Perfect-sized city living
Located just 25 miles east of West Michigan's magnificent coastline, Grand Rapids is the second-largest city in the state. "Furniture City" is an economically diverse community, continuing to make its mark in the industries of healthcare, consumer goods, information technology, and aviation. MarketWatch named it one of the "Top Ten Places to Live in the U.S." due to job growth, a strong economy, and solid schools, while Forbes calls it "the best metro area in the country to raise a family in."
A place rich with history, the area was once home to flourishing Native American communities, including the Hopewell and Ottawa tribes. The first Europeans to arrive were fur traders, and the local resources eventually attracted lumberers and furniture builders. G.R. is still recognized as the home of the world's top five furniture manufacturing companies.
Grand Rapids was the hometown of the 38th President of the United States, Gerald. R. Ford. Both he and his wife, Betty Ford, are laid to rest on the grounds of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum downtown.
Built around the scenic Grand River, the city offers a growing metropolitan center where you can find excellent coffee shops, theatres, restaurants, outdoor music venues, parks, and the VanAndel arena, home to the G.R. hockey, football, and basketball teams.
"Medical Mile" is a bustling area located on the north side of the city. This large collection of specialty healthcare facilities, research institutes, and medical schools has distinguished Grand Rapids as a cutting-edge medical community.
East Grand Rapids is located just a few miles from the downtown area. This small city-within-a-city is a throw-back to simpler times. Prestine neighborhoods surround picturesque Reed's Lake, where yacht club members sail during the warmer months. The quaint "main street" offers boutique shopping, salons, and gourmet eateries, all within walking distance.
Art & Culture
Grand Rapids is host to the international art competition "ArtPrize," which attracts artists from around the globe, and awards the winner $200,000. Cornerstone University is proud to be the permanent venue for the winner of ArtPrize 2011.
For more information on local attractions, events, and activities in Grand Rapids, visit these helpful websites:
The City of Grand Rapids