With more than 30 neighborhoods comprising Grand Rapids, you will want to reserve time to navigate each city-within-a-city during your college years.
Plan to become a regular at your choice of 52 coffee shops, frequent the shores of Lake Michigan located 25 miles to the west, take in a student session at one of 71 parks around the city, adhere to your budget with student discounts available for symphony and athletic event tickets and locate one of 340 geocaches...all prior to an average annual snowfall around 67 inches. We'd be glad to welcome you as a fellow Grand Rapidian!
Rankings that Set Our City Apart
Many publications and sources support our claim that this is a fantastic place to live.
- No. 1 — Travel Destination (Lonely Planet, 2014)
- No. 2 — Most Secure Large City in the United States (Farmers Insurance, 2013)
- No. 2 — Best Place to Live in the United States (MarketWatch, 2011)
- No. 3 — Best Midsize City for Jobs (Forbes, 2014)
- No. 4 — Smartest City in America (Forbes, 2014)
- No. 4 — Best City for Finding Employment (Forbes, 2013)
- No. 7 — Happiest City to Work (Forbes, 2013)
- No. 25 — Best-Performing Large City in 2014 (Milken Institute, 2015)
- No. 69 — Fastest Growing Economy Among the 300 Largest Metropolitan Areas in the World (Brookings Institution, 2015)
A Recognized Stage for Exhibiting Creative Ideas
Grand Rapids hosts ArtPrize, an annual international art competition. Grand Rapids Theological Seminary serves as the permanent venue for Crucifixion, a stained glass mosaic crafted by Mia Tavonatti and designated by public vote as the winning entry of ArtPrize 2011, and What Breathes Beneath Our Story, a series of 19 paintings set on claybord panels by Bette Lynn Dickinson.
Residents of Grand Rapids thrive as members of an economically diverse community, having offered notable contributions to the industries such as healthcare, consumer goods, information technology, and aviation. 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. Our city remains recognized as the home of the world's top five furniture manufacturing companies and the restored Meyer May house designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. As the hometown of the 38th President of the United States, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum recognizes his leadership.
Area Event Information
The city calendar remains filled with upcoming festivals, art openings, museum exhibit launches, and networking events. To plan your time in the city, reference these helpful resources and be sure to reserve a time slot in your itinerary for a campus visit.