15 Best Things to Do in Acushnet (MA)

Located at the headwaters of the river of the same name, Acushnet is a picturesque country town just north of New Bedford. This is a place of picturesque landscapes, orchards, old stone walls, lingonberry bogs, and pine forests.

In that sense, the big annual event is his September Apple and Peach Festival, held on the grounds of a 19th-century schoolhouse. Industry developed along the river in the 18th century, and one of the longest-lived companies is the Acushnet Company, which operates the famous golf brand Titleist.

Acushnet also has a maritime heritage due to its proximity to Bathers Bay and New Bedford. In the 19th century, the city was home to several whaling captains, including Herman Melville (1819-1891), author of Moby Dick, who sailed on a whaling ship called the Acushnet before writing his famous novel.  

1. New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park

You can follow in Melville’s footsteps and visit the ancient heart of what was once the world’s most important whaling port.

Administered by the National Park Service, this cobbled street is jam-packed with shipowners’ mansions and several landmarks associated with Melville and Moby Dick.

One of his is Bethel the Sailor (1832), in which the pew has been preserved in which Melville sat during his 1840 visit.

The main attraction is the New He Bedford Whaling Museum, a definitive institution for learning about the history of whaling. The museum’s extensive collection includes five intact whale skeletons, 2,500 whaling expedition logs, and 3,500 scrimshaws. 

2. Tripps Mill

Just past the southeast corner of Akushnet, the reserve stretches over 500 acres along the Matapoiset River.

A good place to start is with Trips his mill. Here you can discover the remains of a sawmill along Trips Brook, which drains Tinkham Pond.

From here, hike more than 4 miles through the forest, past cowberry swamps and marshes along the Matapoiset River.

Tinkham Pond is also a great spot for fishing. Chain pickers, yellow perch, and sunfish are regularly caught here.  

3. Nestles Lane Conservation Area

Acushnet, just east of Highway 18, is home to a fascinating wildlife sanctuary. This city-owned nature reserve is crossed by a small creek that flows eastwards and eventually empties into the New He Bedford Reservoir.

The site consists of a network of tall pines and ancient stone walls, accessible from the north and south of Nestle Lane.

The trail is relatively flat terrain, with short but pleasant walks through fragrant pine forests, but becomes slightly hillier to the east. 

4. Acushnet Apple-Peach Festival

This popular event takes place the first weekend after Labor Day and is in its 50th year.

Held on the idyllic grounds of Long Plain School, the Acushnet Apple Peach Festival celebrates harvest time with live entertainment, crafts, delicious food, and plenty of family fun.

With a wide range of live music from morning to night, you can easily spend a few hours browsing the stalls selling everything from candles to handmade soaps, jewelry, pottery, and paintings.

Whatever you do, try the cobbler (peaches, apples, apples, and peaches) made in the school kitchen by the Acushnet Historical Society.  

5. Flying Cloud Orchards

This 40-acre farm sits in an idyllic location surrounded by the Acushnet River to the west. Flying Cloud Orchards operates a farmer’s office at 540 Main Street and is a must-visit during the growing and harvesting season leading up to Thanksgiving.

Fresh produce is plentiful in the summer and fall, but it’s the homegrown specialties that attract tourists.

Freshly baked bread, peach pie, apple pie, honey, caramel apple, biscuits, cider, and various homemade jams. At the time of this writing, Flying Cloud Orchards was run by a husband and wife who bought the land in 1977.  

6. The Silverbrook Farm

This family farm in the idyllic Acushnet countryside is open to the public for various seasonal events in the summer and fall.

During his nearly 20 years of business, Silverbrook Farm has built a reputation for delicious homemade cakes sold in a beautiful old barn.

The farm not only grows a variety of fresh produce but also has a herd of Kianina cattle that produce high-quality grass-fed beef.

Fall is in full swing when you come here to harvest your own pumpkins, navigate a corn maze or ride a hay wagon. Children can meet friendly farm animals. 

7. Acushnet Creamery

Opened in 2003, Akushnet Creamery is a hot spot in town, with ice cream, frozen yogurt, and sorbet all handcrafted in-house.

The ice cream menu has grown steadily over the years and now it includes over 50 flavors. Hits include Lemon Cream, Maple Walnut, Coffee, Cranberry Harvest, Vanilla, and Apple Peach for Acushnet.

No matter which flavor you choose, it must be served in a freshly baked waffle cone. The irresistible smell of freshly baked waffles wafts in the air long before you even reach the window.

Frozen treats are served on a small grassy area and stone-walled picnic tables set back from the street. 

