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33 William Street
New Bedford, MA 02740
(508) 996-4095
Jennifer Smith, Executive Director

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New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park 


The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the national park system for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.

Established on November 12, 1996, New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park serves as a model for collaborative partnerships in the National Park Service.  Located in the urban setting of downtown New Bedford that spans over 13 city blocks, the park and its partners preserve, protect, and interpret the cultural resources associated with the history of the 19th-20th century whaling industry.  The park is more than whaling as it includes stories of global immigration, Underground Railroad, women's history, cultural diversity, architecture, art, and their relevance to current topics.  From the park's Belgian-blocked lined street to the Artist-in-Residence, ranger programs and volunteer opportunities, there are hundred of ways to Find Your Park in the "City that Lit the World."

Artist in Resident (AIR): The National Park Service has hosted Artists in Residence programs at various sites for over 50 years. We believe art should be accessible to all people and we encourage our resident artists to look at New Bedford as a source of inspiration for their work. The park boasts an artist studio and MakerSpace on the second floor of the Corson Building, which is connected to the park’s main Visitor Center.


Volunteer-In-Parks (VIP's): For more than 25 years, volunteers have been one of the park’s most valuable resources. By volunteering at our park, volunteers become part of a larger community. Volunteers can help the park in a variety of ways, from enhancing visitor experiences to sharing your specialized expertise to help protect park resources.

Transportation may be available on a case by case basis.  

Something Fishy Summer Camp: In partnership with the Fishing Heritage Center, the national park hosts a free camp for rising fourth graders each summer. Designed to give students an introduction to the history and culture of the work port from whaling days to present. Camp activities include hands-on marine science, arts and craft projects, fieldtrips, chantey singing, squid dissection, and more!

Hours of Operation
April through December: Wednesday-Sunday, 10am-4pm
January through March: Thursday-Sunday, 10am-4pm
Closed for Thanksgiving, December 25 and New Year's Day.
NOTE: Please check our partner websites for operation hours and seasons or download
Downtown New Bedford Inc's Visitor Guide. 

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