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Destination New Bedford / Visitor Center

Welcome to the City's Waterfront Visitor Center

Dwontown Visitors center We're located on Fisherman's Wharf in the heart New Bedford's working waterfront. The Center is housed in the historic Wharfinger Building, also known to many a mariner as the "Old Fish Auction House" was erected in 1934-35 under the Work Projects Administration (WPA).

The Wharfinger Building was constructed as the new offices for the City Wharfinger, an official who collected wharfage fees and oversaw other shipping activities. The title "CITY WHARFINGER" is carved into the granite lintel above the building's east entrance. The building featured a fireplace in the Warming Room where women and children waited for steamships during winter months. Inside the Wharfinger BuildingFor many years, the Wharfinger Building was the site the port's fish auctions. Every morning, the 0700 bell would start the famous scallop auction, which attracted scores of fishing captains, vessel owners, processors, buyers and agents. Hauls & prices were jotted down on the massive blackboard. These brief but frenetic assemblies generally set the market price of seafood for the nation. These historic rooms have been recently restored. Today, the Wharfinger Building welcomes visitors from around the globe.

The newest feature of the Wharfinger Building is one of the oldest artifacts in the city collection. The whaling era William Street Bell is mounted on a harpoon on the east face of the building and rings Ship's Bells for mariners and visitors alike. Traditional marine weather flags are also hoisted daily on the building's mast.

Please drop in for a visit; check out this old port landmark and browse our wide assortment of information about the New Bedford area's many historical and cultural attractions. Don't forget to sign the city's official Whaling Crew Logbook! Or call our toll-free information line for weekly events: 800-508-5353.

Travel directions to the Waterfront Visitor Center:
Take I-195 to Exit 15 (Route 18 South - Downtown). At the second traffic light, take a LEFT (be in the left lane). Take a sharp LEFT onto MacArthur Drive. Take your next RIGHT onto Fisherman's Wharf (old City Pier #3). We'll have our code flags hoisted in your honor!

New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park Visitors CenterNew Bedford Whaling National Historic Park Visitor Center

Located just up the hill from the Waterfront, the National Park's Visitor Center is housed in the old NBIS bank building (1853) at the corner of William and Second Streets. The center is an excellent starting point from which to explore historic New Bedford. Rangers and volunteer staff will help orient you to what there is to see and do. For information on programs, events and walking tours: New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, 33 William Street, New Bedford, MA 02740. Tel. 508- 996-4095. Website: www.nps.gov/nebe

Travel directions& Parking: Take I-195 to Exit 15 (Route 18 South - Downtown). At the traffic light, turn RIGHT. Proceed 500 feet up Elm Street. The city's Elm Street Parking Garage is on your RIGHT. Vehicle height limit: 6'3". Parking is also available at the Custom House Square Parking Lot. The National Park Visitor Center is located diagonally across the street from the Custom House.

Town of Fairhaven Visitor CenterTown of Fairhaven Visitor Center

As its name implies, the beautiful town of Fairhaven, located on the eastern shores of our harbor, offers visitors many things to see and do. The town center features exquisite 19th century public buildings and churches. Fairhaven's Tourism Office offers regular free walking tours of the center of town as well as tours of Fort Phoenix, its Revolutionary War era fort, which guards the entrance to New Bedford Harbor. For information on the town's attractions, tours and visitor services, contact the Town of Fairhaven Office of Tourism: http://hometown.aol.com/fairhaventours/

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