Worcester was established as a town on June 14, 1722 and as a city on February 29, 1848. It has a population of 172,648 as of the 2000 Census and is the second largest city in New England, behind Boston. Worcester is the home of nine colleges and universities, the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, the Massachusetts Bio-Technology Research Park, and the American Antiquarian Society. Despite their large number, Worcester's colleges and universities have not left much of an imprint on the overall feel of the city--for better and for worse, it is not the least bit a college town. Worcester has a very low rate of violent crime compared to the comparably sized city Providence, Rhode Island. It also has lots of parks, greenspace, small bodies of water, and tree-lined streets.
Worcester Regional Airport (IATA: ORH) (ICAO: KORH), 375 Airport Drive, 1-888-359-9672,  . As of March 2009, there is one airline, Direct Air providing three scheduled flights per week to Sanford FL (near Orlando) with three flights to Punta Gorda, FL (near FT Myers), and two flights to Myrtle Beach SC commencing in April/May 2009 . Service is actually provided by Virgin America (to Florida) and USA Jet Airlines (to Myrtle Beach).
Logan International Airport in Boston or T.F. Green Airport in Warwick carry the bulk of passengers in the area.
MBTA's Framingham Worcester Line : $10 one way. Often takes an hour to an hour and a half, between South Station in Boston and Union Station in Worcester, depending on if on a local or express train.
Amtrak, 2 Washington Sq. (Union Station), . There is a daily train from Boston to Chicago that stops in Worcester (it runs direct to Albany, where a transfer is required). This train also arrives from Chicago every day, but Amtrak does not accept boardings at Worcester in the direction of Boston (though you may ride from Boston to Worcester). In most cases, train travel to Worcester is most reliably and conveniently made by travelling to Boston on Amtrak, then on MBTA to Worcester (or vice versa).
Greyhound Bus Lines and Peter Pan bus Lines, 2 Washington Sq. (Union Station), +1 508-754-1102. Greyhound online, , phone 1-800-231-2222].
Peter Pan online, 800-343-9999, . Peter Pan website info for Worcester schedules is often unreliable, so it's better to call for information. One-way fares for all buses to and from Boston start at about $8.
Worcester is well served by highways. Interstate 290 runs through Worcester and connects to Interstate 495, Interstate 190, Interstate 395, and Interstate 90 (the Massachusetts Turnpike).
From New York: Ramon's Transportation, Phone: +1 508-754-2207. $35 one way, and they will drive you directly to your destination in Worcester. They pickup in Washington Heights, near the 1/9. Call for directions to the pickup. Expect a fast ride and reggaeton .
Many of Worcester's points of interest are far spaced from one another. The only practical way to get around is by car (or bike). Public transit in Worcester is focused mainly on commuters. Cabs are no longer inexpensive, and are often more expensive per mile than cabs in other cities. If you're there for more than just a visit, bicycles are available from many used stores and are the best way to get around and explore. Buses in the city usually run every 30 to 60 minutes, with some running only every two hours depending on the route. Fare is $1.50 or $3.50 for an all-day pass. Buses on certain routes are often a half hour or more late, but be at your stop early as they often fly by a few minutes early in order to catch up for previous late stops.
Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Phone: +1 508-759-4406, . W-Su 11AM-5PM, Th 11AM-8PM, Sa 10AM-5PM. Plenty of great exhibits! Also free on Saturdays before noon. Lots of great art here! $10, students and under 17 free.
EcoTarium - A Museum of Science and Nature, 222 Harrington Way, Phone: +1 508-929-2700, Fax: +1 508-929-2701, (email: mailto:email@example.com), . Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 12PM-5PM. Great zoo with a Polar bear and working, kid-sized diesel train and more. $10; Seniors, students ages 3-18 $8. Planetarium, train, tree walkway are extra.
