Keep up on the latest and greatest Grand Rapids happenings here. Check back often – this city is on the move! more
Outdoor Summer Concert Series at Meijer Gardens Grand Rapids is passionate about the arts, and nowhere is t...more
Need some in-person inspiration for your Grand Rapids story?... more
Related Document: Best-Towns.pdf
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Median Home Price $136,360
Hometown Hero Nate Phelp, president of the Michigan Mountain Biking Association and champion of local trail building
Michigan's second-largest city will surprise you. For Starters, the regional economy is more diverse and more robust then Detroit's - and includes everything from furniture (Herman Miller and Steelcase) to health and beauty (Amway) to footwear (Wolverine Worldwide). Plus, despite the state's overall woes and high unemployment, G.R. is, dare we say, thriving. In the past few years, it's gained a riverfront luxury hotel, a medical school, and the world's first LEED-certified museum. What's more, the county recently set aside 1,500 acres for a downtown park, and the Grand Rapids' newly established ArtPrize competition - the largest art contest in the world by prize money - resulted in 1,200 works of public art on display throughout downtown.
Sure, it's snowy much of the year. But it's neither flat nor boring. Don't believe us? In 2004, the last year they issued report cards, the International Mountain Biking Association gave Michigan a B+, the same grade as New Mexico, Washington, and Alaska. And, especially G.R., it's only gotten better since then. The in-town mountain bike park has a pump track (think rollers and berms), a skills area, and a new three-mile loop of singletrack in the works. Throw your bike on your car rack and you've got choices: 75-plus miles of trails in eight locations within a 45-minute drive, from beginner friendly fire roads to technical singletrack - and that's not including mountain-bikable stretches on the rugged North County Trail, which cuts through 4,887 acres of national forest just 73 miles away.
Check out the Victorian homed in historic East Grand Rapids: A three-bedroom across the street from Aquinas College or on the shores of Reeds Lake, the town's gathering place, lists for $130K. - J.O.