Central Massachusetts, USA
Created | Updated Jan 28, 2002
The geographical centre of Massachusetts is located in the centre of the town of Rutland, a small suburb of the city of Worcester. The actual centre is marked by a tree, incidentally giving the local middle school its name, Central Tree Middle School. South of Rutland is the town of Holden, which is more populated, and past that the city of Worcester. North of Rutland is Hubbardston, a more rural town. South-west of Rutland is Paxton, and south-east you'll find Princeton and Sterling.
Rutland is a town that was once small, but is now growing. Its town centre, on route 122A, has a middle school, a fire and police department, and a new library. Local restaurants include Rutland Pizza (highly recommended), and Toula's diner (open into early afternoon hours). The diner is a very popular place in town that is visited by school children, by town workers who need to take a lunch break, and by anyone else who happens to be passing. From hamburgers and hot dogs to home style pies, Toula's Diner offers that 'home-cooked' taste every traveller likes.
Holden is a lot more populated and is home to the local district highschool, Wachusette Regional High. Pupils from Holden, Paxton, Princeton, Rutland, and Sterling attend lessons here. Holden is home to a wide selection of restaurants, including Val's off route 31 near the local grocery store, (the Big-Y). Val's is a family restaurant with down to earth prices, but out of this world food. If you come here, expect to eat a meal, and not just some snack.
Major stores can be found on Main Street, and also on route 31 heading west, near the grocery store. At the plaza near this area are a video rental store, a musical instrument shop, a dry-cleaners, and a pizza shop. Holden is also home to a well used bandstand just south of the centre of town where local bands play on Sunday nights. Holden houses several middle schools as well, including Mountview Middle.
Heading farther away east from the centre are the more cut-off towns of Princeton and Sterling. The centres of both these towns are on route 62. These aren't heavily populated, and have few attractions in comparison to the city of Worcester. The middle school in Princeton is Thomas Prince Middle School, and in Sterling, Chaucksette Middle School.
The centre of Paxton is on route 31, southwest of Holden. Paxton is home to not only Paxton Center School, but also to Anna Maria College. A local recommended restaurant is Stagecoach Crossing. This town, like Sterling and Princeton and Rutland, is not a majorly active town, whereas Holden is almost literally an extension of Worcester.
Worcester is a very diverse city. A recommendation for dining is The Barbers Crossing, a fantastic family restaurant, (from lobster to ribs!). For shopping, go to Greendale Mall, and not to Worcester Common Fashion Outlets. Greendale houses a Best Buy store, where you can buy music and entertainment products at very low prices (eg a CD for US$8). Though Greendale mall is smaller, it is located in a better part of town. Further useful information can be found through the above link.
Other Cool Places to Visit in the Area
Some of the best places in 'Central Mass' depend on what you want to do. If you want to see a loud concert, then go and see what is on at the Centrum Center for any bands on tour. However, if your ears can't take the noise, then enjoy fishing at Trout Brook in east Holden. For a bit of neat local history, you can tour the old prison camps in North Rutland. If, however, you just plan on sitting around doing nothing, then it is your loss, because Central Massachusetts is a truly fun place to go.