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!
Ideas for Downtown Fun
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
Events Happening Downtown
Where to Eat:
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.
The B.O.B. (Big Old Building) is home to seven different restaurants and bars, including a steakhouse and a brewery. Come for dinner, stay for the nightlife!
The Cottage Bar & Restaurant serves what USA Today calls "The Best Burger in Michigan." On the other hand, GQ magazine calls the Stella Blue at Stella's Lounge "America's Best Burger." Try 'em both and decide for yourself.
Cygnus 27 is the pinnacle of downtown dining - it sits at the top of the glass tower in the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. Stunning views and a trend-setting menu.
The Downtown Market offers a variety of delectable dining and snacking options, including Rak Thai, Tacos El Cunado, Sweetie-Licious Bake Shoppe, Love's Ice Cream, and Dorothy & Tony's Gourmet Kettle Corn.
San Chez, a Tapas Bistro & Cafe specializes in the cuisine of Spain with a Latin and Cuban flair. Named one of America's Top 50 Hispanic restaurants.
Where to Shop:
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.
What to Do:
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).
What to See:
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.
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.