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Experience the time of the First Thanksgiving

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By Wayne Lazarus on November 4th, 2009

Categories: Linda's Travel Articles

If Thanksgiving has put the first Thanksgiving in your thoughts, the Plymouth Highway south of Boston is a short drive, long on things to see and do. Take Route 3 towards Quincy and the Adams National Historical park. Among the homes on the tour are the birthplaces of John Adams and John Quincy Adams — the oldest presidential birthplaces in the country. (Note: Almost all attractions are seasonal — call ahead for days of operation.) You can see the Abigail Adams Birthplace a little further down 3 (exit 17) at 180 Norton St., North Weymouth.

The Mayflower II

The Mayflower II

The Hull Lifesaving Museum at exit 14 has information about the historic rescues and lifesaving tradition here in the Boston Harbor. In Duxbury (exit 11) the 1653 Alden House is the only standing structure in which original Pilgrims are known to have lived. Two miles further along 3A is the Winslow House in Marshfield, another part of American history well worth a visit. It was built in 1699 by Edward Winslow, a three-time Massachusetts governor and grandson of a Mayflower passenger. Also on the property is the law office of Daniel Webster.

Plymouth Rock

Plymouth Rock

By now you’ll be getting close to Plymouth, so you’ll want to see Pilgrim Hall Museuem, open every day of the year except the month of January. (Exit 6 off route 3.) Extend what you’ve learned by seeing Plimoth Plantation — as close as you can get to the site and events of the First Thanksgiving. It includes a 1627 English Village and a Wampanoag Home site (exit 4) both complete with residents happy to talk with you about that time in history and, on the Plymouth waterfront (exit 6 south) the Mayflower II. The ship is anchored at Pilgrim Memorial State Park, the site of the Plymouth Rock. More about the area is available at www.seeplymouth.com and www.southshorebackroads.org. You’ll want to plan several hours for each of the museums — so make reservations to stay overnight with www.motel.com. (Photos courtesy Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism. Used with permission.)

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