Download GPX file for this article
41.701389-71.155556Full screen dynamic map

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

In the SouthCoast region of Massachusetts, where the Taunton River empties into Mount Hope Bay, stands Fall River- the "Spindle City". Not to be overshadowed by nearby Boston and Providence, Fall River offers visitors unique attractions that are absent from its two larger neighbors. Fall River is famous for Battleship Cove, the largest museum of its kind in the world; a rich Portuguese-American culture, featuring authentic food; and the accused axe murderess Lizzie Borden.





Fall River's name comes from Quequechan (locally, QUICK-uh-shan), a Wampanoag word meaning "Falling Water". At one time, the Quequechan River meandered through the city, connecting South Watuppa Pond to the Taunton River via eight small waterfalls. Today, most of the river is routed underground, covered by I-195. A lone aboveground waterfall remains; it's manmade and hidden in the Metacomet Mills complex, near where Anawan St. intersects Davol St.

The Spindle City

This mill, now a doctor's office, is constructed from local Fall River granite.

Fall River was the USA's largest cotton textile manufacturer in the late 1800s, earning its enduring nickname of "Spindle City". While this industry has largely disappeared, the granite mill buildings it left behind define the appearance of the city's South End. The aristocratic owners of these mill complexes lived in the Victorian mansions lining the streets of The Highlands, a neighborhood of the suburban North End. Among the mills that have not burned down or been demolished, many now house restaurants and retailers. Yet, the city's textile heritage lives on through more than just its structures. In 2020, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Fall River's Merrow Manufacturing Company was the largest producer of USA-sourced PPE, including face masks.

The Fall River Line

Grand Saloon inside the Priscilla, a palatial ship in the Fall River Line's fleet.

Along the Taunton River, the city's western border, lies The Waterfront. In the 19th century, this was the port for The Fall River Line, a steamboat-rail connection from New York City to Boston. Travel on the line's ornate "floating palaces" was the most luxurious way to get between these Northeastern hubs- just ask any of the six U.S. presidents, including FDR, who took the journey. The steamboats are gone today, but massive warships, including the USS Massachusetts ("Big Mamie"), have taken their place at Battleship Cove Museum. In the 2010s, significant investment revitalized the Waterfront, with new restaurants, breweries, and a boardwalk. In the 2020s, the anticipated completion of the South Coast Rail will once again make Fall River's Waterfront a transportation hub, connecting Battleship Cove Station with Boston.



Fall River's 19th century prominence drew in immigrants from a multitude of cultures. While these close-knit communities are less homogenous today, the parks, churches, and monuments they left behind define the neighborhoods they once inhabited. Irish immigrants, many from County Cork, founded Corky Row. Polish people flocked to what is now the Niagara Neighborhood. French-Canadians were met with austerity and skepticism as they moved into The Flint.

In the 20th century, a new group of immigrants- the Portuguese- arrived in droves, and today are by far the largest ethnic group. Over 40% of people in Fall River identify as Portuguese, higher than any other city in the country. Most are of Azorean descent.

In the 21st century, Fall River remains a melting pot of cultures, with growing communities of Brazilian, Hispanic, African American, Cambodian, and Vietnamese people.



New England climates are typically unpredictable and can range from bitter cold to very hot. Winters can be freezing and can feature varying levels of snowfall. Summer weather can be humid and hot, especially away from the waterfront. The most temperate times of the year are late spring and late summer/early fall.



Speech in Fall River is distinctly, authentically New England (unlike in Boston, where transplants from across the country have made the local accent an endangered species). The “Fall River accent” is most similar to Rhode Island’s dialects, themselves influenced by Boston and NYC. The result is rounded vowels, dropped ‘r’s (Fall River becomes “Fawl Rivah”), and ‘r’s where there aren’t any (pizza becomes “peetzer”). Visitors will hear the classic “wicked,” “blinker,” and “packie,” alongside more local words like “bubbler” (water fountain) and “grinder” (Italian submarine sandwich).

Tens of thousands of Fall River residents speak Portuguese. Many were born on the island of São Miguel, and their dialect, Micaelense, is perhaps the most difficult Portuguese accent to understand. Locals may switch freely between Portuguese and English in conversation. Even non-speakers integrate Portuguese words and phrases into their daily speech, particularly for food items. For example, chouriço, a sausage similar to Spanish chorizo, is locally pronounced "shuh-REECE”. Dozens of Portuguese surnames, and their Americanized pronunciations, are common knowledge across Fall River, while being completely unknown elsewhere in the state.

