Maybe Pilgrims stepped on it. Maybe not. But when it comes right down to it, nearly everyone agrees: Plymouth Rock is small and pretty humdrum .
If you expect a boulder deemed worthy to appear in guidebooks to be impressive and even monumental, head north to the wind-scoured Gaspé Peninsula at Quebec's eastern tip. Jutting into the Gulf of St. Lawrence there is Rocher-Percé or Pierced Rock, a hulking mass of stone that sticks out weirdly into the water.
A Canadian icon that few Americans ever see, Pierced Rock is studded with fossils and changes hue depending on the weather and the hour of the day. The pounding surf has carved out a giant arch-like hole in the rock.
You can walk out on the sand or sightseeing boats that leave from the town of Percé and run from May through October will take you past the rock to nearby Bonaventure Island, one of North America's prime bird sanctuaries. The island is crowded with thousands of gannets, black guillemots, kittiwakes, and razorbills. You might even see a puffin.
Rocher-Percé, Quebec, Canada. Office of Tourism of Rocher-Percé, 418-782-2258, rocherperce.qc.ca.