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. Look for the bright teal and blue uniforms if you need assistance, directions, a map or anything else!
Location: Let's Roam
The Cottage Bar and Stella’s Lounge have won national recognition for their burgers, Luna was named Michigan’s best farm-to-table restaurant and Cygnus 27 is listed in America’s Top 100 most scenic eateries. They’re just four of 100+ downtown dining destinations. We've listed a few favorites below, but you can view them all here – just select downtown as your location.
Shop at more than 60 stores offering everything from art and magazines to clothing and pet products. Don’t miss the Downtown Market – we count it as one store, but it’s actually a collective of 20+ artisan food shops. Looking for something really unique? Check out the gifts shops at six downtown museums. Browse through the shops below for more retail inspiration.
Visit six fascinating museums, all within a few blocks of each other: Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archives, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, Grand Rapids Public Museum and Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts.
Compare and contrast the beer styles at seven downtown breweries – then you’ll need to visit just one more local brewery to earn a Brewsader® t-shirt. You can complete your Brewsader® journey by exploring the West Side neighborhood only a few steps across the Grand River.
Listen to live music at 25+ downtown venues showcasing national touring acts and/or local performers.
See what’s happening at Rosa Parks Circle – named one of America’s Top 5 Public Spaces, it hosts festivals, concerts, food trucks, dance parties and winter ice skating.
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. Take a GR Tag Tour of “Art Around the Corner.” Or just wander around with your eyes peeled!
See a play, musical, ballet or opera by Actors’ Theatre Grand Rapids, Broadway Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids Ballet, Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, Heritage Theatre Group, Jewish Theatre Grand Rapids or Opera Grand Rapids.
See why Grand Rapids was named America’s 6th best fishing city ¬– stroll the Grand River Riverwalk to view anglers in action and visit the Fish Ladder to watch salmon, steelhead and carp leap the “steps” on their seasonal migration.
See the city from a different perspective in the climate-controlled skywalk that connects our convention center with three hotels and assorted other buildings.
Check out other things to see downtown:
Founders Brewing Company is a local favorite with a national profile – it’s consistently ranked among the top five U.S. breweries and several of its beers are mainstays on yearly top 10 lists.
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 on a public square outside City Hall, where it was first installed in 1969.
The Blue Bridge, one of Michigan’s longest truss bridges, has been converted to a pedestrian walkway connecting the east and west sides of downtown. It’s a popular gathering space and photo subject.
The antique Spillman Carousel at Grand Rapids Public Museum is a family favorite – it features 50 hand-carved animals and offers rides year-round to Museum visitors young and old.
No matter the time of year, it’s always nice to get some fresh air, change up the scenery, and explore new venues. Experience Grand Rapids continues its focus on accessibility with an installment
Typically, as cities grow so do their restaurant options and Grand Rapids is no exception. Some unique and delicious restaurants located downtown opened shop over the winter, and with spring coming
The Great Lakes are a marvel to almost every Michigander, but, there’s something dark in the water - at least that’s part of the story in the latest exhibit at the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM).
Take this tour, or other GR Walks tours, any time by downloading the GR Walks smart phone app .
As Grand Rapids continues to grow, the music scene continues to grow with it. New developments all over town have changed the landscape for live music, creating a whole new Grand Rapids Music Trail
Holiday cheer is just a stroll away when you visit downtown Grand Rapids. The city is filled with lights and festive decorations this time of year and the joyful mood is contagious. Here's a list of
When my husband, our friends, and I dined at Wheelhouse recently, I was surprised to find such a variety on their menu, which features classic American bistro fare with a twist.
Once again, ArtPrize®, the radically open, independently organized international art competition, wowed visitors with over 1,400 entries at 171 venues. The Eighth Annual ArtPrize Awards, presented by
If you’ve been to ArtPrize before, you know it’s smart to wear good walking shoes, and this year is no exception. With over 1,400 works of art featured in 170 venues, you’ll get your steps in as you
Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) welcomes Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion October 23, 2016 – January 15, 2017, to Grand Rapids. The exhibit features 45 haute couture outfits from the Dutch fashion
Grand Rapids has over 90 live music venues, many of which are hopping with events during our spectacularly warm summer months. To help you discover what’s happening, when, and where, in Grand Rapids’
On June 25, 2016, beginner and advanced cyclists will take to their bikes to help raise funds for skin cancer awareness, prevention and research in Grand Rapids' fourth annual MSU College of Human
Have you ever had a Negroni? I hadn't even HEARD of a Negroni until June of 2015, when the Grand Rapids Cocktail Guild brought the first Negroni Week to Grand Rapids. After a successful week of
Festival of the Arts has been a Grand Rapids tradition for nearly 50 years, and for good reason. This June 3, 4, and 5, 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…
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.
EDITORS NOTE: ArtPrize Eight is September 21 - October 9, 2016 ArtPrize 7 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…
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…
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…
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
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
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 Grand Rapids at next