passengers, 30 crew and lots of livestock, the journey to the new world taking approximately three months. This replica ship was built in England in the 1970’s using the same traditional building methods and materials at the original May Flower. From here we continued to the nearby open air museum called Plymouth Plantation.
This fascinating living museum takes you back to the original settlement of the 17 century Plymouth colony – warts and all. Both educational and very entertaining, many of the staff have adopted a name, viewpoint and history of a real pilgrim and play the part to give a very authentic experience for visitors. We spoke to a few ladies and they stayed in character the whole time, no matter how much we tried to trick them (we tried very hard).
The Plymouth Plantation is split into a few different parts, the largest being the English Village, based on the original village of 1627. The village is surrounded by a wooden wall for protection, has many wooden buildings with thatched roofs and lots of farm animals walking around.
You can walk into any of the houses and they are just like they would have been back in 1627.
The other section of Plymouth Plantation is the Wampanoag Indian village complete with bark covered log houses, fur tee-pees and open pit fires. Here you can watch Indian arts and crafts being made in a traditional manner, including how they used to dig a canoe out of a tree trunk. Our visit to Plymouth Plantation was a real eye opener for me, as it was done in such a real authentic way creating a unique atmosphere which makes you feel and see what it was like to live back in those olden days.
Cape Cod is a sand barrier that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean for about 150 km on the eastern side of Massachusetts. On one side is the rough Atlantic Ocean with its miles of beautiful beaches and sand hills, while on the other side is the quite waters of Cape Cod Bay, making it one of the most popular places for locals to spend their summer holidays enjoying the beach and water.
We drove the entire length of Cape Cod on the only main road that connects all the small maritime villages on the ‘Cape’. It was a very scenic drive, to say the least. The Cape is very rural, meaning that most of the way we were either driving through rich green forests or sand hills with the occasional view of the ocean. The houses on the Cape are all storybook Cape Cod style with little windows and painted in different light shades of blue. A few times we stopped the car in front of a house to take photos – it felt like we were the paparazzi.
Our end game was to reach the small maritime village of Provincetown, on the far end of the ‘Cape’ in time for lunch as it is meant to have some of the freshest seafood in America, straight from the dark blue Atlantic Ocean.
We enjoyed a lobster roll while chatting to locals in a café on the waterfront. It was one of the best lobster rolls we had ever tasted and had us wanting more.
Provincetown has its own unique historic and maritime character, with its small lanes, art galleries and studios, boutique guest house, B&B’s, shops and many seafood restaurants.
When in Boston or travelling in the state of Massachusetts, take the time and make sure you visit Cape Cod and the lively Plymouth Plantation as it will put a unique and interesting twist on your American holiday.