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  • Downtown
    Enjoy a huge range of entertainment, dining, shopping and sightseeing opportunities, all within an easy, eye-catching 10-minute walk.
    West Side
    From tigers and coffee to meat markets and Mexican restaurants, the West Side is a fascinating mix of old-school and up-and-coming.
    Grit, growth and creativity characterize this downtown neighborhood, which boasts unique galleries, clever dining spots and many pleasant…
    Heritage Hill
    One of the nation’s top old-house neighborhoods – with 1,300 buildings dating back to 1844 – is just a five-minute walk from downtown.
    Medical Mile
    This world-class health-sciences corridor is spurring new retail and residential developments well beyond its namesake mile.
    North Quarter
    The city’s largest park, tiniest burger joint, oldest sweet shop and newest best-bar winner are just a few of the pleasures that await visitors.…
    Diversity is the hallmark of Southtown, with numerous ethnic groups contributing to a vibrant mix of restaurants, shops and events.
    An eclectic mix of specialty shops, galleries, restaurants and entertainment venues reflect this area’s friendly, funky, fabulous character.

    Summer Activities in Grand Rapids

    Grand Rapids is the perfect warm-weather playground for all ages and interests. Our compact size and long hours of sunlight make it easy to pack in all the fun you can handle – hit the golf course, the bike trail, the beach and the town in one glorious day. Even better: Extend your stay to sample more of our restaurants, craft beverage makers, art museums, music venues and family fun spots. This is going to be your coolest summer vacation ever!

    Grand Rapids: #20 of 52 Places to Visit Worldwide

    New York Times ranks Grand Rapids #20 of the 52 places to go worldwide. Read the complete article.…

    Learn More ›

    Summer To Do List

    Lakes & Rivers

    Enjoy the Pure Michigan Lake Effect at more than 50 lakes and four...

    Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

    One of the world's top 30 must-see museums.

    Beach Fun

    Summer fun at the beach is always a win! Just a short drive from GR too!

    John Ball Zoo

    Home to more than 1,100 animals from five continents with hand-on...


    Bike hundreds of miles of trails, in and out of the city.

    Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum

    Learn about native son and 38th President, Gerald R. Ford.

    Tours & Experiences

    Immerses yourself in the culture, cuisine and lifestyle of Grand Rapids!

    West Michigan Whitecaps

    Check out the Whitecaps baseball at Fifth Third Ballpark.


    Explore art, history, horticulture, a President's legacy and more

    Ideas for a Summer Visit

    Make the most of our Grand Outdoors: Relax on the beach or on the water. Dine and dance in the open air. See a concert in a botanic garden or on a ski hill. Wander the grounds of a sculpture park or zoo. Sip a cold one in a beer garden or at a baseball game. Ride a go-kart or a zipline. Golf, fish, bike, hike … or just sit back and enjoy the awesome views from atop a Lake Michigan sand dune, just 30 minutes or so from downtown Grand Rapids. Look below for even more great ideas!

    Quick View

    Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

    This 200-acre attraction features the most comprehensive outdoor sculpture collection in the...

    • Neighborhood: Northeast
    • 1000 East Beltline Ave. NE
    • Interests: art-&-culture
    Quick View

    John Ball Zoo

    Over 2,000 animals and more animal touching exhibits than any other zoo in Michigan; tigers, petting...

    • Neighborhood: West Side
    • 1300 W. Fulton St.
    • Interests: family
    Quick View

    Fifth Third Ballpark - Home of the West Michigan Whitecaps

    Class A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. The Whitecaps play April through September at Fifth Third...

    • Neighborhood: Northeast
    • 4500 West River Dr. NE
    • Interests: sports

    Summer Fun!

    Visit the beaches and beach towns of Lake Michigan to experience the Pure Michigan Lake Effect – you can swim, scale a sand dune, stroll a pier, shop for one-of-a-kind goods and more, all as close as 30 minutes from Grand Rapids.

    Prefer to stick close to town? Millennium Park, just five minutes from downtown, boasts a sandy swimming beach and a splashpad for kids.

    Speaking of kids: AJ’s Family Fun Center, Craig’s Cruisers, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids Children’s Museum and John Ball Zoo are all great choices for active, inquisitive youngsters.

    See Ai Weiwei at Meijer Gardens – the first upper Midwest show by this internationally renowned artist and activist runs through August 20.

    Spend an afternoon at the ballpark or a night at the races – see the West Michigan Whitecaps play baseball or visit Berlin Raceway for smokin’ stock-car action.

    Shop Tanger Outlets, an open-air mall, for brand-name merchandise at discount prices.

    Browse Fulton Street Farmer’s Market and other Farm Markets for just-picked produce from local family farms.

    Check the Grand Rapids Music Trail for outdoor summer concert venues – everyone from our favorite hometown bands to Sheryl Crow and The Beach Boys are playing here.

    Summer’s the perfect time to explore downtown on foot – take a self-guided audio or app-based tour, explore art and history hotspots, or learn about city landmarks on a guided running tour.

    Check our Tours & Experiences page for even more opportunities to immerse yourself in local culture, cuisine and lifestyles – including the brewery scene that has earned us the title “Beer City USA.”

    The Insider Experience>
    Eat, stay, and play like a local this summer
    The Grand Rapids Outdoor Summer Music Guide

    Winter hibernation is finally over and the best time of year has arrived for Michiganders. The hot weather pulls kids...

    Quinn Mathews
    July 7, 2017
    Free, Family Fun for Summer in Grand Rapids

    Summer is a fantastic time to get out and discover new things to do in our fair city of Grand Rapids. While exploring...

    Amy Busse
    June 8, 2017
    The Grand Rapids Summer Festival Hot List

    Beer, arts, community, and culture festivals are on tap for you this summer in Grand Rapids. No matter what your taste,...

    Melody VanderWeide
    May 2, 2017

    Summer Hotel Packages

    Plan your summer getaway with a hotel package that includes a special perk geared around a specific Grand Rapids highlight – from beer to food to culture and beyond. Consider enriching your stay even further with immersive Tours & Experiences.

    Summertime Events