27 Best & Fun Things To Do In Grand Rapids (MI)


Grand Rapids, named after the Grand River, is a populous city that’s well-known for its history, furniture production, art, and culture.

It’s also the county seat of Kent County.

Its life began in 1826 when Louis Campau decided to set up a trading post here, allowing it to grow over time into a village.

As such, there are a fair number of historic Grand Rapids attractions that hint at its long, storied past!

You can see marks of that history in its museums, architecture, and historic sites.

But it’s not just history that makes Grand Rapids such a great location to visit.

With nature and gardens, art events and cultural festivals, and lots of great food and drinks, there’s much to be enjoyed!

So, how should you spend your holiday here in this beautiful and diverse city?

Here are our picks for the 27 best and fun things to do in Grand Rapids, Michigan!

Things To Do In Grand Rapids

1. Grand Rapids Public Museum

Grand Rapids Public Museum

Malgosia S / Shutterstock

The Grand Rapids Public Museum is among the top tourist attractions in the city for history buffs.

It originally began as the Lyceum of Natural History in 1854, meant to showcase information on west Michigan through immersive, educational content.

The Grand Rapids Public Museum contains three entire permanent exhibit floors focusing on various topics of culture, science, and history.

There are more than 250,000 different artifacts relating to fossils, zoology, automobiles, furniture… the list goes on!

These artifacts aren’t constantly displayed, however, with only certain parts of each collection displayed at a time.

This makes each visit feel unique.

Rotating exhibits are also put on throughout each year for more variety.

One especially loved exhibit features a scale replica of an 1890s business district of the city.

The storefronts here are fairly accurate, and there are parts of a working furniture factory to be explored.

Other interesting displays are ones on the native Anishinabek people.

The museum is home to the Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium, which is a central part of its attraction.

It also has a genuine 1928 Spillman Carousel in the Cook Carousel Pavilion that can be ridden.

There’s even the Meijer Theater, a gift shop, and a cafe!

If you’re looking for things to do in downtown Grand Rapids, you definitely shouldn’t miss this great museum.

Address: 272 Pearl St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504, United States

2. Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park

Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park

PQK / Shutterstock

The Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park is one of the most fun places to visit in this part of Michigan!

It opened in 1995 as a recreational, cultural, and educational site for the midwest.

Spanning 158 acres, it’s full of famous sculptures and is very much loved by art aficionados.

The main space of the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park contains the state’s biggest three-story conservatory, a rock garden, a waterfall, and five themed indoor gardens.

There are also four-season outdoor gardens, a boardwalk over the wetlands, numerous rare plants and tropical flora, and plenty of forest trails.

But, of course, the draw of the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park is its 300 or so sculptors.

Works by Edgar Degas, Louise Bourgeois, Alexander Calder, Auguste Rodin, Henry Moore, and Barbara Hepworth are showcased in all their glory.

A particularly loved sculpture is Leonardo Da Vinci’s Horse, which measures 24 feet and is cast in bronze.

Address: 1000 E Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525, United States

3. Grand Rapids Art Museum

Grand Rapids Art Museum

Susan Montgomery / Shutterstock

Looking for cool vacation spots?

One of the best things to do in Grand Rapids, Michigan for art lovers and artists is to visit the Grand Rapids Art Museum.

The museum itself is stunning and is the only LEED Gold-certified museum.

With 125,000 square feet to its name and 20,000 square feet of gallery and exhibition space, it’s home to over 6,000 works of art.

The Grand Rapids Art Museum has collections featuring everything from the Renaissance period to modern, contemporary creations.

Exhibits on 19th- and 20th-century European and American art are especially popular.

Galleries contain everything from pencil drawings to prints and from photographs to paintings.

Founded in 1910, this museum has loads more to offer beyond its showcases.

Check out its schedule this weekend, as it often hosts music concerts, yoga events, and art programs!

There are special archives and a detailed research library, too, for the especially inquisitive.

