Category Archives: Plymouth

Illuminate Thanksgiving (Plymouth, MA)

Date Of Visit: November 19, 2016

Location: Downtown Plymouth, MA (Water, Court and Main Streets)

Hours: 24 hours a day, everyday until the holidays

Cost: Free

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: holiday decorations

Web Site: Illuminate Thanksgiving

Plymouth, MA, is beautiful enough on its own.  But, Plymouth during the holiday season is simply magical.

As part of their holiday season in Plymouth, MA, Plymouth 400, an organization which promotes the celebration of the upcoming 400th anniversary of the Plymouth Rock landing which will occur in 2020, helped illuminate Plymouth.

The festivities began with a celebration of some of the residents of Plymouth, MA and the surrounding area and some entertainment at the Hedges House on Water Street.  The entertainment consisted of interpretive dance, an acapella rendition of John Lennon’s song “Imagine” and a celebration of a family in Massachusetts who helped start a charity which helps buy cellphone minutes for soldiers overseas (Cellphones For Soldiers).

After the Plymouth 400 celebration, the city was aglow with holiday decorations (both Thanksgiving and Christmas).

I was a little disappointed at the lack of decorations and some of the decorations weren’t lit by the time we got there.  In fact, some of the better decorations were not on Main and Court Streets but off Water Street like these decorations at CabbyShack and The Tavern On The Wharf.

It is not a long walk to get from Court Street and Main Street.  Just walk straight on either street (Main Street becomes Court St and vice versa).  I was able to take a few photos of the holiday decorations on Main and Court Streets.  It still was enough to get me into the holiday spirit, although it pales in comparison to some of the other displays in New England.  At the same time, the scaled down decorations somehow gave it a more “small town” and tasteful feel to it which is also nice.  Let’s face it, some places can overdo it with the lights and decorations.

The decorations are still up and a few more have more than likely been added.  Plus, there is the annual Kiwanis Christmas Tree Lighting Friday, December 2 from 5:30 to 8 which will really get the city’s holiday season in gear.

I did see a cute dog at the Plymouth 400 celebration.  Tully, a 3 and a half month old Labrador, was in the holiday spirit!


The National Monument To The Forefathers (Plymouth, MA)

Date Of Visit: November 19, 2016

Location: Pilgrim Memorial State Park, 72 Allerton St., Plymouth, MA

Hours: Sunrise To Sunset

Cost: Free

Parking: There is ample parking at the statue and street parking available on Allerton St and on nearby streets

Dog Friendly: Yes

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Highlights: Largest solid granite sculpture in the United States,

Web Site: National Monument To The Forefathers

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Mostly known for the tourist attractions Plimoth Plantation and Plymouth Rock, Plymouth Massachusetts is home to another lesser known, but no less impressive attraction.  In  fact, Plymouth is home to one of the largest sculptures in the states.

Clocking in at 81 feet, the National Monument To The Forefathers is the the largest solid granite sculpture in the United States. The granite was quarried in and transported to Plymouth from Hallowell, Maine.

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The monument, also known as the Pilgrim Statue, was created by Hammatt Billings, a Boston architect, illustrator and sculptor.  Billings would never got to see the sculpture in its final stages.  Billings died 15 years into the construction of the monument, or about half the time it took to construct the statue.  After Hammat Billings’ death his brother, Joseph, worked with a group of other sculptors to complete the project.  Dedicated on August 1, 1889, after 30 years of construction, the sculpture was meant to be a memorial to the Pilgrims who settled in the area.

The memorial has several statues within the memorial itself.  Statues representing Liberty, Peace, Tyranny, Education, Wisdom, Youth, Law, Mercy, Justice, and Morality surround the monument.  The monument wwas position to face Northeast towards Plymouth Harbor and, perhaps not coincidentally, towards Plymouth, England.

Faith, the statue at the top of the monument, is 36 feet tall and made of solid granite.  The Faith statue itself is listed as the 32nd largest statue in the entire United States and its territories.  The statue is pointing to heaven with her right hand.  In her left hand she is clutching a bible.

True to its description as a monument to the forefathers, all of the names of the passengers of the Mayflower.  Recognize any names?  Clearly, Massachusetts, as it would be later part of, was not all that progressive jusging by how women were considered “the wife of” the male passengers.

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The park offers grand views of the statue and it is said that before all of the construction and the planting of trees in the area many years, you could see the monument from miles away.  The park allows for some scenic views of the monument.

