New Bedford is rich with stories from whaling, the textile industry, the working waterfront and the Underground Railroad. In the mid-1700s, Joseph Rotch purchased 13 acres of land along our deep harbor, establishing the whale fishery that transformed a small village into a thriving port. A century later, the boom of the textile industry swelled our population, spurred the development of vast new ethnic neighborhoods, and expanded the city’s growth to the north and south. Now, the city is home to the #1 fishing port in the United States and recognized as one of the most artistic cities in the country, further adding to our long history of cultural diversity and appeal.
Downtown offers a mix of museums, art galleries, history, restaurants and shops. Home to the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, the Seaport Cultural District, the Abolition Row Historic District, and the working Waterfront, Downtown is the heart of the city. Get inspired strolling through the cobblestone streets surrounded by historic architecture, public art and small local businesses.
The North End
The North End is home to lively cultural festivals during the summer months as well as the International Marketplace filled with retail shops, cafes, bakeries, and restaurants year round. If you crave the multicultural experience of New Bedford, the North End offers a unique glimpse into the many cultures that call New Bedford home. From Portuguese to Central American feast on flavors from all over the world.
The South End
Surrounded by three miles of accessible shoreline, the South end boasts fabulous sandy beaches and the Blue Lane, a contiguous set of recreational pathways atop the city’s hurricane barrier. Famous for the Fort Taber Park and the Fort Taber/ Fort Rodman Military Museum, the South end is also home to a number of antiques stores, shops, art galleries, and seafood and Portuguese restaurants.
The West End
With tree-lined streets and beautiful architecture showcasing spectacular Victorian, Queen Anne, Colonial and Greek Revival style homes, The West End exudes a nostalgic charm about the Whaling days – the days when the homes were owned by respected sea captains and their wives looked out from the widow’s walks hoping for their safe return. Take a walk or have a picnic at Buttonwood Park, one of the largest parks in the city and home of the Buttonwood Park Zoo.