Worcester Union Station, 2 Washington Sq. Worcester's pride and joy. This amazing work of art dates back to the glory days of rail roads, tycoons, and Worcester's position as the home to Pullman's Dining Car Company. Abandoned in the 1970s, it was revived to it's original glory in 2000 after a $32 million dollar campaign to save the station. Notice the turn of the century relics as you walk in (such as marble walls and thirty foot ceilings).
Burnside Fountain, located on the south side of the Worcester Common, is known to locals as "The Turtle-Boy Love Statue". The fountain features a boy and a turtle engaged in what any reasonable observer would have to conclude is an obscene -- or at least nonconsensual -- act. Not many, if any, people know what it truly represents, so judge for yourself.
Massachusetts Vietnam Veterans' War Memorial, Skyline Drive, Green Hill Park (http://www.massvvm.org/map/), . daytime. Dedicated in June 2002, it is located on Skyline Drive at Green Hill Park in Worcester. The 4-acre location includes a pond, walking paths and the Memorial. A place to provide a dignified, quiet, natural location for reflection and learning. The Memorial is designed in three sections called places. These consist of the PLACE OF FLAGS, PLACE OF WORDS and PLACE OF NAMES. The PLACE OF WORDS shows text from letters written home by some of the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines who died in Vietnam. The PLACE OF NAMES proclaims in stone the name of each and every Massachusetts resident who died in combat or as a result of wounds received while in action in Vietnam. Free.
City Parks, . The city boasts many parks for the enjoyment of residents and visitors from the largest Green Hill Park to Elm Park and Institute Park which hosts many outdoor concerts during the summer season.
First Night Worcester, Dec. 31-Jan 1. Usher in the new year. Cultural events throughout downtown. Fireworks. Childrens parade. International food court 
Worcester St. Patrick's Day Parade, Mid-March. Park Ave. One of the largest Irish Parades in the state.
Albanian Festival, early June, alternating odd numbered years, St. Mary's Albanian Orthodox Church. Largest Albanian festival in the country
Grecian Festival, early June, alternating even numbered years. St. Spyridon Church. One of the largest Greek Festivals in New England with over 25,000 attendees
Summer Nationals, July 4 weekend, hot rods and fancy cars take over Green Hill Park and downtown Worcester 
Italian Festival, mid-August, Mt. Carmel Church. Very popular annual festival in the city (which did not happen in 2007).
Latin American Festival, Mid-August, City Hall, Downtown Worcester. One of the largest Latin American festivals in New England.
Pet Rock Festival, early September, held at Quinsigamond Community College. Largest non-profit animal benefit in New England. Held annually to make money for shelters and other animal related services. "They can't talk so we will." www.petrockfest.com
StART on the Street, September, Park Avenue. Huge street festival featuring over 200 local vendors and artists, food, and live music and performance art. According to the organizers, the 2009 festival was attended by 25,000 people.  StART also holds Spring StART (Jume) and StART at the Station (Christmas time).
Central Rock Climbing Gym 299 Barber Avenue, Worcester, MA, 01606  hours="M-F 10AM-10PM except Th 10AM-11PM, Sa 9AM-10PM, Su 10AM-7PM" price="Memberships are available, but day passes for are $14 for adults, $12 for students. They also offer early bird specials before 2pm. If you're only interested in bouldering, its $10. Shoes, harnesses, and chalk can all be rented at the front desk." lat="" long="">Central Massachusetts' largest indoor rock climbing gym with around 14,000 square feet of climbing area, and climbing walls from 15 to over 40 feet. Though many hardcore climbers frequent the gym, the terrain difficulty ranges from beginner to expert, and there is a separate beginners area and a wall just for kids also. Don't worry if you've never climbed before, this place is super welcoming and the staff is great! A small retail shop near the main desk sells climbing accessories and clothing. Upstairs there is a lounge area complete with free wifi, and a yoga room that can be used for stretching when yoga classes are not practicing. Waiver forms are needed for anyone who wants to climb, and minors need a parental signature.
New England Surge, DCU Center, . Mar-Jun. Professional Indoor Football. Inaugural season in 2007.
