New Bedford is a seaside city in southeastern Massachusetts. Its rich history is tied to the whaling industry of the 18th and 19th centuries. Once the richest city on the eastern seaboard, the local economy of New Bedford has shifted to encompass other businesses, but fishing still remains a major staple for many of the city's... Show all »
New Bedford is a seaside city in southeastern Massachusetts. Its rich history is tied to the whaling industry of the 18th and 19th centuries. Once the richest city on the eastern seaboard, the local economy of New Bedford has shifted to encompass other businesses, but fishing still remains a major staple for many of the city's residents. Tourism and retail also comprise a significant focus and city showcases its history to visitors.
New Bedford has revitalized the downtown area and has added more restaurants, museums and attractions. Among the sites in the area is the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park. Created in 1996, the park covers 34 acres spread over 13 city blocks and includes a visitor center, the New Bedford Whaling Museum, the Seamens Bethel, the schooner Ernestina and the Rotch-Jones-Duff House and Garden Museum.
The legacy of those who made their fortunes in whaling is seen in the stately old Victorian homes in Downtown New Bedford. Many of these homes have been converted to professional offices or multi-family houses, and include the striking architectural details of the period, including ornate woodwork and widow's walks on the roof. This downtown area near the waterfront is also the main commercial district of the city and features restaurants, banks, small mom and pop stores, as well as larger chain and department stores and offices.
Additionally, the New Bedford Industrial Park contains larger businesses, many in the high-tech field. New Bedford was recently named one of the top ten "Green Cities" in the country so recreation abounds in New Bedford at places like the Buttonwood Park Zoo. The zoo provides a habitat for a wide variety of exotic and domestic wildlife and is an attractive place to walk, picnic or paddleboat. New Bedford boasts large, public beaches, with plenty of inlands for boating and sailing. A bike path loops by Fort Taber, which overlooks Clarks Cove and Buzzards Bay and runs by both the east and west beaches.
This eclectic and diverse city of 100,000 residents offers a variety of municipal services such as a large public school system comprised of twenty-three public elementary schools, three junior high schools and two high schools as well as several private schools and a new charter school. Though anything one could need may be found within New Bedford, the city is conveniently located in proximity to the larger cities of Boston and Providence. Major highways connect New Bedford to other cities and towns and to the popular summer destinations of nearby Cape Cod just across Buzzard's Bay. Additionally, New Bedford also has its own airport.