I spent a week in New London, Connecticut and, to my surprise, learned that just like New Bedford, it, too, has adopted the nickname "Whaling City."

Wait, can there really be more than one Whaling City in southern New England?

New Bedford and New London are both known as The Whaling City.
Barry Richard/Townsquare Media
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It is difficult to say with any certainty whether New Bedford or New London first coined the name Whaling City, but when you Google "Whaling City," New Bedford pops up, and New London does not.

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New London was founded by John Winthrop in 1646. English settlers bought the land that would eventually be called New Bedford in 1652. The area was first known as Dartmouth. New Bedford was incorporated in 1787.

According to Wikipedia, New Bedford, New London, and Nantucket were the three busiest whaling ports in the world in the early 19th century.

There are differences and similarities between New Bedford and New London.

New Bedford and New London are both known as The Whaling City.
Barry Richard/Townsquare Media
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New Bedford has whale murals by the renowned artist Robert Wyland.

New Bedford and New London are both known as The Whaling City.
Barry Richard/Townsquare Media
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New London has Wyland whale murals, too.

New Bedford and New London are both known as The Whaling City.
Barry Richard/Townsquare Media
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New London has a whale's tail.

New Bedford and New London are both known as The Whaling City.
Barry Richard/Townsquare Media
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New Bedford has a whale's tail, too.

New Bedford has a population of just more than 100,000 people while New London is much smaller with just over 27,000 residents.

New London has the United States Coast Guard Academy and the Coast Guard Station New London. New Bedford has a kick-ass fishing fleet that makes it the most lucrative fishing port in the U.S.

United States Coast Guard Barque EAGLE Facebook
United States Coast Guard Barque EAGLE Facebook
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New London has the Coast Guard tall ship Eagle.

Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association/Facebook
Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey Association/Facebook
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New Bedford has the Ernestina.

New Bedford High School via Facebook; @WhalerAthletics via Twitter
New Bedford High School via Facebook; @WhalerAthletics via Twitter
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Both New Bedford and New London have high school sports teams known as Whalers.

Nantucket adopted a unique nickname and is known as "The Little Grey Lady of the Sea."  Nantucket's high school sports teams are also known as Whalers.

Nantucket was founded in 1641 by Thomas Mayhew.

New Bedford and New London are both known as The Whaling City
Barry Richard/Townsquare Media
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While Nantucket has emerged from the whaling era as a successful resort community and home to many well-to-do retirees from the mainland, New Bedford and New London became industrial centers after whaling and have continued to struggle after their industrial base faded away.

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New Bedford Whaling Museum

It's a big piece of New Bedford history is on showcase right downtown at the New Bedford Whaling Museum.