Michigan’s second largest city offers the state’s coolest urban experience. It’s centered in a safe, clean, compact downtown that combines the amenities of a major metropolis with the warmth of a small town.
More than 200 restaurants, shops, performance venues and cultural sites are located within a 10-minute walk of 14 first-rate downtown hotels. Hundreds of additional dining, entertainment and outdoor recreation options are just a short drive away, making downtown the perfect home base for exploring the entire region.
Every day is filled with things to see and do in downtown Grand Rapids. Search below to find events that match your visiting dates.
There are 14 hotels downtown, all just steps away from attractions, restaurants, nightlife and shopping. From the majestic grandeur of the Amway Grand Plaza, Curio Collection by Hilton to the free-parking allure of the Holiday Inn Grand Rapids, there are selections to fit every budget and amenity preference. Browse hotels below.
Grand Rapids was named a Top 20 U.S. Foodie City in 2021 – and the #1 most affordable foodie city on the list. Downtown is home to 130+ of the area’s best restaurants, including both local and national brands. USA Today has hailed Grand Rapids as America’s Best Beer City and America’s Craft Beverage Capital, and downtown breweries, tasting rooms and cocktail bars are excellent examples of the city’s potent potable expertise. Download the Beer City Brewsader® app to check in to downtown breweries and you’re well on your way to earning a FREE t-shirt. The Downtown Refreshment Area allows visitors to stroll the neighborhood with food and beverages in hand.
Downtown is home to six museums and a planetarium, allowing visitors to explore art, culture, history, science, childhood play and more through fascinating exhibits and programs. You can purchase Culture Pass GR for heavily discounted admission to five museums and the John Ball Zoo (just five minutes away), plus exclusive perks at other area attractions.
A massive Alexander Calder sculpture in the heart of downtown has come to symbolize the city’s creative spirit. It’s one of dozens of sculptures, murals and other artistic works that make downtown a treat for the eyes. Downtown is the center of ArtPrize, the world’s most attended public art event, which attracts upwards of one half million visitors to view hundreds of creations from global artists. The performing arts are well represented downtown, with professional ballet, opera and symphony companies staging productions in DeVos Performance Hall, which is also the site of lavish touring shows hosted by Broadway Grand Rapids. Local theatre companies present a wide range of crowd-pleasing fare on downtown stages.
There are 30+ places to enjoy live music downtown, from bars and breweries to outdoor community spaces to big concert venues. Van Andel Arena, DeVos Performance Hall, GLC Live at 20 Monroe, The Intersection, Midtown, and The Pyramid Scheme host well-known names while smaller venues spotlight local, regional and up-and-coming artists. Dance clubs, sports bars, cigar and hookah lounges, a comedy club and a piano bar provide additional after-dark diversions.
Looking for something uniquely Grand Rapids? Start with the 60 or so stores of downtown Grand Rapids. Local entrepreneurs offer a wide range of distinctive items, from clothing and comic books to sports gear and jewelry. Be sure to check out attraction gift shops for souvenirs and mementos. And don’t miss the Downtown Market Grand Rapids, which hosts 20+ restaurants and gourmet food vendors under one greenhouse-covered roof.
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