Fall River is also home to communities speaking Spanish, Cape Verdean Creole, French, Polish, and Khmer.

Get in

The Braga Bridge, a city icon, connects Fall River to points west via I-195.

By plane


By car


Most visitors arrive by car, due to Fall River's relative lack of intercity public transportation.

Major state and interstate highways

  • Interstate 195 runs east-west between Providence and Cape Cod. Primary route from Providence and Cape Cod. Exits: 11, 12, 13, 14A, 14B.
  • MA Route 24 runs south-north from Newport to Randolph. Primary route from points north, notably Boston (via Interstate 93), and from Southern Rhode Island. Exits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8A, 8B.
  • U.S. Route 6 runs east-west through Fall River, from Provincetown in Cape Cod toward Providence, ultimately running another 3,000 mi (4,800 km) to California.

Other numbered highways

  • MA Route 79 begins in Fall River and terminates in Middleborough to the north. Connects I-195 to Route 24.
  • MA/RI Route 81 begins in Little Compton to the south and terminates in Fall River.
  • MA/RI Route 138 from Newport to Milton enters Fall River from Tiverton, crosses the river via Routes 79/6 into Somerset, and runs north toward Taunton.
  • MA/RI Route 177 passes through Fall River for a whopping 200 feet to connect Tiverton with Westport.

By bus

  • The Southeastern Regional Transit Authority (SRTA) offers daily buses from nearby Swansea, Dartmouth, and New Bedford to Fall River.
  • The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) offers daily buses from Providence and Newport to Fall River.
  • Peter Pan Bus Lines offers bus routes from Boston and Newport. These are expensive coach buses (over $20 one-way). Due to COVID-19, bus service is extremely infrequent on these lines as of Dec 2020.

By train


As of 2020, no train routes directly serve Fall River. However, the South Coast Rail, a direct connection to Fall River from Boston via Middleborough/Lakeville, is anticipated before 2024. Phase 2 of construction will continue throughout the 2020s, yielding a shorter route from Boston via Stoughton.

From Boston, two train routes get within a 30-minute drive of Fall River:

Get around

Map of Fall River (Massachusetts)

By car


Car access is recommended for travel in Fall River.

Parking is free and plentiful throughout most of the city. Downtown, particularly in the areas immediately surrounding Government Center, metered parking may be required.

Car rental options


By bus


The Southeastern Regional Transportation Authority (SRTA) offers 14 bus routes within the city. All routes start at the Louis D. Pettine Transportation Center (118 4th St). Visiting from Boston? Your MBTA CharlieCard works on the bus! Otherwise, you can buy tickets at the bus terminal, or pay in cash (not credit card) onboard. Fares: $1.50 per trip ($1.40 with CharlieCard). $0.75 Reduced Fare ($0.70 with CharlieCard). Children under 6 free.

By taxi


Uber operates in Fall River. Other rideshare services (including Lyft) do not as of Jan 2021.

Traditional taxi services exist, including Town Taxi and Yellow Cab of Fall River. However, their online presence is limited, and as of Jan 2021 it is unclear how regularly they are operating during the COVID-19 pandemic.

By foot


Fall River is a city built on hills, with some streets exceeding a 20% elevation grade. As a result, getting around solely by foot can be a challenge. Walking within neighborhoods is generally doable, but crossing from one to another can be problematic.

By bicycle


Bicycles in Fall River are typically used for recreation, not transportation. Traffic bike lanes do exist, but are sparse and rarely used.

Due to COVID-19 and lack of demand, there are no bike rentals in Fall River or bordering towns as of Jan 2021. The nearest option is Bristol Bikes, 13 mi (21 km) west in Bristol (Rhode Island).

If you rode into town, BikeWorks in nearby Swansea is the closest shop offering bicycle service and repair.




