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10 Things to Know About Moving to Grand Rapids, MI.

If you’re moving to Grand Rapids, MI you may be new to West Michigan or the state, and not know what makes this place so special. Here are 10 things you should know when you’re moving to Grand Rapids, MI:

#1 Grand Rapids Offers Four Beautiful and Distinct Seasons

Grand Rapids, located in West Michigan, offers a pleasant climate with unique weather patterns. Lake Michigan, just 85 miles to the west, influences the temperature and precipitation of the region. It generates lake-effect rain and snow which converts Grand Rapids into a winter wonderland during part of the year, and tempers a warm and pleasant summer.

West Michigan is known for outdoor activities you can enjoy in each of its seasons, from gardening and golfing in the spring, to festivals and beach days on Lake Michigan, to fall hiking and apple-picking, to winter sports like sledding, skiing, and snowboarding.

#2 Grand Rapids is Walkable and Bike-Friendly

Downtown Grand Rapids has so much to offer. Great restaurants, bars, and shops are all within ten minutes’ walking distance. Many Grand Rapids residents commute by bicycle, as the city is designed to handle pedestrian and bicycle traffic safely. There are bike trails all around Grand Rapids that go along the Grand River, out to large parks, and even eventually reach the shore of Lake Michigan.

#3 Grand Rapids Has a Convenient Location

If you’re moving to Grand Rapids, MI you may have chosen this spot for its location. Living in Grand Rapids, everything that’s great about Michigan within reach. The city is full of amenities and things to do, but if you need to get out of town, there are many attractions a short drive away. The beautiful Lake Michigan is less than an hour drive away, making it easy to pack a picnic and head to the lakeshore any day to catch the sunset.

Grand Rapids is also an easy commute to the camping and outdoor recreation opportunities of Northern Michigan. It’s also a reasonable distance from the large cities of Detroit and Chicago. If you need to travel further, Grand Rapids has its own airport which is serviced by major airlines, both national and international.

#4 Grand Rapids Has a Lively Art Scene

Grand Rapids is a cultural hotspot in West Michigan, known for its galleries, art education and museums, theater and performance art, live music and concert venues. Van Andel Arena regularly hosts big names, such as Neil Diamond, Lady Gaga, and Kenny Chesney. Many other smaller venues around town feature touring artists and music groups. 

ArtPrize is an annual event in Grand Rapids that draws participants and spectators from all over Michigan and the Midwest. Participating artists create installations around Grand Rapids in late September and visitors vote for their favorites. $500,000 is awarded in prizes based on popular-vote winners in many categories.

#5 Grand Rapids Offers Many Employment Opportunities 

If you’re moving to Grand Rapids, MI in search of employment, you’ll find plenty of opportunities in this fast-growing metropolis. From working in the healthcare field, to technology and manufacturing, to jobs in the service industry, Grand Rapids has a lot to offer. The city is growing fast, so new employment opportunities are appearing all the time.

#6 Grand Rapids is Known for Great Health Care

Grand Rapids, MI is home to state-of-the-art hospitals and rehabilitation facilities. Many travel to Grand Rapids to seek out the best care at DeVos Children’s Hospital, recover at Mary Free Bed, study at MSU College of Human Medicine, or work in the Spectrum Health system.

#7 Grand Rapids is Surrounded by Beautiful Parks and Gardens

There are 1,200 acres of city-owned parks in Grand Rapids, MI. With endless opportunities to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and open spaces of the city’s parks and trails, it’s easy to stay active and healthy. Riverside Park, located north of downtown Grand Rapids, is a beautiful spot to take a walk by the river. There are also kayak and paddleboard rentals you can use on the river. 

Millennium Park has its own beach for kids to play, and also activity fields, and plenty of walking/biking trails that connect it to downtown. There are also great hiking trails at Aman Park and the Blanford Nature Center just west of town.

Meijer Gardens, located on the east side of Grand Rapids, is a beautiful 158-acre botanical garden that also contains a sculpture park, butterfly room, and amphitheater that features a regular calendar of live music during the summer. The manicured gardens with a huge variety of plants, flowers, and art, is a popular spot for weddings, family outings, and school field trips. 

#8 Grand Rapids is Known as Beer City, USA

If you’re moving to Grand Rapids, MI, you may be surprised to learn that it’s home to over 60 breweries, which earned it the title Beer City, USA. A few of the most popular spots in town are Atwater Brewery, Founders Brewing Company, and Brewery Vivant.

These establishments also craft their food menus with care to pair perfectly with unique brews for a great-tasting experience.

#9 Grand Rapids Has Excellent Shopping Opportunities

If you’re moving to Grand Rapids, MI, and need to shop for home furnishings, clothes, sporting goods, pet supplies, or anything else, you’ll find a huge variety of options around town. Downtown Grand Rapids will have a variety of boutiques and high-end stores. If you’re looking for great antique stores, explore the Eastown and Heritage Hill neighborhoods. Tanger Outlets is a short drive away and features expensive brand names for discounted prices. For everything else, visit the Woodland Mall, box stores, and car dealerships along the popular 28th Street.

#10 Grand Rapids Consists of Many Unique Neighborhoods

Outside of downtown, the neighborhoods of Grand Rapids create a sprawling, small-town feel. Each neighborhood has its own flavor, unique shops, restaurants, coffee houses, and parks. You’ll see people out and about walking with their kids and pets. If you’re moving to Grand Rapids, MI, there’s a neighborhood that’s perfect for your family. Whether it’s the historic Heritage Hill area, the more affluent East Grand Rapids, or the unique and hip Eastown, your family is sure to feel right at home in one of the many popular Grand Rapids neighborhoods.

Moving to Grand Rapids, MI? Hometown Development is always working to restore and renovate some beautiful houses in some of the most popular neighborhoods. Let us know what you’re interested in, and we can help you find the perfect home for you and your family.

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