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Massachusetts itinerary: Experience a festive fall and the fruits of Plymouth County


Cranberry Country is the start of a tour that offers an autumn groups will long remember. Travel Plymouth County in the shadow of Pilgrims and Native Wampanoag while encountering the bounty offered. The following attractions are suitable for a quick getaway, daylong adventure or a full week in Plymouth County.

Flax Pond Cranberry Farms

Touring time: 45 minutes to 1½ hours

Groups have an opportunity to view the dry harvesting of cranberries in the fall. Visit a working cranberry screening house with antique equipment, artifacts and a cranberry-themed gift shop. The farm is open year-round for groups.

Mayflower Cranberry Farm

Touring time: At your own discretion

The 112-acre family cranberry farm, located in Plympton, has 23½ acres of active cranberry bogs. The Mayflower Cranberry Farm webiste includes the fall wet-harvest schedule and recipes.

Dead of Night Ghost Tours

Departs from Plymouth Rock; Touring time: 90 minutes

Push aside the cobwebs and join Dead of Night Ghost Tours for a spine-chilling adventure through Plymouth’s oldest cemetery and haunted areas. Don’t like the dark? Daytime history tours take groups along paths once taken by our forefathers in Historic Plymouth. The tour is open year Round

First Parish Church Meetinghouse Tours

Touring time: 30-60 minutes depending on interest

This 1899 granite structure (fifth Meetinghouse built on the original Pilgrim Village site) was built using funds donated to honor the Pilgrim Founders. Tiffany stained-glass windows illustrating the Pilgrim story, carved quarter-sawn oak and hammer beam construction are just a taste of the highlights.

Jenney Museum and Step-on-Guide Services

Touring time: 30 minutes for guided tour and/or one hour for walking tour

Go back in time with stories of struggles, survival and faith that set the cornerstones of our country. Hear about the relationship between the Pilgrims and Natives. Learn about the development of tools from the very simple to a complex machine like the gristmill.

Pilgrim Hall Museum

Touring time: One hour

America’s oldest continuously operating museum (1824) is small in scale and intimate in feeling. It offers groups a chance to get up close and personal with the reality of the past. The museum features an authentic piece of Plymouth Rock. View the cradle of Peregrine White, William Brewster’s great chair and William Bradford’s Bible.

Plimoth Plantation

Touring time: Two to three hours

Plimoth Plantation is a bicultural living history museum of 17th-century Plymouth Colony. It includes the English Village, Wampanoag (Native American) Homesite, Crafts Center and Nye Barn exhibiting rare-breed English farm animals. The site also offers a Visitor Center, indoor exhibits, museum shops, group tour menu and function facilities. Book early for Thanksgiving week dining. 

Plymouth Bay Winery, Plymouth County, Mass.Photo: Courtesy Plymouth County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Plymouth Bay Winery, Plymouth County, Mass.

Plymouth Bay Winery

The winery fffers free wine tasting of cranberry fruit wines and traditional red and white grape wines.

Plymouth Rock

As the traditional landing place of the Pilgrims, this American icon is nestled in the sand, under a turn-of-the-century portico, within the shadow cast by the masts of Mayflower II. It is open year-round.

Richard Sparrow House

Get a jump on holiday shopping while visiting the oldest house open to the public in America’s Hometown.  These co-joined houses are typical of 18th-century Plymouth before “urban redevelopment” claimed many in the 1960s.

Cape Cod Central Railroad

Depots in Hyannis & Buzzards Bay; touring time: two hours

Choose from a Shoreline Excursion Train, Cape Cod Dinner Train, Yankee Clipper Brunch Train or Colonial Lunch through Cape Cod’s hidden back country. In the fall expect to see cranberry bogs in a variety of growth and harvest stages, depending upon the time of the visit.

Cape Cod Canal Cruise by Hy-Line (May through September)

Town Pier; Touring time: two or three hours

Enjoy the majestic Cape Cod Canal while a narrator points out the many sights unique to this waterway. Full snack bar and cocktails available.

Annual Corn Festival (September)

Celebrate the natural and cultural heritage of New England at The South Shore Natural Science Center’s Annual Corn Festival. All-day events include All Hands Drumming, pony rides by Cranberry Equestrian Team, kids’ activities, 4-H animal displays, hay rides and traditional craft demonstrations.

Cranberry Harvest Celebration, Plymouth County, Mass.Photo: Courtesy Plymouth County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Cranberry Harvest Celebration, Plymouth County, Mass.

Annual Cranberry Harvest Celebration (October)

Enjoy a New England tradition and see the beauty of the cranberry harvest during our old-fashioned family festival. Visitors to the Harvest Celebration are treated to demonstrations of the wet cranberry harvest, cooking demonstrations, an enormous tent full of juried crafters, paddleboat rides on scenic Tihonet Pond, food vendors, music and more. 

This year’s celebration is Oct. 7–8.

America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration (November)

The event takes place in the downtown and waterfront areas and includes a parade, Drum & Bugle Corps competitions and attractions galore.

This year’s event will be held Nov. 17–19.

Thanksgiving Day (November)

Celebrate America’s Holiday in America’s Hometown when the Town of Plymouth comes alive with activity focusing on both Pilgrim history, Native American heritage and living in the 21st century.

Plymouth County Convention & Visitors Bureau
Paula Fisher, director of marketing & group services


1 Comment

  1. Can I get group pricing for this trip? We will be 35 – 45 students with about 4 adults. Traveling probably in May. Can we sub some of the activities in the Itinerary for college visits?


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