Worcester Sharks, DCU Center, . Oct-Apr. American Hockey League. Development affiliate of the NHL's San Jose Sharks.
Worcester Tornadoes, Fitton Field, . May-Sep. Playing baseball in the Canadian-American League, they began playing in Worcester in 2005 and won the Canadian American Championship against Quebec in just three games. People seem to love the Tornadoes.
Worcester Green Hill Municipal Golf Club, 2 Green Hill Av., Phone: +1 508-799-1359. Apr-mid Dec. 18 hole, 6487 yds, Par 72, CR-70.4, S-122. Public.
Quinsigamond State Park, 10 North Lake Av., Phone: +1 508-755-6880, . Swimming, sailing, fishing, picnicking. Rest rooms, showers.
Worcester Rugby Football Club, Various locations, .
Music Worcester, Mechanics Hall, 323 Main St., Phone: +1 508-754-3231, . Presenter of the Worcester Music Festival(the oldest Music Festival in the United States), the International Artist Series and the Mass Jazz Festival.
Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, 2 Southbridge St., Phone: +1 (877) 571-SHOW, . Restored downtown theatre staging professional touring productions and national comedians and musical acts.
ArtsWorcester, 660 Main St., Phone: +1 508-755-5142, . Organization which promotes art programs and exhibitions throughout the city. Schedule available.
Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra, Tuckerman Hall, 10 Tuckerman Street, Phone: +1 508-754-1234, . Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra's annual activities include the admission-free Summer Concert Series in Worcester's Institute Park as well as symphonic and 'pops' performances in Worcester's Tuckerman and Mechanics Halls before audiences numbering in the thousands.
Hanover Theatre, 554 Main St., Phone: +1 508-770-0101, . This 2300 seat theater finished renovations March 2008
Mechanics Hall, 321 Main St., Phone: +1 508-752-5608.. pre Civil War era Concert Hall. Grand Hall seating 1,600. Concerts(classical,jazz,popular music),lectures,business meetings.
Tuckerman Hall, 10 Tuckerman St.(corner of Salisbury St. and Tuckerman St.), Phone: +1 508-754-1234.. neo-classically-designed, triangular-shaped building, located next to the Worcester Art Museum, contains a breathtaking 550-seat main hall adorned with magnificent plaster detail and ornate gold leaf. A pristine circular auditorium seating 200 and six fireplaced turret suites, each with a different architectural motif including Colonial, Dutch, Moorish, and Renaissance revival styles.
Palladium, 261 Main St., Phone: +1 508-797-9696, Fax:508-791-7101.. Concerts (popular,rock).
Mid Town Mall, Main St. directly across from Worcester Commons. The decor is from the 70s, and there's a broken escalator leading down to a nearly abandoned lower level. Good food too. A wonderful spot of local color. The downtown sections of Worcester are run down and scary but also quite fascinating.
Greendale Mall, Gold Star Blvd. Still pretty small by modern standards, but with all of the required stores for a simple stock up.
That's Entertainment, 244 Park Av., Phone: +1 508-755-4207. If you have any interest in comic books, sci-fi, horror, fantasy, roleplaying, etc, check this out.
Annie's Clark Brunch (formally known as Wendy's). Regulars are allowed a tab.)
Boulevard Diner, 155 Shrewsbury St., Phone: +1 508-791-4535 A favorite among college students, open 24 hours.
Gold Star Restaurant, 68 W Boylston Dr., Phone: +1 508-852-7900.
Lou Roc's diner, West Boylston Street.
Lucky's Cafe, 102 Grove St., Phone: "+1" 508-756-5014. Located in the basement of an old renovated factory. Very homey relaxed atmosphere. Great breakfast awesome soups for lunch (try the spicy peanut costs $4 for a large) and very romantic dinners with a live basist. Call ahead for dinner reservations.