Address: 101 Monroe Center St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, United States

4. The Gerald Ford Presidential Museum

The Gerald Ford Presidential Museum

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The Gerald Ford Presidential Museum is dedicated to the titular 38th United States President’s life, achievements, and legacy.

It opened in 1982 and has become one of the important Grand Rapids attractions.

Home to a mix of permanent, temporary, and special event exhibits, it’s a fascinating location!

Temporary exhibits can feature artifacts from the Smithsonian, Presidential Library System, and the National Archives!

As its name suggests, the museum primarily highlights the events in the life of President Ford and his wife.

You’ll get to see his memorabilia from his Eagle Scout childhood days and college football years as well as his early political career.

There’s some information on the First Lady and the Ford children, too.

The museum’s permanent exhibit boasts an impressive holographic presentation and interactive video that allow you to feel like you’re taking an active part in history.

You’ll have fun feeling like you’re traveling with the late president himself!

In addition, The Gerald Ford Presidential Museum offers a holographic White House tour that is accurate to its appearance in Ford’s time.

You’ll get to witness a sound show that tells you all about a day spent in the Oval Office.

There’s a special Watergate gallery, too, which contains a multi-screen educational video that lasts for six minutes!

An especially interesting feature of The Gerald Ford Presidential Museum is the White House Taping System.

It tells the tale of numerous presidents and their endeavors with the recordings of the Oval Office.

This includes some particularly interesting information about former President Nixon and his technological ineptness.

Address: 303 Pearl St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504, United States

5. John Ball Zoo

John Ball Zoo

Michael Deemer / Shutterstock

Wondering what to do in Grand Rapids if you love animals?

Check out the fun and urban John Ball Zoo, near the downtown area!

It’s been open since 1891 and relies a lot on volunteers to support its good work.

With over 1,100 animals within its walls, all housed within realistic and suitable habitats, it’s filled with activities and fauna from across the globe!

John Ball Zoo has many different habitats for its animals.

There’s Treasures of the Tropics, Red’s Hobby Farm, Mokomboso Valley Chimpanzee Exhibit, Budgie Aviary, and so much more.

Each habitat is meticulously replicated to provide the most optimal lifestyle for its animals.

You’ll see lynxes, bears, tigers, bald eagles, monkeys, lions, penguins, and many others!

In addition to all of that, John Ball Zoo gives guests the chance to explore the zoo in unique ways.

You can take a tram ride that goes up to the high peaks of the city.

You can ride a camel.

You can zipline over the whole zoo’s expanse.

You can ride swan paddleboats.

You can go on an Overnight Adventure and spend a night in the zoo’s grounds as you camp and wander through its expanse.

And, of course, don’t forget the behind-the-scenes tours that’ll teach you all about how the zoo is run and how animals are cared for!

Address: 1300 Fulton St W, Grand Rapids, MI 49504, United States

6. Blandford Nature Center

Blandford Nature Center

Blandford Nature Center

Blandford Nature Center is a non-profit, independent organization with over 143 acres of space to its name.

It’s one of the best things to see around the downtown area of Grand Rapids, Michigan, especially if you have kids with you!

The center is mostly known for its tigers, but it’s home to other flora and fauna like vultures, hawks, falcons, and beyond.

Aside from serving as a preserve for the wildlife within it, Blandford Nature Center is also educational.

It offers numerous community programs and events relating to environmental education.

There are also 4 miles of trails that you can hike for further exploration through the center.

This involves meadows, woods, streams, and more.

Kids will love the various seasonal programs, from Spring Break to Summer Camp to Winter Break.

There are other things to explore at Blandford Nature Center, too.

The Wildlife Education Center, Heritage Buildings, and more provide lots of ways to engage with interpreted information.

Don’t forget to check out Blandford Farm, too, which has educational programs on sustainable agriculture, community gardens, children’s gardens, and resident barn animals!

Address: 1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504, United States

7. Grand Rapids Children’s Museum

Grand Rapids Children's Museum

Grand Rapids Children’s Museum

The Grand Rapids Children’s Museum is located in the city’s downtown area on Sheldon Avenue.

