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Thanksgiving Travel: Back To The Home Of The First Feast

Plymouth Thanksgiving Travel

First Posted: 11/22/11 08:07 AM ET Updated: 11/22/11 02:49 PM ET

As the story goes, Plymouth Rock in Plymouth, Massachusetts marks the spot where the pilgrims first came ashore in 1620 after fleeing England in search of religious freedom. Though the legend of the rock is likely conjecture, there was a feast at Plymouth in the autumn of 1621. It was then that, after enduring a harsh first winter, the colonists joined their Native American neighbors and feasted to celebrate the blessing of a bountiful harvest.

390 years later, Thanksgiving die-hards, or interested history buffs can venture to the place where it all began at the living museum of Plimouth Plantation. Here, it's always 1627, and costumed interpreters portray Pilgrims in a replica village seven years after the Mayflower's arrival.

Also at the site is a Wampanoag Villiage, which illustrates the way of life of the Native Americans who helped the settlers acclimate to life in the New World. And, the Mayflower II, a full-scale reproduction of the original vessel, is a window into the conditions the Pilgrims endured en route from England.

But, if that famous feast is the main objective, there are a number of ways to literally taste history. Sample the dishes of early 17th century English cuisine at a 1627 harvest dinner with the Pilgrims. Three historical dining buffets are also offered: Eat Like A Pilgrim, Wampanoag Social Feast, and A Taste of Two Cultures, which samples both native and Pilgrim cuisines.

Pigging out and learning at the same time? Sounds like a pretty good deal.


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Filed by Rebecca Dolan  |