April 30, 2013
It is spring in New Bedford and the South Coast! The tulips, peonies—and of course, daffodils—are in bloom, and the trees are blossoming. The birds are chirping and people are out on the green grass in short sleeves and sandals absorbing the sun’s vitamins. Spring also means there are many exciting things to do in New Bedford and the South Coast!
There are a number of events lined up as the weather gets warmer, including: the Spirit of St. Anthony Concert & Tea, with choir and organ music within a beautiful Romanesque church; AHA! Nights, when downtown comes to life; the Aviation Fun Day at the New Bedford Regional Airport, with lots of aeronautic activities for children and enthusiasts; and Taste of South Coast, a festival with local restaurants competing against each other for prizes.
Even if there is not any specific event happening, downtown New Bedford is always a fun place to be on a nice day. You can stroll the cobblestone streets reverberating with history, visit a number of diverse art galleries, do some shopping at unique downtown shops, and enjoy a meal at one of the many excellent downtown restaurants.
If you are seeking more action on your spring day, you could go for a bike ride—the South Coast has many scenic areas perfect for biking such as South Dartmouth. There is also a unique bike trail from Fairhaven to Mattapoisett on an old railroad line. In its 4.5 miles, the Phoenix-Mattapoisett Rail Trail passes through woodlands, salt marshes, farms, and commercial and residential areas.
Spring is a time of rebirth, reawakening, and rejuvenation. In spring, the abundance of natural beauty in the South Coast comes to life. There are many parks and reserves, as well as ecological organizations to help the community connect with nature.
The Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust (DNRT) has nature trails through acres and acres of pristine land open to the public, including: important wildlife habitats, farmlands, historic sites, wetlands, and more. At Slocum’s River Reserve, there is an area with sculptures called the Slocums River Project, which is a collaboration by the DNRT, UMass College of Visual and Performing Arts, The Trustees of Reservations, and the Gustin Gallery. The DNRT also has a trail running group, which meets Saturday mornings at 7 am at Destruction Brook Woods. Beginners and other new people are welcome to join.
If you are interested in trail hiking, live animals, interesting volunteer opportunities, or participating in educational, research, and outreach programs, visit the Lloyd Center for the Environment in Dartmouth! There is also an observation deck with a phenomenal view of the Demarest Lloyd State Park across the Slocums River, Cuttyhunk Island (and the rest of the Elizabeth Islands), and even Martha’s Vineyard on a clear day.
The New Bedford area, rich with local history, has several parks to enjoy on a sunny spring day. These are perfect for learning a bit of history, or simply going for a walk, taking in the day from a park bench, or flying a kite, or tossing a Frisbee around.
Located on Clark’s Point in New Bedford, Fort Taber and Fort Rodman form a historic military base and public park. The fort dates back to before the Civil War, and the park now boasts its own military museum and playground for kids, as well as the Clark’s Point Lighthouse. There’s also a pier with stereo binoculars to take in the park’s excellent view of Buzzards Bay and the Elizabeth Islands.
Fort Phoenix, a Revolutionary War-era fort in Fairhaven, has its own public park—the Fort Phoenix State Reservation. This area overlooking Buzzards Bay offers scenic views,beachfront, and recreational activities. History lovers will appreciate visiting this historic fort, which withstood an attack from the British in the American Revolution. They can also attend a historical encampment.
With its 97 acres of nature in New Bedford’s urban environment, Buttonwood Park is the largest and most visited public park in the city. Buttonwood has its own lake and arboretum, walking paths, ball fields, and playgrounds for the public’s recreation. There are also many historic monuments and memorials to explore, and don’t miss the animals at the park’s Zoo!
There are so many fun things to do in New Bedford and throughout the South Coast—the possibilities are endless. The New Bedford Travel Guide has started to provide a few suggested itineraries for day trips in the area. However, if you have something you think we’ve missed, or activities you’d like to share, you can create you own day trip and event page!
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