Best Places to Live

Worcester, MA

Population: 187,231

Worcester is less than an hour from Boston by car or train, but the cost of living is a world away: here you’ll find rent prices nearly $1,000 less than Boston, and a median home value less than $250,000, which is nearly unheard of in this area.

But don’t think Worcester is just another suburb — this beautiful, historic city has a personality and charm all its own. Worcester received high marks in the amenities category thanks to an abundance of fun things to do, including a fabulous art and theater scene, parks, local boutiques, music venues and even a charming and delicious Little Italy on Shrewsbury Street.

Local Obsession: Polar Seltzer, Coney Island Hot Dogs and Table Talk Pie.

Climate Described in 6 Words Or Less: Unpredictable … it's New England! 

Top Industries and Employers: Healthcare and manufacturing are industry titans here

Local Dream Job: Taste tester of The Armsby Abbey’s mac and cheese

Quintessential Meal: The meatball sandwich at Vincent's

Favorite Weekend Activity: Weekends in Worcester are best spent in the Canal District. Park the car, pick up your produce for the week at The Canal District Farmers Market and get some locally raised meat at Stillman’s. Poke around for gifts and antiques at Crompton Collective, and get a new outfit at Haberdash. Before you leave, pop into The Queen's Cups for some dessert. 

After-Work Meetup Spot: The outdoor patio of The Dive Bar

Best Local Beer: WormTown Brewery’s Buddha’s Juice

Beloved Bookstore: Bedlam Book Cafe

Free Way to Have Fun: Self-guided tour of all the Pow! Wow! Murals

Hidden Gem: The MamaRoux Food Truck, which serves up creative takes on southern classics.

- Winona Dimeo-Ediger

Read More:

Can’t Afford to Live in Boston? Live Here Instead.

The 10 Best Things to Do in Massachusetts

Best Places to Live in Massachusetts

“Worcester is a big city with lots of things to do, but the people here care about each other like it’s a small town. They support small businesses, show up for local events and people and care about our neighborhoods and city as a whole. It's the best of both worlds”

- Amy Chase, owner of Crompton Collective

Worcester, MA Ranking Data