"…Nowhere in all America will you find more patrician-like houses; parks and gardens more opulent, than in New Bedford." (-Herman Melville) Read Guide >
New Bedford, MA is a charming sea town decorated with beautiful coastlines, public parks, and beaches. The town was founded in 1787 and has a rich and celebrated history. New Bedford is the sixth largest city in Massachusetts, and is often still referred to as "The Whaling City," recalling its past as the most important whaling port in the world. The city has been home to many famous people throughout its history, most notably the abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who settled here in 1838. A historic building and monument stand in his honor today.
Homes in New Bedford are highly affordable. Average price varies quite a bit, depending on size and location, but compared to other cities, one bedroom apartments in New Bedford are downright cheap. Even four bedroom rentals won't break the bank, though utilities are not typically included. Do keep that in mind as you shop--Massachusetts winters aren't exactly mild.
If you're an animal enthusiast, you'll be happy to hear that there are plenty of pet-friendly apartments in New Bedford. The many public parks and beaches offer space for your four-legged friends to roam, as well.
New Bedford has begun to develop a bit of bad rap because of local news coverage of gang activity in the city. But the reality is that most cities have problem areas, and New Bedford is no exception. So unless you plan on joining a gang as a way of making new friends, the impact they are likely to have on your life is very small, if noticeable at all. That isn't to say there's no crime in New Bedford, just that its reputation is a bit undeserved (hey, now that the Sox have won the world series a few times, the local news needs to find some way to make things entertaining!).
New Bedford's unemployment rate is currently higher than the state average. The city historically relied upon fishing and manufacturing for employment, and while the fishing fleet is still the highest grossing in the country, economic times have moved many of the manufacturing jobs overseas. There are not a lot of employment opportunities in New Bedford itself, though the city is within an easy commute to both Providence, RI and Boston. Though slowly improving, the employment factor is something to keep in mind when scoping out where in the city you wish to live.
All in all, New Bedford is on the upswing. Crime has been decreasing and businesses are relocating to the downtown New Bedford area. So while jobs are not as available as they are in other cities, their availability is steadily improving, as is the city's outlook as a whole.
West End/Country Street Historic District: This area might be one of the nicest in the city. At one point in history, the wealthy whaling captains made their homes here, meaning that you'll find homes that are practically palatial. Due to the current housing market, these sprawling homes can be had at very affordable prices. Many of them have been converted into duplexes and condos, making them even more affordable. West End is within walking distance of downtown and has very low crime rates. $$
Buttonwood: Well, darn it we'll just say it, this neighborhood is "cute as a button." It surrounds Buttonwood Park and is a picturesque, quiet place to live in. The park is large enough for your pup to run himself ragged, and downtown is only a few minutes away. $$
Far North End: This area has a very suburban feel, with a low crime rate and decent schools. How awesome is that? Far North End is known throughout New Bedford for its beauty. $$
Rodney French: If you're looking for apartments for rent in New Bedford that have incredible views and easy access to the beaches, you should look in the Rodney French area. This neighborhood sits right on the waterfront. The price ranges here are a little higher, but it's worth it to have spectacular views and the beach practically at your front step. $$$
Downtown: If what you really want is a cape-town experience, consider living downtown. There are apartments and condos everywhere, with more being built all the time. The downtown area is charming, safe and packed full of activities, restaurants, and novelty shops. $$
New Bedford has an incredibly rich history and culture. It has one of the largest concentrations of Portuguese-American communities in the nation, and the festivals and activities provide much of the cultural experiences that the people of New Bedford love. The city has an art museum, dozens of art galleries, and specialty stores and historical museums, as well. The parks are beautifully maintained and open to the public. Don't forget to check out the Buttonwood Zoo, located in Buttonwood Park, either. The zoo was designed by the most famous landscape architect in the world, the very same Frederick Law Olmstead who designed New York's Central Park.
New Bedford is the perfect place to live if you love the ocean and don't want to have to drive for hours just to get to the beach. The food in New Bedford is some of the best in the country, thanks to the easy access to fresh – we're talking plucked-straight-from-the-Atlantic fresh -- seafood. If what you want is history, seaside charm, and a small-town feel, New Bedford is the place for you.
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