The memorial is surrounded by a spacious park and there is lots of room to walk your dog.  China, also known as China Doll, a rescued Siberian Husky and Lab mix, was enjoying the park while I was there.  She looks so happy!


Grace Trail (Plymouth, MA)

Date Of Visit: October 16, 2016

Location Nelson Memorial Park

Hours: Open everyday, dawn until dusk

Cost: Free

Highlights: biking and walking trail, flowers, scenic views, stones with words and phrases of encouragement on them

The G.R.A.C.E. Trail in Plymouth, MA, is not your average walking or biking trail.  Standing for Gratitude, Release, Acceptance, Challenge and Embrace, the idea for this trail is the creation of author, life coach and TED X speaker and Plymouth, MA, resident Anne Jolles.  The trail is designed to help people reflect on and overcome their struggles.  According to Ann Jolles’ website, the trail is meant to get people from, “a state of confusion and overwhelm to one of hope and possibility.” Now, inspired by Jolle’s trail, GRACE trails are appearing all over the country.

There may be many grace trails but this one in Plymouth, MA, is where it all started.

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Located next to Nelson Memorial Park, GRACE trail appears like any other trail.  However, upon closer inspection, it is very different.  Rocks and stones with words of encourage and placed along the side of the trail. At the entrance of the trail, there are rocks with words of encouragement (these rocks have gratitude and “just breath” written on them) and a notepad to write your own words of encouragement.  The person who left a message on the notepad about how he or she left someone who was abusive and “free” is written underneath the message.  It’s very inspiring and for the cynics out there who think that may have been a “faked” message (I know you may be out there), who cares?  It’s something people could still draw inspiration and maybe a nudge to do the same thing.  And that is what this trail is all about; inspiring others and grace.

Along the trail, you’ll find other signs of inspiration and grace.

I love how one of the rocks says to “accept…or not.”  You don’t have to and should not accept certain things in your life.

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These rocks encourage you to embrace the possibilities and “hang on” to hope.

There are messages of hope and inspiration everywhere

I know I could really use a place like this with all of its positivity and inspiration.  I would go everyday if I lived closer to the trail.

The trail are very easy and level along at Grace Trail.

In addition to the pretty stones and encouraging words, there are scenic views and trails that go off into other areas like the trail below that leads to the beach.  The views are very pretty along the trail.

The beach offers views of Plymouth Harbor and the surrounding area.

Since it was such an unseasonably warm autumnn day, there were an assortment of boats (motor powered and otherwise) in the water.

There is also remnants of a railroad that used to go by the area.  Flowers and grass now grow where the train used to run.

The Grace Trail is also dog friendly.  Lilly, a 9 year old Palmarin, enjoyed walking along the trail.

Similar Places I Have Visited In New England:

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Clipper City Rail Trail (Newburyport, MA)

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Canalside Trail (Turner Falls, MA)

 

 

 


Nelson Memorial Park (Plymouth, MA)

Dates of Visit: October 8, 2016 & October 16, 2016

Location: Nelson St, Plymouth, MA

Hours: Open everyday, dawn until dusk

Cost: Free

Parking: There are about 50 parking spots

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: Free parking, handicap-accessible, picnic benches and tables, playground area, beach area, restrooms, boat docking area, seasonal water play area, bike path

Web Site: Nelson Memorial Park

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When people think of Plymouth Massachusetts certain places automatically come to mind; Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth Rock, Nelson Memorial Park.  No, that’s not a typo.  In fact, Nelson Memorial Park may be one of the best kept secrets in Plymouth (except may be the Grace Trail).

 

Located approximately a mile from the aforementioned rock, Nelson Memorial Park is a family friendly park with activities for children, pretty views and ample parking.

The water activity area, called a “splash pad” is an area that shoots out water for children, and probably even a few adults and dogs, to play in.  A sign states that due to water restrictions the pad will be on only on days when the air temperature is above 80 degrees.  There’s little threat of that happening for some time, although we have had some unseasonably warm weather lately.

The park is relatively small but it still offers some very pretty scenery.  I’ve always marveled at how clouds, even wispy clouds, can really accentuate the beauty of an area, especially by bodies of water.

Some kayakers took advantage of the warm weather and calm water.

There is also a bike path from Nelson Memorial Park that goes all the way to North Plymouth (roughly 1.5 miles from Nelson Memorial Beach or over 2 miles if you start from Grace Trail which is located behind the park’s parking lot).

