“There’s been a lot of thought behind making Worcester a more walkable city, and now, it’s an extremely walkable place.”
A resident of downtown Worcester, Ché Anderson loves to get outside and walk around his vibrant neighborhood.
“Not only does walkability provide a feeling of civic pride, but it’s one of the social determinants of health,” Anderson says.
Here are some of the places Anderson likes to visit during a relaxing downtown stroll:
1. DCU Center
This 14,000-seat arena has been the home for major concerts and sports events in Worcester for four decades. Frank Sinatra was the venue’s first act. Performers since then have included Neil Diamond, U2, Boston, Aerosmith, Snoop Dogg and Dave Matthews. A convention center with 100,000 square feet of exhibition space was added in 1997.
2. Worcester Art Museum
Part of the Salisbury Cultural District, WAM houses more than 38,000 works of art, including a collection of Roman mosaics and Japanese prints. In 2013, the museum acquired the John Woodman Higgins Armory Collection, consisting of approximately 2,000 arms and armor objects.
3. East Park
It’s officially called Cristoforo Colombo Park, but to the locals, it’s simply known as East Park. Two stone griffins (winged lions) flank the entrance to the 81-acre park, which contains lighted football fields, a tennis court, two basketball courts, a splash pad and children’s playground, an amphitheater and several walking trails.
4. Worcester Public Market
This European-style, food-oriented marketplace is one of the newest additions to the downtown scene. The market is a one-stop shopping location for produce, meat, seafood, cheese, baked goods, deli goods, vegan products, flowers, wine and spirits, local brews, coffees, teas and juices.
5. Polar Park
Polar Park is the new home of the Worcester Red Sox Triple-A baseball team (affectionately known as the “WooSox” by locals), with nearly 10,000 seats. It continues the tradition of professional baseball in the city, which dates to the 19th century.
6. New Tradition Co.
A coffee shop, motorcycle shop and event space located in a 130,000 square-foot, 100-year-old building. Their motto is, appropriately enough, “Drink coffee. Go Fast.”
7. Miss Worcester Diner
A tiny restaurant with a huge menu and even bigger portions. Choose from 32 different types of omelets, including a meatball, sausage, provolone omelet, and 19 sandwiches.
8. Worcester Public Library
A fixture in Worcester since the mid-1800s, the main library moved into its current building in 2001. It provides access to more than 60 databases and, of course, thousands of books.
9. Maker to Main
A self-described “hybrid food hub,” Maker to Main was designed to help market and transport local produce directly to consumers and businesses, including restaurants, breweries and schools. Offerings range from a wide variety of vegetables to apples, milk, eggs, flour, honey and syrup.
10. Insane51 POW! WOW! Mural
Located on the side of The Hanover Theatre and Conservatory for the Performing Arts, this 125-by-50-foot mural was created in 2018 by young Greek artist Stathis Tsavalias, who goes by the name Insane51. His creation quickly became one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks.