Did You Know?

Elm Park, considered the nation's first public park, was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the original architect of N.Y.'s Central Park.

By The Numbers

400 acres of wood, fields, streams and marsh. 78 different species of butterflies. Broadmeadow Brook Conservation and Wildlife Sanctuary is the largest urban nature sanctuary in New England.

Attractions

Elm Park

Worcester's attractions are an amazing mix of history, art, and outdoor fun.

If the past is your passion, stop at the American Antiquarian Society on Salisbury Street, with its best-in-the-world collection of printed materials from pre-Colonial to pre-Civil War times. Travel further back in time at the Higgins Armory Museum, which houses artifacts from Corinthian helmets to the ornate armor of a Renaissance knight. If local history is more captivating, the Worcester Historical Museum offers a series of high-quality exhibitions, programs and events.

Visual arts are alive and well in Worcester. ARTSWorcester, a private, nonprofit organization, keeps the contemporary scene red-hot with some 18 exhibits each year. The Worcester Art Museum hosts world-class exhibitions and has, in its collections, work by such masters as Renoir, Monet, and Cezanne. The highly regarded Worcester Center for Crafts is a gallery, gift store and studio center devoted to American craft education — and a great source of one-of-a-kind gifts. And at the Worcester African Cultural Center, there's a gallery filled with artifacts from the entire African Continent, as well as a gift shop and performing arts center.

To melt your stress away, visit the "urban oasis" of the EcoTarium, a unique indoor-outdoor environmental museum with three floors of interactive exhibits. Or visit Worcester's famous Elm Park, designed by New York's Central Park landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted. Of course, Elm is only one of 53 parks in Worcester.

The biggest stretch of green space in the city is the Mass Audubon's Broad Meadow Brook Conservation Center and Wildlife Sanctuary; 400 acres with more than five miles of trails. And just outside the city are a variety of orchards — after all, this is Johnny Appleseed country; the legendary tree planter was born up the road in Leominster. For more fun, the Davis Farmland and Mega Maze offers a variety of outdoor activities. And when the snow flies, Wachusett Mountain is only 10 miles away in Princeton, with 20 ski trails and 1,000 feet of vertical drop. In the mood for adventure? Try hot air ballooning over central Massachusetts with Bella Via Balloon Co.,or rock climbing at Central Rock Gym , central Massachusetts largest indoor rock climbing gym.

For a full list of Worcester-area attractions, check out our list.