Battleship Cove's "Big Mamie"
  • 1 Battleship Cove, 5 Water St, +1 508 678-1100. museum closes at 4:30PM. Battleship Cove lays claim to the largest collection of preserved U.S. Navy ships in the world, from World War II to the present, which are open as historic monuments. The most famous of these boats is the USS Massachusetts ("Big Mamie"), which is said to have fired the first and last shells of WWII. Other ships include the Destroyer USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., Submarine USS Lionfish, and PT Boats 617 and 796. Visitors are welcome to board the vessels and tour their outside areas and interiors. Visitors can arrange to spend a night aboard the ships for additional charge. Ticket includes two days of access, and admission to the nearby Maritime Museum. $15-25, children under 3 free. Battleship Cove (Q4873227) on Wikidata Battleship Cove on Wikipedia
  • 2 Children's Museum of Greater Fall River, 441 N Main St, +1 508 672-0033. This small interactive museum offers children a number of exhibits to explore. Exhibits include the Lego Room and the World of Water, and there are various events that change on a regular basis. Admission $8, children under 12 months free.
  • 3 Fall River Historical Society, 451 Rock St, +1 508 679-1071. Set in an 1800s Highlands mansion, the Historical Society offers guided museum tours that glimpse into the lives of New England's 19th Century elite. Rotating exhibits display an extensive collection of Fall River heirlooms, including Lizzie Borden artifacts. The Victorian Christmas tour (Nov - Dec) is perhaps their most spectacular offering, with every room in the house decorated in a different traditional holiday style. A Christmas shop and a Victorian High Tea room are open year-round. Adults $12, children under 15 $8.
  • 4 The Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast/Museum, 230 Second St, +1 508 675-7333. In 1892, Lizzie Borden was accused of killing her father and stepmother in this house. Though she was acquitted of all charges, the axe murder mystery continues to intrigue 130 years later. You can view the scene of the crime and explore the house, or spend the night and enjoy breakfast where it happened. Museum admission $17-22, children under 6 free. Lizzie Borden House (Q19864342) on Wikidata Lizzie Borden House on Wikipedia
  • 5 Fall River Maritime Museum (formerly Marine Museum at Fall River), 70 Water St, +1 508 678-1100. Nautical museum whose collections include extensive ephemera of the Fall River Line's luxurious steamboats, called "floating palaces" by the aristocrats and presidents who stayed aboard them in the late 1800s. The museum also showcases one of the largest RMS Titanic exhibitions in the world, featuring a 28 ft (8.5 m) model of the ill-fated vessel that was used in the Oscar-winning film Titanic. (No, not that Oscar-winning film Titanic- the 1953 version!). Marine Museum at Fall River (Q6764173) on Wikidata Marine Museum at Fall River on Wikipedia

Southeastern Massachusetts Bioreserve

The South Watuppa Pond in winter

Three sections of the massive 13,600 acres (5,500 hectares) Southeastern Massachusetts Bioreserve are partially or fully contained in Fall River, offering miles of maintained hiking trails.

  • 6 Copicut Woods, Indian Town Rd (Parking area. Avoid driving Yellow Hill Rd, which is in a state of disrepair.). Owned and managed by Massachusetts' Trustees of Reservations, this 516 acres (209 hectares) secluded forest is located entirely in Fall River city limits. A varied landscape featuring conifer forests, mossy rock walls, and freshwater swamps is contained within a compact wooded area. As of January 2021, some paths, including the Cedar Swamp trail, are closed for repair. Copicut_Woods on Wikipedia
  • 7 Fall River-Freetown State Forest (Freetown State Forest), 7 Bell Rock Rd., Assonet (Parking lot closest to the Fall River trailheads.). This 6,052 acres (2,449 hectares) state forest is one of Massachusetts' largest outside of the Berkshires. With land split between Fall River, Freetown, and Lakeville, the forest features over 25 mi (40 km) of trails for hikers, equestrians, and dirt bikers, as well as an uninhabited Wampanoag reservation. Notable goings-on in the forest over the years have included satanic cult murders in the 1980s, escaped emus, and the collapse of its most prominent feature, Profile Rock. Freetown-Fall_River_State_Forest on Wikipedia
  • 8 Watuppa Ponds. Two bodies of water, separated by a small channel (The Narrows) make up this freshwater body. The North Watuppa Pond is the second largest natural body of water in Massachusetts; the South Watuppa Pond is #3. The North Watuppa is Fall River's primary drinking water reservoir, and as such cannot be used for fishing, swimming, or boating; all three of these activities are allowed in the South Watuppa. Trails exist around both ponds, including a bike path on the South Watuppa. Watuppa Ponds on Wikipedia


  • 9 Bicentennial Park, 1 Brownell St. This patriotic waterfront park houses a copy of Washington DC's Iwo Jima Memorial. In 2021, an 80% scale replica of DC's Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall will open- the only one of its kind in the world.
  • 10 Fall River Heritage State Park, Davol St., +1 508 675-5759. Fall River Heritage State Park hugs the Taunton River which provides a wonderful and relaxing views. This 8.5-acre park overlooks Battleship Cove, which houses the World War II battleship, USS Massachusetts. Heritage State Park also has a boardwalk that runs the length of the park, benches for lounging, trees, an antique carousel, sailing opportunities, tennis courts, historical statues, and a huge open area perfect for the recreational activity of your choice. This park is a great family spot for picnics, relaxing, or even just going for a leisurely walk. Fall River Heritage State Park (Q5432079) on Wikidata Fall River Heritage State Park on Wikipedia
  • 11 Kennedy Park, S Main Street. 57 acres (23 hectares) in size, this park was designed by master landscaper Frederick Law Olmstead, who designed New York's Central Park and Boston's Emerald Necklace. Known as "South Park" prior to 1963. Macabre history buffs will be interested in the case of Sarah Maria Cornell, whose death at the park in 1832, and the acquittal of a Methodist minister for her murder, led to outrage and scandal across New England.
The Borden family graves at Oak Grove Cemetery
  • 12 Oak Grove Cemetery, 765 Prospect St., +1 508 324-2750. Really? Why visit a cemetery? Well, Oak Grove is the largest public urban greenspace in Fall River. It is the final resting place of Lizzie Borden and her family (just follow the painted arrows from the main entrance on Prospect Street). Its obelisks and monuments are some of the city's finest architecture. It is well-manicured and filled with tortuous paths, designed in the style of Cambridge's famous Mount Auburn. And, it is a surprisingly great place to go for a walk. Oak_Grove_Cemetery_(Fall_River,_Massachusetts) on Wikipedia
  • 13 Portas da Cidade, City Gates Plaza. A physical representation of Fall River's connection to Portugal, this is a scale replica of the Portas da Cidade (Gates of the City) in Ponta Delgada, the capital of São Miguel and the largest city in the Azores. The monument was built to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the relationship between Fall River and Ponta Delgada as sister cities. Portuguese President Aníbal Cavaco Silva and the mayor of Ponta Delgada have visited the site.


  • 1 Great Feast of the Holy Ghost of New England. Mid-August. Often called "the biggest Azorean feast in the world," it draws busloads of Portuguese from all over the country and Canada.
  • 2 Driscoll Skating Arena, 272 Elsbree Street, +1 508 324-1926. Ice rink where you can play and spectate ice hockey (youth and adult leagues). Public skating hours every afternoon and on Friday evenings (suspended due to COVID-19 as of January 2021). Public Skating $6, Skate Rental $6.
  • 3 Narrows Center for the Arts, 16 Anawan Street #1, +1 508 324-1926. This center on the top floor of one of Fall River's iconic mill buildings plays host to live music, art galleries, and other social gatherings. Attendees are welcome to bring their own food, drink, and alcohol to events. Narrows Center for the Arts (Q18151676) on Wikidata Narrows Center for the Arts on Wikipedia

The Little Theatre of Fall River puts on six or more theatrical productions a year. Running continuously since 1935, the company's musical and straight play productions can be seen at one of two locations:

  • 4 The Firebarn, 340 Prospect St, +1 508 675-1852. Owned by Little Theatre of Fall River.
  • 5 Margaret L. Jackson Arts Center (BCC), 777 Elsbree St, Building H.



Lizzie Borden, Fall River's Most Infamous Resident

Lizzie Borden took an axe,
Gave her mother forty whacks;
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one.
-Folk Rhyme

On August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden discovered the hatchet-mangled bodies of her wealthy father, Andrew, and her stepmother, Abby. What followed is among the most famous murder trials in American history. Lizzie was acquitted of murder charges, despite providing conflicting stories, trying to buy poison the day before the scene, and burning a "paint-stained" dress days later. No one was ever convicted of the crime.

Lizzie has attracted no shortage of fans. Some proudly proclaim her innocence; others proudly proclaim that she was an axe murderer. Regardless of your position, you can see the scene of the crime for yourself at the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast; pay respects at the family gravesite in Oak Grove Cemetery; and hear from the experts at the Fall River Historical Society.

