Welcome to New Bedford
During its heyday as a whaling port (1765–1860), New Bedford commanded as many as 400 whaling ships. This vast fleet brought home hundreds of thousands of barrels of whale oil for lighting America's lamps. Novelist Herman Melville worked on one of these ships for four years, and thus set his celebrated novel, Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, in New Bedford. Nowadays, the city center constitutes the New Bedford Whaling National Historic Park, which encompasses an excellent whaling museum, some other historic buildings and the gritty working waterfront. It's enough to occupy you for half a day (unless you're here for the marathon reading of Moby-Dick, in which case you'll be busy for at least 24 hours).