town in Massachusetts, United States

Somerset is a small town in the SouthCoast region of Massachusetts. It is built on the western bank of the Taunton River, connected by bridges with Fall River and sharing a border with Swansea.

Understand edit

These massive, $600 million cooling towers at Brayton Point dominated the Somerset skyline from 2011 to 2019

Incorporated in 1790, Somerset is defined by its most prominent geographical feature- the Taunton River. When the town was founded, it was a major port for American goods distribution and shipbuilding. As industry grew in Fall River across the water, Somerset became increasingly suburban. Somerset Village on the town's north shore is a living example of the town's residential development over the past few centuries. The southern tip of Somerset, Brayton Point, was home to the last coal-fired power station in Massachusetts before its closure in 2017 and implosion in 2019. The future of Brayton Point remains uncertain in the early 2020s; development proposals include clean energy generation and commercial zoning.

Somerset's restaurants and businesses are concentrated along its two major roads: US Route 6 (GAR Hwy) and MA Route 138 (County St).

Two bridges cross the river to connect Somerset with Fall River: the Braga Bridge (I-195) and the Veterans Memorial Bridge (Routes 6 and 138). The Brightman St. Bridge closed to traffic in 2011 after over 100 years of service. The local landmark still stands today, its drawbridge always open to boat traffic. Slade's Ferry Ave, which connects the defunct bridge with Route 6, was a major local commercial thoroughfare prior to the 2010s. Today, it is a ghost town of shuttered businesses.

Get in edit

By car edit

The Veterans Memorial Bridge into Somerset (background) from Fall River (foreground)

Somerset is most easily accessed by car.

Because Somerset's western border is entirely shoreline, most routes in and out go over a bridge.

  • Interstate 195 runs east-west between Providence and Cape Cod. Connects to Fall River via the Braga Bridge. Exit 10.
  • US Route 6, 3,000 mi (4,800 km) in length, connects Somerset with bordering Swansea and Fall River (via the Veterans Memorial Bridge). Here, the road is also known as Grand Army of the Republic Highway (GAR Hwy).

Two other, minor numbered roads pass through Somerset:

  • MA Route 138 runs concurrently with Route 6 from Fall River, before diverging and running north toward Taunton via Dighton. Known here as County Street.
  • MA Route 103 terminates in Somerset. It runs west through Swansea into Warren (Rhode Island), becoming RI Route 103, which connects to East Providence.

By bus edit

The Southeastern Regional Transportation Authority (SRTA) offers one bus route (Route 14) to Somerset from Swansea and Fall River.

By plane edit

  • T.F. Green Airport (PVD IATA) in Warwick (Rhode Island) is the nearest major domestic airport.
  • Logan International Airport (BOS IATA) in Boston is the major international airport serving the area.
  • Taunton Municipal Airport (FAA: TAN) in East Taunton is a small regional airport.

Get around edit

Map of Somerset (Massachusetts)

Getting around in Somerset is most easily done by car, particularly through the town's main commercial highways. However, the town is small, flat, and residential, making walking feasible. The compact roads are good for jogging, cycling, dog walking, rollerblading, and skateboarding.

See and do edit

The landscape around most of Somerset is the water. The best example of this is a drive down Riverside Avenue. Riverside Avenue is a long, winding road that travels through the majority of Somerset's border along the riverside of the Taunton River.

  • 1 Pierce Beach & Playground, Simbrom Dr. Memorial Day to Labor Day: 9AM-5PM. This sandy strip of riverside shoreline is overlooked by a landscaped grassy park, complete with multiple playgrounds and a ball field. $10/day (nonresident).
    • The most iconic feature of this complex is the Big Red Slide, a twisting tube slide over 90 ft (27 m) in length reached by 30 ft (9.1 m) of wooden stairs. In 2021, the old fiberglass slide will be replaced by a new stainless steel one (painted red, of course).
  • 2 AMF Somerset Lanes, 231 Riverside Ave, +1 508 672-3131. Bowling alley renovated in the 2010s with expanded food offerings, a bar, and an arcade.

Buy edit

  • 1 Auclair's Market, 145 County St, +1 508 672-1918. Serving Somerset for over 100 years, this independent market is a local staple for produce, butchered meat, and fresh-baked bread.

Eat edit

Somerset's restaurants offer heaping, inexpensive portions of homestyle food.

Breakfast edit

  • 1 Cindy's, 958 County St. M & W-Sa, 6AM-1PM, Su: 7AM-1PM, Tu: Closed. Some of the region's best breakfast food is served out of this tiny diner outfit. Crowds of regulars make it difficult to get a seat, even on weekdays, so be prepared for a wait. Be sure to ask for potato "shreds" instead of home fries.
  • 2 Somerset Grille, 3015 County St. M-W & Sa: 6AM-2PM, Th & F: 6AM-8PM, Su: 6AM-12:30PM. Sizable dining room serving huge plates of buttery breakfast food, plus daily lunch specials.

Italian edit

  • 3 Ma Raffa's. Local staple for homestyle Italian food. Known best for their huge and budget-friendly party platters, Ma Raffa's cooks similarly-giant meals for individual diners, too, such as the $9 stuffed shells.
  • 4 Magoni's Ferry Landing, 681 Riverside Ave, +1 508 674-4335. Italian staples are served alongside local seafood favorites like lobster bisque and clams casino.

Pubs edit

  • 5 Agoro's, 2756 County St, +1 508 730-2356. Portuguese-Italian fusion entrees and pizzas are served in this refined, modern dining room.
  • 6 Jillian's, 1876 Wilbur Ave, +1 508 678-1140.
  • 7 Pottersville Pub, +1 508 672-9488.

Ice cream edit

Somerset Creamery is a local hub for homemade ice cream in dozens of flavors. Family owned and operated since 1937, they offer hand-packed pints, frappes, and sundaes. Operating seasonally at two locations (plus one on Cape Cod):

  • 8 Somerset Creamery Route 6, 1931 GAR Hwy, +1 508 672-5510.
  • 9 Somerset Creamery County St, 146 County St, +1 508 673-0700.

Sleep edit

Go next edit

Bordering towns edit

Destinations edit

Routes through Somerset
ProvidenceSwansea  W   E  Fall RiverNew Bedford
ProvidenceSwansea  W   E  Fall RiverNew Bedford
BostonDighton  N   S  Fall RiverNewport

This city travel guide to Somerset is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.