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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.

    The WAVE Awards

    The WAVE Awards, standing for Way Above Visitor Expectations, were created to recognize excellence in hospitality in Grand Rapids and Kent County. Every day, service providers create a positive experience for guests and residents, and it is the goal of the WAVE Awards that the hard work and dedication of these individuals is truly noticed. Please take a moment to show your appreciation by submitting a nomination.


    The mission of the WAVE (Way Above Visitor Expectations) Awards is to recognize outstanding service providers in the Kent County hospitality industry. This annual awards program is sponsored by Experience Grand Rapids and other community supporters.

    Nomination Process

    One award will be presented in each of the following six categories:

    • Restaurants/Breweries
    • Lodging- less than 150 Rooms
    • Lodging- 150+ Rooms
    • Retail & Service
    • Attractions/Events
    • Volunteer in Hospitality

    Nominations are now closed. Winners will be selected by a panel of judges and recognized at the WAVE Awards on November 15, 2018. Employers, nominees and guests are all encouraged to attend this event.

    Please help us recognize those individuals who make Grand Rapids and Kent County a great place to visit and enjoy. Questions may be directed to (616) 233-3577 or