The Top 10 Things To Do and See in Worcester, MA

Photo of Benjamin M. Smith
9 February 2017

Traveling through “The Heart of the Commonwealth” means many great opportunities to learn more about the history of one of New England’s hardest working towns. Worcester is well documented in US history, as a center of revolutionary activity throughout the 18th century, and later as an area vital to the manufacturing industries. Learn more about this influential city by reading on below.

Worcester downtown | © LEONARDO DASILVA/Flickr

Have dinner at Armsby Abbey

It’s always a good idea to get comfortable in a city before exploring it, and what better way to do that than to eat at the city’s best restaurant? Armsby Abbey is just that in Worcester, and so much more: with 22 world-class taps and over 200 bottles, it doubles as a beer lover’s paradise. The food here is some of the best in the state, and offers many small plates, with an impressive cheese menu to add.

Armsby Abbey, 144 Main St, Worcester MA, USA, +1 508-795-1012

Tour the EcoTarium

Decked with science and nature exhibits, a planetarium, animals and tree canopy walkways and nature trails, the EcoTarium is well suited for visitors of all ages. This museum has a variety of exhibits for kids, although the animal exhibits and nature trails outside are intended for more mature audiences. The EcoTarium has had many former reincarnations in Worcester, and remains dedicated to its community through its many youth programs and workshops. Be sure to stop here for an interactive, educational experience.

EcoTarium, 222 Harrington Way, Worcester MA, USA, +1 508-2700

Visit the Worcester Historical Museum

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New Year 2010/2011, Mechanics Hall
New Year 2010/2011, Mechanics Hall | © Leonardo Da Silva/Flickr
Since its founding as the Worcester Society of Antiquity in 1877, the Worcester Historical Museum has shifted its devotion to archaeological studies and now solely focuses on the history of the town itself. The museum’s holdings include an impressive collection of artifacts and an extensive archive, that includes Civil War era correspondences and industrial machinery; both important for a full understanding of Worcester’s past.

See a Show at Mechanics Hall

Mechanics Hall is known internationally for its elegance and its near perfect acoustics. Built in the 19th century, this recital hall is one of the finest in all of the US, let alone New England! Owned and operated by the Worcester County Mechanics Association, Mechanics Hall runs as a not-for-profit and still manages to get world-class musicians and performers.

Mechanics Hall, 321 Main St, Worcester MA, USA, +1 508-752-5608

Cycle the Blackstone River Bikeway

One of the best ways to see Worcester is by bike on the Blackstone River Bikeway, one of the region’s most traveled bike paths. The Blackstone River Bikeway makes its way through Worcester and onward towards Vermont for another 48 miles, and although portions of it are often under maintenance, it still provides the best way to discover the industrial villages of days past and New England’s pretty backcountry.

Walk up Bancroft Tower

Located atop Prospect Hill in Salisbury Park, Bancroft Tower offers the best vista of Worcester available on land. Dedicated to George Bancroft, a politician, statesman and writer in his time, by his dear friend Stephen Salisbury III, the tower looks like a miniature feudal estate, being made of natural stone and granite. Its spiral staircases inside are quite narrow, but are well worth the journey up to attain the fantastic view.

Take a Stroll Through Green Hill Park

With over 480 acres of grass and lake, Green Hill Park is Worcester’s biggest and most popular park. Containing two ponds, a zoo, a playground, a little league diamond and a golf course, it’s easy to see why this park is one of the town’s favorite meeting places, especially in warm weather. Come here for a stroll about the grounds, a quick pick-me-up game of basketball, or a picnic enjoyed on one of the ponds’ shores.

Green Hill Park, 50 Skyline Dr, Worcester MA, USA, +1 508-799-1190

Learn Something at the American Antiquarian Society

As any American history scholar could tell you, their lives would be immensely more difficult if it weren’t because of the American Antiquarian Society. Specializing in everything ever printed up until 1876, the collection housed at this library borderlines on being ridiculous for its size and scope! Founded by publisher Isaiah Thomas in 1812, the library soon swelled to over 20 miles of shelves, holding over 3 million items. Come for a tour and witness an essential resource that keeps America’s history both safe and intact.

American Antiquarian Society, 185 Salisbury St, Worcester MA, USA, +1 508-755-5221

Visit the Wormtown Brewery

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The Wormtown Brewery is one of Shrewsbury Street’s most popular stops, especially in the heat of summer. What could be better than one of their gold medal-winning beers on a sunny afternoon tour of Worcester? Few moments in life get better than this, especially to conclude a trip of the city. What’s better is that this brewery is a real heartfelt commitment to place; a labor of love to Worcester created by the owners.

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