Grand Rapids Recognitions

We are proud to announce that Grand Rapids and Michigan's West Coast was named the

#1 Travel Destination for 2014 by Lonely Planet.

December 2013

"Beach bums, beer lovers, and art enthusiasts agree: there’s a lot to love about western Michigan this year. Grand Rapids, Michigan’s second-largest city, was voted bestbeer city in the US by the national Beer Examiner blog in 2012 and 2013, and its beer-tourism revolution rages on."

The Latest Honors for Grand Rapids!

Top 25 'Best Performing' Cities in America, The Milken Institute 

January 2015

"The Milken Institute has ranked Grand Rapids, Michigan number 25 on its annual list of the best performing cities in America. The report includes the top 200 largest cities in the nation, and Grand Rapids was the only city in the Midwest to rank in the top 25."

Top 10 Emerging City in the U.S., Global Trade

November 2014

"A key center for aviation, furniture and automobile manufacturing, GrandRapids got a major boost in September when regional economic development organizations invested $169 million in it. Under a new grant, more than 900 jobs are coming to Grand Rapids suburbs Greenville and Walker, Mich.—a sum that’s expected to benefit Grand Rapids’ 190,411residents greatly. State officials anticipate that the new jobs will also elevate the city’s current 7.8 percent unemployment rate."

Best Beer Town, USA Today

October, 2014

"Beer lovers of America have made their voices heard, and Grand Rapids, Michigan, can now call itself the Best Beer Town, according to readers of USA TODAY and 10Best.  

Grand Rapids - a riverfront city just east of Lake Michigan - has at least a dozen breweries and its convention and visitor bureau does a bang-up job of enticing beer drinkers, brewers and connoisseurs to visit.   We lift our glass in congratulations to Grand Rapids."

#2 Best Foodie City for Your Wallet,

October 2014

Opportunity Cities: Places It May Be Easier To Make Your Mark, 

September 2014

"It’s a very high quality of life, particularly for a city that has a high concentration of large employers," says Kristopher Larson, president of Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. "It’s got environmental amenities, with a river and close access to a lake. It’s got good schools... and it’s almost unfair how affordable the [housing] pricing is. You can get into a very decent place within 2 miles of downtown for still under $100,000."

One of The 18 Most Underrated Cities,

May 2014

"Grand Rapids has many of the perks of a big city but few of the hassles. There are beautiful beaches here, a strong creative community, and lots of locally-produced craft beers."


Best City for Raising a Family,

April 2014

"What Grand Rapids does have: the distinction of being the best metro area in the country to raise a family in. Income may be relatively low, but the cost of living is even lower. The local school system ranks in the top third in the country. Commuting to work is a breeze"

One of America's Top 10 Most Exciting Mid-Sized Cities, Movoto

March 2014

"Unlike Fort Lauderdale, Grand Rapids is a name we honestly didn’t expect to see up here in the top 10, but the data doesn’t lie. The second-largest city in Michigan, it did best in nightlife (14th overall)and non-fast food dining (18th)."

#1 Travel Destination for 2014, Lonely Planet

December 2013

"Beach bums, beer lovers, and art enthusiasts agree: there’s a lot to love about western Michigan this year. Grand Rapids, Michigan’s second-largest city, was voted bestbeer city in the US by the national Beer Examiner blog in 2012 and 2013, and its beer-tourism revolution rages on."

14 Destinations For Your 2014 Travel Bucket List, Huffington Post

December 2013

"Lonely Planet named Grand Rapids the top U.S. destination to check out in 2014. Grand Rapids has been voted the best  beer city in America and boasts more than 25 craft breweries nearby. The city also has a lively art scene and tons of festivals. Thirty miles away, Lake Michigan's Gold Coast offers the prime location for an unexpected beach getaway with 300 miles of gorgeous waterfront."

One of the Top Five Best Airports in the World (by size), Airports Council International

November 2013

"The Gerald R. Ford International Airport provides first-class travel experiences and excellent customer services and amenities and those efforts have been recognized by the Airports Council International (ACI)as one of the best in the world."

