Nestled between Cape Cod and Rhode Island and just an hour from Boston, Bristol County encompasses two port cities rich in maritime and industrial heritage, charming seaside towns along Buzzards Bay, several wineries, and a major music venue.
KIDS RIDE FREE! From May 1 through October 31, cruise the calm waters to Martha’s Vineyard the easy way—aboard a luxurious Seastreak catamaran departing from New Bedford, Massachusetts. Cruises depart from 49 State Pier in New Bedford. Convenient and affordable parking is available at the Whale’s Tooth Parking Lot just off I-195 and 600 yards from the New Bedford terminal. Kids ride free all season long and adult tickets have been reduced. One-way tickets are only $34 and round-trip tickets are available for $68. Visit sestreak.com for reservations and more information.
New Bedford’s heyday as the capital of the 19th-century whaling industry is preserved by the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park and the New Bedford Whaling Museum. The Seamen's Bethel was featured in Herman Melville's Moby-Dick. The Rotch-Jones-Duff House, a Greek Revival Mansion, chronicles 50 years of economic, social and domestic life in New Bedford. Fall River’s Battleship Cove is the home port for the WWII battleship USS Massachusetts and five other naval vessels; the nearby Marine Museum features a one-ton model of the ill-fated Titanic. The Fall River Carousel has 48 steeds and two chariots in a splendid Victorian-style hippodrome. In Mansfield, the Tweeter Center for the Performing Arts presents jazz, folk, rock, and classical music. Seekonk Speedway’s NASCAR-sanctioned track packs a lot of excitement into its banked, 1/3-mile oval.
Check your calendar: if you’re planning to be in New Bedford on the second Thursday of any month, you’re in for a treat. The city’s museums, galleries, dance and theater groups, artists, and restaurants roll out the welcome mat for an evening of cultural happenings appropriately dubbed AHA!
The Lloyd Center for the Environment’s walking trails, which wind their way through forest, freshwater wetlands, salt marsh, and estuary, provide great views of Buzzards Bay, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket.
Running Brook Vineyards has just completed a new winery in North Dartmouth which offers tours and tastings of its fine still and sparkling wines. Also nearby is Westport Rivers Vineyard and Winery in Westport.
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