Coney Island Hot Dogs, 158 Southbridge Street, Phone: +1 508-753-4362, Open W-M. (best hot dogs, best sign) If you go to Coney Island, make sure you go into the bar. The bartender will get you your hot dogs and beer, letting you skip the line.
Long Island Hot Dogs, 68 Stafford Street, Phone: +1 508-753-9223. (best burger) A true diamond in the rough. A real greasy spoon dinner hidden in a stripmall.
New England Roast Beef, 33 Park Avenue, Phone: +1 508 -756-1991. Great roast beef; however, their hours are more limited than many of Worcester's dining options.
Westside Steak & BBQ, 2 Richmond Avenue, Phone: +1 508-756-6328. Great BBQ and one of the few BYOB restaurants in Worcester. With a liquor store next door and outdoor seating this BBQ is a great way to enjoy the summer with friends and family.
O'Connor's Restaurant & Bar, 1160 West Boylston St., Phone: 508-853-0789.
Viva Bene Restaurant, 144 Commercial St. Phone: 508-797-0007, .
Webster House Restaurant, 1 Webster St. (Webster Square), Phone: 508-757-7208.
Bocado Tapas Wine Bar , 82 Winter St., Phone: 508-797-1011.
The Armsby Abbey, 144 North Main St. Known for their Belgian and American Craft Beers, they also have an amazing locally-sourced slow food menu with entrees from $12-$18. Their weekend brunch is especially great, though you have to line up at the door if you want to make it in.
The Flying Rhino Cafe and Watering Hole, 278 Shrewsbury St., Phone: +1 508-757-1450. Much more excellent than the name suggests.
The Harlequin, 363 Plantation St., Phone: +1 508-754-5789. At the Beechwood.
Maxwell Silvermans Toolhouse, Worcester Center Blvd. Near Lincoln Sq., 508-755-1200. Restored factory building.
Rovezzi's, 108 Grove St.,(3rd floor Northworks building), Phone: 508-753-4511.
Sole Proprietor, 118 Highland Av., Phone: +1 508-798-3474. Excellent seafood and fish market. While entree prices can be quite steep, the Kettle Menu in the bar area is filled with a variety of appetizer options that can be quite filling.
Flats Pizzeria, Maywood St, Phone:507-752-1701. Organic, sustainable slow food pizza. Potentially the priciest pizza in Worcester, from $14-$21, but well worth it. Offers delicious vegan options as well.
Caribbean Delights, Chandler at Piedmont, lots of meat, patties, roti.
One Love, Main St at Castle, next to the Artichoke Co-op. Great roti, other nice entrees, romantic, quaint dining. Perfect for dates or a nice night out with friends. BYOB. Fresh fruit in water. Patties for lunch for $1.50.
Pho Dakao, 593 Main St., Extensive Vietnamese menu from appetizers and pho (noodle soup) to chicken, beef, pork, and seafood entrees and a good selection of vegetarian options. All the food is excellent and though some of the staff speak limited English, service is courteous and good. Atmosphere is pleasant and comfortable, not too fancy. Recommended dishes include the papaya salad with beef, the chicken and vermicelli with mint, lettuce, and cucumber, the salted squid, and the vegetable medley (with or without tofu or chicken).
Saigon, 976 Main St. Most of the entrees are delicious. The #92 is a favorite. Also make sure to get the tofu mushroom rolls appetizer and an avocado milkshake.
Dalat, 425 Park Av., Phone: +1 508-753-6036. Vegetarians, get #37 in the spring and summer months, and #86 in the fall and winter. Avocado milkshake is a favorite of course, and can be made with soy milk by request. Also try the durian milkshake, which is tasty despite smelling like serious foot.
Ba Le Boston, 878 Main St. near Clark University, Phone: +1 508-798-8856. Tofu sandwich.
Pupuseria La Salvadorena, 82 Pleasant St., Phone: +1 508-756-5586. This place makes pupusas, has a great burrito, and has the best nachos in the city, if you ask them to hold the meat: homemade guacamole, homemade tortilla chips, and plenty of salad and sour cream. $1 for a full plate of steaming hot sweet plantains.
