New England Travel navigation bar graphic

Return to the New England Photo Gallery >>>Massachusetts Travel>>>Fairhaven MA

Visiting Fairhaven, Mass., in the Fall
Share this article

Article and photos by Eric H.

The first time I visited Fairhaven, Mass., my jaw dropped open. The second time I was ready for jaw surgery.

That first road trip had me driving through some tough New Bedford neighborhoods and traffic and then virtually turning a corner and ending up in this New England piece of nirvana called Fairhaven. I couldn't believe what I saw: the tree-lined streets with beautiful old homes leading to the ocean and the spectacular old municipal buildings and churches revealed one of the great travel hidden gems in New England. This wasn't just a few houses and buildings, more like a greatest hits collection of historic New England going on for at least five blocks. The feeling of peace, quiet and solitude in the streets was astounding, given its proximity to New Bedford.

The second time had fall adding brilliant fall foliage color and the chance to rustle through leaves on placid streets while taking in the crisp fall air through the proud old main and side streets of this wonderful, historic district.

Why don't more people know about Fairhaven? The major travel guides missed out on this one! For that matter, why don't more people know about New Bedford? Sure, New Bedford has its rough spots -- just like any other urban area -- but the 11-block New Bedford Whaling District is about the nicest area I've seen in any city with its cobblestone streets, gas lamps, 19th century Federal and Greek style buildings, historical sites, restaurants and shops, an emerging waterfront and cultural attractions like the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Fairhaven, on the other hand, is quite sleepy but this idyllic New England town will surely awaken your senses. Don't worry, though, it's not too sleepy. I counted a few full service restaurants, a pizza place and several mom and pop shops that complement the visit, but never overwhelm or dominate the innate beauty of this attractive downtown.

Both communities deserve a stay for very different reasons. Here are some of those glorious fall moments in Fairhaven...

Photo of fall foliage near Unitarian Church, Fairhaven MA

Striking fall colors juxtaposed against the stunning Unitarian Memorial Church makes for a memorable autumn scene.

Photo of Fairhaven Town Hall, Fairhaven MA

Leaves are starting to fall on the grounds of the beautiful Fairhaven Town Hall.

Photo of fall in Fairhaven MA

A walk down a placid side street in Fairhaven.

Picture of fall leaves in Fairhaven MA

Rustling through the leaves on a brick sidewalk.

Picture of ocean in Fairhaven MA

So close but yet so far away from New Bedford across the water (above and below pictures).

Photo of Fairhaven MA waterfront

For more information on this area, I recommend logging onto our Fairhaven and Mattapoisett, New Bedford Whaling District and New Bedford Whaling Museum pages. I would also recommend calling the Fairhaven Office of Tourism at (508) 979-4085 to learn more about this wonderful town.  Hope you get to visit this very underrated area!

Book a room in Fairhaven MA

Share this article

Share this article

Information from comes from our editorial staff. Advertisements do not influence the articles and points-of-view on, unless otherwise specified. Rates and event dates are subject to change. We recommend calling your New England destination first before setting out on the planned itinerary.

Home  | New England Vacation and Travel Feature Stories | Connecticut Travel | Maine Travel | Massachusetts Travel | New Hampshire Travel  | Rhode Island Travel | Vermont Travel | Best New England Cities, Towns, Villages | Privacy PolicySite Map | Contact Us |

Copyright, 2001- . All rights reserved.