It is situated inside a building from 1916 that has been wonderfully renovated.

Better yet, it’s been specifically made so that the museum’s front wall is entirely made of clear glass.

This allows you to look in and see the kids having a ton of fun!

No wonder a visit to the museum is among the top things to do in Grand Rapids, Michigan for families with kids!

The Grand Rapids Children’s Museum first opened in 1992 and is designed for kids between the ages of two and twelve.

It puts a lot of emphasis on hands-on learning and interactive exhibits.

This allows children to learn by brave exploration and play.

Daily programs are put on every day to add variety to the experience.

With 18 permanent exhibits, this children’s museum is nothing short of exciting.

There are tons of activities that your kids will love, as will people of all ages.

Kids can go to the Puppet Stage, play in the Treehouse, explore Aunt Daisy’s Farm, giggle in a bubble room, and try out musical instruments in a noise-making room.

There’s even the chance for games like Lincoln Logs and Legos, as well as art programs, storytelling events, and costume-making experiences.

One of the most popular features of this museum is Little Grand Rapids.

This exhibit is like a miniature version of a city that children can explore while acting like adults.

They can work or shop at grocery stores, visit auto mechanics and banks, and learn about health and x-rays at the hospital!

Address: 11 Sheldon Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, United States

8. Fish Ladder Park

Fish Ladder Park

Fish Ladder Park

Looking for unique things to do and unusual points of interest?

Head to Sixth Street Dam and pay a visit to Fish Ladder Park, one of the coolest places to travel in the US!

The unusual five-step “ladder” is both a practical environmental tool and a work of public art.

It’s a brutalist art installation designed to aid in the migration of fish, created by Joseph Kinnebrew.

When the dam was first built, migratory fish were unable to travel past it in order to go upstream.

This left carp, salmon, trout, and steelhead trapped on this side of the river, among other fish throughout the year.

In order to help them, the Fish Ladder was made in 1974 to help the fish swim upstream and jump over the dam, providing a good show of public onlookers in the process!

Better yet, this allows fisheries and fishermen to get a lot of fish in rich supply.

It’s surprisingly fun and fascinating to watch the fish as they make their way through Michigan.

You’ll see different species depending on the time of year.

The dam measures six feet and Fish Ladder Park was designated as a site to sit and watch the odd phenomenon.

The sound of the river is relaxing, too, making for a perfect tranquil day out.

Address: 606 Front Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504, United States

9. Meyer May House

Meyer May House

Michael Deemer / Shutterstock

The Meyer May House is one of the best Prairie-style houses not just in Michigan, but in all of the United States!

This is because it’s one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s and has been restored extremely faithfully.

Fans of Wright’s work will easily see his signature style in the home today.

Its wall of windows, low-pitched roofline, seamless transition from indoors to outdoors, and deep overhangs showcase Wright’s telltale design!

The Meyer May House was built by Wright for the titular Meyer May, a clothing manufacturer.

It was finished in 1909 and, at its time, was shocking in its architectural style.

The city’s primary style was very much Victorian style back then, and this house revolutionized the affluent neighborhood’s overall appearance.

Many more Prairie School homes were created in its wake.

In 1985, the Meyer May House was purchased by the Steelcase Company.

It would then be very carefully restored with two years of meticulous research and opened to the public.

Now, it’s one of the most interesting places to go in the city for those who love history and architecture!

It has its original furniture and windows, too, so it’s as authentic as it gets!

You’ll get a feel of what life was like in Michigan back in the day.

Admire the 108 skylights and windows of leaded glass and watch a film about the property’s history, too!

Address: 450 Madison Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, United States

10. Grand Rapids Symphony

Grand Rapids Symphony

milart / Shutterstock

The Grand Rapids Symphony is definitely among Michigan’s top 10 entertainment groups.

The symphony is packed with renowned musicians and is well-respected for its impeccable performance in various fun events and festivals.

This includes the Symphony Youth Choruses, the Bach Festival, the Youth Symphony and Classical Orchestra, and the Symphony Chorus.

