13 of the Finest Issues to Do in Grand Rapids, Michigan

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As the biggest metropolis in West Michigan and is just second within the state to Detroit, there are many enjoyable issues to do in Grand Rapids. Up to now, town was finest recognized for its historical past within the furnishings manufacturing business with 5 of the world’s furnishings firms headquartered within the space, however it has change into extra assorted over time.

Immediately, Grand Rapids is well-known for its artwork scene, microbrews, and inexperienced areas. In 2014, Grand Rapids was even named America’s Best Beer City by USA Today’s readers.

Grand Rapids is one in every of our favourite cities, stuffed with nice issues to do and locations to go to.

Finest Instances to Go to Grand Rapids

Situated in Michigan, Grand Rapids positively has its share of snowy, winter weather and humid, muggy summers. Between the months of December and February, snow or rain is widespread and common highs vary between 39°F (4°C) and 30°F (-1°C). That is the off-season and for those who’re not afraid of colder climate you may positively rating nice offers.


Grand River Blue Bridge

Throughout the summer season, Michigan could be fairly heat and muggy with occasional rains on account of elevated humidity. Common highs in the summertime are within the 80’s (26°C) and it’s usually the excessive season.

The climate through the spring and fall is milder although it may be chilly. Rain can also be pretty widespread and humidity could be greater. Temperatures fluctuate relying on the month, however usually vary between 79°F (26°C) and 34°F (1°C).

For the very best climate, late spring and early fall are the very best instances to go to for a shoulder season expertise.

The best way to Get To Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids is well accessible by airplane or automobile. By airplane, you may fly into Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR). There are direct flights from many areas of america together with New York Metropolis, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Washington D.C., Miami, and Orlando.

By automobile, Interstate 96 takes you throughout the whole Decrease Peninsula of Michigan from Detroit within the east or Muskegon to the west, bypassing Grand Rapids within the center. Interstate 196 runs south to north from Benton Harbor, via South Haven and Holland, then to Grand Rapids. Spend a couple days in Grand Rapids for those who’re already street tripping via Michigan!

High Issues to Do in Grand Rapids

Whereas not as well-known or as giant as Detroit, there are nonetheless loads of nice issues to do in Grand Rapids. You may discover it’s artwork scene, pattern native microbrews, study its historical past, and journey via its public areas.

Discover Downtown Grand Rapids

Downtown is an excellent cute space with plenty of historic buildings, public areas, and wonderful eating places. Most of the native museums are additionally positioned throughout the downtown space, together with the Grand Rapids Public Museum, Grand Rapids Artwork Museum, and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library.

Be sure you additionally take a look at Rosa Parks Circle, named for the civil rights activist and very long time Michigan resident, Rosa Parks. Throughout the hotter months, occasions corresponding to concert events and dances are held there and within the winter, there may be even an outside ice skating rink! The park additionally has a statue of Rosa Parks.

Grand Rapids Artwork Museum (GRAM)

Situated subsequent to Rosa Parks Circle is the Grand Rapids Art Museum. This museum is dwelling to all kinds of artwork starting from Renaissance works to modern art with nineteenth and twentieth century European and American artwork as properly. The museum additionally has particular displays occasionally bringing extra selection to their assortment.

A few of their finest works embody these by artists corresponding to Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, and Alexander Calder. We liked that additionally they included art work by native artists who had been lesser recognized.

They usually additionally holds occasions to advertise the native artwork scene. Each biennial, ArtPrize is placed on by the museum in partnership with town for a number of weeks through the months of September and October. All through the artwork competition, the whole downtown space is adorned with artwork and town even commissions public artwork, only for ArtPrize!

Throughout the summer season months, this Museum has an occasion referred to as GRAM on the Inexperienced. Each Thursday night time, the museum gives free stay music, dancing, video games, and extra.

On Saturdays, the museum provides particular actions and applications for households and their youngsters. The Grand Rapids Artwork Museum is an ideal place to go to, particularly for guests with households.

Grand Rapids Public Museum

Grand Rapids Public Museum is a tremendous place to study all there may be to know concerning the Grand Rapids metropolitan space. The museum is a good way for guests to study extra concerning the native historical past and tradition and is without doubt one of the sights that attracts guests from all around the area.

One in every of our favourite displays was the “Streets of Previous Grand Rapids.” It takes you again in time to Grand Rapids within the Eighteen Nineties with a recreation of town streets throughout that point. There may be an old-timey theater, practice station, opera home, gun store, and extra. The Van Dort print store additionally gives stay demonstrations in working a movable kind printing press. You may even get a memento there!

