I recently spent a few days in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a unique destination with a wonderful combination of urban sophistication and small town charm.
With great art, shopping, restaurants, lively nightlife and cultural attractions, Grand Rapids is the perfect holiday destination. It is not surprising that people travel hundreds of kilometers to enjoy this energetic and lively city, as it offers many attractions for visitors. Lonely Planet agrees: named Grand Rapids and Gold Coast of Michigan as the “Number one place to visit of 2014”.
Downtown Market to get all local items
The first thing I did upon arrival was to visit the Downtown Market (Downtown Market). This indoor and outdoor market opens its doors throughout the year and offers fresh food, specialized artisan products, flowers and food stalls, as well as local entertainment. After eating a crescent of apple and blueberries and watching the extremely fresh salmon, as well as the fabulous filet mignon, I made a tour of the Children’s Kitchen and the greenhouse. Cooking classes are also offered regularly.
The fabulous Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
Undoubtedly, a trip to the city should include a visit to the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park (Frederik Meijer Sculpture and Garden Park), a 53-hectare open-air oasis located just 15 minutes from the city center. In this place I could enjoy masterpieces of art and nature that delighted all the senses. From the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden, which has a sensory exhibition aimed at children, to the Tropical Conservatory, which houses the largest traveling exhibition of butterflies in the United States, the park of Sculptures and gardens is an attraction for all people.
In addition to seeing the incredible “Neuron Sculpture” (Neuronal Sculpture) by Roxy Paine and “The Kiss” (The Kiss) by Auguste Rodin, I stood under the helmets of the beautiful seven-meter sculpture “The American Horse” (The Horse American) by Nina Akamu. I was also lucky to see the works of art of the famous English sculptor David Nash. Deborah Butterfield, who is quickly becoming my favorite artist, exhibited numerous horse sculptures.
For music lovers, the amphitheater is a beautiful venue for open-air concerts, which has grass-covered stair seats that are perfect for spreading out a blanket and listening to the performances of famous artists during the summer months.
Beer and shopping cultural center
My last stop of the day before going out to enjoy a bit of the local nightlife was in the exquisite MoDiv area of the city, in Monroe and Division, to do some shopping at Gina’s Boutique. This area with sidewalks flanked by trees is the perfect place to get an outfit to go out at night in the city.
This place really pleases beer connoisseurs, travelers and explorers alike. It even voted in favor of Grand Rapids as the “United States Beer City” in a national survey. You can find the favorite craft beers in numerous breweries, restaurants and bars in the city center.
I visited the lively Ionia Avenue (Ionia Avenue) and the Grand Rapids Brewing Company, which is certified organic. In addition, the beans are ground and the beer is brewed by hand in the establishment. Among other great places to taste in the city are HopCat and Founders Brewing Company.
There you have it. Grand Rapids, in Michigan, is not just a beautiful place, it’s also amazing. Make sure you include it in your next vacation in the United States.
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