Although it is a small park, Nelson Memorial is a wonderful, peaceful area just minutes from the busy  waterfront and downtown areas and a must-see if you’re in the Plymouth area.

A boy and his dog take in the views at Nelson Memorial.  This is why dogs are so great.  No matter how bad your day is or how lonely you might feel, you always have your dog.

There were many other dogs at Nelson Memorial Park and I was able to get some great shots of a few of them.

Remy is a 13 year old Lab, Boxer and Rottweiler.  He had head and leg injuries when he was adopted.  But, he looks fine right now!

Stella is a 7 year old Boston Terrier with a special talent.  She likes to chase balls and hit them with her head, soccer style.

Below is a video of Stella playing.

Similar Places In New England I Have Visited:

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Salem Willows (Salem, MA)

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Odiorne Point State Park (Rye, NH)

 


Plymouth Lobster Crawl (Plymouth, MA)

Dates of Visitis: October 8, 2016 & October 16, 2016

Locations: All over Plymouth MA (see attached map for exact locations)

Cost: Free

Parking: There was surprisingly lots of parking, metered and unmetered and several lots in the area (hint – you can park at Jenney Grist Mill for free and hoof it or so I hear)

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: decorative lobsters made out of fiberglass

Web Site: Plymouth Lobster Crawl

Lobster Craw Map: Lobster Crawl Map

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The lobsters have come to Plymouth.  And they’re everywhere.  Well, at least, everywhere in Plymouth.

The “Lobster Crawl” is a great activity, especially for families.  There are 29 (26 after some were vandalized and others removed).  There is also a handy map to help you locate them.  But, even with the map, it is no easy task.

Each lobster is sponsored by a different business or organization and they are painted with their own distinct theme, usually a theme related to the business or organization sponsoring the lobster.

The lobsters are 5 feet high and made of fiberglass, similar to the buoys that are in the harbor.  They can weigh up to 150 pounds.

If you haven’t seen them yet or if you are not sure when you will be able to get over to Plymouth to check them out, take your time.  The lobsters are expected to remain on display for 2 years.

As you can tell by the map, the lobsters are scattered all over Plymouth.  There is only one that is not in walking distance which is the last one I am posting.  The backgrounds made the lobsters look even more pretty.

Most, if not all, of the lobsters were painted on both the front and back.  I was unable, or unwilling, to photograph both sides of some of these lobsters, though.  I have added the corresponding number of the lobster from the map in paranthesis after the description to make it easier to find.  I’m not sure how the decision to number the lobster statues was made but they don’t go in order based on location.

If you want to see all or the majority of the lobsters in one day, the best idea is probably to park near Pilgrim Memorial State Park (near Plymouth Rock) and start with the first statue on Water St.  Then, you can make basically walk all of Water St and then see the lobsters on the other side of Water St and on the side streets of Main and Court St. , on your way back to your vehicle.  You can then drive to the remaining lobster statues.

This is the first lobster on Water St, the main road in Plymouth, MA.  There are several accessible on or off a side street from Water St. (I counted 13).  This lobster is called “Ed #Endalz” at Pilgrim Memorial State Park.  It was created by Mary Johannesen (24).

The lobster pictured above, “”Rocky”, is sponsored, appropriately, by Plymouth & Brockton Street Railway.  “Rocky” was created by Kate Vannata. It is also located off Water St, just past Plymouth Rock along the harbor (25).

This lobster, also located off Water St, is sponsored by Plimoth Plantation and is called “Celebrating Living History”.  It was made by Vincent Crotty.  It is located on State Pier by the Mayflower II (26).

Farther along Water St is “Lu-Sea”.  It is sponsored by J.F.  Carpenter Construction Corp and was made by Jennifer McCarthy (27).

“Childhood Memories” was sponsored through an anonymous donation, always the best kind.  Terry Cole is the artist for this lobster (28).

“Clawdia” is the next lobster statue on Water St.  It was made by Andy Driscoll and is sponsored by Wood’s Seafood and Plymouth Cruises (2).

Some of the lobsters are harder to find than others (hence my second trip to find the ones I had missed during my first visit).  The next lobster statue, “Louie”, is  located on Town Pier.  It is sponsored by the Plymouth Bay Lobster Co (3).

The lobster “Bugsby Bibs” is sponsored by Cabbyshack and is located in front of the restaurant at 130 Town Wharf, off Water St.  It was created by Chickie Celli and Beatriz Whitehill.  Theere is also a cardboard replica of a lobster for people to have their photo taken next to Bugsby (4).

