Going Ashore

Padanaram figures far more prominently among sailors than it does in the world at large. The harbor's size, its quick access to Buzzards Bay, and the century-old tradition of the New Bedford Yacht Club station have made it a popular destination since yachting took hold here at the end of the 19th century.

But for most of its history, the village has lived in the shadow of its immediate neighbor, New Bedford. Especially during the 19th century, as the region's infrastructure grew, that shadow was considerable. New Bedford with its larger, deeper and better protected harbor, was long the epicenter of Yankee whaling and by some measures the richest city in America. Whaling capital fostered manufacturing in New Bedford, followed by railroads then highways. Padanaram remained a somewhat isolated coastal village.

Today it is primarily a residential town that, bypassed by industrialization, retains its highly prized tranquility. The streets near the harbor are pleasant to walk, with small shops and a concentration of marine business. A smattering of restaurants offer good casual options, or you can eat at the yacht club.

Geoff Rand
Padanaram streetscape.
concordia wharf
Geoff Rand
Wharf at the former Concordia yard

One Hour Ashore

A walk through town and across the bridge gives a pretty good sense of the place.There's a small town beach just upriver of the bridge, on the southwest side, that makes a nice destination for either a walk or dinghy trip.

Off the Beaten Path

About a mile upriver from the yacht club, on Shipyard Lane, is the shop that builds the highly regarded Marshall catboats.

Maritime History

Dartmouth, one of the three vessels raided in the Boston Tea Party, was built in Padanaram.

Rainy Day

The shops and galleries in town could keep you engaged for at least half a day. But Padanaram doesn't offer the wide array of shoreside attractions to divert a fidgety crew through a long period of wet weather.


  • Launch
  • Dinghy
  • Showers
  • Restrooms
  • Trash

The yacht club launch serves its mooring customers, as well as anchored boats who pay the daily club facility use fee. The launch runs till sunset in the off season and 10:00 in summer. Or dinghy in to the club float. North of the bridge is a town dinghy dock.

Showers, restrooms and dumpsters are all available at the Club for their mooring customers, and at South Wharf if you're in a slip there.