Exploring Worcester: An Exciting Destination in Central Massachusetts

A trip to Worcester is sure to satisfy everyone from foodies and culture vultures to families and tourists.

By Yankee Staff

Jun 07 2019

things to do in worcester-og
Photo Credit : Holly Sloane

Sponsored by Discover Central Massachusetts

For a century, the brick complex at 138 Green St. in Worcester was home to Crompton Loom Works, a loom manufacturer and significant employer in the city’s industrial past. Today, on a warm 21st-century Sunday at 138 Green St., we sit in a corner booth at BirchTree Bread Company as a band plays cover songs and diners mingle, enjoying the airy space and taking photos of picture-perfect baked goods with their smartphones. Birch Tree is just one of many businesses in what has become Crompton Place, a collection of trendy small businesses nested within the walls of the antique mill building.

Crompton Place
Photo Credit : Holly Sloane

Crompton Place isn’t the only thing that’s different in Worcester — the entire city is changing. With an explosion of hip restaurants and new businesses, and a mural on nearly every corner, Worcester has become a trendy destination, bursting at the seams with artists and entrepreneurs embracing both the city’s unique history and its exciting future.

What to Do in Worcester

Cultural experiences abound in Worcester. Check out the upcoming events at the Worcester County Light Opera, Mechanics Hall, or The Hanover Theatre. Those looking for a good laugh will love WooHaHa Comedy Club, located downtown in the historic Bancroft Hotel.

Murals from the POW! WOW! Worcester International Arts Festival
Photo Credit : Holly Sloane

As you walk through town, keep your eyes peeled for murals — Worcester is full of street art, thanks to the POW! WOW! Worcester International Arts Festival. During our visit, we see an artist beginning a mural in the morning, and by sundown the piece is nearly finished. For an indoor art experience, head to ArtsWorcester, where you can experience sculptures and installations from emerging and established artists. Upstairs you will discover Technocopia, a nonprofit makerspace offering workshops on leather stitching, digital design, and much more.

Crompton Collective
Photo Credit : Holly Sloane
Bedlam Book Café
Photo Credit : Holly Sloane
Seed to Stem
Photo Credit : Holly Sloane

For shopping, Crompton Place is a great starting point. Downstairs you’ll find Crompton Collective, an eclectic gift boutique overflowing with antiques, handmade goods, and one-of-a-kind treasures. Next, venture upstairs into the indoor jungle of Seed to Stem, a lifestyle and plant boutique where every corner is packed with greenery. Across the hall, The Haberdash carries trendy clothing and handmade accessories, while Bedlam Book Café is a cozy spot to grab a coffee and pick out your next read. On Main Street, snag a deal on designer clothing at Sweet Jane’s Designer Consignment or head over to Joe’s Albums to find the perfect vintage record for your vinyl collection.

Elm Park
Photo Credit : Holly Sloane

The city has plenty of green space, too, and there are a number of parks in which to spread out a picnic blanket or toss around a Frisbee. We can’t resist the ice cream truck in Elm Park, so we enjoy a Choco Taco as children run around the jungle gym and readers lounge beneath massive oak trees. Nearby, disc golfers compete at Newton Hill, an extension of Elm Park.

Where to Eat in Worcester

With talented chefs preparing enticing dishes across the city, Worcester is a foodie destination with countless options to choose from.

Whether you’re looking for a tried-and-true dining experience or a more experimental adventure, Worcester has a restaurant you’ll love. Despite a busy weekend of college graduations, we score a table at Bocado Tapas Bar and try a variety of small bites, resisting the temptation to order everything on the menu. A block away, The Broadway Restaurant serves up freshly made ice cream, while music fills the street outside Smokestack Urban Barbecue, where diners enjoy mouthwatering brisket and pulled pork.

Smokestack Urban BBQ
Photo Credit : Discover Central Massachusetts

Other restaurants to check out in Worcester include Simjang, a creative Korean establishment; Fatima’s Café, offering East African dishes; Lock 50, with a New American menu and enticing patio; and Flying Rhino Café & Watering Hole, on Worcester’s famed Restaurant Row. Craft beer lovers will appreciate the eclectic variety of breweries scattered throughout the city. Grab a newly released Don’t Worry IPA at Wormtown Brewery, or check out Redemption Rock Brewing Co., the latest to enter the brewery scene, located in a former Coca Cola bottling plant. Other worthy options include Greater Good Imperial Brewing Co. and Flying Dreams Brewing Co.

There’s a sense of excitement in Worcester. We feel as though we’ve been let in on a secret: Worcester is a full-fledged cultural destination with countless can’t-miss attractions. Worcester is cool.

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