• Historic buildings and the waterfront in New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park

    New Bedford Whaling

    National Historical Park Massachusetts

Things To Do

A blue whale skeleton in the Jacobs Gallery of the New Bedford Whaling Museum
A 66-foot blue whale skeleton hangs from the ceiling in the Jacobs gallery of the New Bedford Whaling Museum.
Courtesy of the New Bedford Whaling Museum
Getting Started

Start your visit at the national park visitor center to get a brief orientation, view the park's official orientation film, The City that Lit the World, pick up maps and brochures, view exhibits and plan your day. Take a guided or self-guided tour to learn more about New Bedford's fascinating history, visit our partner institutions, attend special programs and events that take place in the park year round and explore the many shops, restaurants and galleries located in and around the park. Partner sites include the New Bedford Whaling Museum, Rotch-Jones-Duff House and Garden Museum, Seamen's Bethel, Waterfront Visitor Center and Schooner Ernestina.

Programs in the Park

The park and its partners offer a wide array of programs and activities year round. The programs and activities highlighted on this site focus on those related to the park's interpretive themes and offered by partners. We invite you to visit our partners and their websites to learn more about other programs and activities taking place in New Bedford.
Movie poster

See "The City that Lit the World" daily at the National Park Visitor Center

The City That Lit the World
The City that Lit the World is the official orientation film for New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park. The 22-minute movie introduces visitors to the city's role in the American whaling industry.

The movie is free of charge and shows daily at the top of every hour between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. in July and August (10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. the rest of the year) in the Corson Maritime Learning Center theater. The theater is equipped with an induction loop and assistive listening devices for the hearing impaired, Portuguese translation, and includes a handicap accessible seating area.

Did You Know?