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Destination New Bedford, MA

by JonPharr

Nestled along the picturesque shores of the Atlantic, the city of New Bedford, Massachusetts, is a charming seaport city that seamlessly weaves together its rich maritime history, vibrant culture, and burgeoning food scene. As you stroll along the cobblestone streets and breathe in the salty sea air, you’ll find yourself immersed in a tapestry of flavors, traditions, and stories that make this small coastal city a “see-worthy” destination for food, history, and art enthusiasts alike.

Historic Maritime Legacy

Once hailed as the “Whaling City,” New Bedford’s maritime history is deeply etched into the city’s identity. The New Bedford Whaling Museum, New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center, and the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park stand as testaments to the city’s maritime legacy, offering visitors a comprehensive view of the whaling history, fishing heritage, and cultural influences that have left a mark on the local culture and cuisine.

From Sea to Table

Options abound for indulging in the seafood that has established the city as the #1 Fishing Port in America. Along the city’s bustling waterfront, you’ll see fleets of commercial fishing vessels bringing in the freshest catch of the day, a highlight on local menus from casual sea-side shacks to fine dining establishments. Don’t miss the chance to savor New Bedford’s famous scallops and, of course, no New England trip is complete without enjoying a cup of clam chowder.

With a focus on sustainable seafood, Union Flats Seafood Co. is dedicated to only using fresh, in-season, and locally sourced seafood, produce, and meats. By utilizing seafood that is native to the waters just off the coast of New Bedford and available in abundance, Union Flats delivers on its mission of sustainability.

Global Influences

New Bedford’s rich cultural tapestry is evident in the diversity of its culinary scene. The city offers a surprising array of international flavors in family-owned eateries serving cultural cuisine passed down through generations. New Bedford’s restaurant scene is home to vibrant Mexican taquerias, authentic Cape Verdean kitchens, boutique sushi bars, an assortment of Central American cuisine, and Portuguese churrascarias. New Bedford has one of the largest populations of Portuguese descent in the United States and presents the largest Portuguese festival in the world, the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament, where you’ll find traditional dishes like bacalhau (salted cod) and malassadas (Portuguese donuts).

Culture Beyond the Plate

While food is a major highlight of the city, New Bedford has so much more to explore beyond the plate. Take a “see-worthy” walk through the Seaport Cultural District in historic downtown where 19th-century architecture lines the cobblestone streets. Visit the Seamen’s Bethel, famously depicted in Herman Melville’s novel Moby-Dick. New Bedford’s creative spirit shines as you discover art galleries and museums, festivals for every season, and public art throughout the city. A visit to Abolition Row Park provides a glimpse into New Bedford’s role in the Underground Railroad. Fort Taber Park transports you to the past with the remnants of a Civil War-era fort and military history museum.

For those seeking natural beauty, New Bedford does not disappoint. The city’s beaches offer a serene escape while a walk around Buttonwood Park Zoo, named one of the finest small zoos in America, is the perfect leisurely stroll for the family. Watch the sunset along New Bedford’s harbor with a walk on the Blue Lane or take a harbor cruise with New Bedford Harbor Tours.

There are so many reasons to escape to this charming city by the sea. Visit New Bedford and you’ll discover why the “City that Lit the World” continues to warm the hearts of locals and visitors alike.

Visit us at www.destinationnewbedford.org/

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