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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
Closed 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 111 reviews
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  • 69
    Excellent
  • 29
    Very good
  • 7
    Average
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    Poor
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    Terrible
A gem of history & seafaring....

Free walking tours are excellent; different venues depending on the day: the waterfront, the underground railroad, whaling history, & more. The Center has a great orientation... read more

Reviewed 3 days ago
jovi1947
,
South Dartmouth, Massachusetts
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111 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 108: English reviews
South Dartmouth, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
120 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Free walking tours are excellent; different venues depending on the day: the waterfront, the underground railroad, whaling history, & more. The Center has a great orientation video in a comfortable theatre. The Rangers are welcoming & very helpful with info, maps, brochures. There's a shop of interesting items related to the local scene as well. And...it's centrally located with easy... More 

Helpful?
Thank jovi1947
Westport MA USA
Level Contributor
140 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Thankfully a group of young and thoughtful New Bedford residents saw what was being demolished in the city and organized to slow the destruction, saving countless historic buildings and they have gradually been restored and there is an amazing collection of homes, homes converted to offices, businesses and of course the Seaman's Bethel, The Whaling Museum.. now staffed by National... More 

Helpful?
Thank pearlyww
Mattapoisett, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
33 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 April 2017

New Bedford is the place to go if you want an education in early American history regarding the whaling industry that provided lighting in homes of early Americans.

Helpful?
Thank dieterhk2015
Level Contributor
30 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 January 2017 via mobile

A fantastic staring point to understand all the historic points of interest in the Historic Whaling Capital. The historic background helps any visitor understand the scope of the Whaling industry, from self read displays to a movie presentation.

Helpful?
Thank Jeanette R
Naperville, Illinois
Level Contributor
619 reviews
251 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 219 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 January 2017

A great museum and National Park dedicated to the whaling industry that dominated the area in the 1800s. There are quite a few exhibits and a movie that shows how difficult life was on a whaling ship. There are Ranger led tours of the town if you have the time. Glad we stopped!

Helpful?
Thank mja1982
Brockton, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
57 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 January 2017

The buildings that make up the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park are all stunning. Whether it be where the NPS is located, the museum, Seamen's Bethel, etc. Each site is unique but are all tied together by a common connection to the whaling industry. The Bethel and homes are only open certain times of year so do plan accordingly.... More 

Helpful?
Thank Kurt T
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level Contributor
95 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 January 2017

I took the kids on a three week road trip and as we had just listened to Moby Dick in the van on the way out, we naturally wanted to see the NB Whaling National Historical Park. It did not disappoint. If you have school-age kids, be sure to get the Junior Ranger booklet at the Visitor Center when you... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank Laura W
New Bedford, MA
Level Contributor
21 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 December 2016

This museum has so many rooms and they keep adding. They just open a new section. There are whale sceletons hanging from the ceiling. They change from time to time so you can always go back. It is a well done museum

Helpful?
Thank Kathleen829
Bethesda, Maryland
Level Contributor
740 reviews
245 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 181 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 November 2016 via mobile

Great place to start your tour of area. It is housed in a great old building with modern addition. Nice selection of historic photographs, and whaling timeline. There is a movie you can watch, or just wander and take in exhibits. Don't forget to get your stamp for you NPS passport book!

Helpful?
Thank Sheryl B
San Jose, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 5 November 2016 via mobile

Very well presented museum with all the historical whaling maritime history and information you could want. Really impressive skeletons of Blue, Humpback, Right and Sperm whales. Biggest scrimshaw collection we have ever seen and top it off with a half-size scale model of a whaling ship you can actually board an walk around on!

Helpful?
1 Thank Steven W

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