Enjoy Worcester County With Your Family This Summer!
Head out west on the Mass Pike and you will come across the second-largest city in New England and home of the Woo Sox and Bravehearts: Worcester.
Central Massachusetts is one of the region’s best-kept secrets, offering beautiful outdoor space, tons of great dining and shopping options, and more that are fun for the entire family. As Mike Crawford, our SVP, Worcester Market Executive who has lived in the area for nearly two decades, put it, “Worcester is undergoing a renaissance. It has MANY restaurants, museums, theatre, sports, 9 colleges, 3 major hospitals, young people, and a lot of diversity only an hour away from Boston. People LOVE living in this area!”
But where do you even begin? We asked our Rockland Trust team for their favorite spots in Worcester County to help you plan a fun day trip this summer!
Recreation Galore In The Middle of the Commonwealth
New England can be a mixed bag as far as weather goes. If you are looking for some family-friendly activities this year, Central Massachusetts delivers fun indoor and outdoor activities for people of all ages. We asked our team where they go to let off a little steam:
- Mendon Branch Manager Sally Belanger suggests visiting Mendon’s own Southwick Zoo. The nearly 60-year-old zoological park spans over 200 acres and is home to more than 850 animals.
- Need an indoor activity? Several Rockland Trust employees recommend catching a performance at the Hanover Theatre in Worcester.
- Peter Staiti, FVP and Commercial Lending Center Manager, boasts of Worcester’s close-knit community feel and would point you to the Worcester Art Museum to enjoy some beautiful works of art.
- Calling all science and nature lovers - Shrewsbury Branch Manager, Gareth McAlinden joins several colleagues in heralding Worcester’s EcoTarium. Did you know that this museum offers variable pricing for admission?
PRO TIP: Ask your local library about museum passes! Many local libraries in Massachusetts offer passes for all sorts of attractions, including museums. While you’re there, you might as well pick up some great reading material for your day in the park or on the beach.
If you’re looking for a simpler day out with friends, you may want to check out the many hiking or other outdoor spots in the region (bonus - it’s a budget-friendly activity)! Some of our favorites?
- Craving some fresh air? Westborough Branch Manager, Marisha Day recommends walking the trails of Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park. It’s the perfect locations to bring your family canoeing or to enjoy a picnic.
- If you’ve never been to Purgatory Chasm State Reservation in Sutton, this is your sign to check it out! AVP Commercial Portfolio Manager Megan Fierro has you covered with an itinerary: “I recommend a family day at Purgatory Chasm. It’s $5 to park for the day if you are a MA state resident and there are several hiking trails, a playground for children and a visitor building with learning material. Afterward, grab some lunch at Tony’s Pizza in Sutton while you’re in the area!”
- A Milford resident for 50 years, Rockland Trust employee Michelle Motuzas called out Elm Park in Worcester as a lovely place to spend some time outdoors. Oakham resident and Relationship Banker Khadine Liburd agrees and loves to explore there (Khadine also loves the Worcester Caribbean Festival)!
- Get in tune with nature at the 171-acre New England Botanical Garden at Tower Hill in Boylston, where you can enjoy miles of walking trails and some of the oldest gardens of its kind in the country.
- Whether you love to ski, hike or bike, head over to Wachusett Mountain for fun outdoor activity year-round! After you work up a sweat, pop over to Wachusett Brewery in Westminster, the first brewery that opened in Worcester County!
Best Eats (and Drinks) in Worcester County
We could write pages and pages (and pages) of dining recommendations in the Worcester area based on favorites from our Rockland Trust colleagues! Below is a short sampling broken out by type of meal.
Shop Until You Drop
Who doesn’t love a bit of retail therapy? We asked our colleagues who live in the area to help us uncover some hidden gems: