One of the most American holidays, in terms of celebration at least, has a deep-rooted history, largely passed into the collective subconscious by way of the myth surrounding the first Thanksgiving.
The story goes, at least in elementary schools across the country, pilgrims landed in Plymouth just before the harsh winter. The local Native Americans taught these hapless arrivals how to farm in harsh New England and survive the winter. This story is taught to elementary school kids, but there are plenty of tours to learn about the history of Thanksgiving and how those settlers originally made their way in the New World.
The first thing to point out is, while they don’t all qualify as literal tours, there are plenty of events and celebrations in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Some tours, like this one from Landmark Events, spans several days to give attendees a unique look at the region and traditions surrounding the holiday. If you are traveling over Thanksgiving itself, there are also special shows and events that aim to tell the story of Thanksgiving while offering guests a taste of the traditional holiday.
If you plan on visiting Plymouth, but not around the holidays, look into taking a standard walking or guided tour of Plymouth. These tours will give the entire family a more complete view of the city, including its history and foundation. The trade-off is there is not as big of a focus on Thanksgiving. Jenney Museum, for instance, offers a few different tours, including one focusing on the history of the town.
Families who don’t want to walk, but still want to learn about Plymouth from a local and intimate source should consider booking a tour with Plymouth Pedicab. These tours vary in price by length and include a number of important sites, like the recreation of the Mayflower and Plymouth Rock itself.
If tours and education aren’t really a concern for the family, consider traveling to Plymouth in the weeks, and especially the weekend before, Thanksgiving. Plymouth hosts a massive Thanksgiving festival each year, celebrating everything from the history of the holiday to modern celebrations including food trucks, beer gardens and waterfront parties. The diversity in events means even families with small children will have an easy time coming up with something for everyone to do.
The quintessential American holiday is worth traveling to its home city for, especially for fans of history and food.
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