The City of Grand Rapids, as the second largest city in the state of Michigan, encompasses an area of approximately 45 square miles. It is located in west central Michigan, roughly 30 miles east of Lake Michigan. The Grand River, a major state waterway, runs through the city's center.
Like the river it's named for, the City of Grand Rapids is vibrant, exciting, and diverse.
Michiganís second largest city is a center of commerce, culture and
Grand Rapids combines the sophisticated
convenience of a large urban center with the warmth and charm of a small
town. A temperate climate assures mild winters and pleasantly warm
summers. For hundreds of years people have flocked to this region for its
beauty and natural resources.
Over 2,000 acres of parkland are located
throughout the City, and are available for residents and visitors. Enjoy a
family picnic, hike the trails, and take advantage of the many recreational
activities. Many of the parks also host ethnic festivals, concerts, and
public outdoor art, sculpture, and historical monuments. A new city park of
1500 acres that will provide water sports is scheduled to be completed by
2010. Grand Rapids already has so much; yet, it is always preparing for the
was named for the rapids of the Grand River, the waterway that provided
power and a means of transportation for the settlement from its earliest
days. An abundance of wood from area forests made possible the growth of
the furniture industry.
residents make their homes in the suburban communities and townships
surrounding Grand Rapids, in recent years, people have begun to rediscover
the advantages of downtown living. Luxury condominiums provide a high-rise
view overlooking the Grand River. Heritage Hill, downtown's closest
neighborhood, offers tours of its historic homes. More than 60
architectural styles are reflected in the 1300 residences.
The recently opened 12,000 seat Van Andel Arena
is home to the Grand Rapids Griffins professional hockey team. Besides
hockey, the city also hosts the minor league Hoops basketball team and the
Whitecaps, a Detroit Tigers baseball team affiliate. Canoeing, rock
climbing, hiking and skiing are all popular in the area.
children love Grand Rapids. The city offers numerous indoor activities, as
well as outdoor fun. Many nature centers and the John Ball Zoo remain open
even during the winter months, allowing visitors a unique and interesting
view of the plants and animals. Summer-time brings out the wet and wild
with popular wave pools and water slides. Those interested in a more quiet
activity may wish to explore one of many interactive museums or art
Whether you are relaxing in an Eames lounge
chair, or touring a Frank Lloyd Wright house, you will notice that design
matters. Grand Rapids has been known through the years as "The Paris of
Furniture Design" and "The Furniture City." In the Van Andel Museum Center,
visitors can view an operational reconstruction of an early 20th
century furniture factory and walk through an 1890s downtown street of
shops, featuring the sights and sounds of the times.
If you spend one vacation in Grand Rapids, you
will see why this beautiful city is a place to which many return year after
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