Our home city of Worcester, Massachusetts offers cultural, professional and recreational opportunities for students of every interest — from the masterworks displayed in the Worcester Art Museum to the one-of-kind restaurants on Shrewsbury Street. And with the ski slopes of Vermont and New Hampshire, the stunning beaches of Rhode Island and Cape Cod, and the cities of Boston and Providence all within striking distance, there’s much to discover throughout this dynamic six-state region.
Worcester is in the heart of New England, located 38 miles from Boston, 43 miles from Providence and 178 miles from New York City. There are shuttles and other transportation options available for those interested in making the trip.
The New England region is renowned for its beauty, which takes on a new character with each season – from the first buds of spring and the heat of the summer to spectacular fall foliage and pristine winter snowfalls. Watch a video depicting autumnal beauty on The Hill.
- One of the best places to live in the country, according to Livability.com
- No. 18 on Business Insider’s list of best places to live for a high salary
- One of the nation’s top 10 emerging tech startup hubs, according to Axios
- One of the nation’s 15 under-the-radar cities you need to visit, according to Expedia
- Among the top 25 safest cities in America, according to WalletHub
- No. 10 on Forbes’ list of best cities to raise a family
- No. 1 on Apartment Guide's list for pizza lovers
- Five-time recipient of the All-American City Award
Welcome to Worcester
The second-largest city in New England, Worcester is a hub of activity. Holy Cross students take advantage of the many valuable opportunities the city provides by pursuing internships and gaining hands-on experience with local institutions such as UMass Medical Center, the Hanover Insurance Group and the United Way of Central Massachusetts, and by giving back to the greater community through service activities with organizations like Abby’s House and the Boys and Girls Club.
Worcester was founded in 1722 and boasts more than its fair share of history: President John Adams, composer Cole Porter and comedian Denis Leary have all called Worcester home; one of the nation’s first public parks opened on Highland Street in 1854; even the iconic yellow smiley face originated here.
These days Worcester’s star continues to rise, as new developments and a growing college-age population — thanks to the city’s nine colleges and universities — create even greater opportunity for residents and students alike. From 2010 to 2020, Worcester's population grew 14% to 206,518, faster than any other major city in New England, according to the U.S. Census.
In spite of what the “C” may make you think, Worcester is pronounced “WUUSS-TER.”
Whether your idea of a good time is a no-holds-barred arena rock show, an elegant performance by a string quartet or something in between, Worcester has you covered. The 15,000 seat DCU Center hosts everything from NCAA sporting events and monster truck rallies to performances by the likes of Elton John, Carrie Underwood and Michael Bublé. For an evening that’s a little more low-key, historic Mechanics Hall has welcomed artists that include Yo-Yo Ma and Livingston Taylor, and the Hanover Theatre regularly features Broadway tours and nationally recognized performers. The WooSox, a professional minor league baseball team, began their first season in 2021 at the new Polar Park in Worcester. Worcester is also home to the Bravehearts, a collegiate summer baseball franchise, who play their home games at Holy Cross’ own Fitton Field.
Worcester features an impressive mix of history, art and outdoor fun. The historic Canal District offers events, clubs, restaurants, and retail. The award-winning American Antiquarian Society holds the largest collection of printed materials dating from the arrival of the first European settlers to 1876. The Worcester Art Museum hosts world-class exhibitions and displays masterworks by Renoir, Monet, Matisse and Cezanne. Or for something a bit more natural, you can explore the EcoTarium, a unique indoor-outdoor environmental museum, or venture out of town to ski, bike, hike, rock climb or kayak at nearby Broad Meadow Brook Sanctuary, Blackstone River Bikeway, Blackstone Gateway Park, Blackstone Heritage Corridor Visitor Center, Purgatory Chasm and Wachusett Mountain.
No matter if it's Chinese food, pizza, pasta or a sandwich you crave, the hundreds of restaurants in Worcester will satisfy the most discriminating eater — usually at prices anyone can afford. The Worcester Lunch Car Company made the city famous for its beautifully crafted diner cars, and you can still step into the Boulevard, the Kenmore or the Miss Worcester diners for an authentic taste of the past. The Worcester Public Market is a European-style marketplace featuring mostly food vendors. Unique ethnic neighborhoods offer a range of cuisines, and Shrewsbury Street is a popular destination with more than 40 restaurants and shops.
In central New England, there’s no shortage of opportunities to indulge your inner shopaholic. Worcester has a variety of stores and sellers to match its eclectic character — from the diverse merchants of Shrewsbury Street to the vendors of the Crompton Collective — and many are within walking distance of the College. If you’re looking for a more traditional shopping center, we’re also just minutes from the Auburn Mall and the Shoppes at Blackstone Valley. The Natick Mall — the largest in New England with more than 200 stores — is about 45 minutes away, as are the Wrentham Outlets.
- City of Worcester — Worcester’s official website provides detailed information regarding citywide initiatives and policies.
- Discover Central Massachusetts — Tourism entity that helps attract events, conventions and meetings to the city.
- Higher Education Consortium of Central Massachusetts — Greater Worcester features 10 colleges and universities. See how they work together, from cross-registration to inter-campus transportation services.
- Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce — Lead organization for economic development serving the region's business community
- Telegram & Gazette: "Worcester 101: A newcomer's guide to the second largest city in New England"