Michigan is well known as the hub of the Great Lakes. You will be surprised to know that this state is the home of the comparatively more miles of shoreline than Alaska as well as highest amount of lighthouses in the continent. With several deep-water ports as well as thousands of inland lakes, Michigan tourist attractions are authentically adventurous. However, they also include national parks, woodlands, historical landmarks, and scenic tours. In this article, I will reveal the famous Michigan tourist attractions in the West metropolitan city of Grand Rapids.
My top pick was the Riverwalk and Riverside Park where the boardwalk makes its way along the Grand Rapids River via the downtown. Walking here is the best recreation activity offering outstanding captures in your camera with the contemporary landscape as background. The park is full of hiking trails, natural areas, vista points, and waterside paths rendering it an ideal family destination on a Saturday afternoon. And above all, there is no entry fee!
To enjoy some great vistas of the downtown as well as of the Grand Rapids River, be at the Lookout Park. Also, look here for the Earthwork that shows the talent of Robert Morris, the artist whose functional piece offered direct access to the Belknap Park below. Called as the ‘X’ by the locals, this landscape art ascends the steep hill with the blend of Earth and asphalt.
You just cannot miss taking the tour of one of the largest historic zones called the Heritage Hill. Since long, this has been the ‘first’ neighborhood in terms of influence, power, and style. There are some 1300 residences of which many are from the era of 1840s and still preserve over 50 architectural styles. Here, do explore the Voigt House, Italianate Shelby Houses, Georgian Revival Brayton House, and Meyer May House (1909) that was the last Prairie dwelling of Frank Lloyd Wright. You can also stay here in any of its six bed and breakfast inns.
Regarded as one of the must visit Michigan tourist attractions, the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park is the real gem of Grand Rapids. In this botanical paradise, you can enjoy discovering the state’s largest conservatory, sculpture galleries, a boardwalk array overlooking wetlands, Victorian Garden, Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘The Horse’ of three stories, and tram tours from 11 am to 2 pm. The Taste of the Gardens Café is just expert in serving good lunch – salads, soups, and sandwiches along with the great vistas of the gardens as well as wetlands. On every second Sunday, you can enjoy its famous brunch. The admission fee is $3 per adult as well as $1 per child.
Get ready to surprise the whole family for a vintage fun on the passenger train – Coopersville & Marne Railway. Each season, this adventure is full of various thematic excursions that will make you explore the scenic Western Michigan countryside in an antique way as you make an attempt to solve a murder mystery. Also expect, Halloween entertainment meant even for kids and Pumpkin trip featuring the auburn-hued autumn terrain. Fees are $10.50 per adult and $7.50 per child (2 to 12).
Robinette’s Apple Haus & Gift Barn gives you a delight of a traditionally simple way of life. Tour the grounds, explore a farmer’s shop of the 19th century in barn offering gift baskets as well as souvenirs, learn about the apple cultivation, enjoy a homemade lunch at the dining hall, be adventurous on the 5-mile mountain biking trail in summer but a cross-country skiing track in winter, or go on a trip via the horse-drawn hayrides as well as the orchards. The latter is the best pick here. All this is possible for an entry fee of $5 per adult and $3 per child (3 – 12). For trails, you need to pay extra $3. Make a picnic here from 9 to 5, but do not come on Sundays as it is closed.
Located very near to the downtown, the John Ball Zoo is the home of over thousand of animals. Its origins trace back to 1884 when John Ball of New Hampshire donated some considerable acres. Today, its main highlights are the Living Shores Aquarium, Bald Eagle Aviary, African Forest Edge Exhibit, and Mokomoboso Valley Chimpanzee Exhibit.
One more interesting highlight is the IMAX Theatre at Celebration! Village where cinema resides in a new way making it famous for unbelievable cutting-edge technology as well as cinematography. The most enticing as well as educational shows are cast on the big screen along with the digital sound. As you explore the wild animals, natural phenomenon, and striking landscapes; superb photography as well as soaking soundtracks will offer you a rich experience not to be felt anywhere else. Some of best meals are offered at Thai Express, Bistro Bella Vita, and San Chez Bistro.
Super 8 – Grand Rapids – from $39
Country Inn & Suites Grand Rapids Airport – $64
Gatehouse Suites Grand Rapids – from $79