Downtown Grand Rapids
Experience big-city excitement without the big-city hassle! Downtown Grand Rapids offers a huge range of entertainment, dining, shopping and sightseeing opportunities, all within a 10-minute walk. You'll encounter clean, safe streets and friendly people - beginning with our roving Safety Ambassadors, who traverse downtown on foot, bicycle, and Segway. Just flag one down if you need assistance, directions, a map or anything else. Look for the bright teal and blue uniforms!
Events Happening Downtown
Where to Stay Downtown
Where to Eat Downtown
Choose from more than 100 dining options, across all cuisines and price ranges. We've listed a few favorites below, but you can view them all here - just select downtown as your location.
Where to Shop Downtown
Browse the artisan shops and farm vendors at the Downtown Market. The Indoor Market Hall includes 20+ fine-food purveyors, including Fish Lads, Montello Meat Market, Old World Olive Co., Spice Merchants, and Thornburg & Company (fruit preserves, syrups, and more). The Outdoor Market offers a seasonal selection of local produce, herb, flowers, honey, eggs, jams, beef and more, plus live entertainment.
Check out the creative spaces at MoDiv, a "retail incubator" housing clothing boutiques, a personal-care apothecary, ice-cream shop, florist and the official store for the Grand Rapids Drive basketball team.
The shopping doesn't end there! Be sure to browse the downtown shops below.
What to Do Downtown
Visit five first-class museums, all within a few blocks of each other: Gerald R Ford Presidential Museum, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids Children's Museum, Grand Rapids Public Museum, and the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts.
Dance, skate or listen to music under the stars at Rosa Parks Circle, a unique combination of public park and sculpture in the center of town.
Head to the Downtown Market for a cooking class, yoga instruction, Friday fish fry or Sunday brunch.
Attend one of downtown's many community events, including ArtPrize (September - October), Blues on the Mall (June - September), Festival of the Arts (June), GRandJazzFest (August), the Santa Parade (November) and Hot New Year's Eve Party (December 31).
Discover other downtown attractions below.
What to See Downtown
See public art virtually everywhere you look. Download the Outdoor Arts Inspirations tour map for a guide to 27 prominent downtown sculptures and historic buildings. Or take a smartphone-guided GR Tag Tour of "Art Around the Corner."
Stroll the riverwalk winding alongside the Grand River to see plenty of evidence for the city's ranking as America's 6th best fishing city. Head just a little bit farther north to see salmon, steelhead and carp leap up the Fish Ladder, a functional sculpture.
See the city from a different perspective in the climate-controlled skywalk that connects DeVos Place Convention Center with three hotels and assorted other buildings. Perfect for hot summer or cold winter days.
Check out other things to see downtown.
Local Downtown Favorites
Founders Brewing Company is a local favorite that's also a global sensation - it's been ranked the world's 3rd best brewery and its Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS) was voted the world's best beer.
La Grande Vitesse is a 43-foot-tall, 42-ton, bright red Alexander Calder Sculpture that has come to symbolize the creative vitality of Grand Rapids. It sits outside City Hall- and it's pictured on street signs throughout the city.
The Blue Bridge, one of Michigan's longest truss bridges, is easy to miss if you're not looking for it. It's behind the JW Marriott Hotel - and it's a convenient pedestrian footpath from the city center to Grand Valley State University and Grand Rapids Public Museum on the west side of the Grand River.
Kendall College of Art and Design, a leading visual-arts school, is situated downtown amidst office buildings and retail establishments. The Fed Galleries at KCAD present student work as well as traveling exhibitions of nationally and internationally recognized artists. Open to the public.
Ideas for Downtown Fun
Festival of the Arts has been a Grand Rapids tradition for nearly 50 years, and for good reason. This June 4, 5, and 6, Festival of the Arts, known locally as Festival, returns, bringing the music, art, and food, Grand Rapidians have come to expect. Whether you’ve never been or this is your 47 th year, we’ll give you the inside scoop on what’s new,…
In spite of the completion of the Beer City USA competitions, Grand Rapids has kept the spirit of her 2013 win alive. Breweries have continued to grow and thrive, and beer tourism has introduced thousands of new visitors to the growing city. After two years of enthusiasm, it's time for the next step. Experience Grand Rapids is excited to introduce…
Congratulations to the soon-to-be bride and groom! Whether you’re getting married next month or next year, Grand Rapids is a fantastic place to host a Bachelor or Bachelorette party you and your friends will always remember. The following party ideas can stand alone, or you can combine them to craft the perfect day for your and your friends.
