Liebster Award: How to Spend 24 Fabulous Hours in the Greatest Place on Earth

The second Liebster-earning question from Bright Blue Line: “If someone was coming to spend 24 hours in your home town, how do you recommend they spend their time?”

This question is brutal.  I could write a book about all the awesomeness Grand Rapids has to offer!  It is difficult to pick just a few.  I’ll do my best.

Eat!  There are dozens of delectable restaurants in Grand Rapids.  I’m not going to try to name them all.  Be sure to visit Amore Trattatore Italiana, San Chez, and, my personal favorite, Hopcat -voted “Best Brewpub in the U.S.”  For a more complete listing of diverse dining experiences, visit “Cool City! Hot Eats!”

Drink!  Grand Rapids, and the greater West Michigan area, is home to so many fantastic breweries, it was voted Beer City, USA.  Here’s a fantastic brewery tour guide so you can sample them all.  Many serve food and feature live music.

Visit!  You absolutely must visit the Fredrick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park.  It’s indescribably beautiful.  Like most Grand Rapids attractions, it’s a testament to the immense spirit of philanthropy in my hometown.  We are also home of the only LEED certified art museum (we happen to have the highest number of LEED certified buildings, per capita), an interactive public museum, a stately presidential museum, a funtastic children’s museum, multiple live theater venues, and several art galleries including the Urban Institue for Contemporary Arts. Whew!

Look!  If you can, time your visit during the world’s largest, publicly judged art competition.  During Artprize, the entire city becomes an exhibition for all kinds of self expression.  Even if you miss Artprize, dozens of past winners and entries have been permanently installed around the city.

Listen!  There is a vibrant local music scene in West Michigan.  Check out a wide variety of tunes at a myriad of local venues.  Looking for something bigger?  See a headliner at Van Andel Arena or watch a performance of the Grand Rapids Symphony.

Shop!  For a house, that is.  After 24 hours, you aren’t going to want to leave The Best City to Raise a Family.  Don’t worry, I’ll help you unpack.

There are truely so many fabulous things to see and do in my hometown – this is just a drop in the bucket.  I encourage you to check out Experience Grand Rapids and fall in love.  It really is The Greatest Place on Earth.

photo credits: umdsipblog.wordpress.com, meijergardens.org, nestcandy.com

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