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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 place for a cool summer vacation. Our compact size and long hours of sunlight let you have way more fun in less time – you can hit the golf course, the bike trail, the beach and the big city in one glorious day. Extend your stay to sample even more of our fantastic art, music, food, craft beverage and family fun scenes!

      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

      Summer is the time to make the most of our Grand Outdoors: Relax on a beach or on the water. Wander the grounds of a sculpture park or zoo. Ride a go-kart or a zipline. Golf, fish, bike, hike … the opportunities are endless. See more great ideas below.

      ‘Tis the season for outdoor concerts. Fifth Third Bank Summer Concerts at Meijer Gardens lead a huge lineup of open-air venues and events on the Grand Rapids Music Trail.

      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. Shop Fulton Street Farmer’s Market and other outdoor farm markets for just-picked produce from local family farms.

      Dine al fresco at 130+ restaurants with outdoor patios and decks. Sample food truck fare at weekly downtown and Riverside Park gatherings. Or pack a picnic basket with scrumptious food from downtown-adjacent Bridge Street Market or Martha’s Vineyard – then head to one of 100+ nearby parks for a meal with a view.

      Pick your own strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, peaches and more on the Fruit Ridge … or purchase just-picked fruits and vegetables from the 30+ family farm markets there. Many markets offer hayrides, petting zoos and other fun activities for kids.

      Swim, sunbathe, canoe, kayak, paddleboard, hit the splashpad and explore 20 miles of paved hiking and biking trails at Millennium Park – just five minutes from downtown. John Ball Zoo and the Mines Golf Course are right around the corner.

      Visit the beaches and beach towns of Lake Michigan to 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.

      Become a Brewsader® – enjoy a cold craft beer at eight of 40+ Beer City Ale Trail breweries to join the exclusive club and get an official t-shirt..

      Explore local and global culture in air-conditioned comfort at Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archives, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids Public Museum and Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts. (Get Culture Pass GR to see them all for less.)

      Enjoy authentic food and entertainment at festivals honoring diverse cultures: Asian-Pacific (June 14-16), Hispanic (August 9-11) African (August 10), Greek (August 16-18), and Polish (August 23-25).

      Stretch your walking muscles on a self-guided audio or app-based tour of downtown landmarks, or a guided tour of area breweries.

      Check our Tours & Experiences page for even more opportunities to immerse yourself in local culture, cuisine and lifestyles!

      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: outdoor-recreation, sports
      The Insider Experience>
      Eat, stay, and play like a local this summer
      7 Kid-Friendly Grand Rapids-Area Cultural Stops

      Spring break and summer vacation are both great reasons to plan a family trip to a new city. With so many exciting...

      Brian Craig
      April 5, 2019
      What’s New for Restaurant Week Grand Rapids

      Home to an expanding culinary scene from authentic taquerias and global-inspired plates, to nationally-recognized...

      Experience GR Team
      August 1, 2018
      Stand Up Paddle Boarding in and around Grand Rapids

      The first time I tried stand up paddle boarding (SUPing), it came without instruction. I rented a paddleboard from the...

      Kirsetin Morello
      July 18, 2018

      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.