It also backs both the local opera group and local ballet company!

This well-trained, talented symphony was created in 1930 and provides more than 400 annual performances across 10 concert series and 16 educational programs.

It can be seen performing all across the city in various public venues.

While you’re visiting, check their schedule to see where they’re performing and you’ll be rewarded with a treat for the ears!

Address: 300 Ottawa NW, Suite 100, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, United States

11. Fulton Street Farmers Market

Fulton Street Farmers Market

Michigan Municipal League / flickr

If you’re in Grand Rapids, Michigan this weekend, Fulton Street Farmers Market is a must-visit!

It’s been around since 1922 and has grown into both one of the city’s local havens and tourist attractions.

It’s the biggest and oldest of its kind in the city.

More than 200 different produce farmers come here to sell their wares to the community on Saturdays.

On Sundays, artisans come to sell a variety of homemade items.

At Fulton Street Farmers Market, expect to find a little bit of everything.

There are baked goods, fresh veggies and fruits, honey, maple syrup, meats, condiments, jams, dairy, pastries, and more.

Food trucks often come too, so you can grab some lunch and drink some beer as you explore.

Address: 1145 Fulton St E, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, United States

12. Calvin Ecosystem Preserve & Native Gardens

Calvin Ecosystem Preserve & Native Gardens

G Witteveen / flickr

Calvin Ecosystem Preserve & Native Gardens is among the best places to visit in Grand Rapids for nature lovers.

It is a teaching and research venue for the faculty and students of Calvin College.

For the most part, the location’s efforts are focused on preserving flora and fauna native to this part of Michigan.

Throughout the Calvin Ecosystem Preserve & Native Gardens, you’ll get to go birdwatching, look at flowers, hike, lie in the grass, and take photos.

Spanning over 100 acres with more than 200 animal species and 260 plant species, it’s amazing that a place like this exists within a university campus!

You can even purchase plants at the annual plant sale of the Calvin Ecosystem Preserve & Native Gardens!

Want to learn even more or be further engaged?

Bunker Interpretive Center within the preserve area offers programs for all ages, seasonal displays, and environmental information.

Address: 1750 E Beltline Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546, United States

Looking for more thrill outside Grand Rapids? Why not check out Michigan and Ann Arbor? If you do plan the trip, here are some top things to do in Michigan and some best things to do in Ann Arbor!

13. ArtPrize

ArtPrize

Michael Deemer / Shutterstock

ArtPrize is one of the most awesome things to do in Grand Rapids when it comes to annual events!

The prestigious and famous art show serves as an open platform and independent art competition that embraces the different, radical, and creative.

It takes place every year in downtown Grand Rapids and is free for public viewing.

Each year, 200 venues across Grand Rapids open for this fun event.

This is the biggest art competition in the world and therefore receives its fair share of love!

The voice of the public actually gets to decide half of the winners, with the other half being chosen by judges.

The event lasts for 19 days and encompasses offices, museums, parks, cafes, universities, churches, restaurants, shops, and even private homes!

Address: Grand Rapids, MI, United States

14. Brewery Vivant

Brewery Vivant

Brewery Vivant

Brewery Vivant is among the top Grand Rapids attractions in Michigan for beer culture and drink!

It is a LEED-certified brewery and can be found in the neighborhood at East Hill.

It is set in a unique building that was once a funeral parlor, renovated into an artistic and vibrant brewery and pub!

Brewery Vivant produces multiple award-winning beers.

Its functional space is inspired by French and Belgian chapels, though they have a much more cheerful vibe than that!

Blends are similarly inspired, and though it’s just a small-batch, 2 barrel brewery, it’s a delight to attend!

Brewery Vivant also serves food that pairs wonderfully with the many flavors of drink it offers.

The dishes get pretty fancy, like their Duck Confit Nachos dressed with caramelized onions, brie cream, citrus-sprinkled duck confit, and tomato concasse.

Tours of the pub and brewery are also available!

Address: 925 Cherry St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506, United States

15. Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts

Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts

Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts

The Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts is dedicated to providing the west Michigan and Grand Rapids communities with access to innovative art.

