Start at one of seven exhibition centers to purchase a map and register to vote in this 19-day celebration that lets the public choose the winner of a $200,000 grand prize. Once you’re registered, you can give thumbs up or down to as many pieces as you’d like from your smartphone. Part of the draw is the sheer variety. To see as many pieces as possible, wear comfy shoes and plan plenty of breaks, including the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.
When hunger strikes, Bobarino’s serves a hot Italian sandwich loaded with capicola and smoked provolone. Standout hotel options include the hip JW Marriott Grand Rapids and the historic, regal Amway Grand Plaza.
The JW Marriott’s Six One Six  breakfast buffet has killer made-to-order omelets. ArtPrize easily fills an entire weekend (you’ll want to hang out near the B.O.B.  and stop by the highly trafficked Grand Rapids Art Museum).
But for something different, walk through the Heritage Hills district, where more than 1,300 homes reflect 60 architectural styles. And a trip to Grand Rapids wouldn’t be complete without eating at Rose’s on Reeds Lake, where the wood-fired pizzas are as fantastic as the lake views.
Quick stats: What should you expect at the 2013 ArtPrize (September 18-October 6)? Take a look at the 2011 numbers to get a clue: 1,517 artists; 19 days; 161 venues.
For information: (800) 678-9859; experiencegr.com