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“Ms. Clawmerce” is located by the jetty off Water St.  It is sponsored by the Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce and it was created by Donna Ann Secour (5).

This is one of my favorites.  “Sea Horses” is located along the path to the Ms. Clawmerce statue.  It is sponsored by SmartPak and was created by Tamara Tagg.  There is a huge piece of driftwood behind it (6).

There were 3 lobster statues located at Nelson Park.  However, one of the lobsters was damaged.  So, the city decided to remove all of the lobster statues from this venue, at least for the time being.  They are listed on the map but they are not there. So, the 7, 8 and 9 numbered lobsters are not available for viewing at this time.

There are more lobsters located on the other side of Water St.

Another one of my favorites, “Luigi The Lobster” is located at 1620 Winery and Wine Bar at the Village Landing Marketplace, 170 Water St.  The artist for Luigi is Genevieve Visser (10).

“Rasta Lobstah”, created by Heather Ritchie Casey, is located at The Blue-Eyed Crab Carribbean Grill & Rum Bar.  It is also located at the Village Landing Marketplace at 170 Water St (11).

The next closest lobster is probably located at the Plymouth Visitor’s Information Center at 130 Water St.  It is the last lobster on or in the vicinity of Water St.   It was made by Samantha Shields and it is sponsored by RE/MAX Spectrum (1).

As an aside, I stopped in to the visitor center for some help finding the last lobster ( I tried to do it on my own but the last one is a little complicated).  Anyway, they were very helpful and excited to help me.  So, they are a great resource to utilize if you do need help.

From the visitor center, you may want to drive, although I walked the entire area.  It’s just easier to walk than to find a parking space and getting your bearings all over again (although parking was plentiful when I visited).

From the visitor center, the closest set of statues is S. Park Ave.  Hopefully, you won’t run into Kenny on your way.

This lobster statue is called “Grace” and it was created by Kate Wilkins.  It is sponsored by WH Cornerstone Investments (12).

“Lobsta Love” is another popular lobster statue, for obvious reasons.  The bright colors and designs make it hard to miss.  it is located next to ERA Belsito & Associates at 100 Court St.  But, it is actually located on the side of the building on Samoset St.  It was created by Heidi Mayo and Wendy Reiffeiss (13)

From here, many of the remaining lobster statues are located south on or off Court St and Main St.

“Brewster” is located in front of the Pilgrim Hall Museum (75 Court St).  It is sponsored by 1620 Capital LLC and the artist who sculpted it is Andrew P. Linde.  Stickers with 1620, the American flag and other historic symbols are stuck to the front and back of the statue (16).

If you continue on Court/Main St, there are a cluster of statues.

“Rocking Lobster” is located on the corner of North and Main St.  It was sculpted by Marla Gratta-Pagnani and Monica O’Brien and it is sponsored by King Collision Center.  My favorite photo is the one that shows the reaction of the baby in the stroller (17).

“Big Blue” is located on North St, a short distance from the “Rocking Lobster.”  It is sponsored  AS you can tell by the photos, it is a pretty neighborhood and the older, historic looking homes give a great backdrop for photos.  This sculpture is sponsored by Brabo Benefits (18).

“Welcome” is located on Leyden St.  It was sculpted by Frances McLaughlin and is sponsored by Plymouth Lions & Leos.  You’ll note the map has the 16th and 19th lobster statues switched.  They both have lobsteers at each location but they misidentified these two on the map (19).

On Sandwich St (Main turns into Sandwich St) is the destination of the next statue, “Clawdia-Woman Of Gold.”  It is appropriately located in front of Verona at 89 Sandwich St.  This statue was sculpted by Marion Carlson.(21)

You will find the next two lobsters across the street from Verona on Lincoln St.

Another one of my favorites (as you can probably tell based on all of the photos I took), “Lynx The Lucky Lobster” is located in the parking lot aarea of the Cat Clinic of Plymouth( 80 Sandwich St).  I especially like the little paw prints at the base of the sculpture.  The lobster is actually on Lincoln St behind the clinic.  It was sculpted by Jill Voelker (22).

“Oceanus” by Marissa Scola is also located a little farther down Lincoln St on the other side of the cat clinic at Town Hall (11 Lincoln St).  This lobster is sponsored by Kerr Dental Associates.  There are 10 hidden toothbrushes on the lobster.  I found a few for you.  Can you find the rest? (23)

At this point, it is point, it is easiest to drive to the remianing lobsters.  After arriving back at your vehicle, you can drive to the Jenney Grist Mill (48 Summer St) where you’ll find the next lobster.