The fun location is bursting with creativity, offering many options for what to do and see.

You’ll get to learn all about the latest ideas and trends in visual arts, performative arts, film, music, dance, literature, and more.

There is art here from a mix of local and international artists!

The Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts is also the host of the much-loved Holiday Artists Market, an annual event.

There are also other events held regularly, like film screenings, theater shows, concerts, talks, and more.

Artists are also given access to sales support, an exhibit space, studios, and educational resources!

Address: 17 Pearl St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, United States

16. Heritage Hill Historic District

Heritage Hill Historic District

BD Images / Shutterstock

Heritage Hill Historic District is near downtown and is filled with things to see.

It’s a historic neighborhood with the honor of the oldest residential district in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Approximately 1,300 houses here date back to the time between 1844 to the 1920s, with more than 60 different styles of architecture between them.

In 1971, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places!

Architecture aficionados will find this to be the best place to explore in the city!

You’ll see Tudor, Gothic Revival, Italianate, Colonial Revival, Chateauesque, Greek Revival, Queen Anne, Prairie, Tudor, Georgian Revival, and Federal designs alike.

There are even some creations here of the renowned Frank Lloyd Wright!

Some notable historic houses here are the Voigt House, Meyer May House, and McCabe-Marlowe House.

Heritage Hill Historic District is preserved by the Heritage Hill Association.

Formed in 1968, it offers a delightful walking tour that frames the history of the area through the lens of today.

You’ll get to walk around the beautiful neighborhood and view 37 of the finest homes that it has to offer among its total of 4,000!

Address: 126 College Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, United States

17. The Kcymaerxthaere Plaques

Kcymaerxthaere Plaques

aquatarkus / Shutterstock

Do you like treasure hunts?

If so, one of the cool things to do in Grand Rapids is to seek out the Kcymaerxthaere Plaques!

There are five particularly interesting ones in the city, and hunting for each one is one of the more unique local activities.

The plaques are part of an art project by Eames Demetrios.

The project involves multiple markers across the planet, each one honoring a parallel universe person or event.

The stories are fascinating, spread across 30 countries and 140 sites in total.

The first plaque is entitled Forest’s Rest and is located on the banks of the Grand River, telling the tale of Forrest Bess.

Then, there’s Handfuls of Small Stones near the city’s old bridge that serves as a creation story for an alternate world.

Next, there’s Erailen Gwome in Fountain and Division, close to the Kendall College of Art and Design, which weaves a political tale.

After that, there’s Grwostlaven at Hopcats Brewery, which guides people to missing Kcymaerxthaere dimensions.

Finally, there’s Waiting for the Grwost outside the Grand Valley State University, where people sit upon a bench to wait to be guided to other dimensions!

18. Great Lakes Pub Cruiser

Great Lakes Pub Cruiser

Andypiper / flickr

The Great Lakes Pub Cruiser is a unique tour service that involves drinking, eating, and biking!

A bike for 15 people allows you to pedal between different foodie points of interest in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Different tours last from two to three hours.

It takes about 20 minutes to get from one bar to the next and some tours have more difficult routes than others.

At the same time, the Great Lakes Pub Cruiser gives you the chance to sightsee.

You’ll get to view some historic or interesting sites about the city as you go on your adventure!

The exercise is a good intermission between all the yummy pub fare!

Address: 514 Bond St, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, United States

19. La Grande Vitesse

La Grande Vitesse

Scottb211 / flickr

La Grande Vitesse literally translates to “the great swiftness” in French.

Situated in Calder Plaza, it was created by iconic sculptor Alexander Calder.

It was created in 1969 from painted steel, commissioned as the first National Endowment for the Arts-funded public artwork.

It played a role in the initiative for the renewal of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

For art aficionados, Calder Plaza is one of the best places to go just for this sculpture!

La Grande Vitesse is designed to symbolize the spirit of the arts in the city.

It’s been the centerpiece to numerous festivals and food truck courts as a key landmark of the plaza.

