Best Family Outing | EcoTarium in Worcester, MassachusettsPhoto Credit : Courtesy of Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism
With an eye on what’s new for 2023, Yankee’s editors round up the best attractions, eateries, and hotels in Worcester, Massachusetts. For more of our Massachusetts picks, check out our spotlight guide to Boston or our comprehensive Best of Massachusetts 2023 guide.
Best Worcester B&B | Vida Boutique Inn, Worcester
Toeing the line between historic charm and modern comfort, the Vida Boutique Inn is a 1906 Colonial Revival in the heart of its home city. Completely renovated in 2021, Vida welcomes guests (and their small pets) with seven rooms, all of which are adorned with antique touches. The inn lays out a generous breakfast spread, and dishes can be tailored to accommodate most needs.
Best Downtown Worcester Hotel | Beechwood Hotel, Worcester
If location is everything, Beechwood has it on lockdown. A convenient launching spot to Worcester’s downtown life, this pet-friendly hotel has a combination of rooms and suites, seven with fireplaces. The outdoor patio at Sonoma, the hotel restaurant, serves up a robust breakfast menu that will get your day started off right.
Best Family Outing in Worcester | EcoTarium, Worcester
Budding scientists and outdoor enthusiasts alike have a home at EcoTarium. Kids flock to the animal exhibits, which include rescued critters like orphaned sibling mountain lions and an opossum named Beaker. Adults can get their steps in thanks to the property’s three miles of walking trails, and visitors of all ages can explore the outer reaches of the universe at the newly renovated Alden Planetarium, the only one of its kind in Central Massachusetts.
Best Farm-to-Table Restaurant in Worcester | Deadhorse Hill, Worcester
After cooking in New York and Boston, chef Jared Forman brought his outsize talents to Worcester’s Main Street. Maine oysters, Vermont beef, and local produce all inspire dishes like beet salad with labne and savory granola or shio ramen with house-made noodles and pork belly (he’s a whiz at any kind of pasta).
Best Indian Restaurant in Worcester | Namaste Woo, Worcester
A Worcester Public Market standout, this counter-service restaurant serves incredibly fresh, homestyle food that owner Pooja Vishal grew up making with her mother in northern India. Familiar dishes like samosas, chicken tikka, and chana masala cozy up to garlic naan tacos and harissa chicken curry. You can also bring these flavors home by buying Vishal’s meal kits just down the hall at the Market Pantry.
Best Local Market in Worcester | The Market Pantry, Worcester
We’ve never seen a better collection of New England–made foods (plus goods from further afield), from cheeses to grains to chocolates, than at this specialty market located within the Worcester Public Market. Director Tina Zlody seems to know every food producer in our six states, and she lovingly displays their goods alongside other gems like Momofuku noodle kits, linens, hot sauces, tinned fish, and charcuterie. If you like to eat local, start here.
Best Worcester Retail Hot Spot | Crompton Place, Worcester
Spanning half a block, Crompton Place is home to some of Worcester’s most irresistible indie retailers. Anchor store Crompton Collective, a spin on the old antique mall, has dealers and artisans constantly bringing in new products. Plant boutique Seed to Stem draws green thumbs from as far as Boston, while Bedlam Book Café is a cozy readers’ paradise. Score an outfit at women’s boutique Haberdash, then refuel amid live music at BirchTree Bread Co.
Check out our full 2023 Best of New England Summer Travel Guide to find our current editors’ picks in all six New England states.