New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park

33 William Street

New Bedford, MA 02740

(508) 996-4095

Jennifer Smith, Executive Director


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."

Something Fishy Summer Camp: New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park and the Working Waterfront Festival team up every year to offer 2 one-week summer camp programs for New Bedford children ages 9-10.  Designed to give kids an introduction to the history and culture of the working port from whaling days to the present, camp activities will include: hands-on marine science, arts and crafts, daily field trips, chantey singing and more.  

Park Stewards Program: The Park Stewards program gives teachers and students the opportunity to participate in meaningful and educational hands-on experiences in national parks.  By encouraging high school students to develop strong connections with the outdoors and cultural history, the Park Stewards program helps to ensure that our parks will continue to be protected and preserved by future generations of park stewards.  

Artist in Resident (AIR): The National Park Service has hosted Artist-in-Residence programs at its sites for over 45 years with the goal of engaging visitors to understand each park in new and deeply relevant ways.   New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park is debuting its newly redesigned Corson Makerspace in the Fall of 2018.  The creative space is located on the 2nd floor of the Corson Building in downtown New Bedford, MA.  

Volunteer-In-Parks (VIP's): For more than 20 years, volunteers have been valuable resources here at New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park for visitors and staff.  By volunteering here at our park, you become a part of a larger community.  You can help the park in a variety of ways from enhancing visitor experiences to sharing your specialized expertise to help protect and preserve park resources.  

Hours of Operation

Regular Hours: Monday-Sunday, 9am-5pm

Winter Hours: January 1, 2019-March 31, 2019

Mondays-Tuesdays: closed, Wednesday-Sunday: Open 9am-5pm

Holidays: Closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day 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. 

The GNBYA is a project of the

Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts.

©2019 by Greater New Bedford Youth Alliance. Proudly created with

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