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The Group Travel Leader Going on Faith Select Traveler

Make a pilgrimage to Plymouth

Courtesy Plymouth CVB

Where is Plymouth, Mass.?
Plymouth, the best known of Plymouth County’s 27 communities, is between Boston and Cape Cod. The county’s population is half a million; 60,000 live in Plymouth, the southernmost of its towns.

How do I get there?

Two major airports are nearby. Boston’s Logan International is 50 miles north, with bus and train service. T.F. Green Airport, near Providence, R.I., is 90 minutes southwest.

What types of meeting best suit Plymouth?
Its oceanfront hotels and its history draw small to medium corporate, association, religious and fraternal meetings. Sports competitions are attracted by a professional baseball stadium, six indoor ice rinks and a fairgrounds.

What’s new?

• The former Taunton Inn and Conference Center in Taunton is now a Holiday Inn. More than $4 million was spent to renovate its 155 guest rooms, 30,000-square-foot conference center, fitness center, restaurant and cafe.

• Organized walking tours of historic downtown Plymouth were recently launched. The tours take the perspective of the Wampanoag Indians and tell of their relationship with the Pilgrims.

Tell me about some sites worth seeing.
• The Pilgrims’ stepping stone to the new world, Plymouth Rock, is small, but its place in history is large. Each year, 1 million people go to see it. Costumed sailors man the Mayflower II, a replica of the Pilgrims’ ship, anchored a few feet away.

• To see how the Pilgrims lived, visit Plimoth Plantation, a re-created English village three miles south of where the original village was located.

Tell me about the main meeting sites.
There are a dozen hotels in Plymouth County, among them the Radisson Hotel Plymouth Harbor, across from Plymouth Harbor, with 175 guest rooms and 13,000 square feet of meeting space, and the 80-room John Carver Inn and Spa, built on the spot where the Pilgrims first settled. It has 5,500 square feet of meeting space. In Hull, the Nantasket Beach Resort Hotel and Conference Center is oceanfront and has 105 guest rooms and 10,000 square feet of meeting space; in Rockland, the 127-room Holiday Inn Rockland has 3,450 square feet of meeting space.

Tell me about some offbeat spots for off-site events.
• Open late March through the end of November, Plimoth Plantation is the place to not only learn how the Pilgrims lived but also dine as they dined. Groups dine at tables set with pewter and woodenware and Pilgrim interpreters and musicians entertain.

• Among the area’s other historic venues are the Old Derby Academy, a restored 1800s school in Hingham that is now a rental facility with a ballroom, a terrace and a garden, and the 1699 Winslow House, home of Mayflower passenger Edward Winslow.

• Combine the Great Room and patio of the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton for an event that makes the best of the contemporary craft museum on 22 acres next to Porter’s Pond. The flagstone patio has a lagoon, fountains and sculpture; the Great Room’s exhibits are constantly changing.

For a true taste of Plymouth…
Head to the historic wharf in Plymouth, where restaurants range from the refined East Bay Grille to the down-home and darn good Wood’s Seafood. East Bay Grille’s lawn, overlooking the harbor, can be tented for events of up to 200. There’s also a private dining room for 65.

At the 50-seat Wood’s Seafood, diners watch commercial fishing boats unload their catches while enjoying fried clams, seafood platters, lobster dinners or clambakes. A 2005 Yankee Magazine Editor’s Choice award winner, Wood’s caters clambakes off-site.

Another lively option on the water is Cabby Shack, where musicians play all season and the 3.5-pound Big Man’s Lobster taunts big eaters. Cabby Shack’s clam chowder, served in a bread bowl, has been featured on the Food Network.