Grand Rapids visitors guide on iPad

When we decided to celebrate our launch of five new videos featuring some of Grand Rapids' most notable people and places, we knew we wanted to give back to all of you, the community made up of loyal locals and enthusiastic tourists. So we offered a prize of an iPad and an overnight stay in Grand Rapids, and asked readers to enter the random drawing by telling us something they love about Grand Rapids.

And wow, did we love reading all the responses! Over 200 of you chimed in to share your favorite things about Grand Rapids, from arts and architecture to food and family fun. Here were a few of our favorite comments:

"Grand Rapids is remarkable for the philanthropic nature of those who not only call it home, but give their time, talents, energy, and resources to support the institutions, organizations, and events that make Grand Rapids such a unique and enjoyable place to live. Art Prize, Laughfest, and the River Bank Run are three of many excellent examples of great events that would not be possible without great leadership, generous support, and numerous volunteers stepping up in the community to make them so successful." - Todd

"In the state of Michigan, Grand Rapids is like its own little world. You can have the big city life one night, get up and go to the beach the next morning, and spend the evening in the country. The possibilities and adventures are endless. Its a city with a big enough personality to fit ANYONE'S personality." - Lindsay

"First of all, I love that everyone was nice, (REALLY, REALLY nice) when we visited for the first time this fall. The mix of old and new architecture, the libraries, the pumpkin farms, the Art Prize, the vibrant downtown, the variety of restaurants, the lovely gardens, the college campuses, and the rivers and lakes all made our visit with our daughter, son-in-law, and grandson (new Grand Rapids residents) a thrill. To think that they are going to live in such a creative and inspiring environment brings joy to this mom." - Amy

There are many, many more great comments to read (including the comment from our randomly-selected winner, Matthew), and we are so thankful for them all and appreciative of everyone who participated! Please check out all five posts in our video series last week to get acquainted with some well-known Grand Rapids residents and experience some of what this great area has to offer: