Charming neighborhoods and vibrant communities offer an assortment of fun things to do in Worcester.
Near the geographic center of Massachusetts, Worcester is referred to as the “Heart of the Commonwealth.” Worcester strikes an intriguing balance: It’s full of historic charm but is also a modern hub for innovation…thanks in part to a strong pipeline of highly educated graduates from local colleges. Worcester is also known for having a young, skilled workforce who appreciate the relative affordability of the housing market as they launch their careers.
When it comes to the neighborhoods in Worcester, there’s a flavor and lifestyle for just about anyone. Here is a list of some of those places to live, work and play in Worcester.
Downtown is a bustling hub of business and culture in Worcester. In addition, new market-rate housing options are transforming what was once a 9-to-5 climate for professionals into an active neighborhood for families. The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, DCU Center, the Jean McDonough Arts Center, Mercantile Center and the Worcester Common are a few of the attractions that draw people to come experience all that Worcester has to offer. In addition, Worcester Wares, located at Door 22 of the DCU Center, is a great option to purchase handcrafted Worcester merchandise.
Salisbury Cultural District
Taking its name from the Salisbury family — whose history as merchants, entrepreneurs, gentlemen farmers, founders and benefactors of arts, cultural and civic institutions in Worcester dates back to 1767 — this district is home to some of the region’s most venerable cultural, historical, educational and religious organizations, as well as a thriving restaurant, retail and art community. Sidewalks, crosswalks, bicycle paths, lighting, ample shade trees, historical buildings and an attractive environment are all hallmarks of the neighborhood.
The Canal District has become the touch point for Worcester’s nightlife, and Kelley Square is at the center of the action, marking the corner of Green and Harding streets as one of the state’s most complex intersections. The party spills over to the neighborhood of Green Island, where crowds sing karaoke at Cafe Neo or enjoy a cocktail at the recently opened Steel & Wire.
This neighborhood, with a population of around 16,000, offers residents an urban-suburban feel, and most residents rent their homes. Families and young professionals flock to this area for its walkable amenities, including coffee shops and parks.
This neighborhood is enjoying a renaissance. Once a manufacturing hub, the neighborhood is home to family-run restaurants and businesses, schools, parks and community organizations. The Main South Community Development Corp. assists first-time homebuyers in their purchases of renovated homes, which offer architectural consistency to the traditional designs in the area with added solar and green energy sources. The Clark University campus is located in Main South.
“Mass Ave” marks Worcester’s elaborate Victorian district. Visitors can hike up Prospect Hill to Bancroft Tower, the city’s ultimate picnic destination set in the shade of a feudal castle. Granite placards at the north and south ends of the tower indicate Worcester’s seven hills. Worcester Art Museum is nearby, featuring a collection highlighted by the first museum purchases of Monet and Gauguin. Newton Square has likewise come into its own over the last two decades with the support of Friends of Newton Hill. Newton Hill now features disc golf, tennis courts, and fitness circuits.
Want to know more?
To learn more about the Worcester area, check out the latest edition of Livability Worcester, MA.