  • 1 Bristol Community College (BCC), 777 Elsbree St, +1 508 678-2811. This two-year community college offers short professional development seminars (in-person and online), two-week winter term courses, and summer courses, in addition to its numerous Associates and certificate programs. Visitors may also be interested in the short, scenic walking loop around a pond on campus, and a variety of community events. Bristol_Community_College on Wikipedia
  • 2 Fall River Public Library (The People's University), 104 N Main St, +1 508 324-2700. Call ahead for availability due to COVID-19. Housed in a beautiful six-floor Renaissance revival building, the library offers all Massachusetts residents to register for free SAILS network library cards. Extensive physical collections of local history archives are available for viewing. Don't want a library card? Sign up for a temporary guest pass to get computer access, or attend one of the institution's many public events. Fall_River,_Massachusetts#Library on Wikipedia


  • 1 Fall River Shopping Center, 145 Mariano Bishop Blvd. Burlington anchors this complex, with other retailers including GameStop, Rainbow, and Savers.
  • 2 SouthCoast Marketplace (formerly New Harbour Mall), 550 William S Canning Blvd. This open-air mall opened in 2017 with a movie theater and a supermarket (Market Basket). Retailers include Old Navy, T.J. Maxx, and Ulta Beauty. Dining options include 110 Grill, Five Guys, Chick-Fil-A and Fall River's only Starbucks.
  • 3 Vanson Leathers, 951 Broadway, +1 508 678-2000. World-class manufacturer of jackets and suits for motorcyclists and motorsport athletes. Vanson also sells goods for fashion-conscious consumers, including collaborations with Supreme and replicas of the jacket they designed for X-Men's Wolverine. This factory showroom, visited by enthusiasts from all over the globe, is located in the same building where Vanson cuts and sews its products.



The hometown of celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse, Fall River hosts multiple culinary hidden gems, and offerings that cannot be found even in nearby Boston.



Fall River is home to some of the best Portuguese bakeries outside of Portugal. Highlights include massa (Portuguese sweet bread), pastéis de nata (Portuguese custard tarts, or natas), papo secos (crusty rolls with a fluffy interior) and malasadas (deep-fried festival donuts rolled in sugar).

pastéis de nata
  • 1 Barcelos Bakery and Cafe, 695-699 Bedford St., +1 508 676-8661. Featuring a huge selection of fresh Portuguese pastries in a large, laid-back cafe, Barcelos is a fantastic one-stop bakery frequented by locals and visitors alike. If you want to avoid peak hours, don't go on Sunday mornings- the post-church crowd routinely pushes the line out the door.
  • 2 Leddy's Bakery & Coffee Shop, 1481 S Main St, +1 508 672-0832. Leddy's offers baked goods in a family-oriented atmosphere. Menu items include homemade donuts, cakes, lemon squares, and cream puffs, among other pastries. Try the items from the refrigerated case to the left of the cash register — those items are made with fresh, local cream and are especially delicious.
  • 3 Lou's Bakery, 379 E Main St, +1 508 672-5795. Selling from a small deli counter, this bakery is best known for its exceptional sweet bread. You won't find every pastry on your Portuguese baked goods wish list here, but if it's amazing sweet bread you're after, Lou's is well worth the detour.
  • 4 New Boston Bakery, 279 New Boston Rd, +1 508 672-5795. Perhaps the city's best non-Portuguese bakery, this charming cafe in the Highlands serves an array of homemade cookies, muffins, and cakes.


Al Mac's Diner
  • 5 Al Mac's Diner, 135 President Ave, +1 508 567-5727. Al Mac's is an historic stainless steel diner. A local icon since 1953, Al Mac's features a breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu, each featuring homemade items. Owing to its well-preserved ambiance, Al Mac's has drawn in notable figures including Deval Patrick and Ted Kennedy on their campaign trails. Al Mac's hosts classic-car nights.
  • 6 New York Bagel Co., 1572 President Ave, +1 508 677-4767. Fresh bagels made every morning, with varieties like asiago, egg, and chocolate chip. Pair them with house-made cream cheese spreads, including chive and lox.
  • 7 Pink Bean Coffee, 85 Purchase St, +1 508 567-3336. Fall River's premier coffee shop. Pink Bean offers espresso, pour over, and cold brew coffee drinks alongside breakfast and lunch fare. In a city with sixteen Dunkin Donuts franchises, Pink Bean's coffee-focused philosophy is a breath of fresh air.



Lunch in Fall River is one of Massachusetts' greatest bargains. Far from Boston's $15 food trucks, portions here are ample, flavorful, and seldom over $10- including some dishes you can't try anywhere else.

  • 8 Mee Sum, 1819 S Main St, +1 508 675-7272. Spot to try the chow mein sandwich- locally-made chow mein noodles in brown gravy between two hamburger buns. The "sandwich," if you can call it that (the bottom bun is soaked in sauce and excess chow mein pours onto the plate), is quintessentially Fall River; mere miles outside of the city, no one has heard of it, but if you've lived here, you've eaten one.
  • 9 Nick's Hot Dogs, 534 S Main St, +1 508 677-3890. Nick's Hot Dogs offers affordable hot dogs ($1-2), French fries ($3-4), and stuffed quahogs ($3). Known for its Coney Island wieners, Nick's has been a staple in Fall River since 1920. It features a family-friendly atmosphere and original seats.
  • 10 Patti's Pierogis, 1019 S Main St, +1 508 679-4001. This authentic Polish restaurant has been featured on Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, and specializes in pierogis- boiled dumplings stuffed with potato filling, sauerkraut, ground meat, cheese, or fruit. Patti's serves traditional pierogis ($1.35 each) alongside new creations, such as one filled with buffalo chicken mac and cheese ($1.85 each).
  • 11 Sam's Bakery, 256 Flint St, +1 508 674-5422. The most beloved of Fall River's Lebanese bakeries, this small family-owned shop offers delicious triangular Lebanese pies (sfeehas), serving traditional meat and spinach pies alongside chourico-filled ones. $1.35 each, or $9 for a dozen.

Two rival sandwich shops, Marcucci's and Marzilli's, are located a block apart and offer near-identical menus of inexpensive local lunch favorites. "Medium" Italian grinders are 12" long and cost around $6, while pizza squares- saucy, cheeseless rectangles of bread you can only find in and around Rhode Island- can be had for $0.50 each. While everyone in town has their favorite shop, you can't go wrong with either.


  • 14 Caravela Family Restaurant, 635 S Main St, +1 508 235-1030. Features an extensive menu of authentic Portuguese dishes and greets its customers with a friendly atmosphere. Expect rather large portions for a relatively low cost. The sangria comes recommended, and is priced attractively at $6 a pitcher.
  • 15 The Clipper, 459 S Main St. The Clipper offers authentic and delicious Portuguese cuisine; one of the best in the city.
  • 16 O'Gil Restaurant and Lounge, 915 County St, +1 508 673-7250. The menu at O'Gil Restaurant and Lounge is heavily inspired by Portuguese cuisine, including pork and littlenecks and chouriço sandwiches. The restaurant also includes a full service cocktail lounge which offers a relaxed atmosphere. Try the fava beans and Shrimp or Chicken Mozambique (a spicy lemon-garlic sauce).
  • 17 Sagres Restaurant, 177 Columbia St, +1 508 675-7018. Local favorite for fine, authentic Portuguese food. Steak and seafood ($20-30) are served in ample portions alongside Portuguese wines.
  • 18 T.A. Restaurant, 408 S Main St, +1 508 673-5890.
  • 19 Tequila Lime Cantina, 197 Bank St, +1 774 365-4850. Tex-Mex fare is served with homemade tortilla chips. Per its namesake, the cantina offers dozens of tequila options spanning a wide range of quality and price.


  • 20 Michael's Provisions, 317 Lindsey St, +1 508 672-0982. Essential spot for house-made chouriço, a Portuguese pork sausage made with fat, spices, and beef casing. Chouriço, and its near-identical cousin linguiça, are as essential in Fall River as chicken or beef. Michael's offers both in a variety of forms, including links, pre-ground with peppers, and grill-ready patties.
  • 21 Portugalia Marketplace, 489 Bedford Street. This huge Portuguese market features an entire refrigerated room of bacalhau (salted cod) alongside wine, charcuterie, and authentic Azorean crafts.





Since 2018, Fall River has been home to two craft breweries. New England is famous for its beer, and the quality of these two locations exceeds their small size.

