National Trust for Historic Preservation Selects New Bedford, Massachusetts, as one of America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations for 2011
Public Encouraged to Vote for Fan Favorite Destination
Posted February 14, 2011 | Contact email@example.com or 202-588-6141
Washington, D.C. (February 15, 2011)—Today, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named New Bedford, Massachusetts, one of its 2011 Dozen Distinctive Destinations. New Bedford, nominated by Waterfront Historic Area League, was selected for its seaport heritage, scenic beaches, abundant architectural and historical riches, diverse neighborhoods and a burgeoning arts community. From February 15 to March 15, New Bedford will be participating in a public online voting contest to select the 2011 Dozen Distinctive Destinations Fan Favorite.
For 12 years the National Trust for Historic Preservation has annually selected communities across America that offer cultural and recreational experiences different from those found at the typical vacation destination. From dynamic downtowns and stunning architecture to cultural diversity and a commitment to historic preservation, sustainability and revitalization, the selected destinations boast a richness of character and exude an authentic sense of place.
“New Bedford is rightfully known as the 19th century whaling capital of the world, but maritime history is just the beginning of its appeal,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “This place has deep roots in historic preservation, and its citizens have shown great respect for all of New Bedford’s cultural and historic elements, including its Civil War history, ethnic diversity, textile mills, and architectural heritage. This is absolutely a distinctive destination.”
New Bedford’s multi-faceted appeal is a credit to the tireless work of its local leaders—such as the Waterfront Historic Area League—who have helped rehabilitate more than forty structures in New Bedford. Its historic downtown, defined by cobblestone streets, period gas lamps and authentic 19thand 20thcentury architecture, is buzzing with an assortment of cafes, bistros, specialty shops, and artisan galleries. The city’s beautiful parks—including one designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, and a Civil War-era fort—offer breathtaking views of Buzzards Bay and its miles of inviting sandy beaches. New Bedford’s working waterfront beckons with an easy “dock walk” that lets visitors take in its bustling commercial and recreational fishing scene from up close.
- The Zeiterion Theatre- a completely renovated structure dating back to Vaudeville days, is now home to the premiere performing arts center of the region.
- The North End Cultural District- a hotbed of small ethnic shops, offering such unique items as Azorean hand-stitched fabrics and Mexican pottery, as well as New Bedford’s most exotic cuisine.
- New Bedford Whaling National Historic Park– experience New Bedford when its whaling industry made it the richest port in the world. The Whaling Museum includes a 66-foot blue whale skeleton and the world’s largest ship model while partner sites let you walk the deck of a whaling ship, tour a merchant’s home and visit a whaleman’s chapel.
- AHA! Nights (Art, History, Architecture) take place every second Thursday of the month, drawing more than 3,000 people downtown to celebrate New Bedford’s unique charms.
- Its 15 National Register Historic districts and six National Historic Landmarks, including the Nathan and Polly Johnson House which tells the story of the Underground Railroad and Frederick Douglass in New Bedford.
- The annual Working Waterfront Festival, nationally recognized as one of the nation’s best cultural festivals, draws thousands of visitors to the port each September to celebrate commercial fishing, America’s oldest industry.
The public is invited to vote online to help determine which of the 12 destinations will be the 2011 Fan Favorite. From February 15 to March 15, any legal resident of the U.S., 18 years of age or older, can vote once per day for his or her favorite city or town on this year’s list. The winner of the popular vote will be announced on March 16, 2011. Voters are automatically entered to win a complimentary two night stay at any Historic Hotel of America. No purchase necessary. Offer void where prohibited. Visit www.PreservationNation.org/ddd for official rules, information about Historic Hotels of America, to learn more about this year’s destinations, and to begin voting!
To download high resolution images and video of this year’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations, visit www.PreservationNation.org/press.
The 2011 list of America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations includes:
Alexandria, Va. – Located across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., Alexandria is one of the most culturally rich destinations in the country – and not just because it was home to the nation’s founding father, George Washington. An extraordinary blend of early America and modern chic, the city offers an eclectic mix of neighborhoods, historic sites, dining and shopping.
Chapel Hill, N.C. – From its well-preserved historic districts to its quiet winding streets and its bustling downtown area, Chapel Hill certainly lives up to its nickname as the ‘Southern Part of Heaven.’
Colorado Springs, Colo. – Nestled at the base of the Rocky Mountains, visitors to Colorado Springs can enjoy commanding views of Pikes Peak from just about any part of this vibrant, historic town.
Dandridge, Tenn. – With its idyllic natural setting in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, a welcoming small town spirit and a charming historic downtown, Dandridge epitomizes the quintessential Southern Appalachian town.
Eureka, Calif. – Located on the Northern California coast, Eureka is a beautifully preserved Victorian seaport that features a lively Old Town, the Carson Mansion - one of the most photographed homes in America - and nearby forests of majestic old growth redwoods.
Muskogee, Okla. – Once the unofficial capital of Indian Territory, Muskogee’s storied past and Native American, African American and Euro American influences are well-preserved and the vibrant town has many unique festivals, museums, restaurants and more.
New Bedford, Mass. – Once one of the world’s largest whaling ports, New Bedford is awash in maritime history, as well as scenic beaches, abundant architectural and historical riches, diverse neighborhoods and a burgeoning arts community.
Paducah, Ky. – The heart of Kentucky’s Four Rivers region, visitors to Paducah will find thriving historic districts filled with turn of the century architecture and one-of-a-kind shops and eateries as well as a community that creatively celebrates its cultural and artistic heritage.
San Angelo, Texas – A frontier city with a rich past, San Angelo offers visitors an authentic Old West experience, a bustling downtown historic district and vibrant cultural offerings.
Saint Paul, Minn. – Known for some of Minnesota’s most famous historic buildings—including the Cass Gilbert-designed State Capitol and the home of F. Scott Fitzgerald—visitors to St. Paul can browse the quaint shops of Grand Avenue, dine in the strikingly restored warehouse district, or be awed by the stately mansions along Summit Avenue.
Sheridan, Wyo. – Set in “the shadow of the Big Horns,” Sheridan offers a vibrant Main Street commercial district, abundant recreational opportunities, and an authentic Western experience.
Sonoma, Calif. – Dating back to the early 19th and set amidst winding country roads and family-owned vineyards, Sonoma offers all the perks of being in the heart of wine country, with the added benefit of a laid back vibe that complements the award-winning wine and food.
2011 marks the twelfth announcement of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations annual list. To date, there are 144 Distinctive Destinations located in 46 states throughout the country. To see a complete list and to vote for the 2011 Fan Favorite Destination, visit www.PreservationNation.org/ddd. The title of Distinctive Destination is presented to cities and towns that offer an authentic visitor experience by combining dynamic downtowns, cultural diversity, attractive architecture, cultural landscapes and a strong commitment to historic preservation, sustainability and revitalization. In each community, residents have taken forceful action to protect their town’s character and sense of place.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places.