It weighs a whopping 42 tons and is 54 feet long and 43 feet high, with a bright red color that can be easily seen from a distance!

Address: 525 Ottawa Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, United States

20. The Golf Club at Thornapple Pointe

The Golf Club at Thornapple Pointe

The Golf Club at Thornapple Pointe

Looking for more stuff to do in this part of Michigan?

You can’t go wrong with a little golfing!

The Golf Club at Thornapple Pointe is a great hotspot for a fun 18-hole game.

Its picturesque location along the Thornapple River banks makes it a beautiful and relaxing experience.

At The Golf Club at Thornapple Pointe, expect bentgrass fairways lined by trees, proximity to wild and untamed wetlands, and soft hills.

The popular location offers a challenging game in an idyllic location with plush lawns and high-tech GPS technology.

No wonder it’s such a popular local hotspot for golfers and tourists of all sorts!

Address: 7211 48th St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512, United States

21. Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery

Robinette's Apple Haus & Winery

Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery

Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery is a delightful winery, owned by a family.

While the winery itself opened in 2006, the Robinette brand has gone back to 1911 as a peach farm.

Now, it’s famous in west Michigan for its delightful fresh produce, baked goods, ciders, and wines.

As a centennial farm, it’s no surprise that Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery is among much-loved local tourist attractions.

Its legacy speaks for itself!

Check out the teeming apricots, peaches, nectarines, apples, and cherries that are still grown here and sample over 20 different beverages!

Address: 3142 4 Mile Rd NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525, United States

22. Grand Rapids Downtown Market

Grand Rapids Downtown Market

Grand Rapids Downtown Market

The Grand Rapids Downtown Market of Michigan is one of the most fun places to visit you’ll find this weekend!

Foodies and shopaholics alike will love the LEED-certified market, which has everything from quick pick-me-ups to gourmet restaurants.

At the Grand Rapids Downtown Market, you’ll get to see fresh produce, artisanal mixes of spice, cold-pressed olive oils, honey, personal care items, baked goods, maple syrup, and more.

If you want something already prepared, you’ll get to sample genuine Detroit BBQ, fresh fish, Mexican and Vietnamese fare, and Neapolitan pizzas.

Address: 435 Ionia Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, United States

Planning a road trip around Michigan? Why not check out Detroit, Kalamazoo, and Traverse City? If you plan the trip, here are some top things to do in Detroit, what to do in Kalamazoo, and some of the best things to do in Traverse City!

23. Grand Rapids African American Museum & Archives

Grand Rapids African American Museum & Archives

Grand Rapids African American Museum & Archives

The Grand Rapids African American Museum & Archives, or the GRAAMA, is dedicated to showcasing various exhibits relating to the experiences of Black people in Michigan.

It’s among the most interesting historic things to do in Grand Rapids, totaling an intimate 2,100 square feet.

The GRAAMA hosts oral histories, pop-up displays, memorabilia, and unique events, with free access.

You’ll get to learn about everything from the ancient times to the Civil Rights era and right up to the BLM movement and activities of today.

Address: 87 Monroe Center St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, United States

24. Eat Great Local Food

Foodies will find that many Grand Rapids attractions are delightfully catered to fun, vibrant cuisine!

If you appreciate a good meal, make it your mission to eat great local food while you’re in the city.

Here are some spots not to miss.

Bagger Dave’s is a great tavern chain with branches throughout the state – and one in this city’s downtown!

The branch is a beer and burger establishment with 190 seats, packed with photographs, flat-screen TVs, and earth tones.

Their burgers are pretty well-known, made from USDA grain-fed beef!

They also serve craft beer.

Butcher’s Union is a constantly busy location that specializes in classic fare, old-fashioned drinks, and a relaxing ambiance.

It serves great steak and is, at its core, a gastropub with yummy meat dishes.

Donkey Taqueria is a casual Mexican eatery with delicious tacos in various different flavors.

Their pitchers of margarita are a staple accompaniment to each succulent bite.

