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Summer on the Southcoast: Food, Festivals, Beaches and more…

It’s no surprise that locals and visitors are eager to get outside once the warmer weather hits us here in New England. It’s interesting to hear the different ways people choose to take advantage of the summer months, with such an abundance of options to get outside, have fun, and eat some seasonal specialties! We checked in with Groundwork members to see what they are looking forward to most on the Southcoast this summer. Here’s a roundup of their favorite eats, destinations, adventures, and more:


  • Phoenix Bike Trail – Coast down 4.5 miles of paved pathway, on this scenic route through a small town, with big history.
  • Fort Phoenix – An American Revolutionary War-era fort with beaches, paved walking paths, tennis courts and more.
The live reggae DJ’s and waterfront view at Reggae on West Beach in New Bedford never disappoint!

New Bedford

  • Buttonwood Park Zoo – Family friendly with lots of wildlife, activities, walking paths, swan boats, special events, and more.
  • Reggae on West Beach – Live reggae DJ’s in the pavilion once a month.
  • West Beach – A beautiful beach in the City’s South End.
  • Local Seafood from Kyler’s Catch located right off the Washburn St. exit, heading East on 195! An easy stop on the way to your next cookout. And the Fisherman’s Market located in the South End, “where fishermen go for seafood” they say!
  • Local veggies and goods from SouthCoast Open Air Market which offers markets in both New Bedford and Somerset.
  • Coastal Food Shed offers mobile food stands and farmers markets around the Southcoast.
  • NB Folk Fest, presented by the Zeiterion Performing Arts center is scheduled for July 6th & 7th in downtown New Bedford, featuring folk music, food, a beer garden, and artisan goods.
  • The Feast of the Blessed Sacrament will celebrate its 105th year, August 1-4. Be sure to stop by for live music, family fun, food and drinks, a 5K road race, and more.
  • Don’t miss the 3rd annual New Bedford Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival at Fort Tabor on September 14th, from 12-5 pm. Some of the areas most popular food trucks will be there serving up their specialties, along with craft breweries, entertainment, and games for the whole family.
  • Summer Winds is a citywide collaborative venture, commissioned by DATMA (Design Art Technology Massachusetts), that will feature local and international artists and performers that will create exciting installations throughout downtown New Bedford, in the parks, and along the waterfront from July 1 – September 30. All free and open to the public!
SOAM features a wide variety of high quality vendors,
with a focus on goods that are fresh, local, and handmade.


  • Surfing and paddleboarding at Baker’s Beach came up more than once as a favorite. But you’ll have to make friends with a local to check out this private beach!
  • Electric Moon Peony Farm is only open for a short time, when the beautiful blooms make their debut. But you’ve got to make sure you have tickets to this event well in advance, as they are sure to sell out.


  • Acushnet Creamery offers up a wide variety of home made ice cream favorites sure to please every ice cream lover! And while Acushnet is home to their original location, you’ll also find them down on the Pier in New Bedford.

Miscellaneous Destinations & Activities

  • Martha’s Vineyard – Great for a vacation, but even a day trip to this little gem of an island will not disappoint. Hop on the Seastreak ferry right out of the Port of New Bedford, and you’ll be on Island time in less than one hour from departure!
  • Soft shell crab – No specific restaurant was recommended, but it certainly won’t be difficult to come across good seafood anywhere near by.
  • A Tan – Ha! Probably on the ‘to-do’ list for many South Coasters. It’s no wonder our beaches are packed from our very first sunny day, to the last.

No doubt, there’s plenty more to do, see, and eat around these parts. So don’t be shy! Tell us, where are you headed this summer on the Southcoast?

Caitlin Joseph