12 Best Things to Do in Grand Rapids, Michigan

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Are you planning a trip to Grand Rapids, Michigan? Then, you’ve made an excellent choice. This vibrant city offers an array of exciting activities and attractions to explore. Whether you’re interested in arts and culture, outdoor adventures, shopping, or simply want to have some fun, Grand Rapids has something for everyone. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the 12 best things to do in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to help you plan your trip.

1. Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and art enthusiasts. This 158-acre park features stunning botanical gardens, a sculpture park, and various indoor exhibits. The outdoor gardens showcase a variety of plant collections, including a Japanese garden, a Victorian garden, and a carnivorous plant house. The sculpture park features over 300 works by renowned artists from around the world.

2. Grand Rapids Art Museum

The Grand Rapids Art Museum is a cultural gem located in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids. This modern and spacious museum features a vast collection of American and European art, including works by 19th and 20th-century masters such as Winslow Homer, Claude Monet, and Edgar Degas. The museum also hosts various temporary exhibitions, lectures, and special events throughout the year.

3. Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum

The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum is a fascinating destination for history buffs and political enthusiasts. This museum showcases the life and legacy of the 38th president of the United States, who was born and raised in Grand Rapids. Visitors can explore the interactive exhibits, artifacts, and documents related to Ford’s presidency, including a replica of the Oval Office.

4. John Ball Zoo

The John Ball Zoo is a popular attraction for families and animal lovers. This 140-acre zoo features over 2,000 animals from around the world, including lions, tigers, bears, and primates. Visitors can also enjoy various animal encounters, educational programs, and special events throughout the year.

5. Van Andel Arena

The Van Andel Arena is the premier entertainment venue in Grand Rapids. This state-of-the-art arena hosts various concerts, sporting events, and family shows throughout the year. Whether you’re a fan of basketball, hockey, or live music, the Van Andel Arena is a great place to experience the best of Grand Rapids.

6. Grand Rapids Public Museum

The Grand Rapids Public Museum is another cultural destination worth visiting in Grand Rapids. This museum features various exhibits and collections related to the history and culture of West Michigan. Visitors can explore the permanent exhibits, including a replica of an 1890s Grand Rapids street and a restored carousel, as well as various temporary exhibitions.

7. Grand Rapids Children’s Museum

The Grand Rapids Children’s Museum is an excellent destination for families with young children. This interactive museum features various exhibits and activities designed to spark creativity and imagination in children. From building blocks to water play to a simulated veterinary clinic, there is something for every child to enjoy.

8. Rosa Parks Circle

Rosa Parks Circle is a vibrant public space located in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids. This circular park features a large ice-skating rink in the winter and various concerts, festivals, and community events throughout the year. Visitors can also enjoy the beautiful fountain, the scenic view of the Grand River, and the various restaurants and shops nearby.

9. Millennium Park

Millennium Park is a beautiful outdoor destination located just a few miles outside of downtown Grand Rapids. This 1,500-acre park features various recreational activities, including hiking trails, fishing, boating, and swimming. Visitors can also enjoy the scenic views of the lake and the wildlife, including bald eagles, deer, and foxes.

10. Grand Rapids Symphony

The Grand Rapids Symphony is one of the most respected orchestras in the Midwest. This world-class orchestra performs various concerts throughout the year, featuring a broad range of classical and contemporary music. Visitors can also enjoy the various special events, including outdoor concerts, family concerts, and holiday concerts.

11. Heritage Hill Historic District

The Heritage Hill Historic District is a charming neighborhood located just east of downtown Grand Rapids. This historic district features various 19th and 20th-century homes, including Victorian, Georgian, and Prairie-style houses. Visitors can take a self-guided tour of the neighborhood and learn about the history and architecture of Grand Rapids.

12. Founders Brewing Company

Founders Brewing Company is a craft brewery located in downtown Grand Rapids. This award-winning brewery features various delicious beers, including All Day IPA, Dirty Bastard, and Breakfast Stout. Visitors can take a tour of the brewery and learn about the beer-making process, as well as enjoy the various events and live music performances.


Grand Rapids, Michigan, is a vibrant and exciting city with an array of activities and attractions for everyone to enjoy. From beautiful botanical gardens to fascinating museums, from outdoor adventures to delicious craft beer, there is something for every taste and interest. We hope this article has inspired you to visit Grand Rapids and experience the best of what this wonderful city has to offer.


  1. What is the best time to visit Grand Rapids?

The best time to visit Grand Rapids is during the summer months (June-August) when the weather is warm and sunny, and various outdoor activities and events are available.

  1. What is the most popular attraction in Grand Rapids?

The most popular attraction in Grand Rapids is the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, featuring beautiful gardens and a vast collection of sculptures.

  1. What are the best outdoor activities to do in Grand Rapids?

The best outdoor activities in Grand Rapids include hiking, biking, kayaking, fishing, and swimming at the Millennium Park.

  1. Is Grand Rapids a family-friendly destination?

Yes, Grand Rapids is a family-friendly destination with various attractions and activities suitable for children, including the John Ball Zoo, the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, and the Rosa Parks Circle.

  1. What is the local cuisine in Grand Rapids?

Grand Rapids is known for its craft beer and farm-to-table cuisine, featuring various local ingredients such as Michigan cherries, apples, and blueberries.

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Upendra Yadav is a seasoned Data Analyst with a passion for exploring new places and immersing himself in different cultures. With a curious mind and an eye for detail, Upendra delves deep into the history, people, and cuisine of the places he visits, and brings his experiences to life through his writing.. His work has been featured in various travel blogs, where he shares his insights and recommendations for fellow explorers. Through his writing, Upendra aims to inspire others to venture beyond their comfort zones and discover the hidden gems of the world. When he's not analyzing data or traveling to new destinations, Upendra can be found indulging in his other hobbies, such as photography and trying out new recipes. He is currently working on his next travelogue, where he hopes to take his readers on a journey to even more exciting and lesser-known destinations.