Travel Tips

The 10 Best Things to do in Fall River, Massachusetts

Best Things to do in Fall River
Written by Eddie White

Boston and Providence are the first places that come to mind when you think about visiting the state of Massachusetts.

Although both Boston and Worcester are great places to visit, there are many more cities and towns in Massachusetts that are just as lovely.

Fall River, in Bristol County, is one of them.

The city of Fall River, the eighth largest in Massachusetts, is large enough to house over a dozen tourist destinations, primarily aimed towards history and nature enthusiasts.

In case you’re considering a trip to Fall River, I’ve listed the 10 best things to do in Fall River MA which are the city’s top attractions below.

1. Visit Battleship Cove to see historic ships from World War 2

The first place of interest is an absolute must when in Fall River.

The USS Massachusetts resides in Battleship Cove.

When it first opened in 1965, it was the largest naval museum anywhere.

The museum has extensive collections of items from World War 2, including ships, weapons, equipment, and relics.

Visit Battleship Cove if you are interested in WWII history or would like to pay your respects to the armed forces.

Besides the world-famous Battleship Massachusetts, Battleship Cove is also home to the USS Joseph Kennedy Jr., the Missile Corvette Hiddensee, and the USS Lionfish, for a total of four naval vessels.

It’s at 5 Water St., Fall River, and you may visit it any day of the week starting at 9 a.m.

2. Visit the Portugalia Marketplace for a True Taste of Portugal

One of the nicest places to eat in Fall River is in a converted mill that now serves as a specialized store.

Michael Benevides, son of the original owner of the Portugalia Marketplace in Fall River, carried on the family tradition of providing authentic Portuguese fare.

When it first opened in 1988, the marketplace catered mostly to Portuguese immigrants in Massachusetts.

However, word of their exceptional cooking quickly spread, and they soon became known as the best spot in the area for fine Portuguese fare.

The market also has a well-known climate-controlled section were specialty foods like their famed salted fish are kept fresh.

After exploring Fall River’s historic sites on foot, head to Portugalia Marketplace, located at 489 Bedford St, for a delicious meal and a glass of wine.

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3. Exploring the Lizzie Borden House in Search of Ghosts

The Lizzie Borden House should be at the top of your list if investigating ghosts is on your schedule.

Its paranormal past has made it one of Fall River’s most popular tourist destinations.

In case you haven’t heard of it, in the 1800s, a woman named Lizzie Borden was accused of killing her parents.

After being tried for the murders, she was found not guilty, hence the true perpetrator of the crimes remains unknown to this day.

It has been widely speculated that Lizzie Borden’s parents and possibly even Lizzie herself still haunt the Lizzie Borden House, which is now a bed and breakfast.

Many visitors have reported seeing ghosts and apparitions at the popular destination, making for an eerie but exciting journey.

The address for this haunted place is 230 2nd St, Fall River, MA.

4. Visit the Maplecroft

Although she and her sister Emma were shunned by the community after the trial, Lizzie Borden stayed in Fall River.

They quickly found and moved into a beautiful Queen Anne-style home on The Hill’s exclusive residential street.

Built-in 1887, Borden named her seven-bedroom home on French Street “Maplecroft.” She lived there until her death from pneumonia in 1927.

Since we compiled this list, Maplecroft has been purchased by a professor and artist from New Bedford who plans to turn it back into a single family home for her and her family.

5. Woods in Copicut

It’s possible to enjoy the great outdoors without ever leaving Fall River, as there are 500 acres of woods just to the city’s east.

Copicut Woods is home to massive old trees and a picturesque scene of meandering streams and pristine ponds.

An extensive freshwater swamp populated by Atlantic cedars is also accessible through plank bridges.

Nearly five and a half miles of paths wind through the forest, and near the parking area on Yellow Hill Road, you can see the decaying remains of the former Isaac Miller Homestead.

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6. The Residence of the Marquis de Lafayette and Madame du Pré

The only surviving example of a colonial home in Fall River is a museum that dates back to before 1750.

Prior to its relocation to its current location on Cherry Street in 1872, the Lafayette-Durfee House stood on the same site as the Bristol County Superior Court.

This house has historical significance due to its association with the American Revolution.

The land once encompassed a wide area between the Taunton River to the west and North Watuppa Pond to the east, where the house now stands.

Owner Judge Thomas Durfee mortgaged this to help fund the Revolution, and his son Joseph went on to become a colonel who fought alongside the Marquis de Lafayette at the Battle of White Plains (1776).

It is well knowledge that Lafayette spent time in this home on multiple occasions.

As of the time this article was published, visitors might stop by on Sunday afternoons to view the museum’s collection of mid-18th-century furnishings, medical artifacts, weapons, and replica garments.

7. New England’s Annual Holy Ghost Celebration

At the end of August, Kennedy Park hosts one of the most well-attended annual events in all of southern New England.

The Great Feast of the Holy Ghost is a vibrant cultural celebration with Azorean traditions that combines religious services at the stunning St. Anne’s Church with traditional Portuguese dancing, live music, and delicious cuisine.

In Kennedy Park, a rosary will be said before the Holy Ghost soup, a traditional Azorean dish is served to guests.

The march down Main Street to the park, where sweet bread and milk are handed out in celebration of the holy spirit, is without a doubt the most recognizable feature of the festival.

Malasadas are a popular festival food, and you can watch while a line of vendors prepares these fried treats for you to enjoy.

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8. Greater Fall River Children’s Museum

The Children’s Museum of Greater Fall River is an interactive children’s learning center located in the historic Bristol County Superior Court building from 1889.

The museum’s wide variety of interactive exhibits is intended to foster in visitors an appreciation for the importance of belonging to a group and the value of using one’s own imagination.

Included on this list include, but are not limited to, a doctor’s office, an indoor space playground, a color room, a dinosaur room, a water room, a LEGO room, a violet music room, a training room, a grocery store, and a room dedicated to playing with LEGOs.

Kids under the age of nine will have a blast here, and there’s even a party space set aside just for them.

9. You can have some delicious seafood at The Cove Restaurant & Marina

The seafood dishes at this recently launched eatery in River Falls quickly won over the hearts and stomachs of residents and tourists alike.

Its outstanding meals, most of which revolve around seafood and fish cuisine, quickly gained a favorable reputation among all diners.

Raw oysters, smoked salmon, Italian fare, baked scallops, and vegetarian options are also on the menu.

The restaurant is in a prime location, with a beautiful view of the Taunton River and just a short stroll from the Fall River–Somerset Braga Bridge.

The eatery can be found at 392 Davol St. and is open daily at 9 AM.

The Cove Restaurant & Marina in Fall River is a great spot for both a romantic meal for two and an afternoon of boating and dining along the banks of the Taunton River.

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10. Learn About Fall River’s Prominent Past at the Lafayette Durfee House

A historic property in Fall River, the Lafayette-Durfee House dates back to the 1700s and can be found at 94 Cherry St.

This historic home now houses an extensive museum dedicated to the history of the American Revolution.

Thomas Durfee, the father of American Revolutionary War colonel and Fall River battlefield commander Joseph Durfee, was the initial owner of the home.

The battles of Rhode Island, New York, and the White Plains were not the only ones in which Joseph Durfee participated.

In 1973, a group of Durfee offspring led by Caroline Durfee worked to preserve the building.

During 1976, the country’s Bicentennial year, a time capsule was buried under the fireplace, and by 1982, the house had been added to the National Register of Historic Places as an important historical landmark.

About the author

Eddie White

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