The state’s second-largest city, developed around the Grand River, has built a big reputation for culture, cuisine and craft beverages.
Grand Rapids Michigan
| Credit: Mike Gilger



This popular public art event (September 15-October 2, 2022) brings hundreds of pieces of art to parks, bridges, hotels, restaurants and more throughout the city—even the river. Check out not only the art, but also concerts, festivals and family creativity projects.

The B.O.B.

The Big Old Building buzzes with energy from its occupants: restaurants, bars, night clubs, a comedy club and brewery.

Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park
| Credit: Blaine Moats

Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park 

Waterways and paths lead through the 30-acre sculpture park featuring 100-plus pieces, plus a children's garden area and Japanese garden.

Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum 

This museum dedicated to the 38th president of the United States, a Grand Rapids native, explores key moments in his life.

Grand Rapids Art Museum

A collection of 6,000 pieces spans the pre-Renaissance era through the 21st century.

Grand Rapids Downtown Market 

The indoor market hosts more than 20 vendors as well as Slows Bar B Q and 10 more dining options.

Grand Rapids Public Museum 

Diverse exhibits include an 1890s streetscape and displays on toys and West Michigan habitats.

John Ball Zoo, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Credit: Charles Whitman

John Ball Zoo 

Kids love the petting corral, aviary, camel rides, funicular tram, ropes course and four-story zipline.

Meyer May House 

The 1909 home, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for a prominent clothier, was restored by local company Steelcase and offers free tours.

Brewery Vivant
Brewery Vivant
| Credit: Jason Lindsey

Eat and Drink

Brewery Vivant 

One of dozens of breweries in a town that brands itself Beer City U.S.A., Brewery Vivant pours frothy pints in a former funeral home chapel with stained-glass windows. Try the rustic ale Farm Hand.

Founders Brewing Company

One of dozens of breweries in a town that brands itself Beer City U.S.A., Founders pours frothy pints of Breakfast Stout. Pair it with beer cheese dip.

Grand Rapids Brewing Company 

Enjoy classic dark-wood-and-brick brewery ambience, a game room, and beers such as Rosalynn Bliss Blonde (named for the mayor).

Linear Restaurant 

Take a riverfront seat for seasonal American dishes such as beet gnocchi or stuffed quail at this downtown spot.


Michigan's abundant produce influences the fusion of French and American foods at this JW Marriott restaurant.

The Sovengard

Scandinavian flavors meld with meat and produce from local vendors at this farm-to-table restaurant. Dine alfresco and play bocce ball or move inside for house favorites like the handmade pierogi.

Uncle Cheetah's Soup Shop

A dozen made-from-scratch soups fill the chalkboard. Some of the most popular? Vegetable cream cheese, lobster bisque and white chicken chili.

Grand Rapids, Michigan
Amway Plaza Grand Hotel
| Credit: Kevin J. Miyazaki/Redux


Amway Grand Plaza Hotel 

Crystal chandeliers, gold-leaf details, an on-site flower shop and more than a half-dozen dining options hint at the opulence of the restored 1916 hotel.


Borrow bikes (free to guests) and explore the trails around downtown at this newest Hilton property.


In the heart of downtown, the eco-friendly hotel offers rooms with locally made furniture, bamboo linens and a unique design.

JW Marriott Grand Rapids 

This luxury hotel strives to make stays as relaxing as possible with touches that include lavender-scented bath products, soft and firm pillow options, and a spa.

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