The best thing about the city of Plymouth as a visitor destination is the sheer range of attractions on offer. A port and city based on landmark maritime endeavours, there is certainly plenty of history to explore and the same port and coastline play host to an array of seagoing activities today. Then there are the new developments in leisure, dining and entertainment which make the most of the old customs house buildings and a city centre which can match any comparable UK city in opportunities for shopping, dining and enjoying a good night out, and all against the backdrop of some terrific green spaces. With so much going on, things to do in Plymouth are limited only by time and imagination.
The city is situated on the Devon coast, as an access point to Plymouth Sound, the largest natural harbour in Europe. The harbour has served the city well, in hosting Royal Naval defences as well as providing a docking and embarkation point for sea trade throughout the centuries. In modern times this means boat trips, to points locally and to the continent, but it also means sailing from the marina, yacht racing from the Royal Western Yacht Club, and many more things to do in Plymouth which involve water sports and taking on the challenges of the sea.
The city centre conjures up many more things to do in Plymouth and since it is fully pedestrianised, visitors can enjoy the attractions on foot, at their leisure. Fashionable cafés, bars, malls and shops have brought the old city right up to date in leisure provision and there are some great restaurants, covering every international cuisine. Of particular note are the seafood restaurants and local catches will dominate the menus within many of the city eateries. The city has a real contemporary cosmopolitan air which sits comfortably with its cross cultural trade and history and this is reflected in the range of bars, clubs and other nightlife options.
Union Street is the epicentre for nightlife activities as it has been since the 1930s, when sailors came for drinks and entertainment and Charlie Chaplin performed at the Palace Theatre. There are many more pubs and clubs today and the theatre remains as popular as ever. The Theatre Royal is the main venue and others include the Plymouth Arts Centre and Plymouth Pavilions, both of which host a range of music, dance and dramatic performances. There are three cinemas too and six galleries of exhibitions within the Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery, offering plenty of scope for things to do in Plymouth in a cultural vein.
Those looking to cycle or jog or simply find some peace and quiet within a pleasant natural environment can head for Central Park, just north of the city centre. A superb city green space, the park plays host to all manner of outdoor sports and activities as well as indoor swimming and other leisure options. There is of course a more extensive and more famous natural landmark close to the city, Plymouth Hoe, a natural outcrop on which Sir Francis Drake finished off a game of bowls before finishing off the encroaching Spanish Armada. Walks on the Hoe provide superb views over the city, Plymouth Sound and Drake's island.
A list of things to do in Plymouth may contain some or all of the above but it will certainly be characterised by a variety of different activities. Any time spent in the city is bound to be productive and whether for a lone traveller, a group of friends or a family on holiday, that time spent won't easily be forgotten.