Dartmouth is a coastal town in Bristol County, Massachusetts, and was the first area of Southeastern Massachusetts settled. Dartmouth itself is part of the Farm Coast New England comprising a chain of historic coastal villages, vineyards and farms. It celebrated its 350th birthday June 8, 2014. It is also part of the Massachusetts South Coast. The local daily newspaper is The Standard-Times.
The northern part of Dartmouth has the town's large commercial districts. Although it does not abut Buzzard's Bay, there are several waterways including Lake Noquochoke, Cornell Pond, Shingle Island River and Paskamansett River. There are several working farms in town and vineyard. All vineyards in the town are part of the Coastal Wine Tour. The town also has a thriving agricultural heritage and many of the working farms are protected. The town's food staple is french toast casserole.
The southern part of Dartmouth borders Buzzards Bay where a lively fishing and boating community thrives; off its coast, the Elizabeth Islands and Cuttyhunk can be seen. The New Bedford Yacht Club in Padanaram hosts a bi-annual Regatta. With unique historic villages and selection of coastal real estate, it has for many generations been a summering community. Notable affluent sections within South Dartmouth are Nonquitt, Round Hill, Barney's Joy, and Mishaum Point. Still it has its fair share of year-round residents lending to thriving seasonal activities all year.
Dartmouth is the third-largest town (by land area) in Massachusetts, after Plymouth and Middleborough. The distance from Dartmouth's northern most border with Freetown to Buzzards Bay in the south is approximately 16 miles (26 km). The villages of Hixville, Bliss Corner, Padanaram, Smith Mills, and Russells Mills are located within the town. Dartmouth shares borders with Westport to the west, Freetown and Fall River to the north, Buzzards Bay to the south, and New Bedford to the east with boat shuttles traveling multiple times daily to Martha's Vineyard and Cuttyhunk.