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So Much is See-Worthy in New Bedford

Buttonwood Park Zoo
Strolling through Buttonwood Park Zoo in New Bedford
New Bedford Harbor Hotel
Relaxing in the lobby of the New Bedford Harbor Hotel
What to do in New Bedford
Charming cobblestone streets in New Bedford
New Bedford Whaling Museum
Ahoy, matey! Don't miss the New Bedford Whaling Museum. 
New Bedford Whaling Museum
Is it too cliche if I say, "A whale of a time"? 
DNB Burgers New Bedford
This burger. Oh my god. 
Tia Maria's European Cafe
Tia Maria's is a great place to relax with a coffee! 

New Bedford art walk
Art is everywhere in New Bedford
Tails and Taps Buttonwood Park Zoo
Tails & Taps at Buttonwood Park Zoo
So much is see-worthy in New Bedford! 

You think you know a place. 

I thought I knew New Bedford. Southcoast town, whaling history, commercial fishing, yeah, yeah, I got it. And sure, that's all true, but New Bedford is more - a lot more. It's a city where art and artists aren't just welcomed - they're omnipresent. Murals and statues line the downtown (as do ever-changing exhibits). Music fills the street and seeps out of bars. Performances and concerts are a part of life, and food - how did it take me this long to get to the food? - reflects the town's fishing heritage in intriguing new ways. A short drive from Boston, it's the perfect place for a weekend getaway, or the perfect stopover on your way to Nantucket or Martha's Vineyard. 

Where to Stay:

New Bedford Harbor Hotel: This chic hotel is in the heart of downtown (walking distance to so many shops, restaurants and the waterfront). On the Friday we visited, they hosted a truly funky band playing in the lobby/bar - it was a blast to just walk downstairs for our entertainment! (222 Union Street; @nbhhotel)

Where to Eat:

The Black Whale: Located right on New Bedford's working waterfront, The Black Whale boasts a large menu of favorites (lobster rolls, fish & chips, Portuguese clams), as well as innovative dishes, all of which celebrate New Bedford's fisherman, catch, and culture. (106 MacArthur Drive; @theblackwhale)

Tia Maria's European Cafe: This charming cafe, located on a picturesque cobblestone street, serves breakfast & lunch, as well as dinner on Fridays and Saturdays. It's a super friendly place (I watched them greet numerous locals by name), with homemade desserts and a menu full of delicious items. Try the Shrimp Mozambique or the Chouriço Bombeiro! (42 N. Water Street; @tiamariascafe)

Cork Wine & Tapas: Mr. TBF & I agreed that we ate the best scallops of our lives at Cork Wine & Tapas. Chef Nicholas literally took scallops fresh off the boat down the street and seared them just-so. This was after the local cheeses and honey and killer wine selection. Location-wise, Cork is a great place to post up and people-watch. (90 Front Street; @corkwineandtapas)

DNB Burgers: Burgers and fries - is anything better? Well, yes. I see your fries and raise you poutine. And a delightfully messy, juicy, fresh burger that will cure whatever ails you. Great for brunch after a night out, lunch before a long walk, or dinner - to power you up for the rest of the night. (22 Elm Street, @dnb_burgers)

What to Do:

Buttonwood Park Zoo: Named one of the finest small zoos in the country, Buttonwood Park Zoo is a real treat. We visited during their Tails and Taps event but they have a full calendar of programs for all ages! My favorites: the elephants and the fennec fox. (425 Hawthorn Street; @buttonwoodparkzoo)

The Waterfront: Talk about eating local - New Bedford's commercial fishing industry is front and center along the waterfront. Check out the fisherman hard at work, and keep an eye on where those fish are going - likely to some of the restaurants right across the street! Also: Did you know you can grab a ferry from New Bedford to the Vineyard, Nantucket or Cuttyhunk? (Waterfront; @portofnewbedford)

Whaling Museum: You might have heard that New Bedford was once a whaling hotspot; the Whaling Museum does recount those times, but also has a deep focus on whale preservation and ecology. Be sure to climb aboard the recreation of a whaling ship and set free your inner Sea Captain! (18 Johnny Cake Hill; @whalingmuseum

Fort Taber & Beaches: A stroll around Ft. Taber not only gives you a great sense of history, you can also enjoy the beautiful ocean views. This is a delightful place for a picnic in the summer! (1000 Rodney French Blvd)

Art Walk / City Murals: The Seaport Art Walk just finished hosting "Wind", and an exciting new exhibit is just around the corner. In the meantime, grab a coffee and stroll to to view the incredible murals all around downtown. 

Festivals & Events: There are so many events and activities coming up - like a holiday stroll and tree lighting next weekend! Make sure to check out all the upcoming events around town. (@destnewbedford)

Where to Shop:

The Landing Co.: Unique gifts, handcrafted items from local artists and everything you need to celebrate your visit to New Bedford! (98 Front Street; @thelanding)

Brothers Artisanal:  Hand-crafted jerky by award winning chefs - need I say more? Trust me when I say this makes a fantastic gift, and REALLY trust me when I say you need to go hang out at their shop, complete with games, a kids room, awesome graffiti art, and draft beers. (11 William Street; @brothersartisinal

Calico: Where all the cool girls in town shop, Calico has a broad selection of hip items to wear on your night out - or just cruising around town. The ultra-friendly staff is just icing on a very sophisticated cake. (173 Union Street; @shopcalico)

This post is sponsored by Destination New Bedford. Opinions and recommendations are my own. 

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