We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Want the lowest hotel prices? You're in the right place. We check 200+ sites for you.

New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park

Certificate of Excellence
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
Address: 33 William St, New Bedford, MA 02740-6222
Phone Number:
09:00 - 17:00
Open now
See all hours
Sun - Sat 09:00 - 17:00
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours

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.

read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 108 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 67
  • 28
    Very good
  • 7
  • 2
  • 1
Unexpected Historical Information

On a visit to relatives we discovered this treasure! A fee walking tour of historic New Bedford. This is where "Moby Dick" begins and where Frederick Douglass began his freedom... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 16 October 2016
Patty P
via mobile
Add Photo Write a Review

108 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Showing 105: English reviews
Level Contributor
21 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 October 2016 via mobile

On a visit to relatives we discovered this treasure! A fee walking tour of historic New Bedford. This is where "Moby Dick" begins and where Frederick Douglass began his freedom. So much great info! Wonderfully enthusiastic guide, Judy. So much history!!

Thank Patty P
Canandaigua, New York
Level Contributor
36 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 October 2016

Provides insights into the nature and history of the whaling industry and New Bedford. It is a wonderful introduction into the world which inspired America's great epic, Mody-Dick. We took a tour which was lead by a guide who personalized and helped the history come alive. Ir also served as a great introduction to the Whaling Museum that is part... More 

1 Thank John D
Bengaluru, India
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 September 2016

This is a great place to spend few hours. Loads of info for kids and adults, who are interested in marine life. They have huge whale skeleton hanging from the roof at the entrance, which is super cool!

Thank JsLekha
Englewood, Florida
Level Contributor
148 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 September 2016

If your in the New Bedford area this is a must stop to get great information on the early Whaling industry. If not just take a few pictures...

Thank rojoe
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Level Contributor
106 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 August 2016

Terrific information about whaling industry, and the effects it had on the area, including information about how New Bedford had to reinvent itself after the industry died. Lots of great information about different types of whales, including whale skeletons. Interesting short film about the area.

1 Thank Pamela S
Plymouth, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
80 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 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)!

1 Thank GeorgiaLucy41
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 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 

Thank Kingfun8
Level Contributor
230 reviews
121 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 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.

1 Thank DGoat
Trumbull, Connecticut
Level Contributor
89 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 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 

1 Thank traveler33951
Erie, Colorado
Level Contributor
124 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 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 

1 Thank momof2wildchilds

Travellers who viewed New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park also viewed


Been to New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?