Located in Western Massachusetts just about an hour's drive from Boston, Worcester is a lively city that is experiencing an "urban renaissance." Once a prolific manufacturing city, Worcester has recently reinvented itself as a trendy, up-and-coming area that is attracting a younger demographic looking for accessible living near to Boston. The city is home to a wide range of people, from families that have been there for years to more transient students attending one of Worcester's many colleges and universities. And music fans agree the historic Palladium music venue is the best place around to catch a concert.

Many parks and green spaces dot Worcester's landscape, including Elm Park, which was designed by Frederick Olmstead, and Cascading Waters, a short, family friendly hike near to the city. Children delight in the indoor-outdoor EcoTarium science center, which features a planetarium and animal habitats to explore. Culture hungry residents can enjoy browsing the art at the Worcester Art Museum and then catch a show at the Hanover Theatre and Conservatory.

Weekends are perfect for frequenting one of Worcester's many breweries, including Wormtown and the Greater Good Imperial Brewing Company. "Beer Nerds" wanting some food with their ale look no further than Armsby Abbey, which features some of the most hard-to-find brews on draught. The restaurant scene has also recently boomed in Worcester, bringing residents choices that range from ethnic favorites to farm-to-table dining. Bacon lovers rejoice! The Hangover Pub features the meat on nearly every single menu item, and you can't miss the BBQ at Smokestack Urban BBQ.

With a median home cost of around $250,000 and a well-stocked market, real estate in Worcester is an excellent choice for young families and retirees alike. Popular neighborhoods include the family friendly Broadmeadow Brook area and the desirable Salisbury Street. Buying a home in Worcester is perfect for those looking for real vintage charm, as most of the historic houses feature original detailing. The accessible cost of living and proximity to metro Boston make Worcester an increasingly popular option among people looking for a thriving and growing urban environment.