Worcester, MA downtown

2021 Top 100 Best Places to Live In America Sponsored by: See homes for sale on Movoto by OJO

liv score
How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 39
Demographics 66
Economy 61
Education 54
Health 73
Housing 43
Infrastructure 43

#52. Worcester, MA

Worcester, MA is known as the “Heart of the Commonwealth,” and the heart is the city’s official symbol. It’s fitting because there’s a whole lot to love about this Massachusetts city, from the job opportunities spanning diverse industries to the local restaurants lining Shrewsbury Street to the love for arts that’s reflected in a steady lineup of live music and eye-catching public murals. Plus, Worcester is in a convenient location, close to Boston, Hartford and Providence.

Top Colleges/Universities: Clark University, Worcester State University & Quinsigamond Community College

Top Industries & Employers: Innovation is thriving in Worcester, with scientific research and development and digital game design and fast-growing robotics industries. Other key industries poised for continual growth include manufacturing, education and health care and tech. 

Weekend Plans: Hang out in the Canal District, which has a farmers market, breweries and is home to Polar Park, where the Worcester Red Sox play baseball. 

Favorite Place to Feast: Shrewsbury Street, known as “restaurant row,” has more than 40 restaurants in a 1-mile stretch. A favorite is Nuovo, an Italian restaurant with Mediterranean influences.

Beloved Beverage: Premium seltzers from Polar Beverages, a hometown company with a devout nationwide following.

Outdoorsy Activity: Explore Worcester’s urban art scene. A must-see: The “Mooncake” mural at the Hanover Theatre and Conservatory. Enormous 3-D glasses available to the public allow you to watch skeletal figures morph into a couple in a loving embrace. 

Rooftop Bar: For now, rooftops are pretty much reserved for nearby Boston. But, a 500-seat restaurant and rooftop bar called The Mercantile is scheduled to open in the fall in Worcester’s Mercantile Center. 

Why Your Pet Will Love It, Too: “Pupcake” treats sold by The Queen’s Cup because dogs deserve sweet treats, too.

Remote Work Perk: Your dollar will stretch further as Worcester is a lower-cost alternative to nearby Boston.

One More Thing … Worcester is for lovers. According to folklore, Worcester resident Esther Howland received an English valentine, which inspired her to design her own. Worcester went on to become, well, the heart of the commercial valentine industry for a century. 

– Brittany Anas

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