Driving from the center of Boston to Provincetown, located on the farthest tip of Cape Cod, can take as little as two and a half hours. The route is only 115 miles long, but there's so much to do and experience in the short stretch that travelers will feel pressed to fit it all in a one-day journey. Road trippers can visit a reconstruction of one of the earliest European settlements in the U.S., view vast pirate treasures, and partake in delightful beach picnics. Here's a model itinerary for the day, but be warned, it's packed!
A Morning At The Plymouth Sites
8:00 a.m. An early start from Boston is fundamental for travelers who want to get as much sightseeing done as possible! Of course, departing even earlier than 8 a.m. is preferable since there will be less traffic.
8:45 a.m. Grab breakfast at French Memories in Duxbury. This coffee shop and bakery have some of the best almond croissants in the region. Carly G. wrote this review on Google: "I have been to many bakeries around MA, and this is one of my absolute favorites. The croissant is definitely the best I’ve had in the state! I also love that they make miniature versions of many of their French pastries- perfect for sampling!"
9:35 a.m. After a short drive, road trippers can park in Plymouth to see its namesake rock. This is the site where the Mayflower landed in 1620 and is one of the earliest European settlements in the U.S. Nearby; visitors will see a replica of the historic ship, Mayflower II. For a fee, people can board the small vessel and see where more than 100 pilgrims spent the 66-day journey to an unknown destination.
Next, a ten-minute walk through Brewster gardens along Town Brook will take visitors to the Plimoth Grist Mill. In the 1630s, early settlers built a mill to grind corn, which was a fundamental part of their diet. The original mill burned down in a fire, so the one standing today is a reconstruction. Lucky guests may even get to see it in action. The shop sells a range of flours ground on location.
Visitors interested in visiting the Mayflower II, Plimoth Grist Mill, and the living museum at Plimoth Patuxet should purchase a Heritage Pass, which will allow them access to all three sites.
- Plymouth rock parking fee: $1.25 per hour; bring exact change
- Admission to Mayflower II: $15
- Mayflower II Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m=
- Admission to the Plimoth Grist Mill: $8.95
- Grist Mill Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
- Heritage Pass: $42.50, admission to Mayflower II, Plimoth Grist Mill, and Plimoth Patuxet, available on the Plimoth website
11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Next, travelers can't miss Historic Patuxet and a 17th-century English village. Historic Patuxet, complete with actors, shows guests what it felt like to live in Wampanoag village. They can step inside a wetu, or house, and observe as staff work on a dug-out canoe called a mishoon.
The 17th-century village gives visitors a perspective on what life was like for the pilgrims. Actors guide guests through their gardens, teach them to play pilgrim games and even ask them to participate in military drills.
Lunch On The Beach And Off To Find Pirate Treasure
1:30-2:30 p.m. Following Massachusetts, 3A gives drivers and passengers some beautiful views of the bay to the east and Myles Standish State Forest to the west. Just after driving through Ellisville, but before getting to Sagamore Beach, travelers should stop at Rock Bottom Galley. They can order fish and chips to go and eat at nearby Sagamore beach while taking in the beautiful view of Cape Cod Bay. Everyone who visits this pebbly beach spends a few minutes skipping stones before getting back in the car.
3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. The next stop is the Whydah Pirate Museum in West Yarmouth. The Whydah Galley first set sail in 1716. She spent less than a year on a slave ship before being captured by "Black Sam" Bellamy in the Caribbean. He used the ship for plundering the coast until it sank in a Nor'easter near Cape Cod just months after he commandeered it. Berry Clifford discovered the wreckage in 1984 and authenticated his find through the ship's bell and a name plaque. The museum houses a reconstruction of part of the ship, treasure, and cannons. The tour of the museum takes an hour.
- Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The tour lasts one hour.
- Tickets: $17 for adults, $12 for children, only available through an online reservation
Lighthouses, Seals, And A Seafood Dinner
4:35 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Check out the view of the coast from the Chatham Lighthouse. Lucky visitors may get to watch seals play in the shallow water nearby. Watch out, though; great white sharks frequent these waters as well since seals are their favorite snacks.
5:30 p.m. As they drive past Coast Guard Beach, road trippers will enjoy some spectacular views. The beach is free for people who visit after 5 p.m., but it's already late in the day, so most travelers will probably want to push on to Provincetown.
6:30 p.m. Hungry bellies will thank travelers for stopping at the Lobster Pot in Provincetown. Here's how Jake Fenton reviewed the iconic restaurant: "It took us so long to decide what to get just because so much looked good. The grilled salmon with the leek and tomato sauce was incredible, as was the seafood orecchiette. The pomegranate punch and Tito's Strawberry Rhubarb drinks are both absolutely fantastic, and Emily was an absolute blast. Truly, an absolutely awesome time in P-Town."
When guests finish, they should drive out to Herring Beach to watch the sunset before heading to the luxurious Land's End Inn for the night.