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New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park

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Address: 33 William St, New Bedford, MA 02740-6222
Phone Number: +1 508-996-4095
Website
Today
09:00 - 17:00
Open now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 09:00 - 17:00
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Description:

New Bedford was the mid 19th century's preeminent whaling port and for a...

New Bedford was the mid 19th century's preeminent whaling port and for a time the richest city in the world. Whaling, a leading 19th century enterprise, contributed to America's economic and political vitality.

New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park helps to preserve, protect, and interpret certain districts, structures, and artifacts that are associated with the history of whaling and related social, economic, and environmental themes for the benefit and inspiration of this and future generations. The park encompasses 34 acres spread over 13 city blocks and includes the New Bedford Whaling Museum, the Seamen's Bethel, the schooner Ernestina, and the Rotch-Jones-Duff House and Garden Museum. These efforts will be undertaken in partnership with the city of New Bedford, local and regional institutions, and the Inupiat Heritage Center in Barrow, Alaska.

Address is for the National Park Visitor Center.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 103 reviews
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  • 63
    Excellent
  • 27
    Very good
  • 7
    Average
  • 2
    Poor
  • 1
    Terrible
Very interesting visitor center and great walking tours!

Definitely worth a visit! There are some good exhibits and an interesting film on New Bedford (only ~17 min. long) which helped us understand the history. The highlight on our... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 22 August 2016
GeorgiaLucy41
,
Plymouth, Massachusetts
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103 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 100: English reviews
Plymouth, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
69 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 August 2016

Definitely worth a visit! There are some good exhibits and an interesting film on New Bedford (only ~17 min. long) which helped us understand the history. The highlight on our visit was the guided walking tours (free) - one centered around whaling and the other on the underground railroad - both guides were great (knowledgeable and personable)!

Helpful?
1 Thank GeorgiaLucy41
NJ
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 August 2016 via mobile

It should be against the law to call this a historic park. The whaling museum is very good, the town is a dump. A few restaurants very few shops , empty buildings , dirty streets all historic sites " under construction ". We drove to Fall River to the Lizzy Borden house and took a tour ( very nice) just... More 

Helpful?
Thank Kingfun8
Michigan
Level Contributor
208 reviews
115 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 August 2016 via mobile

This national historic monument has a lot going on. Start at the visitor center and go from there. They have several walking tours. We did one on the underground railroad that was great. Lots of information on whaling industry. You can easily spend a whole day. Good restaurants in the area.

Helpful?
1 Thank DGoat
Trumbull, Connecticut
Level Contributor
89 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2016 via mobile

We stopped here to get our national park passport signed. When we arrived several Rangers were handing our national park surveys. They informed us that we missed the tours and there weren't any other tours scheduled for the rest of the day. This was disappointing since the national park extends into the town. We couldn't understand why tours weren't based... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank traveler33951
Erie, Colorado
Level Contributor
124 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 August 2016 via mobile

So much wonderful history of the whaling industry and early settlers who risked life & limb. The artwork & artifacts are jaw dropping amazing. Our children are 10 & 12 yrs old. They also enjoyed it, but grew impatient with us. The observation deck allowed us a wonderful view of New Bedford Harbor and is how we selected the Rose... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank momof2wildchilds
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
686 reviews
515 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 307 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 July 2016

Interesting 20-minute movie. Wonderful displays in the Visitor Center. Fun Junior Ranger program. Helpful Rangers.

Helpful?
Thank jbwhitehouse
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
1,261 reviews
629 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 474 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 July 2016

The whole of historic downtown New Bedford is actually a national historical park. The rangers love their town and will give you a great tour of this lovely, unique slice of Americana. Well worth your time!

Helpful?
Thank ThePackedBag
New Bedford, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
26 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 July 2016

The street are brick giving the look of old New Bedford during the Whaling days. there lot of art museums and gift shop. during the summer there lots of different festival.Lots of old buildings and restaurants in the area.

Helpful?
Thank James G
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
72 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 July 2016

we came for the awesome history, we had some canoes on top soo our clearance made it so we could not fit into the parking garage, $2 to pay the metter, no feeding the metter, that is a $25 fine, with the meter man right there!!! No time to enjoy, wander, just a the stress of get on out, disaponting... More 

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Thank Carla Z
Level Contributor
337 reviews
132 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 July 2016 via mobile

I was pleasantly surprised by how many neat historic sites were part of the downtown area. We were able to walk by or in all the sites and see a lot without paying any entrance fees. We skipped the museum, but went in for the bathrooms and gift shop-while inside we were able to see the gigantic whale skeletons. Take... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank LW8415

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