Before the Pilgrims touched down at Plymouth Rock , they spent five weeks in Provincetown , where they nailed down the definitive version of the Mayflower Contract and made their first “encounters” with Native Americans.
Memorializing the pilgrims’ stay here is a monument (High Pole Hill Rd., 508/487-1310, www.pilgrim-monument.org , 9 a.m.–5 p.m. daily Apr.–May and mid-Sept.–Nov.; 9 a.m.–7 p.m. daily June–mid-Sept., $7 adults, $5 seniors and students, $3.50 children 4–14, free children under 4) that has become a symbol of Provincetown for generations of visitors.
Looking at it, you’d think the Pilgrims had come from Italy, not England, since the tower is a copy of a torre from Sienna, complete with crenellated top and gargoyles perched on the sides. The walk to the top utilizes 60 ramps and 116 steps.
Short of a plane, it’s virtually the only way to behold the geography of the Cape in its glory. On a clear day, you can see Boston . At the base of the monument is the Provincetown Museum, which details the Pilgrims’ brief stay here as only kitschy dioramas can.