New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park

There’s a reason Moby Dick is a classic.

Man’s fascination with the largest creature on earth centers on our ageless struggle to tame nature and harvest its vast riches.

Whale blubber, oil, meat, and bone have been prized since the first prehistoric man stumbled across a giant beast washed up on the shore. The whaling industry in America reached its apex in the mid-19th century, when much of New England owed its economy to the exceedingly dangerous and profitable practice.

New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park traces the impact of the industry that once made this little hamlet the “richest city in the world.” The entire town is a museum to whaling, with cobblestone streets, parks, churches, storefronts, docks, and boats that date to its whaling heyday.

The museum to whaling is the largest the world, with exhibits that detail the often harrowing effort required to harvest the world’s largest mammal. Discover how whaling brought cultures together and contributed to advances in manufacturing, shipping, transportation, and even health care.

Tour Rotch-Jones-Duff House and Garden, a museum to the elegant lifestyle whaling enabled. Visit Seamen’s Bethel, a memorial to the many whalers lost at sea and the inspiration for Whalemen’s Chapel in Melville’s classic tale.

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