Today’s Friday roundup is a little bit different, because this time I’m taking you to Grand Rapids! I recently spent a quick weekend up there with Adam and we seriously had the best time. It’s only a 3 hour drive from Chicago, and it honestly felt like a mini version of our big city. They have tons of awesome restaurants, walkable streets, and fun things to do. If you’ve been wanting to plan a little getaway and you live close by, Grand Rapids is an awesome option. Want to know more about what to do once you get there? Let’s dive into it:
10 Things to Do in Grand Rapids
1. Stay at the Amway Grand Plaza
We stayed at the Amway Grand Plaza hotel and I highly recommend it! First of all, it’s beautiful. But more than that, it’s located in the heart of the city, so you can walk to a lot of attractions easily – which is great if it’s beautiful outside. We also got a room with a view, which didn’t hurt ?
2. Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery
Robinette’s was mentioned a TON when I asked for recommendations and I understand why! It’s an adorable little spot that screams FALL. We had a great time apple picking (Remember my apple sauce? I still owe you guys that recipe!) and browsing their shop and bakery. We also stopped by their winery for a tasting and picked up some homemade apple butter before we left. Such a fun stop!
3. Brunch at Marie Catrib’s
Marie Catrib’s was another restaurant that got recommended over and over – so we had to go! This brightly colored spot had a creative menu, artwork on the walls, and a wait list at all times. After tasting the food, we totally understood the popularity. We even ran into a follower here! Such a fun start to the day!
4. Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum
Adam loves history, so once he realized The Ford Museum was in Grand Rapids, he wanted to go. I’ll admit, it ended up being far more interesting than I anticipated. I honestly don’t think I ever realized how important Ford was to our country after such turmoil with Nixon. The quotes spread throughout the museum, as well as the tributes to his wife Betty, were very inspiring. They also have a replica of the Oval Office, which was really fun to see! Definitely recommend checking it out.
5. Downtown Market
I think the best way to describe Downtown Market is a cool food hall and farmer’s market rolled into one. Inside the market, you’ll find grocery items like bread, wine, spices, fresh seafood, etc. You’ll also find mini restaurants, places to grab lunch, and killer ice cream (more on that in a sec!). Then, you go outside and there are a ton of craft items, succulents, apparel, etc. It’s a really unique place to walk around and do a little shopping!
6. Love’s Ice Cream
We were in Grand Rapids on a really hot day, so a cool treat was in order. We decided to check out Love’s Ice Cream because it’s located right inside Downtown Market – holy MOLY, you guys. They have an amazing lineup of flavors and all of their ice cream is grass fed and organic, and all of their gelato is VEGAN. Say what?! I had the Amaretto Cherry Vegan Gelato and I was seriously in heaven. So creamy and flavorful – I couldn’t stop eating it!
I’ll admit, I’m not a huge beer girl – but if you’re in Grand Rapids, you have to go to Founders! People in GR are extremely proud of their beers, and even I can admit that they were delicious. But I really loved that the brewery was jam packed full of people, even in the middle of the day. It’s such a fun environment for hanging out with a cold beer!
8. Donkey Taqueria
I loooove tacos, so it didn’t take much to convince me to try out Donkey. In Chicagoan terms, this is the Big Star of Grand Rapids. The decor inside is adorable, and the patio outside has picnic tables and umbrellas – perfect for ordering multiple rounds of margs. And speaking of margs, you need to order their Guava Margarita if you go. SO GOOD. We also had queso, tacos, ceviche and churros… yea, it was a great night.
We had the opportunity to go to Grand Rapids when ArtPrize was going on and jumped at the chance to see what it’s all about. Basically, ArtPrize is an International Art Competition that takes place every Fall in GR. Any artist from anywhere in the world can submit their work to be exhibited throughout downtown Grand Rapids. We’re talking inside museums, parks, storefronts, bridges, etc. Once all of the artwork is displayed, the community (or visitors!) can not only view the submissions, but vote for their favorite! It’s a really neat way to not only get people into the city, but also get them excited about art!
10. Madcap Coffee
I was told that, before I left, I had to pick a coffee up at Madcap Coffee. First of all, the exterior is adorable, the interior is sleek with exposed brick walls, and they were playing Chance the Rapper. Clearly they had already won me over. Luckily, the coffee was just as impressive as the ambiance, and I happily enjoyed this iced latte on our drive back to the city.
Have you ever been to Grand Rapids?
This post was sponsored by Pure Michigan, but (as always) all opinions are my own!