Sunday, January 11, 2015

Destination of the Week: Grand Rapids, MI

Destination of the Week: Grand Rapids, MI

It is hard not to be pleasantly stunned by Grand Rapids’ rise.   While locals have long known that Grand Rapids was just an undiscovered star, it may have been ArtPrize that focused national attention on this growing west Michigan city.   While not as busy as downtown Madison, downtown Grand Rapids is now the home of the city art museum, a growing number of nationally-recognized breweries, and plenty of activities to keep a GLCTer busy for a very full weekend.  While the number of downtown hotels is still a little limited, it may be worth using a booking web site to find a room that fits your budget.  Public transportation is still mostly limited to commuter buses, but that may be changing.  The Silver Line, Michigan’s first bus rapid transportation (BRT) now connects downtown with the southern suburbs.  While not much help to visitors, the city is now planning to add new lines that will connect the western suburbs to downtown.  The new Amtrak station makes a great first impression and may play a part in increasing the number of trains between Grand Rapids and Chicago.

Go if you like:
-Presidential museums

Distance (Driving):
-Chicago: 178 miles/2h 45m
-Detroit: 158 miles/2h 18m
-Toledo: 185 miles/2h 40m
-Indianapolis: 292 miles/4h 16m

Also serviced by:
-Air (Gerald R. Ford International Airport)
-Amtrak (Vernon J. Ehlers Station on the Pere Marquette Line)



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