  • 1 Canned Heat Craft Beer Co., 52 Ferry Street. Local brewery serving exceptional hazy IPAs in a spacious warehouse taproom. Recommendations: Suppah New England DIPA, Orbuculum series (rotating), International IPA series (Ibex using Slovenian hops, Koala using Australian hops, etc.)
  • 2 Troy City Brewing, 16 Anawan St. Nanobrewery offering carefully-crafted ales from a multitude of styles, in a warm space featuring a cobblestone outdoor patio. Recommendations: Anawan Street APA, Maplecroft Maple Porter, Troy German Pilsner (flagship).


  • 3 Dunny's Saloon, 13 N Main St. Old-school bar serving over 60 whisk(e)ys, numerous canned craft beers (IPAs, stouts, and sours), and cocktails alongside wings, Reubens, and burgers.
  • 4 The Tipsy Seagull, 91 Purchase St. Open late spring to mid-fall. This one-of-a-kind tiki bar floats in the Taunton River for 6 months out of the year. Boaters can dock and get cocktails brought to their vessel, while landlubbers enjoy the rooftop bar. Live music every night. Their sister restaurant, The Tipsy Toboggan, is open year-round.
  • 5 St. James Irish Pub, 91 Purchase St.


The Lizzie Borden House

As of 2020, there are very few options for overnight accommodations in Fall River proper.

Several hotels and motels in Westport or Somerset are less than a mile from Fall River's borders.

  • 1 Holiday Inn Express, 360 Airport Rd, +1 508 672-0011. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. Newly-renovated and opened in early 2021, it is the only hotel in Fall River city limits. 81 rooms featuring new furnishings, carpeting, bedding, and linens. $89-169 rooms per night.
  • 2 Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast, 230 Second St, +1 508 675-7333. Not content with simply visiting the scene of this historic axe murder? Sleep and eat breakfast in the house where it happened. Bedroom options include Lizzie's room and the space where Abby Borden was killed. $250-300 per 2 person room per night; $2125 for the whole house.
  • 3 Taylor Pharmacy Guesthouse, 203 Linden St. This charming apartment is set inside of a vintage pharmacy, with nostalgic décor celebrating its history. Guests have lauded the cleanliness, personal touches, and free breakfast items stocked in the fridge. $99 per night.

Stay safe


Fall River is a sizable city. The precautions one would take in any unfamiliar urban area should be observed, particularly after dark.

Crime rates across the city steadily decreased throughout the 2010s. That said, Fall River has one of the highest rates of violent crime in Massachusetts.

A high proportion of crime in the city is drug-related and/or domestic in nature, and does not occur in broad daylight. As a result, it is exceedingly unlikely to be targeted or involved as a random bystander.

Crime is not uniform across the city. Very little occurs in Globe Village, Maplewood, and all neighborhoods north of Route 6. The city’s suburban North End (approximately Zip Code 02720) has significantly less reported crime than neighborhoods in the South End. Rates are highest in Corky Row, Flint Village, and City Center. At night, visitors are recommended to avoid residential streets in these areas, in addition to sections of Pleasant St., Slade St., and city parks.



Stay healthy


In case of emergency, dial 911.





This list is partial and only includes local, hospital, and 24 hour pharmacies.

Urgent Care


Houses of worship


During COVID-19, many places of worship offer services to be viewed online, and may require an online reservation to attend in-person services.

Flags indicate services regularly offered in languages other than English.


  • Khmer Buddhist Temple (Wat Udomsaharatanaram), 745 Highland Ave. Cambodia

Christianity (Non-Roman Catholic)


Affiliation, where not obvious from the name of the church, is provided in parentheses.

This list is incomplete, and congregations for other denominations may exist in Fall River.



Roman Catholicism

St. Anne's Catholic Church closed in 2018. Community efforts to restore and preserve the church are underway.

Fall River is a predominantly Catholic city, and the seat of the Fall River Diocese.

This list is complete as of Jan 2021; however, church closings are increasingly frequent with changes in city demographics and Diocesan funding.