Sabanas, Midtown Mall, Front St., Phone: +1 508-767-1820. Sabanas is conveniently located downtown in the midtown mall (directly opposite the Common on its north side).
Maria's Kitchen, 826 Main St., 508-797-3380. Liveliest restaurant in the heart of Main South. Great Dominican cuisine. Large portions, great selection.
Kilo Amigo, 214 Chandler Street, 508-753-9222. Brazilian selection. Fill your own plate with what you want and weigh it up to pay.
VIA Italian Table, 89 Shrewsbury St, ☎ +1-508-754-4842. Italian restaurant. Moderately priced with outside eating and great service.
Wholly Cannoli, 488 Grafton St., Phone: 508-753-0224, . As the name suggests, there is a plethora of delicious cannoli offerings, as well as some sandwiches and other Italian baked goods available.
Belmont Vegetarian, 157 Belmont Street, (508) 798-8898. Great Jamaican cuisine, all vegan, the mock fish is particularly delicious. Real nice guys. Get the "whatever" (not on the menu). Open Mon-Sat 10-8, closed Sunday.
Quan Yin, 56 Hamilton St., Phone: 508-831-1322. An all vegan fake meat restaurant by run by followers of Suma Ching Hai (the "Suma" is a contraction for "Supreme Master"). Great mock foods. The fake cheeseburger is a secret item: not on the menu but always deliciously available.
Udupi Bhavan, near 364 Maple Ave. in Shrewsbury, in plaza w/ Price Chopper (phone?). All-vegetarian South Indian restaurant. Even when Udupi was 40 minutes away in Framingham, it was still worth the trip (more like a pilgrimage) for Worcester vegetarians. They have many dishes (like the crepe-like "dosai") that aren't on the mostly-identical menus of New England's Indian restaurants, so it's well worth a visit for any fan of Indian food. Uses ghee, so many dishes aren't vegan. Get the samosa chat and the almond and ice cream dessert. BYOB on weeknights. Closed Tuesday.
Saigon, 976b Main St., Phone: 508-799-5250. Vietnamese with exciting vegetarian offerings. Don't even look at the menu and order the #92 (warning: spicy). After that, get the vegetable hot and sour soup.
Tortilla Sams, 107 Highland St., Phone: 508-756-SAMS. This is Worcester's best tex-mex restaurant. It has plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. Even the red chili can be made vegan, so just ask your server. They sometimes feature un-chicken, so keep your eye out for it.
Nancy Chang, 372 Chandler St. Phone: 508-798-6688. Healthy asian cuisine. You can order any of the chicken or shrimp items on the menu and replace it with vegetarian chicken or vegetarian shrimp. Check out their awesome lunch menu, weekdays until 5PM (I think). You can also order the Chicken & Rice Soup with Vegetables and Chicken Noodle Soup with Vegetables without the chicken.
The Living Earth, 232 Chandler St., Phone: 508-753-1896, Fax: 508-754-4840. Worcester's best and only natural foods store. Newly downsized. Used to have an excellent natural foods cafe with a few vegan options, and a well run deli with a lot of vegan options. Now home to a much larger more expensive restaurant with fancy decor, fewer vegetarian options.
Duck Yao. 872 Main Street. Duck Yao is an elegant backyard vegan restaurant run by two hip young women and a Chinese Taoist family. Fake meat like no other. Now plotting bigger things.
Also see "Middle Eastern" for more delicious vegetarian meals.
Worcester is the birthplace of the diner. The Worcester Lunch Car Company Built Diners from their factory in downtown Worcester from 1906 to 1957. Their serial numbers started at 200 and ended with 850. Many are still in existence. They are characterized by porcelain enamel exteriors with the name of the diner in the enamel. The interiors have mosaic tile floors and tile walls. So there's still lots of "third shift" places to eat, including:
Kenmore Diner, 250 Franklin Street, Phone: +1 508-792-5125. This dinner is located in the shadow of I-290, an elevated highway, and has a wonderfully Edward Hopper vibe, especially late at night. Highly recommended.