With over 1,500 pieces of art dotting downtown Grand Rapids, taking your family to ArtPrize can be exhilarating - and overwhelming. Thankfully, we've got the scoop on helping you maximize your family's ArtPrize 7 experience. PLAN YOUR PATH Take a moment to consider the ages and interests of your kids before setting out. Be sure your route includes…
As summer winds down and thoughts turn to fall, area sport anglers often turn their attention to the Grand River. September is prime time for salmon runs. The city’s downtown fishery is next to none, drawing anglers from all over Michigan who come looking for an exciting urban fishing experience. What’s not to love about hooking a 6-pound coho…
When the 7 th annual ArtPrize kicks off on September 23 this year, downtown Grand Rapids will swell with visitors—more than 400,000 people are expected to take part in the conversation about art that surrounds this annual event. For local business and associations, ArtPrize provides an opportunity to host unique networking or celebratory events for…
As area families begin sending kiddos back to school, and as patio season reaches full pitch, there couldn't be a better time for a romantic evening out. There are all sorts of couple-friendly options around town, but if you're hunting for the perfect place to wine and dine your significant other (or even pop the question!), here are five romantic…
The saying “When one door closes, another opens” can definitely be applied to the end of summer and the beginning of ArtPrize Seven throughout downtown Grand Rapids September 23-October 11. The radically open, independently organized international art competition decided by public vote and expert jury will feature 1,551 entries showing at 162…
We all know that beer is a great connector for residents of Grand Rapids. With such an abundance of cool breweries to check out, it has become commonplace to meet and collaborate in a place where beer is present. In 2013, this was already happening at Harmony Brewing Company in East Grand Rapids. Representatives from Friends of Grand Rapids Parks…
Did someone say “Free jazz in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids?” GRandJazzFest did! Presented by DTE Energy Foundation, this two-day jazz spectacular returns August 15 and 16 to Rosa Parks Circle ,
If you enjoy art, craftsmanship and creativity, then American Quilters Society QuiltWeek® at DeVos Place Convention Center in August 12-15 is for you! The show brings creativity, passion and for some
Get ready for three days of fun in downtown Grand Rapids: the 46 th annual Festival of the Arts starts at noon on Friday, June 5 and runs through Sunday, June 7. Streets downtown will be shut down so
Guest writer Amy Allen Clark is creator of the website MomAdvice.com . Last year our family decided that, in lieu of gifts under our tree, each year we will take a vacation together as a family
Grand Rapids, MI has been home to the international art competition ArtPrize since 2009. For three weeks starting the end of September through the first half of October, Grand Rapids becomes a
Ready to head downtown but don't want to drive? The Rapid Silver Line is at your service! The Silver Line debuts on August 25, 2014 and will offer riders a new option to get downtown from the suburbs
People ride the bus for a variety of reasons, among them saving money and being "green." The Rapid's new Silver Line is upping the convenience factor and the benefits; if you haven't ridden the bus
When the red and yellow leaves are on the ground instead of the trees, and the air has turned cool for good, Grand Rapids is a wonderful place. You'll find it easy to get into the holiday spirit at
Grand Rapids is known for great shopping , from the bountiful chain stores of Woodland Mall to the quaint shops of East Grand Rapids. But visitors don't have to stray far from their downtown hotel
Many of us are enjoying a long weekend in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. So let's take time to recognize the man whose civil rights efforts made so much of an impact. This weekend there are
This weekend, my family hopped into our car and drove the easy 10 minutes from suburbia to downtown Grand Rapids for the 9 th annual Local First Street Party . Parking in Grand Rapids is easy and cheap
photo by kennethkonica If you weren't among the 56,000 people who attended one of the 323 humorous events at Laughfest this year, plan to laugh, chuckle and double over as you support Gilda's Club
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