Grand Rapids Info

Grand Rapids MI

Historical overview:

  • Known as the “furniture city.” Originally known for its manufacturing of fine furniture and now known for more specifically office furniture.
  • Hometown of the 38th president, Gerald R. Ford. He and his wife Betty Ford are buried at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.
  • Second largest city in Michigan and largest city in West Michigan.
  • Large city, with a small town feel. All of the good things about a large city without all the hassle.
  • Areas of focus in the Grand Rapids area are health care, aviation, and information technology.IMG_6544
  • Link: Gerald R. Ford Museum


  • As of July 2011, according to the U.S Census Bureau the population of Grand Rapids is 189,815 with Michigan’s total population at 9,876,187.

Economic life/Commerce:

  • Grand Rapids is a great place to start a business whether it is a sole proprietorship or large corporation.
  • The people of Grand Rapids are behind new “startups” and look to support them in any way possible.  Rick Devos hopes to see at least 1000 new startups and looks to support them through his venture capital fund: Start Garden. This venture capital fund looks to invest 5000 in two new startup businesses each week.

Major Employers:

  • Spectrum Health
  • Van Andel Institute
  • Perrigo
  • Amway
  • Herman Miller
  • Steelcase
  • Meijer
  • Spartan Stores
  • Grand Rapids Public Schools
  • Gentex
  • Haworth


  • Ranked as number 3 city in the nation for fun and recreation
  • Parks:

-Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park: large outdoor sculptures, gardens and nature trail

-Grand Rapids Art museum

-Grand Rapids Children museum

-Grand Rapids Public museum

-Gerald R. Ford museum

-John Ball Zoo


  • Recreation:

-Some of the most beautiful beaches in the nation, with fresh clear water stretching for miles.  Two of the most popular beaches Grand Haven and Holland are conveniently located just over a half hour outside of downtown Grand Rapids.

-Biking: trails or around the city


-Art Prize: happening every fall, it’s the world’s largest art competition with artists from around the world (56 different countries). The winner is decided solely on public vote and has the chance to win 200,000 dollars.

Walkability Scores:

  • According to the Walk Score Site, Grand Rapids ranks 56 out of 100 which is slightly above average for walkability.
  • However, many popular restaurants, bars, shopping and businesses are located very close to each other in the heart of downtown grand rapids.

Types of housing available:

  • Houses, houses for rent, condos, and apartments. Many apartments and condos located in downtown Grand Rapids with Houses and houses rent located just outside of the downtown area.


Markets and Shopping

  • Fulton street farmers market and artisans market right outside of downtown
  • Wealthy street farmers market
  • Woodland Mall
  • Rivertown Crossings mall


  • Some reports indicate that Grand Rapids, Mi has more churches per capitia than any other city in the United States
  • There is certainly a lot of choices
  • Click this link to search by denomination



  • Something for every different kind of taste and budget
  • Unique dining spots: Cygnus 27- AAA four diamond restaurant at the top of the Amway that provides a sophisticated dining experience.

– Ruth’s Chris steakhouse: world renowned steakhouse located in the Amway grand plaza

–  The Chop house

Read Lola’s reviews of Grand Rapids, MI Restaurants on Yelp!


Clubs and Bars:

  • Clubs:

– Crush nightclub

– Eve nightclub- premier late night spot with extended hours and views overlooking the city

– Montes lounge: located on the Westside known for great drink specials and good music


  • Bars:

-Conveniently most bars are within walking distance from each other and offer a wide variety for any age

– The woods: live bands, full lunch and dinner menu, outside bar

– The Comedy club inside the B.O.B: enjoy laughs and drinks with friends when

Seeing a different comedian every weekend

– Gardellas: three floors with different music and atmosphere on each

– Bar Divani: perfect place for a nightcap after dinner and good place to relax and

catch up with friends.

Schools and education

  • Grand Rapids public schools offer a large amount of options ranging from elementary to high school.

-Fourth largest public school district in Michigan

-Offer a diverse education with students representing 70 different countries and speaking nearly 50 different languages.

  • Grand Valley State University:
  • Cooley Law School:
  • Calvin College
  • Aquinas College
  • Kendall College of Art and Design
  • Western Michigan: graduate classes


  • Grand Rapids Public Library: 8 locations located in downtown Grand Rapids and surrounding areas.

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