Downtown Grand Rapids

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.

Search the Calendar of Events for Downtown Events

Every day is filled with things to see and do in downtown Grand Rapids. Search below to find events that match your visiting dates.

Places to Stay

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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.

Find a Hotel

Downtown Food & Drink

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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.

K-Rok

  • 169 Louis Campau Promenade NW

MDRD

  • 187 Monroe Ave. NW

Ding Tea

  • 45 Ottawa Ave. SW Suite A

Divani

  • 15 Ionia Ave. SW

Kind Crumbs

  • Various Grand Rapids Locations

Leo's

  • 60 Ottawa Ave. NW

Luna

  • 64 Ionia Ave. SW

MeXo

  • 118 E. Fulton St.

PHO 616

  • 435 Ionia Ave. SW

Subway

  • 100 Wealthy St

Yote Lab

  • 333 Grandville Ave. SW

Downtown Attractions

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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.

K-Rok

  • 169 Louis Campau Promenade NW

Tour GR

  • 101 Monroe Center St NW

Downtown Art

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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.

Music & Nightlife

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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.

IDC

  • 187 Monroe Ave. NW

K-Rok

  • 169 Louis Campau Promenade NW

MDRD

  • 187 Monroe Ave. NW

Divani

  • 15 Ionia Ave. SW

Midtown

  • 123 Ionia Ave. SW

PJ DA-DJ

  • Various Grand Rapids Locations

Sidebar

  • 80 Ottawa Ave. NW

Elevation

  • 133 Cesar E. Chavez Ave. SW

Downtown Shopping

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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.

DGX

  • 111 Lyon St NW

OTONO

  • 317 Division Ave. S

Local Downtown Favorites

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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.

Downtown Attractions

Downtown Gathering Spaces

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Meet, greet, relax and unwind in downtown’s public squares, including Rosa Parks Circle, named one of five great public spaces in America, Calder Plaza (site of La Grande Vitesse), Ah-Nab-Awen Park, which fronts the Grand River, and The Blue Bridge, which spans the river. All of these sites host celebrations and festivals throughout the year.

Downtown Seasons

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Every season offers something special in downtown. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Winter brings dazzling holiday light displays, the annual World of Winter Festival and unique opportunities for outdoor dining (yes, outdoor dining!).
  • Spring brings thousands of visitors to downtown’s DeVos Place for such events as The West Michigan Home & Garden Show, Ultimate Sport Show, and Cottage & Lakefront Living Show.
  • Summer means outdoor concerts, al fresco food and drink, and community celebrations like Festival of the Arts, the Asian-Pacific Festival, Polish Festival, Hispanic Festival and LGBTQ Pride.
  • Fall is when performing arts companies launch new seasons, salmon and steelhead run in downtown’s Grand River and the International Wine, Beer & Food Festival comes to DeVos Place.

Need Assistance?

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Look for a Downtown Ambassador. Clad in distinct teal and blue uniforms, the Downtown Ambassador team roams the neighborhood seven days a week, ready to supply directions, information about events, dining suggestions and more.

Save on Attractions with Our Culture Pass

Receive admission into many cultural attractions around Grand Rapids as well as additional exclusive discounts with our $28.00 Culture Pass.