George's, Grafton St. One of the most interesting cheap late-night eats is a pita bakery on Grafton Street. It opens each night around 3AM to start making pita, and you can buy fresh pitas that look like footballs. The pita bakery is about 5 storefronts up the hill from their daytime, public-facing deli.
Tortilla Sams, 107 Highland St., Phone: 508-756-SAMS. Open late everyday: Su,M until 11PM, Tu-Th until 12AM, F,Sa until 3AM.
Worcester has a very large number of bars. If you're looking for raucous 20-something bars, go to Shrewsbury St. or Pleasant St. If you're looking for very cheap, strange, divey bars, go to Canterbury St. and its cross streets.
The following are interesting and comfortable places to drink:
Vincent, 49 Suffolk St.
Sahara, 143 Highland St.
Ding Ho, 38 Southbridge St.
Tammany Hall, 43 Pleasant St.
Ralph's Diner, 148 Grove St., Live Music, killer jukeboxes, great burgers (veggie, too).
Lucky Dog Music Hall, 89 Green St., . Live Music and drinks
The Dive Bar, 34 Green St., . A very unique selection of American craft beer.
The Armsby Abbey, 144 North Main St., . Belgian and American Craft Beers.
George's Green Island Diner, Millbury St. open 11p. cheap.
Ralph's chadwick Square Diner, 148 Grove Street (90 Prescott Street), . 4pm-2am everyday. Legendary Rock Nightclub! Entertainment every night! They have the BEST burgers around, but not much else for food besides chili and veggie burgers. Fun bartenders!
Irish Times, Main St. Karaoke Wednesday nights. Cons: White hat bar, many Holy Cross kids. Pros: killer song selection and $3000 final cash prize for the weekly contest, many dedicated karaoke warriors. Cons: The staff are very full of themselves and tend to be very brusque with patrons.
Lucky Dog Music Hall, Green St. Has karaoke on MONDAY nights, no cover charge. Professional sound set-up with monitors.
Ralph's Diner, Prescott St. Has karaoke on Wednesday nights, no cover charge.
Blu Ultralounge and Nightclub 105 water st. Wednesday nights, 18+
Hotel Vernon, Kelly Square, . $1 drafts (gansett, bush, pabst), pool, darts. A backroom decorated to look like the inside of a ship ("The Ship Room). Located beneath a "rooms by the week" hotel. Had a speakeasy in the basement during the Prohibition, still partially intact.
Kelley Square Liquors, Kelley Square, This is a hidden gem known only to the people in the neighborhood. It is a small liquor store which contains everything a big liquor store does (Dom, Cristal, Hennessy XO, etc.) with prices that are fair. The store could hire more mature help, but thats a small negative, its a great place if you can get through Kelley Square.
Guertin's, Off Canterbury Street. Beautiful woodwork, $1.50 drafts.
'English Social Club, Camp Street. This is a members-only social club, so they are exempt from the regulations that ban smoking in all Worcester bars. Friendly folks.
El Coqui, 184 Chandler St., Phone: +1 508-756-8862. Opened to 11PM every night (Except Sundays). It is a discount liquor store which does not carry many smaller brands. In spite of this it is considered by some to be the best liquor store.
Amsterdam Lounge, address: 27 Pleasant St, directions: Right off Main St, Next to City Hall, phone: 508-308-1905, A new Hookah Lounge with a good selection of beer and booze. Pros: Big selection of flavors. Cons: A bit small, had to wait for a couch.
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Beechwood Hotel, 363 Plantation St., Phone: +1 508-754-5789, Fax +1 508-752-2060, . 2 miles from downtown, near all major business centers and universities. $$$$
Best Western Executive Inn & Suites, 50 Oriole Dr., Phone: +1 508-852-2800, . $$
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