It’s located inside an old former service station and serves well-loved cocktails.

Graydon’s Crossing is a gastropub with 46 on-tap beers from across the planet and a welcoming, cozy atmosphere.

A mix of fusion and local foods create great uncommon pub fare, like the Bangladesh Burrito, and classic meals like Shepherd’s Pie.

Ju Sushi & Lounge is a modern lounge-type restaurant with unique, non-traditional sushi and Japanese dishes.

A wide sake selection and numerous creative and unorthodox martinis further add to the posh and trendy appeal.

The Chop House captures a delightful 1940s aesthetic with artwork, romance, gas lamps, plush seats, and rich marble decor. It’s primarily famous for its grain-fed Midwestern USDA Prime beef, but there are tons of other finely seasoned meats to try. Don’t forget the extensive 280-bottle wine list!

The Pump House aims for nostalgia first and foremost, and it succeeds!

The shop brings to life the feel of an old-fashioned soda pop store, but for locally-made treats.

Gelato, sorbet, custard, and even artisanal yogurt are on sale in tons of flavors and toppings!

The Søvengård is a great Scandinavian and New American eatery with a focus on sustainability.

It’s a good spot to go for some yummy desserts, but all its meals are pretty solid fare!

Yesterdog is a great hot dog joint that was the inspiration for the infamous bet scene in American Pie.

It’s a vintage-style location that almost feels worn and has won multiple hot dog-related awards!

25. Van Andel Arena

Van Andel Arena

Susan Montgomery / Shutterstock

The Van Andel Arena is well-known as a premier location in west Michigan for sporting entertainment.

Located in downtown Grand Rapids in the heart of the bustle, it’s home to numerous shows and events year-round.

It’s also the grounds of the Grand Rapids Griffins, a hockey team in the AHL.

Since it opened in 1996, the Van Andel Arena has been a host for famous acts like Disney On Ice, Paul McCartney, Metallica, Neil Diamond, P!nk, Elton John, Justin Timberlake, and Bob Seger.

Sports-wise, it’s been the site of the AFL Arena Bowl XV game, numerous basketball exhibition games, and the NCAA Hockey Regional Championships.

The Van Andel Arena is an ideal choice if you’re a sports fan wondering what to do locally.

With a 12,000-person seating capacity and numerous different types of events, you’ll find something to cheer at for sure!

Address: 130 Fulton St W, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, United States

26. Millennium Park

Millennium Park

Millennium Park

Millennium Park is one of the biggest urban parks you’ll find, and it just happens to be here in western Michigan!

With 1,400 acres of land to its name, it’s so huge that it occupies not just Grand Rapids, but also land in Wyoming, Walker, and Grandville.

There are numerous things to see in Millennium Park.

A 6-acre beach provides a number of water sports and 18 miles of trails allow for fun exploration.

Other activities include facilities for boat rentals, areas for picnics, and a splash pad for the kids.

Address: 1415 Maynard Ave SW, Walker, MI 49534, United States

27. Founders Brewing

Founders Brewing

Founders Brewing

If you’re seeking things to do in Grand Rapids, Michigan for a good drink, check out Founders Brewing!

It has a lovely taproom that looks out over the brewing operation and its facilities.

Live music also plays in the room thrice each week.

There’s even a deli for those who are a little too hungry for beer alone!

Founders Brewing is known throughout Michigan and beyond for its generous selection of brews.

Year-round favorites include the scotch style ale Dirty Bastard, a raspberry ale called Rubaeus, and several different types of IPA.

Their barrel-aged series contains highly-acclaimed KBS flavored stout, the fruity flavors of Mas Agave, and multiple scotch ales.

There are also seasonal offerings to check out, occasional limited releases, and a Nitro draft series!

Address: 235 Grandville Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, United States

Start Planning Your Trip To Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids is a great city to explore during a vacation.

With a vibrant mix of art, culture, history, business, food, drink, recreation, and nature, there’s something for everyone here!

This list will help you decide what you’d like to devote your valuable holiday time to!

Happy travels.



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