New Bedford City Guide Massachusetts

Location: New Bedford is located in Bristol County, Massachusetts, along the southern coast of the state. It lies approximately 58 miles south of Boston and is situated along the Acushnet River, which flows into Buzzards Bay.

Establishment: New Bedford was settled in 1652 by English colonists and was originally part of the town of Dartmouth. In 1787, it was incorporated as a separate town and became a city in 1847.

History: New Bedford was a major whaling port in the 19th century, becoming the wealthiest city per capita in the world at the time. The city’s whaling industry inspired Herman Melville’s classic novel, “Moby-Dick.” New Bedford was also an important stop on the Underground Railroad, as many escaped slaves sought refuge in the city.

Population: New Bedford has a population of approximately 95,000 residents, making it the sixth-largest city in Massachusetts.


New Bedford Whaling Museum: This museum showcases the city’s rich whaling history, with exhibits on whaling vessels, scrimshaw, and maritime art.

New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park: A park encompassing several historic sites related to the city’s whaling industry, including the Seamen’s Bethel, Mariners’ Home, and the Rotch-Jones-Duff House.

Buttonwood Park Zoo: A small, family-friendly zoo featuring a variety of animals and exhibits.

Fort Taber Park: A waterfront park with historic military structures, walking trails, and beautiful ocean views.

Events & Festivals:

New Bedford Folk Festival: An annual folk music festival featuring local, national, and international artists, along with craft vendors and food.

New Bedford Working Waterfront Festival: A celebration of the city’s fishing industry, with boat tours, demonstrations, seafood, and entertainment.

New Bedford Portuguese Feast: A cultural festival highlighting Portuguese traditions, with food, music, and activities for all ages.

Accommodation Alternatives: New Bedford offers a variety of accommodation options, including hotels, bed and breakfasts, and short-term rentals. Some popular choices include the New Bedford Harbor Hotel, the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott New Bedford, and the Delano Homestead Bed & Breakfast.

Food & Dining: The city boasts a diverse dining scene, with a focus on seafood and Portuguese cuisine. Some popular options include Antonio’s Restaurant, serving traditional Portuguese dishes; The Black Whale, known for its fresh seafood; and No Problemo, offering Mexican fare in a casual setting.

Fun Facts:

New Bedford was known as “The Whaling City” due to its prominence in the global whaling industry during the 19th century.

The city was home to the world’s largest whaling fleet, with over 300 vessels operating out of its port at the height of the industry.

New Bedford has one of the largest Portuguese-American populations in the United States, with a significant portion of residents having Portuguese heritage.

With its rich maritime history, beautiful waterfront location, and vibrant cultural scene, New Bedford is an engaging destination for visitors to explore.