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New Bedford Whaling National Historic Park

New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park - BEST Massachusetts Places to Picnic

33 William Street
New Bedford, MA 02740

Visitor Information
(508) 996-4095

WELCOME to New Bedford Whaling National Historic Park

The City That Lit the World

New Bedford was the mid 19th century�s preeminent whaling port and for a time �the richest city in the world.� Come stroll down cobblestone streets, visit the world�s largest whaling museum, tour a whaling merchant�s home and whale-man's chapel, and walk a 19th century schooner�s decks. Walk in the footsteps of Herman Melville and Frederick Douglass and learn about a remarkable era.

Getting Started

Start your visit at the national park visitor center to get a brief orientation, view the park's official orientation film, The City that Lit the World, pick up maps and brochures, view exhibits and plan your day. 

Take a guided or self-guided tour to learn more about New Bedford's fascinating history, visit our partner institutions, attend special programs and events that take place in the park year round and explore the many shops, restaurants and galleries located in and around the park. 

Partner sites include the New Bedford Whaling Museum, Rotch-Jones-Duff House and Garden Museum, Seamen's Bethel, Waterfront Visitor Center and Schooner Ernestina.

New Bedford Whaling Museum

The New Bedford Whaling Museum is the world's preeminent whaling museum and houses special collections, long-term and changing exhibits, rare whale skeletons, a half-scale model of a whaling bark and much more...

Rotch-Jones-Duff House and Garden Museum

This 28 room Greek Revival mansion was built in 1834 and chronicles 150 years of economic, social and domestic life in New Bedford. The museum is open to the public and hosts house and garden tours, special exhibits annually, and an assortment of special events.

Seamen's Bethel

Known as the Whalemen's Chapel in Herman Melville's Moby-Dick, today the Seamen's Bethel serves as a memorial to whalemen and fishermen who have lost their lives at sea. The Bethel is open to the public Memorial Day through Columbus day.

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