99 Reasons We Love Grand Rapids

There Isn’t Just One Thing That Makes Grand Rapids Great

Grand Rapids folk have a lot of hometown pride. Whenever our town tops a national list like best city to raise a family, Beer City, USA, and best place to retire, locals shout it from the rooftops (and their Facebook pages).

We are excited about this town–and for good reason! This city has an incredible array of arts, entertainment, dining and cultural offerings, not to mention educational opportunities, medical support and philanthropic endeavors. We have people who are passionate about their work (and their play).

So we have all the awesome stuff a large city is made of, but without the traffic and long lines to get into venues and events.

Basically, Grand Rapids is incredible.

And here are 99 reasons as proof.

99 Reasons We Love Grand Rapids

1 – We Love Picnicking at Ah-Nab Awen Park

220 Front Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

This riverside park is next to the Gerald R. Ford Museum.
It’s a great spot for family pics, ArtPrize wandering, and community events.

Ah-Nab-Awen Park

2 – We Love Watching Planes Land at the Airport Viewing Area

4820 Kraft Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512

The airport viewing area has even got picnic tables and restrooms.

airport observation park grand rapids

3. We love looking for out of print treasures at Argos Book Shop.

4. We love walking, wandering and taking in all the art during ArtPrize.

5. We love the stunning lobby at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. (And the rest of the place, too…)

6. We love the ace breweries that helped crown us Beer City, USA.

7. We love playing pickleball at Belknap Overlook (and its mural along I-196).

8. We love pedaling the many Bike Trails in our region.

Luton Park Trail – Rockford

9. We love learning about the outdoors at Blandford Nature Center.

10. We love looking at the Blue Bridge, especially when it’s lit up at night.

11. We love the atmosphere and tasty choices at the B.O.B.

12. We love showing our wild side at Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park.

13. We love eating brunch at Wolfgang’s. or Real Food Cafe. or Cherie Inn. or Anna’s House. We can’t decide.

14. We love the top-notch shows that Broadway Grand Rapids brings to town.

15. We love the timeless yet 70’s vibe of the Calder (la Grande Vitesse).

16. We love the kid-friendly, hour-long performances by C.A.R.E. Ballet.

17. We love going round and round on the antique Spillman Carousel at Grand Rapids Public Museum.

18. We love taking family photos with the city skyline in the background.

19. We love carriage rides downtown.

20. We love the breathtaking interior of the Cathedral of Saint Andrew.

21. We love making giant bubbles at the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum.

22. We love listening to the world-class voices of the Choir of Men and Boys.

23. We love the intimate setting and passion of the Circle Theatre.

24. We love that the Civic Theatre is the 5th largest community theatre in the nation.

25. We love the live Nativity, Spring Fling, and all the time in between at the Critter Barn.

26. We love the fantastic mix of old and new downtown architecture.

27. We love the dozens of missions and organizations where we can give back to our community and to those in need.

28. We love shopping and dining at the Downtown Market.

29. We love shopping the unique local businesses in Eastown.

30. We love eating our way through different cultures at Festival of the Arts.

Festival of the arts performance

31. We love running with thousands of friends in the Fifth Third River Bank Run.

32. We love watching the fish climb the Fish Ladder.

33. We love the incredible sculptures, landscaping and art experiences for all ages at Frederik Meijer Gardens.

34. We love the Free Family Flicks at Celebration Cinemas every spring and fall.

35. We love our heritage as Furniture City, USA!

36. We love the sumptuous garden fresh food at Fulton Street Farmer’s Market.

37. We love creating Saturday afternoon masterpieces in the GRAMStudio at the Grand Rapids Art Museum.

38. We love the amazing set and performance of Grand Rapids Ballet’s Nutcracker.

39. We love watching Grand Rapids Drive shoot nothing but net.

40. We love floating down the Grand River on Grand Lady Riverboat cruises.

41. We love that we are the hometown of the 38th president and the Gerald R. Ford Museum.

42. We love watching Darth Vader throw out the puck at Griffins Star Wars Night.

43. We love the countless local parent resources found at grkids.com.

44. We love the fascinating workshops in the Grand Rapids Public Library’s summer reading program.

45. We love watching the massive Corliss steam engine turn at the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

46. We love the moving performances by the Grand Rapids Symphony.

47. We love taking a hayride at Moelker Orchards.

48. We love the captivating architecture of Helen Devos Children’s Hospital…and of course the unbelievable quality of care.

