Whether you’re a nature enthusiast (there are over 1,200 acres of parkland across the city) or a foodie (spend the day walking Shrewsbury Street for breakfast, lunch, and dinner), a sports fan (get those WooSox jerseys ready) or an arts aficionado (art museums, galleries, and venues are city staples, and festivals abound year round), Worcester’s got more than enough to keep your weekends booked. And with a population as diverse as things to do, Worcester is also a college town on the cutting edge.
Worcester: It’s our first name.
WPI isn’t WPI without Worcester. It’s New England’s second-largest city, about 40 miles west of Boston, with over 38,000 college students across nine campuses, making for the best of both worlds: the charm of a college town in the middle of a bustling city.
But just like its pronunciation (it’s “Wuh-stah,” by the way—yes, the "r" is mysteriously silent), Worcester is more than meets the eye.
A City Rooted in History
All this didn’t just appear out of thin air, either—Worcester’s a city rooted in history, from hosting the state’s first public reading of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 to the first-ever National Women’s Rights Convention in 1850, and it’s poised to make more.
Like many former urban manufacturing hubs, Worcester has undergone a transformation in recent years. A renewed interest in the downtown area has brought new investment and construction, and today Worcester is a leader in healthcare, education, biotechnology, IT, and financial services––perfect for finding an internship, beginning a professional career, or launching a new business.
Did you know?
- When WPI was founded in 1865, Worcester was a bustling manufacturing center known for producing textiles, wire products, and other goods.
- The iconic “smiley face” was created in Worcester by native graphic artist Harvey Ball in 1963.
- Frederick Law Olmstead, the famed architect of Boston’s Emerald Necklace and Central Park in New York City, designed Worcester’s Elm Park, which many consider to be America’s first public park.
- The ballpoint pen, candlepin bowling, and Shredded Wheat were developed in Worcester.