8. Country Whip

Surrounded by select orchards along US 105, this popular seasonal ice cream shop and restaurant is open from March to October.

Housed in a charming cottage with a verandah, Country Whip has been on the map in Acushnet for over 60 years.

As the name suggests, the specialty here is homemade soft-serve ice cream. There are many flavors (variations), including black raspberry. In addition to a large selection of Richardson’s ice cream, we also have a large selection of savory dishes.

Local New England-style seafood such as our popular lobster rolls, clam cakes, and chowder, as well as hot dogs, burgers, subs, and wraps. 

9. 9/11 Memorial

At Acushnet, we offer a moving tribute to those who lost their lives in the attacks on 9/11 and to all those involved in the rescue, recovery, and reconstruction efforts.

The Akushnet 9/11 Memorial stands in front of the Main Street Fire Station and was constructed after the fire station received a 2,700-pound steel beam from Ground Zero from New York Harbor.

The relic was brought into the city in 2011 and mounted diagonally on a granite plinth to be unveiled on the 10th anniversary of the crime. The monument is surrounded by flowerbeds and is located in a small square with glass panels. 

10. Keith’s Farm

Located just off Main Street and the New Bedford Reservoir, this farm offers something different each season.

During summer and fall, Keith Farm is in its prime, with the PYO strawberries in June, blueberries in July, raspberries in August, and apple and pumpkin harvests open to the public in the fall.

The farm’s stand is packed with fresh produce, from tomatoes to corn, and sweets like cider donuts and homemade jams. The holiday season really kicks in when the farm opens here the weekend three weeks after Thanksgiving.  

11. The Sawmill

In the 2010s, the Buzzards Bay Coalition stepped in to restore this 20-acre property on the Acushnet River previously occupied by the Acushnet Saw Mills Company.

The result is a wonderful public park with trails that allow you to discover different habitats and enjoy spectacular views of the river and Millpond upstream.

There are meadows and forests, as well as red maple swamps that can be crossed by boardwalks. There are plenty of opportunities for wildlife viewing, including waterfowl that flock to the ponds and their banks. 

12. White’s Factory

In the early 18th century, the Akushnet River was the source of energy for the city’s industries. Not far north of the sawmill, you can explore the ruins of a cotton mill with only fragments of the outer walls remaining.

The river was first dammed by him in 1746 to power a gristmill, but the stone building was built by him in 1799.

The factory was heavily damaged in the fire of 1830 but was quickly rebuilt before being destroyed by another fire in 1854.

Consistent with these mystical ruins, the Whites Factory is the perfect place to explore the banks of the Acushnet River. Hamlin Crossing is across the river. The trail enters the forest and traverses meadows dotted with wildflowers in spring and summer.  

13. Long Plain School (Long Plain Museum)

One of Acushnet’s most unique historic buildings is the Long Plain School at 1203 Main Street, built in 1875 in Italian style.

Interesting details include a magnificent gable with an oculus and a neo-Gothic tower.

Originally he was four lots wide, in the 1920s he was expanded to six lots and used as a school until the 1950s.

The Long Plain School is now owned by the Acushnet Historical Society, which operates a museum there.

Visit the school on Sundays from May to September to learn more about Acushnet’s whaling history, see what the school looked like in the 1870s, and get a glimpse into domestic life in the town in the 19th century. The Long Plain School grounds also host the Apple Peach Festival in September.  

14. Stone Bridge Farm

Located in Cranberry Country, Massachusetts, Acushnet has dozens of swamps, some active and some abandoned.

Pink flowers bloom in spring, and bright red berries in autumn brighten up the scenery by complementing the foliage.

Sustainable Stone Bridge Farm is a thriving commercial farm on 3 acres of wilderness, open to the public during the fall harvest season.

At this point you can book a guided tour to find out about cranberries and everything that goes into planting, growing, and harvesting them. During your visit, you can also put on your waders and stomp the moor like a real farmer.  

15. Acushnet River Valley Golf Course

Rated four stars by Golf Digest, the Acushnet River Valley Golf Course is recognized as one of the top public courses in the region. In addition to the significant maintenance effort, the layout also contributes significantly to the success of the course.

The front 9 holes run through dense mature pine forest, while the back 9 holes are abruptly opened, 6 of which (holes 12-17) are Scottish links style with soft greens and undulating fairways.

Perhaps the Acushnet River Valley’s most challenging element is the greens’ hazards. There are steep elevation changes and bunkers that prevent unpredictable approach shots.  

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