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Seaport Cultural District

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Take a stroll through the Seaport Cultural District and you will discover charming boutique shops, wineries and restaurants with mouth watering dining options including a variety of seafood and international cuisine choices from the #1 Fishing Port in America. In all, the New Bedford’s Seaport Cultural District contains 49 cultural attractions, 29 creative economy businesses and is just one hour from Boston, half an hour from Cape Cod, Plymouth, Providence & Newport, RI.

Seaport Cultural District

The vibrant artist community and cultural institutions, all within short walking distance, are bound to awaken your imagination. Peppered with art galleries and art studios, The Seaport Cultural District stands out for its appreciation of everything arts: from AHA!, a year round free monthly celebration of Art, History, and Architecture, to the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center, also known as the Z, which comes alive night after night with spectacular performances bringing both nationally and internationally acclaimed performing artists to New Bedford. The Z is also home to New Bedford Symphony Orchestra, New Bedford Festival Theatre, New Bedford Ballet and Southcoast Children’s Theatre. The New Bedford Art Museum showcases local Southcoast talent as does the city’s pioneer art cooperative of visual, performing, and literary artists, Gallery X.

The district’s old cobblestone-lined streets lead to the New Bedford Whaling National Park and the Whaling Museum, the heart of the historical heritage of the city, filled with stories of whaling days, the Underground Railroad, and the legendary white whale, which inspired Herman Melville to sail from New Bedford and to write Moby Dick. Here you can also learn out about the famous orator and abolitionist Frederick Douglass by visiting the Nathan and Polly Johnson House, the first free home of Douglass after he escaped slavery.

The annual Seaport Art Walk along the working waterfront, along with dozens of festivals and events throughout the district celebrate artistic expression, multicultural heritage, and the love of coastal cuisine.

Here’s what people are saying about the Seaport Cultural District:

The Folk Festival is a gem of an event (in the Seaport Cultural District) that puts the city in a category you would expect of any major U.S. city.” – Paula Fisher, Plymouth County Convention and Visitors Bureau

“…growing up in Taunton, we rarely came to New Bedford, since moving here in 2010 my family has reveled in the wonderful things the Seaport Cultural District has to offer…” – Tracy Silva-Barbosa, Duende Glass, LLC

Owning a shop in downtown, I love hearing from visitors all that they enjoy (in the Seaport Cultural District).” – Shelley Cardoos, hippo

Annual Events in the Cultural District

JAN Moby Dick Marathon
FEB-DEC AHA! Art, History, and Architecture (2nd Thursday of the month)
MAR New Bedford Half Marathon
MAY Viva Portugal
JUN New Bedford Jazz Fest
JUL Cape Verdean Recognition Week & Parade
JUL New Bedford Folk Festival
JUL-AUG Summer Sound Series (concerts on Pier 3)
JUL New Bedford Festival Theatre
AUG Summer Movie Night
SEP Upper William Street Neighborhood Festival
OCT WHALE International Wine Festival
OCT Oktoberfest
DEC Holiday Happenings
DEC City Celebrates! New Year’s Eve

Seaport Cultural District events

If you enjoyed the authenticity of the New Bedford Seaport Cultural District, be sure to explore other nearby Cultural Districts in these distinctive communities:

Aquinnah Circle Cultural & Historic District, Aquinnah

Barnstable Village Cultural District, Barnstable

HyArts Cultural District, Barnstable

Nantucket Cultural District, Nantucket

Orleans Village Center Cultural District, Orleans

Plymouth Bay Cultural District, Plymouth

Glass Town Cultural District, Sandwich

Scituate Harbor Cultural District, Scituate

Vineyard Haven Harbor Cultural District, Vineyard Haven