Is Grand Rapids Underappreciated?
We know we got a good thing going, but the rest of the world is just finding out.
Thrillist.com has finally gotten something right. Grand Rapids is listed in their list of ten underappreciated American cities worth a visit.
In their introduction, the web site says they appreciate towns that stick to their guns.
Yes, food scenes will flourish and breweries will boom, but it’s all the more impressive when a city manages to stick to its roots and dig its heels ever-deeper into whatever it does best -- be it bourbon or cattle or fresh veggies or just general weirdness.
Whoa! General weirdness? Okay, maybe I resemble that remark, but that doesn't mean the whole city does.
Here's what Thrillist says while touting the GR Experience:
When it comes to buzz, it’s no Detroit, but Michigan’s second most populous city is also one of the fastest growing in the country. Historically, Grand Rapids was known for furniture manufacturing (Herman Miller and Steelcase are homegrown brands) but the last few decades have kindled some, uh, more dynamic points of interest. First came the beer scene -- there are about 40 breweries and brewpubs scattered around town, and that number doubles if you wander outwards a bit.
The food’s nothing to sneer at, either. Michigan is second only to California when it comes to agricultural diversity in the US, and Western Michigan (where Grand Rapids is) produces a third of the state’s output. That means the city’s restaurants are perfectly positioned to feed your farm-to-table fantasies. There’s also a pretty robust art scene thanks to the likes of Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts and the Grand Rapids Art Museum, plus the annual competition from ArtPrize, which attracts approximately 1,500 submissions that are installed all over the city.
Someone needs to clue in the author that ArtPrize is now semi-annual, but outside of that, we'll take it.
I can also vouch for two other cities on the list: Baltimore is my old stomping grounds and is a fun city, with a weird personality that can be quite charming. Also, Greenville, SC, has an emerging arts scene and has a beautiful downtown area.
Now get out there and welcome the visitors who are now lined up to come here!!