Greater New Bedford: Acushnet, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, New Bedford, Westport

You'll fall in love with Greater New Bedford!

Greater New Bedford, a.k.a the SouthCoast, is located on the mainland side of Buzzards Bay. The SouthCoast offers vacationers countless outdoor activities and magnificent scenery.

But we've got culture, too! You'll find the city of New Bedford's urban rennasaince is echoed across the entire region as the SouthCoast Art Community prospers and the New Bedford Downtown area celebrates being named a Cultural District.

New Bedford gained world-wide fame as the "Whaling City" and "The City that Lit the World." We invite you to relish its many historical and maritime attractions including an urban National Park and the renowned New Bedford Whaling Museum, the largest museum in America devoted to the history of the American whaling industry. Climb aboard the Lagoda, the world’s largest ship model, see articulated whale skeletons and view some of the finest maritime paintings and scrimshaw in the world.

In the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park. Park rangers offer walking tours of downtown’s historic district including the Seamen’s Bethel, a 28-room Greek Revival mansion of Herman Melville's Moby-Dick fame. Since 1834, the Seamen's Bethel has served as a memorial to whalemen and fishermen who have lost their lives at sea. Along County Street, whaling-era mansions such as the Rotch-Jones-Duff House & Garden Museum transports visitors back to when New Bedford was the richest city in America.

Today, visitors enjoy seeing an authentic seaport and walking along a real working waterfront since New Bedord is America's #1 fishing port (based on the dollar value of the landed catch). That's because New Bedford scallops are prized all over the world, commanding the highest price per pound! Our advice? Don't leave this area without trying a mouth-watering scallop dish prepared by one of the area's many great chefs.

The people of New Bedford celebrate one festival after another. Some favorites are the New Bedford Folk Festival, the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament (the largest Portuguese cultural celebration in the nation) , the Working Waterfront Festival and AHA Night (Art, History & Architecture), which is a city-wide celebration the happens the second Thursday evening of every Month.

The towns of Dartmouth and Westport, with their sprawling seaside farms and spectacular rural scenery, are home to many productive farms with fields open to the rivers that are surrounded by fieldstone walls. The landscape is simply stunning.

In Dartmouth, the coastal village of Padanaram is known for its excellent sailing and seaside charm. The village offers many unique shops, galleries and restaurants. There are wonderful inland places to explore such as the Cornell Farm and the wonderful walking trails preserved by the Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust.

Many people know Westport as the location of Horseneck Beach State Reservation and travel there directly on Rte. 88. While that is faster, you'll miss many of the charms and historical qualities of this seacoast town. One of them is Westport Rivers Vineyard & Winery, a popular stop on the Coastal Wine Trail.

For those who love the outdoors, Horseneck Beach State Reservation has fishing, birding, camping, wind surfing, biking along with walking and hiking trails.

In Fairhaven, the Fairhaven Visitors Center is a great first stop if you want to understand why this town has so many magnificent buildings tucked away in its charming town center. At the Whitfield-Manjiro Friendship House and Museum, you'll also learn how a Fairhaven sea caption rescued and brought back to U.S. the first Japanese person to ever live in America.

Close by is Fort Phoenix, where you can see where the first naval battle of the Revolutionary War was fought. The adjacent park at Fort Phoenix State Beach has swimming, a playground and charcoal grills for picnicking. Another place to swim on Buzzards Bay is Town Beach on West Island which offers great swimming (best at high tide). Take a nature walk to see the estuaries and birds on the uninhabited back-side of the island.

Acushnet is a residential community with many working farms. Labor Day weekend brings the popular Apple-Peach Festival at Long Plain Museum where Acushnet’s growers, artisans, and Historical Society welcome visitors from far and wide.

Additional Information

For additional information on businesses in the Greater New Bedford area, please contact the New Bedford Chamber of Commerce.

Arts & Attractions