Sunday, August 16, 2009

Overrated New England Attractions: Plymouth Rock

Article and photo by Eric H.

Plymouth Rock, located in Plymouth, Mass., certainly doesn't "rock."

By far one of New England's most overrated attractions, Plymouth Rock proves that history doesn't always equate to education or entertainment value. With the year "1620" stamped on its side, you otherwise couldn't tell the difference between this rock and the one in your backyard that serves as an impediment to your otherwise fine landscaping.

Perhaps the nicest thing about Plymouth Rock is that it resides in a Greek temple-like structure -- nice to look at but also not worth getting your hopes up if traveling, say, 3,000 miles from California. It's sort of like the disappointment of the Griswold's in the 1983 movie "Vacation" when they traveled all that distance to find out that "Wally World" entertainment park was closed.

Although an important symbol in American history as the alleged landing site of the Pilgrims, you'd be much better off touring the wonderful Plimoth Plantation or the Mayflower II replica (located across from Plymouth Rock at the scenic 11-acre Pilgrim Memorial State Park at Plymouth Harbor) for a comprehensive, as-close-to-authentic experience on this remarkable period of history. Plymouth is, ultimately, an incredibly worthy New England travel destination with its coastal charm, wonderful downtown with a great variety shops and restaurants (many specializing in seafood) and all its history in the form of museums and other attractions -- but please don't get your hopes up about traveling to see a rock! Leaving no stone unturned is not always the way to travel, as evidenced here -- clearly, Plymouth has far better attractions.

By the way, the Pilgrims first stepped onto New World land in Provincetown, Mass., located at the tip of what is now known as Cape Cod!

1 comment:

Alyson (New England Living) said...

I don't agree. I'm originally from California and when I first saw the rock, I thought it was pretty cool to imagine what had happened. I mean, I agree, it's not worth coming all the way to Plymouth just to see the rock; everyone should go to Plimouth Plantation and to the Mayflower II, but while you are there it is nice to take a look at the rock. I certainly didn't feel disappointed when I saw it.

That kind of history is what we studied on the west coast in school and it's such a strange thing to come out to the east coast and see all these things we've learned about for years. It's a thrill. Maybe native New Englanders just take it for granted.

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