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Things to know before moving to New Bedford, MA

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Nestled along the picturesque shores of Buzzard’s Bay, New Bedford boasts a rich maritime heritage and a vibrant cultural scene. This historic city, once a thriving whaling capital, has transformed into a delightful coastal community offering a unique blend of tradition and modernity.

With a population of around 100,000, New Bedford’s origins date back to the 17th century when it was founded as a whaling port. Today, the city proudly showcases its storied past through well-preserved landmarks and a deep-rooted connection to the sea.

Beyond its maritime legacy, New Bedford has blossomed into a vibrant community, boasting a thriving arts scene and a coastal lifestyle that harmoniously blends urban sophistication with natural beauty. If you’re considering moving to New Bedford, get ready to immerse yourself in a world of seaside charm, artistic vibrancy, and a welcoming atmosphere.

Affordable Cost Of Living

One of the major draws of moving to New Bedford is its relatively low cost of living compared to other cities in Massachusetts. The median home price in New Bedford hovers around $300,000, significantly lower than the state average. Additionally, basic living expenses like groceries, utilities (electricity, water, internet), and transportation costs tend to be more affordable, allowing residents to stretch their budget further.

Essentials like milk, produce, and everyday household items are reasonably priced. With lower housing costs and manageable prices for basic commodities, New Bedford offers an attractive option for those seeking an affordable lifestyle without compromising on quality of life. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer, a young family, or simply looking for a cost-effective place to call home, New Bedford’s affordability makes it an appealing choice.

Crime Rates In New Bedford

Like any city, New Bedford experiences some level of crime, but the rates have shown a declining trend in recent years. According to the FBI’s 2021 Crime in the United States report, New Bedford’s violent crime rate was 349.8 incidents per 100,000 residents, lower than the national average of 388.6.

However, the property crime rate stood at 2,535.1 incidents per 100,000, slightly higher than the national rate of 1,958.2. Despite these figures, by exercising caution and taking standard safety precautions, residents can generally feel secure in most neighborhoods. The city’s ongoing efforts to enhance community policing and crime prevention initiatives aim to further improve safety and quality of life for all residents.

Learning Opportunities

When it comes to education, New Bedford offers a range of options for students of all ages. The city’s public school system comprises over 20 elementary, middle, and high schools, providing a solid foundation for learning.

Additionally, several private and charter schools cater to families seeking alternative educational approaches. For higher education, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and Bristol Community College offer excellent academic programs and opportunities for personal growth. 

A Thriving Economic Hub

New Bedford’s economy is diverse, with opportunities across various industries. The city’s strong maritime heritage has paved the way for a robust seafood processing and distribution sector, employing many locals.

Additionally, the healthcare, manufacturing, and tourism industries contribute significantly to the local job market. With its strategic location and ongoing revitalization efforts, New Bedford continues to attract new businesses and investment, creating exciting employment prospects.

Best Neighborhoods

When it comes to finding the perfect neighborhood in New Bedford, you’ll be spoiled for choice. The West End, known for its historic charm and tree-lined streets, is a popular option for families and those seeking a quieter residential setting.

The Downtown area, with its lively cultural scene and trendy eateries, appeals to young professionals and urbanites. For those seeking a more suburban feel, the North End and the South End offer a blend of residential tranquility and convenient access to amenities.

Recreational Activities

From outdoor adventures to cultural pursuits, New Bedford offers a plethora of recreational activities to keep residents engaged and entertained. The city’s waterfront provides ample opportunities for boating, fishing, and enjoying scenic coastal walks along the Harborwalk.

Art enthusiasts can immerse themselves in the vibrant local arts scene, with galleries, theaters, and live music venues dotting the cityscape. Additionally, nearby parks and nature reserves, such as the Buttonwood Park Zoo and the Fort Taber Reserve, offer serene escapes for outdoor enthusiasts.

Healthcare Services

New Bedford residents enjoy access to a wide range of healthcare services within the city. The St. Luke’s Hospital, part of Southcoast Health, serves as the primary medical facility, offering emergency care, specialized treatments, and outpatient clinics.

Apart from that, several community health centers, such as Greater New Bedford Community Health Center and Seven Hills Behavioral Health, cater to various medical needs. The many private practices and walk-in clinics in the area further supplement the healthcare landscape, ensuring residents can receive quality medical attention close to home. With reputable hospitals, specialist services, and a network of healthcare providers, New Bedford provides comprehensive medical care for its community.

Transport System And Traffic Congestion

While New Bedford experiences its fair share of traffic congestion during peak hours, the city’s transportation infrastructure is generally well-developed. The New Bedford Regional Airport provides convenient air travel options, while the SRTA bus system and commuter rail services offer public transit alternatives for those commuting within the city or to nearby urban centers like Boston or Providence. For those who prefer to drive, the city’s location along major highways like I-195 and Route 6 ensures easy access to other parts of Massachusetts and beyond.

Weather Conditions

As a coastal city, New Bedford enjoys a temperate maritime climate, characterized by mild summers and cool winters. Summer temperatures typically range from the mid-70s to low 80s Fahrenheit, making it an ideal time to enjoy the city’s numerous outdoor attractions and beaches.

Winters can be chilly, with temperatures averaging in the 30s, but the city’s proximity to the ocean helps moderate extreme cold snaps. Rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year, ensuring lush greenery and vibrant landscapes.

Outdoor Activities

New Bedford’s coastal setting and proximity to natural wonders offer a treasure trove of outdoor adventures. Spend a sun-soaked day at West Beach or East Beach, perfect for swimming, beach volleyball, or simply lounging with a good book.

The Acushnet Cedar Swamp and Watuppa Reservation beckon with hiking trails winding through lush landscapes, ideal for birdwatching and wildlife spotting. Water sports enthusiasts can launch kayaks or sailboats from local marinas to explore the glistening waters of Buzzard’s Bay. 

Angling aficionados will delight in the area’s renowned fishing spots, hooking striped bass, bluefish, and more. From beachcombing to hiking, boating to fishing, New Bedford’s great outdoors invites residents to embrace an active, nature-filled lifestyle.


Moving to New Bedford offers a unique opportunity to experience a city steeped in history while embracing a modern, vibrant lifestyle. From its affordable cost of living and diverse job opportunities to its rich cultural offerings and coastal charm, this seaside gem promises a fulfilling and well-rounded experience for those seeking a new place to call home.As you embark on your journey to New Bedford, remember to embrace the city’s maritime heritage, explore its hidden gems, and immerse yourself in the welcoming community spirit that makes this coastal haven truly special. But it is important to seek the assistance of professional movers. With a reputable moving company by your side, the transition to your new life in New Bedford will be smooth and seamless, allowing you to dive into all that this remarkable city has to offer.

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