What's there to do on the SouthCoast? Just tag along, as we admire America's No. 1 fishing port's multicolored fishing boats resting before their next trip, 200 miles out in the Atlantic Ocean, where the freshest fish and scallops are pulled in and then delivered across the country.

Let's take an exhilarating ride on the fast ferry to Martha's Vineyard, taste some of the greatest chowdah evah, take in an outdoor concert, catch a live show at the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center, sip delicious, locally made designer wines and local craft beers – and go ahead and try the grilled tender octopus or the freshest fish and hand-cut chips you'll ever experience.

Shop the most unique artisan shops, take a leisurely stroll along the sandy beaches, or breath in the fresh, salt water air along New Bedford coastline on the scenic Covewalk, or take the footpath through New Bedford's world famous Whaling Museum. Hear true stories at the Fishing Heritage Center or Fort Taber Military Museum, and see firsthand the actual places of the Underground Railroad.

Have you ever tried coffee milk or a linguica-cheese roll?

New Bedford has been ranked the seventh-most artistic city in America by Richard Florida in Atlantic Magazine. You  have to visit the most popular Buttonwood Park Zoo, that is a big hit with the kids. The restaurants rank among the best. The prices are reasonable and the people are warm and welcoming.

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Visitors from everywhere on earth love the authenticity, beauty and simplicity of the SouthCoast, and to help reopen local cultural facilities and tourism, Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism Executive Director Keiko M. Orrall, Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and other officials announced that $2 million in awards will go to support the Destination Development Capital Grant Program.

"We're thrilled to have this new pilot program that focuses on supporting our tourism resources on the SouthCoast and across the state," Orrall said, also noting that Battleship Cove in Fall River was awarded funds to develop an exhibit for a Vietnam helicopter hangar.

Tourism brings in necessary revenues that is an important part of our local economy.

"We have a beautiful state to showcase and these funds will allow our attractions and cultural institutions to remain vibrant for years to come," Orrall said.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at phil@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

LOOK: Stunning vintage photos capture the beauty of America's national parks

Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

Keep scrolling for 50 vintage photos that show the beauty of America's national parks.

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