Source: Michigan Live
The center of the city is a great (and logical) place to start when visiting Grand Rapids. The range of entertainment, shopping, sightseeing and dining options is surprising for a town of this size. Visit DeVos Performance Hallfor Broadway shows and touring bands or head over to the Downtown Market for restaurants, prepared foods, baked goods, artisan ice cream and cooking classes. On Century Avenue there are three excellent antique furniture and collectible stores in a row: Warehouse One, The Lost & Found and Century Antiques could easily keep you occupied for hours.
Source: Grand Rapids People's History
This area adjacent to downtown is noted for its historic brick buildings and artistic bent. A large number of artists call this neighborhood home and there are several excellent galleries displaying their work. There are also several fine retail options – BOLDsocks is a great spot to pick up a goofy pair of socks – and a number of quality eating options. Check out Two Beards Deli and choose one of their over 90 sandwiches to enjoy (including vegan) or the Grand Rapids Brewing Company for a pint in a lovely setting. The excellent Grand Rapids Children’s Museum and the venerable Stella’s Lounge are both located in Heartside.
Source: The Culture Trip
Uptown is a large neighborhood that encompasses four attractive and bustling business districts: East Fulton, East Hills, Eastown and Wealthy Street. It is the center of fun in Grand Rapids and is home to the independent stores, restaurants, coffee shops and bars that reflect this city’s special character. Brewery Vivant prides itself on an artistic approach to brewing Belgian & French styles of beers and is set in a former funeral home complete with stained glass windows and an altar. The Electric Cheetah specializes in American comfort food with a twist and shopping options include Lee & Birch for high-quality women’s clothing and City Antiques for vintage goods. It's easy and enjoyable to walk between the four interconnected districts on old streets lined with trees and historic homes such as Frank Lloyd Wright’s Meyer May House.
Source: Experience Grand Rapids
Set on 158 acres about six miles east of downtown, the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is an internationally known haven for horticulture and sculpture that is a blast to explore. Trails lead through spectacular gardens only to reveal wondrous sculptures by the likes of Rodin and Degas. There are outdoor concerts by touring acts in the summer and the holiday exhibits in winter are spectacular. Don’t miss the tropical conservatory in the greenhouse or the carnivorous plant house filled with Venus flytraps and pitcher plants. After that’s done, find your Zen in the Japanese garden or enjoy some sativa and get lost in the wetlands and meadows while searching for hidden modern sculptures.
Source: The BOB
B.O.B. is short for Big Old Building and this repurposed warehouse originally constructed in 1903 is a one-stop-shop for all sorts of entertainment, food and fun. Dr. Grins is a comedy club that features nationally known talent, H.O.M.E. has exceptional live jazz and Eve is a swanky club on the top level of the building with a dancefloor that bounces every Friday and Saturday night. The B.O.B. is also the site of 20 Monroe Live, a 2500-seat venue that hosts popular touring bands and performers like The Allman Betts Band and Nicky Glaser. The second floor is home to Bobarino’s where you can build your own burger or grab a woodfired pizza to fuel the fun.
The Public Museum holds a fascinating variety of unique collections in a building that used to be a flour mill located along the Grand River across from downtown. The popular toys and video games from the 1970s exhibit is the perfect complement to a cannabis-fueled museum adventure and the planetarium is a great place to lean back and get lost in distant galaxies. The museum holds a carousel from the 1920s and a creepy yet attractive taxidermy display with animals from across Michigan. The history of Grand Rapids is presented with excellent photographs and simulations and there are even bedrooms designed to represent what might be in the room of different generations like the Baby Boomers, Generation Y and Millennials.
While there aren’t any recreational dispensaries in Grand Rapids yet, 3Fifteen is a great option for residents with a medical marijuana card. Their staff are incredibly helpful and they have a wide range of products to choose from. Their flower is top quality and their selection of edibles is amazing. 3Fifteen also offers curbside pickup and online ordering, which is helpful for those on the go!
We love Joyology for their kind staff and great product. They consistently have good bud and their prices are competitive. The store is also bright and colorful, creating a comfortable environment to talk to their helpful budtenders. Joyology currently only offers marijuana for medical patients, they will be offering bud for anyone over 21 in October of 2020.
Pharmhouse Wellness is an entirely locally-owned and operated medical marijuana dispensary located just 5 minutes from downtown Grand Rapids. Located in an old farmhouse, this comfortable setting makes it easy to learn all about the product you need. Pharmhouse is also known for it’s helpful and caring staff. Last but not least - they have some amazing daily deals and good prices.
Source: Sole Collector
Premier is a skateboarding lifestyle shop that has been in operation since 2001 and carries a fine selection of boards, sneakers and apparel. The staff is incredibly supportive and even non-skaters won’t have any trouble enjoying themselves at this great boutique. Dickies, Adidas, Carhartt, Nike, Vans and Bronze 56K are just a few of the brands that Premier carries. Street shoe enthusiasts will be overwhelmed by the exclusive footwear options.
Source: On the Grid
This quirky gift and home décor store specializes in handmade gifts, cards, home goods and novelties with a focus on reclaimed and reused materials. The fun space is packed with items with cheeky slogans, Michigan themed objects and oddly shaped cookie cutters. There is a lot to see in here so be sure to give yourself plenty of time to browse. Owners Chip and Dan are incredibly nice and always ready to assist their customers. Shopping for gifts for friends and family doesn’t get any easier.
Source: A.K. Rikk’s
A.K. Rikk’s is a high-end store that sells men’s and women’s clothing, as well as select electronics, furniture and home décor. Designers such as Ermenegildo Zegna, Canada Goose and Alice & Olivia grace the impeccable interior of a gorgeous building staffed by über-professional employees. The customer service is unbeatable; if you are looking to purchase haute couture, this is the place. The chic boutique is located southeast of downtown.
Grove has received more awards than any other restaurant in Grand Rapids and its easy to understand why. The inventive menu (updated daily) at the East Hills location is based on ingredients from surrounding local, family-owned and sustainable farms and businesses and the vibe is fashionable but not pretentious. Simple dishes like pierogis and beet salad are expertly prepared and elevated to new levels of sophistication. Grove is also known for its accommodating vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free items and its extensive wine list. The tasting menu is a great way to try a variety of delicious dishes.
Neither greasy spoon nor gourmet restaurant, Real Food Café is an enhanced old-school diner with a huge menu that will satisfy the pickiest of eaters. Portions are generous, service is prompt and prices are low. The café is open for lunch, but breakfast is the big draw, with plates like strawberry stuffed French toast, blueberry buttermilk pancakes and Philly steak skillet continuously flying out of the kitchen. The selection of baked goods is perfect for grabbing something to munch on later in the day. Be aware that no credit cards are accepted – Real Food Café is cash only.
Source: Experience Grand Rapids
When you go through the doors at San Chez’s welcoming Heartside location you will immediately leave your Grand Rapids adventure behind and become immersed in all things Spain. Tapas, paella, sangria, empanadas, wine and cheese all come together in a delicious symphony of flavor and style. Order the “Menu Throwdown” and your server and the kitchen will personally design your food to match your cravings. Dishes like gambas asadas al fuego (spicy fire-roasted shrimp, banana mustard cream, white rice) and albondigas (local lamb, beef and chorizo meatballs served with corn salsa and salsa verde) are show-stoppers. Like a true Spanish bistro, San Chez is always lively and buzzing.