“Claws Monet” by Jeannette Lyons Carney is sponsored by Laurelwood at The Pinehills & Stafford Hill.  Stop by the grist mill while you’re there (20).

The next 2 lobsters that are nearby are on Samoset St.  You can also stop by these places after you view the other lobster on Samoset St (the “Lobsta Love” lobster).  But, I decided to drive to these lobsters.  They are very close to each other and if you drive too fast you could easily miss one or both of them.

“Penny” by Jen Connolly is located in front of Cape Auto Body, 53 Samoset St (14).

“Personal Injury Law-bster” is located in front of the Winokur, Serkey & Rosenberg Law Offices at 81 Samoset St.  This lobster was created by Cheryl Greenwood.   At least they have a sense of humor (15).

The last lobster is not located in walking distance of the other lobsters.  In fact, I had to get on the highway and drive a considerable distance to get to it.  But, it’s worth the drive if you have 10 or so minutes to spare.

Another very pretty sculpture and display, “Cranberry” is located in front of the Meetinghouse in Redbrook, an A.D. Makepeace Community.  It is like a community or complex in and of itself.  The address for The Meetinghouse is 1 Greenside Way North.  But, I had better luck using their address at 237 Wareham Rd s the other address didn’t work in my GPS.

The remaining lobsters that have been removed because they have been stolen (and recovered) or damaged are from left to right “Cordage”, “Sid-Supporting Independence & Dignity” and “Sir-Loin The Lobster.”  They were all located at Nelson Park off Water St.

The days I went lobster hunting were perfect fall days and, yes, there were dogs, as well as lobsters, everywhere.

Harley, a 4 year old Goldendoodle, was visiting the Jenney Grist Mill with his mommy or sister.

Bear is a 6 month old Newfie and he’s already 90 lbs!

Rooney , a 6 year old Chocolate Lab, liked to look out at the harbor.

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Plymouth Long Beach (Plymouth, MA)

Date Of Visit: October 8, 2016

Location: 137 Warren Avenue, Plymouth , MA (45 minutes south of Boston, MA, 1 hour west of Providence, RI)

Cost: (Memorial to Labor Day) Weekdays: $15
Weekends: $15
Bus (by reservation): $50 (check this fee with Town Hall above)

You can also purchase a sticker for the beach for a $50 annual fee

Free after Labor Day until Memorial Day

Parking: There is ample parking available (at least 100 spots)

Dog Friendly: Yes, in certain areas (signs are clearly marked in these areas)

Highlights: Rocky jetties, scenic views, ample parking, restaurant on premises, fishing, boating and other aquatic activities

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Plymouth Long Beach, more commonly known as just Plymouth Beach, was another spot I happened upon unexpectedly.  While trying to find the painted lobsters in Plymouth (blog post to follow soon), I pulled over into this parking lot to get my bearings.  Since I was there, I figured I would check the place out and take some shots.   I’m so glad I did!

There is a rocky jetti you can walk out to get some photos of the bay.  Yes please.

The waves were pretty, well, wavey.  But, otherwise it was a pitcure perfect beach day.

One of the great things about the beach is there is a deli and comfort stations as well.

On the other side of the beach is a stream that runs between the beach area and the residences of the neighborhood.  There are also some bridges that connect the residents to the beach.

The birds aren’t very shy at the beach, probably because they are so well fed by the beach goers.

In fact, some of them lurk around, waiting for crumbs.

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People also like to go fishing, mainly for stripers, at Plymouth Beach.

Plymouth Long Beach is beach friendly (but only in designated areas).

Proving that it is indeed a small world, I ran into Vivi, a dog I had photographed during my visit to Chestnut Hill Reservation.  Vivi is still her playful self.

Daisy, a 4 year old Black Lab, and Cricket, a 2 year old Chocolate Lab, had fun playing in the water.

Below is a video of the waves and scenic views of Plymouth Beach

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Jenney Grist Mill (Plymouth, MA)

Most people are aware of the more popular attractions in Plymouth, MA, such as Plymouth Rock and Plimoth Plantation.  But, there is another hidden jewel in Plymouth.

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Located only a few miles from Plymouth Rock, the Jenney Grist Mill is a replica of the mill which was originally located in the Plymouth Colony.

When I went to visit the foliage was still peaking in the area.

But the real gem of the grist mill area is the pond.

Ducks, swans and a furry friend inhabit the area.