Worcester is the second largest city in Massachusetts, with a population of around 174,000, and is one of the fastest growing cities in the state. It is an industrial city that suffered economically in the seventies and eighties, but has grown significantly in the past several years, and serves as a crossroads between several major New England cities including Providence, Hartford and Boston.
The Worcester Art Museum is notable as the city's main attraction. Cezanne, Goya, Renoir and Gauguin are several of the European painters on display at the newly renovated museum. Worcester is also home to the American Antiquarian Society which holds more American material published before the early 1800s than the Library of Congress. Shopping and dining options are available in the downtown area, and new developments are cropping up all over downtown including a Broadway theater project.
There are several colleges and universities in and around Worcester, and the number of academic institutions is something of which the city is well known. Worcester's Union Station, once a busy train station, is now a beautifully renovated building housing a restaurant, blues lounge and the FDR American Heritage Center Museum.
Worcester is located in the central region of the state, just west of Framingham. Boston is forty miles west of Worcester, and the Blackstone River Valley runs southeast of the city.