  • 14 Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption (St. Mary's), 327 Second St. Oldest Catholic church in Fall River and Cathedral for the Fall River Diocese. One of four cathedrals in Massachusetts. Spain Brazil. Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption (Fall River, Massachusetts) on Wikipedia
  • Espirito Santo Church, 311 Alden St. Portugal
  • Good Shepherd Parish, 1598 S Main St.
  • Holy Trinity Parish, 951 Stafford Rd.
  • Holy Name Church, 709 Hanover St.
  • St. Anthony of Padua Parish, 48 Sixteenth St. Portugal
  • St. Joseph's Church, 1335 N Main St.
  • St. Michael's Church, 189 Essex St.
  • St. Stanislaus Church (St. Stan's), 36 Rockland St.
  • Santo Christo Parish, 185 Canal St. Portugal

Go next


Bordering towns

Horseneck Beach in Westport, MA

Fall River is bordered by five towns- four in Massachusetts, and one in Rhode Island.

  • Somerset to the west provides a lovely view of Fall River's skyline rising above the Taunton River.
  • Freetown to the north is home to Assonet Village and the majority of Freetown State Forest.
  • Dartmouth touches a sliver of Fall River's east border. Home to UMass Dartmouth, shopping centers, and the charming seaside village of Padanaram.
  • Westport comprises most of Fall River's east border. Massachusetts' westernmost Atlantic port (west port, get it?), it is home to Horseneck Beach, Fall River's closest glimpse of the ocean.
  • Tiverton (Rhode Island) to the south is a quiet town featuring Fort Barton (a hiking area centered on a Revolutionary War defense post) and beaches on the Sakonnet River.


  • Boston- New England’s largest city presents virtually endless itineraries to visitors. History buffs will be delighted by the Freedom Trail, which follows pivotal locations of the American Revolutionary War. Other highlights include the Red Sox’s Fenway Park; the palatial MFA, 14th largest art museum in the world; internationally renowned universities, including Harvard and MIT in nearby Cambridge; and the Boston Harbor Islands. 50 mi (80 km) north via Route 24 and I-93.
  • Cape Cod- First things first: you don't "Go up to Cape Cod", you "Go down the Cape." If you can make it through the ludicrous summer traffic, the Cape offers miles of beaches, artists' refuges, and Provincetown, one of the USA's most popular LGBT getaways. 40 mi (64 km) east to Bourne via I-195 and Route 25; P-Town is another 65 mi (105 km) away via Route 6.
  • New Bedford- Fall River's perennial rival, the "Whaling City" is the South Coast's other cultural center. Visit the extensive Whaling Museum to see for yourself why this city inspired Melville's Moby-Dick, then dine on the waterfront by charming cobblestone streets and alleys. 15 mi (24 km) east via I-195.
  • Newport (Rhode Island)- One of the top tourist destinations in Rhode Island, Newport is home to the historic Newport Mansions, museums, and public beaches. In the summer, Newport hosts the world-famous Newport Jazz Festival, alongside the Folk Festival, Tall Ships, and International Oktoberfest. 20 mi (32 km) southwest via Routes 24 and 114.
  • Providence- Fall River has much closer ties with Rhode Island's capital than it does with Boston, which can at times feel distant and disconnected. In the warmer months, take an evening gondola ride through WaterFire, a weekend public arts event spanning the rivers of downtown Providence. Year-round, visitors can dine on Federal Hill, a fantastic Little Italy, and shop on eclectic Thayer Street by Brown University and RISD. 20 mi (32 km) west via I-195.
  • Salem (Massachusetts)- Visiting Fall River for Lizzie Borden? Salem should be on your itinerary. In the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, 19 townsfolk were executed for allegedly dabbling in the occult. In modern times, the witches appear to have won: paranormal museums, hundreds of practicing Wiccans, and Mardi Gras-esque Halloween celebrations draw in international crowds. While you’re there, don’t miss the historical architecture- it’s some of New England’s finest and most well-preserved. 80 mi (130 km) north via Route 24 and I-95.
Routes through Fall River
ProvidenceSomerset  W  E  WestportNew Bedford
ProvidenceSomerset  W  E  WestportNew Bedford
RandolphFreetown  N  S  TivertonPortsmouth
MiddleboroughFreetown  N  S  END
END  N  S  TivertonLittle Compton
MiltonSomerset  N  S  TivertonNewport
ENDTiverton  W  E  WestportEND

This city travel guide to Fall River has guide status. It has a variety of good, quality information including hotels, restaurants, attractions and travel details. Please contribute and help us make it a star!