Best Place to Retire, AARP

October 2013

"In the past few years, the national news media have been abuzz about Grand Rapids, about 170 miles due west of Detroit near Lake Michigan. The city has earned attention and praise for its revitalized downtown, affordable housing and work opportunities — as well as it’s scenery, bike trails, international art competition ArtPrize and a surging industry of top-rated craft breweries."

Best Mid-Sized Transportation System in the U.S., American Public Transportation Association

September 2013

"It is the second time in nine years The Rapid has been given the award by the American Public Transportation Association, or APTA. The last time was in 2004."

2nd Most Secure Large City in the U.S., Farmers Insurance

June 2013

"The study of large metropolitan areas, compiled by researchers at Sperling's Best Places, took into consideration a number of criteria, including economic stability, crime statistics, extreme weather, risk of natural disasters, housing depreciation, foreclosures, air quality, environmental hazards, life expectancy, motor vehicle fatalities, and employment numbers."

Beer City, U.S.A.,

May 2013

" Grand Rapids, Michigan has claimed sole designation as BeerCity USA 2013. Grand Rapids took a grand and rapid (pun intended) early lead."

15 U.S. Cities' Emerging Downtowns,

May 2013

"Since the mid-1990s, the small Michigan city has drummed up billions in public-private funding. Investments have yielded the Van Andel Arena, the new $60 million home of the Grand Rapids Museum, a $220 million convention center, and $1 billion in new hospitals and new headquarters for Michigan State University's College of Human Medicine. Rockford Construction has converted more than a dozen abandoned warehouses and office buildings into 400,000 square feet of updated residential, retail and office space. This summer will welcome the $30 million Downtown Market, a year-round culinary marketplace, spanning 130,000 square feet and the city plans to build a rapid transit bus line that will more easily cart people from the suburbs to Grand Rapids' downtown."

Five Festive Events You Won't Want to Miss in 2013, Time Magazine

January 2013

ArtPrize is the only festival in the United States to make the list.

25 Best Beer Cities in the World,

June 2012

"Grand Rapids, Michigan has less than a million people in the city and outlying areas, but has more breweries than the greater New York City area, which has upwards of 20 million people.  However, it was more than the number of breweries that edged the Big Apple off this list.  While this may not be the highest ranked American city on this list, Grand Rapids is certainly a city that is passionate about their beer."

Top 10 Vacation City for Beer Lovers,

June 2012

"The roughly 50-mile stretch between Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo and its roughly eight to nine breweries (depending on the geographic leeway given by the person asked) constitute the heart of Michigan craft brewing, as do the two biggest breweries within it: Bell's and Founders."

Top 10 City for Happy Marriages,

June 2012

"The area is surrounded by a lot of free diversions mostly natural -- trails, parks and places for together time."

Beer City, U.S.A.,

May 2012

"With 55,926 votes cast for 31 different American cities the results clearly indicated that both Asheville, North Carolina and Grand Rapids topped the poll with a statistical tie. Both cities are being awarded Beer City USA 2012. This is Grand Rapids first year of winning top honors."

Best Places to Invest, Fox Business

May 2012

"The quality of life is good, and housing prices are way down to 2000 levels. You can buy a house and rent it out for a profit and then, when West Michigan appreciates again over the next 10 years, you can sell it for a profit.”

Top 8 North American City Experiencing an Artistic Boom, Good

March 2012

Largely due to ArtPrize, Grand Rapids has it's name on the map for having world class art.

2nd Best Place to live in the US, Wall Street Journal Market Watch

August 2011

"Solid schools and strong economy, especially when compared with the rest of the state, make Grand Rapids stand out."

Top 10 City for Moms, The Daily Beat

May 2011

"Moms-per-capita (rank among top 13): 3rd | Child care (rank among top 13): 11th |Schools score (1 to 10 scale): 6 |Maternity care (rank among top 13): 5th |Mom love (rank among top 13): 6th"


Experience Grand Rapids Recognitions