New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, New Bedford

4.6
National Park · Historic Site
Create an itinerary including New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park
New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park (NBWNHP) is a United States National Historical Park in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and is maintained by the National Park Service (NPS). The park commemorates the heritage of the world's preeminent whaling port during the nineteenth century.

Established in 1996, the park encompasses 34 acres (fourteen hectares) dispersed over thirteen city blocks. It includes a visitor center, the New Bedford National Historic Landmark District, the New Bedford Whaling Museum, the Seamen's Bethel, the schooner Ernestina, and the Rotch–Jones–Duff House and Garden Museum.

As a National Park, the NBWNHP is rather unusual in that the only properties owned by the NPS are the Visitor Center and the Corson Maritime Learning Center. Rather, the park is a historic district administered under a partnership between the NPS, the City of New Bedford and private building owners to preserve the historic landscapes, structures, and collections and promote research and educational programming associated with the history of whaling. The enabling legislation also established a formal affiliation with the Iñupiat Heritage Center in Utqiaġvik, Alaska, to commemorate the more than 2,000 whaling voyages from New Bedford to the Western Arctic. The city promotes visitation to the park through advertising that calls it "New England's real seaport", as opposed to Connecticut's Mystic Seaport Museum which is a collection of historic buildings and vessels moved from various other locations throughout the region.

Although the famed Whaleman Memorial (commonly called the "Whaleman's Statue") is not within the park's boundaries, it is located only two blocks beyond its western boundary at the corner of William and Pleasant Streets in front of the New Bedford Public Library.

To visit New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park on your trip to New Bedford, use our New Bedford route website.
Source
Improve this listing »
Create a full itinerary - for free!

New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
184 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • New Bedford Folk Festival held here every July for two days. The 25th Anniversary year is 2022. I have attended all but two of the festivals. There are seven outdoor venues and two air conditioned... 
    New Bedford Folk Festival held here every July for two days. The 25th Anniversary year is 2022. I have attended all but two of the festivals. There are seven outdoor venues and two air conditioned...  more »
  • Good to see the national park in action and doing well. The employees were friendly and competent. The movie is worth the time as is a visit to the Seamen's Bethel, and the Rotch House up the hill... 
    Good to see the national park in action and doing well. The employees were friendly and competent. The movie is worth the time as is a visit to the Seamen's Bethel, and the Rotch House up the hill...  more »
  • I should add, my Westport neighbor Captain Paul Cuffee, born on Cuttyhunk Island to his freed slave father, has a garden dedicated to him here. He ran a store in the corner brick building, attached.....  more
    I should add, my Westport neighbor Captain Paul Cuffee, born on Cuttyhunk Island to his freed slave father, has a garden dedicated to him here. He ran a store in the corner brick building, attached.....  more »
Google
  • Great museum to learn about an incredible history of New Bedford. The large skeletons of whales are eye catching for little ones. We enjoyed the spectrum of exhibits from the replica of a ship to the incredible modern art. Could come back many times to absorb the different pieces. I’d recommend coming for a few hours and then enjoying one of the many choices for food downtown. Where comfortable shoes as the historic cobblestone streets can catch you off guard.
  • Very nice Supermarket for the area. Clean well organized and very well laid out. The employees are very friendly and very attentive. Deli was spotless as is the meat and seafood department very well maintained. I was very impressed. Cashiers know everybody!
  • Historic downtown New Bedford is a real hidden gem that deserves more exposure. The cobblestone streets, quaint brick brick buildings, iron fences and gas lamps give it the feel of an urban version of Nantucket's town centre.
  • Love this place, New Bedford has amazing history!
  • Good for older kids and adults

Plan your trip to New Bedford

  • Get a personalized trip
    A full day by day itinerary based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it
    Choose from the best hotels and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place. Everyone on the same page.