Looking for a convention destination where your attendees can meet, stay and play within a compact city footprint? Look no further than the Downtown Grand Rapids Convention Neighborhood. It encompasses a state-of the-art convention center, 2,500 hotel rooms and 200+ dining, shopping, culture and entertainment options – all within the space of a 10-minute walk!

Highlights of the Convention Neighborhood

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Convention Center

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People visiting various exhibitor tables during a conference at a convention center in Grand Rapids
Fact: DeVos Performance Hall has a seating capacity of 2,400.

DeVos Place convention center and DeVos Performance Hall are located along the Grand River.

Photo by Experience Grand Rapids

DeVos Place boasts more than 240,000 sq. ft. of convention, ballroom and meeting space overlooking the Grand River. With input from Steelcase – a Grand Rapids company recognized as the global leader in workplace environments – it incorporates many design and technology innovations that help people and businesses make more effective connections. It also features a 2,500-seat performance arena that can be booked for meetings and conventions.

Van Andel Arena

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Van Andel Arena - Front of Building, 2021

Van Andel Arena, a 12,000 seat venue, is an ideal space for large conventions and events.

Photo by Kara Murphy for Experience GR

Ranked as one of the world’s top-grossing arenas in its size category, the 12,000-seat Van Andel Arena hosts large-scale entertainment events from superstar concerts and kids’ shows to rodeos and pro hockey games. It can also be booked for meetings and conventions.

Downtown Hotels

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Hyatt Place Grand Rapids/Downtown - Landscape with Clouds, 2021

Grand Rapids' Convention Center is centrally located nearby plenty of shops, hotels, restaurants and activities.

Photo by Experience Grand Rapids

Thirteen downtown hotels – six brand-new within the past few years – offer a wide range of budget and amenity options. The Amway Grand Plaza, Curio Collection by Hilton, JW Marriott Grand Rapids and Downtown Courtyard Marriott are linked to DeVos Place (and each other) in our skywalk system.

Additional national hotel brands include AC by Marriott, Canopy by Hilton, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn & Suites, Holiday Inn, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Hyatt Place and Residence Inn by Marriott. CityFlatsHotel and The Finnley Hotel deliver boutique hotel experiences.

Downtown Restaurants

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A family enjoying takeout under the pavilion at the Downtown Market Grand Rapids.

The Downtown Market's many different vendors offers food options for all.

Photo by Experience Grand Rapids

More than 140 restaurants offering virtually every cuisine, ambience and budget imaginable are located within a 10-minute walk of our convention center. Seven downtown breweries give testament to our status as Beer City USA. The Grand Rapids Downtown Market houses multiple restaurants and gourmet food vendors under one greenhouse-covered roof.

Downtown Entertainment

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Aerial view of The B.O.B. and GLC Live and Monroe, 2021

Dr. Grins Comedy Club, located in the B.O.B. on Monroe Avenue, is a popular West Michigan's entertainment venue.

Photo by Experience Grand Rapids

Attendees will find plenty of close, convenient things to do after the convention day is done. Five museums are within easy walking distance. Nightlife options include concert venues, sports bars, brewpubs, a comedy club and a duckpin bowling alley. Depending on the season, downtown visitors can also join in on public festivals, outdoor swing dances, walking tours and even a steelhead or salmon run!

Convenience & Safety

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Bright pink color makes the DASH buses easy to spot.

The DASH shuttle is a convenient, free way to get around downtown Grand Rapids.

Photo by Experience Grand Rapids

Prefer not to walk? Hop on a free DASH shuttle. Rent an electronic bike or scooter. Order up a taxi, Lyft or Uber. Need advice or assistance? Look for the Downtown Ambassadors roaming about to keep the area clean, beautiful and friendly – they’ll be wearing bright orange and blue uniforms.

Your attendees can travel the campus with confidence – Grand Rapids has been named the second most secure large city in America.

Accessibility

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Gabriel Grant heading toward the lobby at Embassy Suites

It is a top priority that everyone is able to enjoy the beauty of Grand Rapids.

Photo by Brian Craig for Experience Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids is accommodating to wheelchair users and other visitors with special needs. Our Accessibility Guide highlights accessibility features at 50+ hotels, attractions and other points of interest. Downtown buses are also accessible for mobility aids such as wheelchairs and electric scooters. We’re proud to have been named America’s #2 best city for people with disabilities – and we’re constantly striving to get even better.

Group in the Skywalk in Downtown

Safely go from the Convention Center or Arena to parking garages, restaurants and hotels.

Photo by Experience Grand Rapids

DeVos Place is conveniently connected via climate-controlled skywalk to three hotels, five parking structures and the Van Andel Arena multipurpose facility. Attendees can access your convention, dine at 10+ restaurants, take in a show and enjoy a good night’s sleep – all without ever stepping foot outside.

Walkability

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Convention Group Walking Downtown

Downtown Grand Rapids was named one of the 14 most walkable cities in the U.S. in 2020.

Photo by Russ Climie for Experience GR

Let’s face it, every city says it’s walkable – but Grand Rapids has the receipts to prove it. We were named one of the 14 most walkable cities in the U.S. in 2020 on the strength of our downtown experience. And there’s so much to see on a leisurely stroll, from the outdoor sculptures and murals lining sidewalks to the historic bridges – perfect for receptions and gatherings – along the riverwalk. Virtually all of downtown is an Outdoor Refreshment Area, enabling visitors to enjoy a craft beverage while taking in the sights.

Restaurants

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Grand Rapids has been hailed as Michigan’s Best Food City – and our plethora of downtown restaurants is a major reason why. There are more than 140 restaurants in the convention neighborhood, ranging from upscale steakhouses and wine bars to pizza and burger joints. Eight downtown breweries (did you know Grand Rapids is Beer City USA?) serve up fantastic food along with delectable craft beers, ciders and spirits. Many eateries are also equipped for outdoor dining – in every season! The best part is, you're always a short walk away from a delicious meal when you're downtown, so you'll have no shortage of options for lunch or dinner in between meetings.

Nightlife/Entertainment

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Dozens of downtown entertainment venues present a mix of live music, DJs and dancing, comedy shows, games, televised sports action and more. The Studio Park entertainment complex includes a nine-screen movie theatre, concert space and outdoor piazza for events. Live theatre, ballet, opera and symphony companies present a regular slate of performances.

Experiences

Top Things to Do

  • photo by Ideology for Experience GR
  • 6 min

Looking for fun things to do on your Grand Rapids getaway (or staycation)? Ask 10 people for recommendations and you’re likely to get 10 different lists – there’s just so much here that appeals to…

Culture vultures rejoice: The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, Grand Rapids African American Museum & Archives, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, and the Grand Rapids Public Museum are all located within a few blocks of DeVos Place. These are ideal day diversions for families traveling with attendees, as they offer hours of fun and entertainment.

Shopping

Shopping Malls and More in Grand Rapids

  • photo by Experience Grand Rapids
  • 5 min

There’s nothing better than grabbing a coffee and walking around the mall. Whether it’s to window shop or splurge, the malls in and around Grand Rapids are some of my favorites to snack in, watch…

60+ downtown stores cater to those in need of some retail therapy after (or between) a busy convention schedule. Shop for art, clothing, gifts, specialty food and more.  Don’t miss the Downtown Market Grand Rapids, a local foods emporium that’s home to 20+ gourmet food vendors and restaurants. From boutiques to independent bookstores to vinyl records, Grand Rapids has it all.