Different items within the assortment educate guests on the furnishings business in Grand Rapids, and animals and birds of the Grand River and west Michigan. The museum even has an vintage Spillman Carousel from 1928 which you can take a trip on.

Grand Rapids Youngsters’s Museum

The Grand Rapids Children’s Museum provides one of the crucial enjoyable issues to do in Grand Rapids for it’s youngest guests. Some of the widespread areas is “Little Grand Rapids,” the place they’ll check out being a grown-up in their very own little metropolis, full with a financial institution; grocery retailer; auto mechanic; and a health care provider’s workplace, the place they’ll look at x-rays and discover well being sciences.

Different play areas embody a bubble room, traditional video games like Legos and Lincoln Logs, and an area the place they’ll make as a lot noise as they need whereas experimenting with distinctive musical devices.

Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum

The Ford Presidential Museum is positioned proper subsequent to the Grand Rapids Public Museum alongside the Grand River. Former president Gerald R. Ford’s childhood dwelling was in Grand Rapids, Michigan and the museum can also be his last resting place of him and his spouse, Betty Ford.

The museum contains displays on Ford’s life and his profession because the president of america in addition to the 1976 bicentennial celebration through the time he was in workplace and Betsy Ford’s position as first girl. Typically there are additionally particular displays displaying bits of historical past through the time of Ford’s tenure as president.

Should you get an opportunity to go to Ann Arbor, Michigan, the opposite department of the museum, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library is positioned there.

See the well-known Blue Bridge

This iconic Blue Bridge is without doubt one of the longest truss bridges in Michigan and was as soon as a railroad bridge that was transformed right into a pedestrian solely walkway stretching over the Grand River. The Blue Bridge is positioned simply outdoors of the Grand Rapids Public Museum and is a good way to stroll alongside the waterfront or throughout the Grand River and over to downtown Grand Rapids.

The Blue Bridge is such a scenic spot that {couples} take their engagement and marriage ceremony images right here.

Blandford Nature Heart

The Blandford Nature Center sits on a gorgeous web site that features wooded areas, fields, streams, and ponds. The middle focuses on selling stewardship via schooling on the setting and pure programs.

Additionally they have a  wildlife rescue that cares for injured animals, a few of which have change into everlasting residents after accidents left them unable to outlive within the wild. These animals are generally known as “wildlife ambassadors” and take part in displays to teach the general public.

On-site can also be the Blandford Farm, which options group gardens and gives an opportunity for kids to study farming and sustainable agriculture

Meyer Might Home

The Meyer Might Home was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and inbuilt 1908 for a rich native businessman. The unique construction was a modest-sized Prairie-style dwelling. Over time it was  progressively altered and additions had been hooked up. The house was restored to its authentic kind after two years of analysis and is without doubt one of the few architectural sights of Grand Rapids.

Immediately, the constructing is open to the general public at no cost, full with authentic and replica furnishings.

Sail Down the Grand River within the Grand Girl Riverboat

The Grand Girl Riverboat is positioned roughly 12 miles southwest of Grand Rapids, within the city of Jenison, MI. Right here, you may board the Grand Girl Riverboat and discover the Grand River by boat.

Sightseeing excursions are usually provided within the hotter months, between Might and October, and final 2 hours. Boarding begins on the time on the ticket and the boat leaves the dock half an hour later. Typically there are additionally stay music cruises and so they may even be rented out for personal occasions. It’s a good way to discover extra of the Grand Rapids space!

John Ball Zoo

The John Ball Zoo is without doubt one of the finest issues to do Grand Rapids for households. One in every of its finest options is the big selection of up-close experiences and animal interactions accessible to guests, together with the possibility to feed spider monkeys, penguins, pelicans, and different animals.

Extra behind-the-scenes adventures embody the possibility to look at a chimpanzee coaching session whereas studying about their every day wants. You too can deal with varied small animals, together with reptiles, birds, and mammals. Different actions embody the chance to attempt your hand at zookeeping, take a trip on a camel, or brush a goat at Crimson’s Passion Farm.

Frederick Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

The Frederick Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is understood amongst locals on the “Meijer Gardens” and is a good place to go to in Grand Rapids. The gardens are positioned roughly 6 miles outdoors of town so it’s a little bit of a drive, however it’s properly price it! The 158 acre botanical backyard and sculpture park is stuffed with stunning vegetation and wonderful sculptural works.

