Tradition tells us that the original Plymouth Rock was the landing place of the Mayflower passengers in 1620. From a hunk that was once 15 feet long and 3 feet wide, the boulder has shrunk to about half its original size due to several relocations and chipping away by souvenir hunters. In 1867, the rock wound up here, perched at tide level on the peaceful shore. It’s a model attraction: easy to understand, quick to visit, unexpectedly affecting. 
A 5-minute walk away is the entrance to Brewster Gardens, site of the garden of an original settler, Elser William Brewster. Settle in to enjoy the greenery, or follow Town Brook, a narrow 1 1/2 mile stream, up the hill to Jenney Pond. There, a waterwheel powers the Plimoth Grist Mill, a reproduction of a 1636 corn grinder. It’s managed by Plimoth Plantation and includes a gift shop, resident ducks and geese, and plenty of room to run around.

Brewster Gardens: 30 Water St., Plimoth Grist Mill: 6 Spring Ln. (tel. 508-746-1622 ext. 8242). $7 adults and kids over 12, $6 seniors, $5 kids 5–12, free for 4 and under; combo tickets available with Plimoth Plantation admission.