Grand Rapids is the second largest city in the state of Michigan and lies next to the majestic Grand River that rages past in this beautiful part of the United States. The city is a haven for many things, but is especially worth a visit for anyone who is interested in art, as Grand Rapids has a wealth of art museums and galleries, as well as hosting annual art competitions, and even outdoor exhibits like a sculpture park. If you prefer history to art, then this is also a great place to visit, as you will find museums as well as historical and cultural attractions in the form of vintage houses and monuments, including one house that was designed by the legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright. For anyone traveling with children, Grand Rapids is exceptionally child-friendly, and you will never be bored thanks to attractions like zoos and dedicated children’s museums. In short, whatever you are looking for, you will probably find it in this city, and you can easily spend a few days here or even longer if you want to explore everything on offer.
The John Ball Zoo is two miles away from the center of Grand Rapids and is known for having over 1,000 animals. The zoo has been praised for its habitats which aim to mimic the natural environments of the animals as closely as possible, and the enclosures are also divided up into sections according to species, such as an aviary, a chimpanzee exhibit, and a petting zoo featuring farm animals. As well as visiting the animals themselves, you can also enjoy exciting activities such as zip lining or riding on some of the resident camels.
The Grand Rapids Art Museum covers 125,000 square feet, of which 20,000 square feet is dedicated to art galleries and exhibits. The collections in the museum include a diverse range of pieces that stretch from the Renaissance period all the way through to contemporary art. There are around 5,000 items on show here, so whatever your art tastes you should find something to enjoy. As well as paintings, you will also find other mediums of art such as pencil drawings, photographs, and print work. There are also other cultural events held here regularly such as musical concerts.
If you are in town on a Saturday then make sure to head down to the Fulton Street Farmers Market which was first founded in 1922. The market is the oldest in the Grand Rapids area and usually attracts over 200 vendors every week. Most of these are farmers from the local area and on Sundays the market is dedicated to artisans who sell an array of locally made handicrafts. The market is mainly out of doors, although it is tented, and you can expect delicious home baked goods, breads, pastries, pies, jams, and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables depending on what happens to be in season. For something a little different, come to this sculpture park which is known as one of the best cultural finds in the entire Midwest. The campus of the park spans an amazing 158 acres and you will find waterfalls, a rock garden, and both tropical and indigenous plants here. There are themed indoor gardens as well as four outdoor gardens and you will also find wetlands and forest lands here. There are trails that will take you through the forests as well as a boardwalk over the wetlands that let you take in all the scenery from a different vantage point. As for the sculpture gallery itself, you will find over 300 pieces here from some of the most famous sculptors in the world such as Rodin and Degas.