Meijer Gardens is dwelling to the Richard and Helen DeVos Japanese Backyard, 8 acres price of lush Japanese vegetation, Buddha sculptures, wood bridges, and pagodas. There may be additionally the Michigan Farm Backyard that features heirloom vegetable gardens, orchards, and animal sculptures, just like what you’ll count on of a Michigan backyard of the Thirties.

Throughout particular instances of yr the backyard additionally hosts quite a lot of displays and occasions. The “Butterflies Are Blooming” exhibit is open yearly within the spring between the months of March and April. It’s the largest momentary butterfly exhibit within the nation displaying hundreds of butterflies from Central and South America and Asia.

Yearly through the holidays, between November and January, the “Christmas and Vacation Traditions” exhibit arrives on the backyard and also you’ll be capable to see stunning decorations, music, and meals from totally different nations and cultures. There are additionally carriage rides and stay leisure throughout this occasion.

Understand that the gardens provides little to no cowl all through a lot of its acreage so you should definitely carry a water bottle, sunscreen, and a hat to remain hydrated and shielded when visiting in hotter climate.

Downtown Market

Downtown Market is a meals market and group area open yr spherical. There are a big number of distributors and cuisines from all over the world, there’s something for everybody, all inside this one constructing.

Downtown Market

Seize some sandwiches from Carvers Grand Rapids’ Most interesting Meats or Fish Lads for native seafood. There may be additionally a storefront for Slows Bar-B-Q from Detroit in addition to Pho 616 for Vietnamese noodles, Sushi Marketplace for Japanese, and Tacos El Cunado for Mexican fare.

Love’s Ice Cream is a good alternative for dessert with scrumptious flavors constituted of native fruits. And if espresso for dessert is your kind of factor, you should definitely take a look at Madcap Espresso, one of many best coffee spots in Grand Rapids. They make an amazingly robust cortado with stunning latte artwork.

Apart from meals, there are additionally a number of stalls promoting cooking merchandise and vegetation. Downtown Market provides cooking lessons, homes native occasions, and might even be rented out as a marriage venue.

Native Breweries & Bars

Inside the previous 5 years or so the native brew scene in Grand Rapids has grown exponentially. There are so nice microbreweries within the space to discover and get your drink on!

Some of the widespread is Founders Brewing Firm. They’re finest recognized for his or her flagship providing, the Centennial IPA, nevertheless their All Day IPA and Nitro Oatmeal Stout can also be nice. Should you get an opportunity to take a look at their brewery and restaurant, don’t neglect to check out their beer cheese, it’s amazingly scrumptious!

Founders Company dip

Founders Brewing Firm chips and dip

New Holland Brewing Company is one other native delight. Technically, New Holland Brewing Firm is positioned in close by Holland, a metropolis roughly 30 miles southwest of city, however they’ve a brewery referred to as The Knickerbocker within the western aspect of town. Dragon’s Milk is one in every of their finest recognized beers and so they have a number of restricted releases of recent beers all year long. For eats, you should definitely attempt their pepperoni pinwheels, they’re mainly pizza rolls however they’re so good.

Hopcat was as soon as solely native to Grand Rapids, nevertheless they’ve since expanded to many close by cities together with Detroit, Ann Arbor, Chicago (IL), Madison (WI), and even so far as St. Louis, MO and Louisville, KY.

Though the downtown Grand Rapids Hopcat location not brews their very own beers, they’re well-known for his or her intensive variety of native beers on faucet and even bigger beer menu. You may rely on Hopcat to have one thing you’d like. Whilst you’re at Hopcat, don’t neglect to get their cosmik fries! They really was named “crack fries” as a result of they had been so good they had been like crack nevertheless they’ve modified the identify lately as a result of inappropriate connotations.

There are such a lot of choices to seize a very good beer within the metropolis of Grand Rapids, you’ll be having a good time consuming and ingesting!

Though this isn’t an excellent giant metropolis, there are a large number of issues to do in Grand Rapids, in addition to some nice inns and different lodging. For us, it is without doubt one of the prime rated journey places in all the Midwest.

Visitor Put up Creator: Constance is a techie designer by day and a journey blogger by night time (and weekends). She based The Adventures of Panda Bear along with her boyfriend, Jimmy, whereas dwelling within the San Francisco Bay Space, to share our adventures in journey, meals, and structure with the world.

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