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A Visitors Guide to Grand Rapids Michigan

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Located in West Michigan, Grand Rapids Michigan offers plenty of options for unique accommodations, varied sightseeing, and exciting nightlife. A short drive from other major cities like Chicago, Grand Rapids Michigan will make for a great getaway.

grand rapids michigan

From the world-class attractions and outdoor recreation, to the culinary and craft beverage scene – it’s an amazing place to live, work and play. Learn more about their trend-setting beer, food, art and music scenes. A wonderland of outdoor recreation and family fun. Easy to get to, easy to get around in, easy to afford. 

Grand Rapids is a city at the crossroads of West Michigan’s great outdoors. Surrounding it are the white sand beaches of Lake Michigan, countless charming apple orchards, and an abundance of inland lakes and streams. But the city itself offers its own set of opportunities for education, exploration, and relaxation.

Grand Rapids’ official webpage offers a comprehensive list of things to see and do, but here are some must-see activities as well as a few “off the beaten path” suggestions.

Must-See Attractions in Grand Rapids Michigan

The Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park is a must-see. This world-class botanical masterpiece showcases leafy treasures from West Michigan and around the world. Among many other exhibits, there is a humongous tropical conservatory and a carnivorous plant house, as well as a Michigan farm garden and live music in the summer.

For architecture fans, Grand Rapids is home to the Meyer May House, a Frank Lloyd Wright prairie style home that is free and open to the public. It is located in Grand Rapids’ historic Heritage Hill neighborhood, which also has numerous fantastic examples of late 19th and early 20th century homes, many built by the lumber and furniture barons of the city’s past.

And for those who really want a taste of West Michigan’s great outdoors, Robinette’s Apple Haus offers fresh apple cider, freshly baked donuts, and a variety of fruit wines that can be sampled at Robinette’s upscale country store. This old-fashioned, family-run orchard also offers hayrides and hiking through the apple and cherry trees.

Unique Dining in Grand Rapids Michigan

For a laid-back, local experience, the best place to go to is Founder’s Brewery. Located in an old truck depot, this spacious taproom serves up the Founder’s own stouts, ales, and lagers with a deli menu and plenty of live music thrown in. During the day, this spacious, smoke-free locale is definitely kid-friendly, but moms and dads will especially appreciate the eclectic beer selection.

For an authentic west Michigan experience, The Cottage Bar and Restaurant is a great choice. Since 1927, this institution has been making the city’s best burgers with selections like their Cherry Burger (89% lean ground beef and 11% Michigan cherries according to their menu), and the green olive smothered Cottage Burger. Other great local spots are Yesterdog and Wolfgang’s, both located in the colorful Eastown neighborhood.

Places to Stay in Grand Rapids Michigan

The Amway Grand Hotel, located alongside the Grand River, is one of the most familiar landmarks in this city. It features a gorgeous, historic lobby and a five-diamond rating for its celebrated restaurant, the 1913 Room. Across from this is the J.W. Marriott hotel, Grand Rapids’ modern take on luxury and class. With a sleek interior and cutting edge sensibilities, the J.W. Marriott provides a welcome counterpoint to the venerable Amway Grand.

Just minutes from downtown are three bed and breakfast options for travelers: the B&B of Grand Rapids, Lasting Impressions B&B, and Peaches B&B. Nestled among green lawns and shade trees in the Heritage Hill neighborhood, these elegant inns are a unique option for an urban getaway.

Grand Rapids Michigan is a Premiere Destination

For years, people have been coming to West Michigan for its beautiful lakes and beaches. But choosing to stay in Grand Rapids instead of a smaller lakeside town will provide welcome options for sightseeing and dining to anyone visiting West Michigan. With a variety of unique options for attractions and accommodations, Grand Rapids is a great place to stay.

See the Best of Grand Rapids Michigan

Culture Pass GR curates the best of Grand Rapids’ cultural attractions and things to do into a unique experience pass. Passes are delivered instantly to your phone via text and email and are ready to use immediately with nothing to download! 

Culture Pass GR is your ticket to explore the abundance of art and culture in Grand Rapids. With this pass, you’ll receive admission into many cultural attractions around Grand Rapids as well as additional exclusive discounts. With instant delivery and easy mobile access, this is the easiest way to see and save in Grand Rapids!

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