49. We love Heritage Hill walking tours.

50. We love the small town feel of the Hollyhock 4th of July Parade.

51. We love the unique baby finds and helpful staff at Hopscotch Children’s Store.

52. We love watching the miniature train pass overhead at Jersey Junction.

53. We love watching our kids get moving with Storytime at KDL branches.

54. We love doing Gymnastics on Horseback at Karin’s Horse Connection.

55. We love seeing farm animals and more at the Kent County Youth Fair.

56. We love riding the Bumblebee Express at Koetsier’s.

57. We love picking strawberries at Krupp’s.

58. We love that the Lakeshore is less than an hour away.

59. We love cooling off in the Lamar Park Splash Pad.

60. We love the joy that Laugh Fest brings our community.

61. We love being dwarfed by Leonardo’s (da Vinci’s) horse.

62. We love delicious local eats like… Electric Cheetah, Donkey Taquiero, Arnie’s cupcakes, San Chez, Brewery Vivant, HopCat, Grand Rapids Brewing Company, Founder’s, the Green Well, Bombay Cuisine, Rose’s, Mitten Brewing Co, …and on and on.

63. We love the Lollipops concerts for the young-at-heart put on by the Grand Rapids Symphony.

64. We love the artisinal java at Madcap.

65. We love the the wealth of local history in the Main Library’s archives floor.

66. We love the amazing doctors and staff along the Medical Mile.

67. We love taking a tour of the Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece Meyer May House.

68. We love spending our days getting wet and riding bikes at Millennium Park.

69. We love watching movies outside at Movies on Monroe.

70. We love taking in a show at the nation’s first LEED Certified opera production facility, Opera Grand Rapids.

71. We love taking our kids for a hike at the Calvin College Ecosystem Preserve.

72. We love the pools in the city parks on hot summer days.

73. We love climbing on the Giant Red Button.

74. We love getting our energy out at a gymnastics open gym.

75. We love picking apples and drinking cider at Robinette’s.

76. We love watching a movie in the park alongside Reed’s Lake.

77. We love the giant colorful Regatta sculpture at Gaslight Village.

78. We love laughing till our sides hurt with River City Improv.

79. We love summer concerts and winter ice skating at Rosa Parks Circle.

80. We love the big black slide at Schwallier’s Country Basket.

81. We love browsing all the staff picks at Schuler Books.

82. We love bouncing to the sky at SkyZone.

83. We love heaping on the ice cream toppings at Spoonlickers.

84. We love the summer concert series at Meijer Gardens.

85. We love the Aberdeen Park splash pad.

86. We love modern masterpieces at Urban Institute of Contemporary Art.

87. We love Uptown antiquing and shopping. (And fab eats!)

88. We love concert craziness at Van Andel Arena.

89. We love getting starry eyed at Veen Observatory.

90. We love stepping back in time at Voigt House Victorian Museum.

91. We love the miles and miles of enjoyable walking trails.

92. We love the music and comedy at the Wealthy Street Theatre.

93. We love the mouth-watering pastries at Wealthy and Hall Street Bakeries.

94. We love running the bases after the game on family day with the Whitecaps.

95. We love Yesterdog–it’s more than a restaurant. It’s a destination.

96. We love learning about new animals at John Ball Zoo.

97. We love listening to the engines rumble at the 28th Street Metro Cruise.

98. We love that we have the one true Santa Claus.

99. We love all the wonderful people that make our city the best place to live!

About The Author

1 thought on “99 Reasons We Love Grand Rapids”

  1. john van hattum

    i love fountain street church. where a person who isn’t conservative and republican can be free to be themselves.

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