Just 30 minutes from Lake Michigan, Grand Rapids offers shoreline visitors the opportunity to experience big-city culture and entertainment…without big-city hassle!
Start your side trip in downtown Grand Rapids, where you can visit more than 100 restaurants, shops and entertainment venues within a 10-minute walk. Downtown boasts five world-class museums, including the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, one of just 13 presidential museums in the U.S.
The Downtown Market is a dazzling food emporium that includes restaurants, food vendors, a farmer’s market, teaching kitchens and rooftop greenhouses. It’s one of 30+ delicious destinations on The Grand Rapids Food Trail, a self-guided tour of the city’s culinary hotspots. Downtown is also a convenient starting point for the Beer City Ale Trail, a self-guided tour of 40+ craft breweries, cideries and distilleries. Begin with Founders Brewing Company (named the world’s 3rd best brewery) or HopCat (America’s best brewpub) – and you’ll soon discover why Grand Rapids was crowned “America’s Best Beer Town” by USA Today.
TIME magazine said Grand Rapids throws one of the world’s best festive events – ArtPrize. This annual art competition displays 1,500+ works of art all over downtown – and asks visitors to select the winner. Mark your calendar for September 23 – October 11 to join this year’s fun.
Just one mile from downtown Grand Rapids is John Ball Zoo – home to 2,000 animals, kids’ rides and a hilltop “treehouse” offering expansive views of the city. It’s 10 minutes away from Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, one of the world’s “top 30-must see museums.” This summer, the Gardens opens a new Japanese Garden featuring waterfalls, an authentic teahouse and more. Plan a night on the town after a day on the beach (or vice versa) – grab a copy of The Experience, Grand Rapids’ official visitor’s guide, visit ExperienceGR.com or, check out the Main Shoreline Visitors Guide Digital Edition.