Discovering Incredible History and Charm at New Bedford Whaling
National Historical Park in New Bedford, Mass.
Articles and photos (unless otherwise noted) by Eric Hurwitz. Page
updated on 9/20/17.
North Water Street, Street, New Bedford - Photo by:
The U.S. National Park Service's 13-block Whaling District resonates
with charm. The cobblestone streets, and old sea captain homes,
churches and brick buildings lovingly bring out the flavor of New
Bedford's presence as the greatest whaling city in the world back in
the mid-1800s. Today, the Whaling District is "anchored" by the
Bedford Whaling Museum, a state-of-the-art museum celebrating the
glory days of the local whaling industry.
New Bedford was once one of the wealthiest cities in the world, thanks
to a robust whaling industry starting in the mid 1800s and a thriving
textile industry. The Whaling District also features many shops,
galleries, boutiques and restaurants to complement an area perfect for
strolling and connecting with the sea.
Historic buildings, working waterfront. Photo credit: MassVacation.com
New Bedford working waterfront. Photo credit: MassVacation.com
A walk along the cobblestone William St.
Regarding restaurants, Freestones City Grill is phenomenal with a
charming, historic look and fabulous local seafood...
Freestones City Grill.
New Bedford Whaling Historical Park ranks up there with the most
historically appealing coastal districts in New England and all of
America, for that matter. Congress established the Whaling Historical
Park in 1996 to give visitors a living outdoor museum-like presentation
of whaling, the working waterfront, and the Underground Railroad (not a
railroad, but an undercover system to provide refuge for fugitives,
including Frederick Douglass, during the anti-slavery movement in the
1800s). It's all pretty fascinating and definitely worth a free, guided walking tour, which you should start your New Bedford visit with first.
Is New Bedford worth visiting? This
Along with Portland,
Maine's Port Exchange and Portsmouth,
N.H., the New Bedford Whaling District is my top choice for urban
historical preservation by the sea. I think you'll love walking
the charming streets, and connecting with coastal, urban New England.
That said, there are a few things you should know before vacationing in
New Bedford. The overall city has a high crime rate and you need to be
aware of your surroundings, especially at night. The city is a work in
progress, so you might find Portland and Portsmouth more complete and
consistently appealing in regards to a historical, urban New England vacation
experience. Many prefer a day trip to New Bedford, combining it with a vacation in Boston,
or Cape Cod.
Whether a vacation or day trip, the several blocks in the Whaling
District make New Bedford a must for anyone who loves the sea and has
an interest in historical travel.
Book a room in New Bedford at the lowest available rate
Diverse architecture in
the New Bedford Whaling District.
For more information on New Bedford
and the Whaling District, log onto http://destinationnewbedford.org/listing/new-bedford-whaling-national-historical-park/
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