Location: New Bedford Massachusetts is a coastal community located conveniently between Providence, Boston, and Cape Cod. New Bedford is the largest fishing port in the U.S. as measured by dollar earnings and also offers ferry services to Martha’s Vineyard. The Acushnet River is being restored to its former pristine condition and has already seen the return of a wide range of wildlife including swans, great blue herons, red winged blackbirds, and mallard ducks. The shore grasses of the river offer ideal nesting grounds.
History: The city of New Bedford was at one time the whaling capital of the world. In 1841 author Herman Mellvile sailed from this port on a whaling ship called the Acushnet and his experiences inspired the famous story of Moby Dick. The city was also a very important stop along the Underground Railroad and in 1838 became home to Frederick Douglass.
In 1846 the first mill for the manufacturing of cotton cloth was established. The number of mills soon grew to around 70 and employed tens of thousands of employees making New Bedford one of the largest producers of textiles and cotton yarns. Today there are fewer than 30 of these mills remaining including Whitman Mills, Wamsutta Mills, and Manomet Mills which have been restorated and converted into luxury loft style apartments.
Attractions: From the cobblestone streets of the downtown to the banks of the Acushnet River; New Bedford has a wide variety of attractions including museums, galleries, theaters, beaches, and restaurants.
The city is home to a world renowned Whaling Museum, the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center, the Ocean Explorium, and Buttonwood Park Zoo. Nearby beaches include East and West beach in New Bedford as well as Horseneck beach in nearby Westport.
New Bedford is home to the largest Portuguese cultural festival in the United States, the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament, which occurs during mid-summer. The city also hosts the AHA! arts festival which stands for Art, History and Architecture.