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Day Trip: New Bedford & Fall River

One of those artistic souls, Anthi Frangiadis, is an architect by trade, a lover of everything artistic by happenstance, and recently relocated her artisan showroom, The Drawing Room, from Marion to North Water Street in New Bedford. “When I first opened The Drawing Room,” Frangiadis says, “I wanted to provide space to showcase unique art in hopes it would help get the creative juices flowing for my architectural clients.” In fact, the various artistic wares found at The Drawing Room have found their way into many of Frangiadis’ commercial and residential projects. Today, work which represents 25 different artisans makes The Drawing Room a must-stop for any trip to New Bedford.

The Drawing Room

The Drawing Room is a carefully curated art & design shop located in historic downtown New Bedford, featuring original work by dozens of New England artisans who create paintings, pottery, jewelry, artful gifts, and home furnishings, plus Farrow & Ball paint and wallpaper. Stop in and discover something beautiful.

36 N. Water St., New Bedford

Shimmer, another stop over on Union Street, offers a curated collection of beauty products for the entire family, including the home. Looking for a gift for those that seem to have it all? How about a gift of health and well-being? Their helpful staff are pros at finding the right products for the right person.


A curated collection of the best in clean beauty. Shop non-toxic, cruelty-free, and eco-friendly brands in beauty, wellness, and home care. The Shimmer team will help you find your new favorite product or customized gift set, and you can even schedule a private beauty consultation with a makeup artist.

187 Union Street, New Bedford774 206

Farther down Route 195, another historic city, Fall River, also makes a great destination. Like New Bedford, the history of the city has informed the community’s personality; as diversity, European culture and imported products and services have woven the tapestry that is now Fall River. Battleship Cove, perched on the banks of the Taunton River and under the shadow of the Braga Bridge, is a living maritime museum as well as a war memorial. The USS Massachusetts, a highly decorated battleship, is at the core of the memorial since it is there largely because its crew fought to have it memorialized instead of having it junked for scrap. Now the structure of the ship actually contributes to a safe harbor that is a popular destination for cruising pleasure craft.

The city’s mills turned out textiles and other valuable goods for centuries, and were at the center of many of the residents’ lives. Today, like so many historical industrial centers, the mills have become artist studios, retail showrooms and other light manufacturing. One such building is the home to the Narrows Center for the Arts, a robust music venue which also provides studio space for artists, and two ever-changing exhibit spaces for some of the most eclectic rosters of art installations this side of New York City.

As you spend the day (or evening), venturing into all there is to see and do in the area, sustenance will be on your agenda. For those serious about what a coffee can and should be, Pink Bean is the place to land. With a headquarters located in Somerset, and another location in the city, their signature beverage, the Mojo, will get your own motor running. But a visit wouldn’t be complete without sampling something from their healthy and tantalizing menu.

Pink Bean

Offering organic coffees, specialty drinks, fruit & vegetable smoothies and delicious breakfast sandwiches, Pink Bean has been featured as “Best of” in multiple publications including Southcoast Almanac. With many choices for vegan or gluten free diets you’ll find some of the best food in the Southcoast right here at their Fall River or Somerset location.

85 Purchase St, Fall River 508-567-3336 / 202 Slades Ferry Ave,

If for no other reason, a trip to Fall River is not complete without a stop at Portugalia. The jaw-dropping European provisions market is truly a trip across the Atlantic. Founder Fernando Benevides had the brilliant idea to sell “good” coffee out of his garage over 30 years ago. That foray into sharing his love for authentic, high-quality foods and beverages he had come to love while growing up in the Azores, has grown into a second-generation family business which his son Michael and his daughter Jennifer now take the helm. In 2013, Michael and his parents entered the next phase of their dream when they constructed a new marketplace on Bedford Street. The fresh produce and baked goods, along with a bustling deli and prepared foods section, are all reminiscent of a European marketplace where quality and choice are surpassed only by the personal service. Aisles packed with rows and rows of European versions of familiar staples, as well as a few unfamiliar, make filling a shopping cart only too easy. Behind a 40-foot-long wall of glass is the O Fiel Amigo, a temperature-controlled room that offers a glimpse into the old-world preparation of salt cod. Beer, wine and spirits round out the selection of groceries, and a small café offers Portuguese baked goods, great coffee, (Fernando would have it no other way) and a place to catch-up.

No matter which way you go on Route 195, either north or south, a trip to New Bedford or Fall River is a quick way to get to the old world.

Julie Craven Wagner is the editor at Cape Cod LIFE.

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