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Not to be confused with South Shore.
For other places with the same name, see South Coast (disambiguation).

SouthCoast is a region of Eastern Massachusetts. Commonly stylized as Southcoast or South Coast, it follows the coastline from the eastern border of Rhode Island to the Cape Cod Canal. The area has a history of whaling and fishing, agriculture, and, in the cities, a collapsed textile industry. Its many harbors, offshore islands, and features make it a good recreational fishing area, particularly in autumn.


Map of SouthCoast

  • 1 Fall River - "The Spindle City", home of Battleship Cove and Lizzie Borden.
  • 2 New Bedford - "The Whaling City" inspired Moby-Dick and houses a Whaling Museum.
  • 3 Wareham - "The Gateway to Cape Cod."


  • 4 Dartmouth - Home to UMass Dartmouth and Padanaram Village.
  • 5 Fairhaven - A residential coastal community.
  • 6 Freetown - Visit Freetown State Forest, Assonet Village, and the Assonet River.
  • 7 Marion - Home of Tabor Academy.
  • 8 Mattapoisett - Classic coastal small town.
  • 9 Rochester - A "Right to Farm" community.
  • 10 Somerset - Small town with river views of Fall River.
  • 11 Swansea - Quiet residential town and former home of the Swansea Mall.
  • 12 Westport - Seaside with dramatic Horseneck Beach.


This diverse and beautiful region runs between Rhode Island on the west and Cape Cod on the east and covers the spectrum from blue collar to wealthy towns. The SouthCoast region is anchored by its two harbor cities of New Bedford and Fall River, both of which have deep roots in fishing and whaling. Fishing brought a large population of Portuguese and Azoreans to the area in the late 19th century, making that a distinctive feature of the area.

Get in[edit]

Interstate 195 runs between Providence, Rhode Island and Cape Cod and services most of the SouthCoast towns.

Major airports are in Boston(BOS IATA) and Warwick (Rhode Island)(PVD IATA). New Bedford has a regional airport.

Boats can harbor in many of the towns, including Fall River, New Bedford, Fairhaven, Mattapoisett and Marion.

By public transit[edit]

  • GATRA (Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority), 10 Oak Street, +1 508-823-8828, +1 508-824-7439 (TTD), toll-free: +1 800-483-2500. Varies, 7AM-7PM daily. Created in 1976 and headquartered in Taunton, GATRA runs over 100 buses and vans across 30+ routes to connect communities across southern Massachusetts. The most popular routes are along GATRA central, with service and connections across Taunton and Attleboro. GATRA east is also popular, including routes connecting New Bedford and Wareham with Plymouth. Nascent GATRA west provides a few options to Franklin and thereabouts. $1.50, Day pass: $4, 10-day ride pass: $13, free transfers. Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority (Q5600434) on Wikidata Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority on Wikipedia
  • SRTA (Southeastern Regional Transit Authority), 134 Elm Street, +1 508-999-5211. M-F 6AM-9PM, Sa Su 7AM-5PM. Offers about 25 bus routes around and between its two main bus terminals in New Bedford and Fall River. All buses are equipped with bike racks. Buses on run about every 30 min to an hour depending on popularity. $1-2. Southeastern Regional Transit Authority (Q7569500) on Wikidata Southeastern Regional Transit Authority on Wikipedia

Get around[edit]

Though there is public transportation, a car is the best way to see the area.



  • A nice scenic trip in the eastern end of the SouthCoast area can be had by just following Route 6 along the coast through Wareham, Marion, Mattapoisett and Fairhaven while watching for points of interest and making the occasional side trip toward the shore.
  • At the western end of the SouthCoast see Padanaram village in Dartmouth (Route 6 to Tucker Rd to Gulf Rd). Then travel west to Russells Mills village at Russells Mills Rd and Rock O'Dundee Rd. From there head to Hix Bridge Rd across the Wesport River to Westport and Little Compton and Tiverton, Rhode Island. These towns are largely rural, with the attractions being mostly scenery.



  • Feast of the Blessed Sacrament — First weekend in August, New Bedford. Munch on beef skewers and sweet malassadas, grab a cup of specially imported Madeira wine, and take in a traditional Fado performance during the largest celebration of Madeiran Portuguese culture in the world.


The region has direct access to fresh seafood and the local chefs know what to do with it. Also try some of the Portuguese specialties such as "cacoila", a marinated pork, often served in a sandwich. Visit a Portuguese bakery -- if only to try the subtle "sweet bread".


Go next[edit]

  • Bristol-Norfolk — A collection of forests, rural communities and bedroom suburbs on the way to Providence, Rhode Island.
  • South Shore (Massachusetts) — Stretching south to the Cape, it's here where you'll find the "Irish Riviera"; a handful of beach communities nestled along the Atlantic.
  • Cape Cod and the Islands — Featuring miles of beaches, natural attractions, historic sites, art galleries, antiquing opportunities, and many options for fine dining.
  • Bristol County (Rhode Island) — Visit the land Massachusetts lost during the great border compromise of 1746.
  • Newport County — Comprised of Aquidneck, Conanicut, and Prudence islands; Newport dominates the county.
This region travel guide to SouthCoast is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!