Plymouth (England, not Massachusetts) has a long history of seafaring that includes the launch of many a great journey, most famously the Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower, and Sir Francis Drake on the Golden Hind and Captain Cook and his HMS Endeavour. Today, Plymouth is a major cruise center as well as a military site, and museums and landmarks—such as the Mayflower Steps—surround the harbor and its cobblestoned Barbican district. Much of the town was destroyed during World War II and rebuilt in the '50s.
In addition to the port, you’ll find new construction replacing the postwar cinder-block buildings, as well as friendly pubs, shopkeepers and restaurants serving seafood and other Devon delights.
Plymouth is also a great base from which to explore the haunting windswept landscapes of Dartmoor, with ancient standing stones and somewhat mysterious (and some say powerful) ley lines.