Grand Rapids, Michigan

Beer City

I deeply appreciate the people of Michigan. I love their grit. I love the way they face life. I love the family values they have.
-Ernie Harwell

Best Part About Grand Rapids

It’s a 21st century city

Grand Rapids very quickly became Michigan’s second largest city, behind Detroit. There’s a lot to love here, but perhaps the best thing is that it’s a fast-paced, modern city. First, Grand Rapids is committed to sustainability. The city uses hybrid electric buses, the Rapid Central Station has a green roof, it’s home to the world’s first LEED-certified microbrewery, art museum and more, and is committed to eliminating net carbon emissions entirely by 2050.

Second, the city is an impressive agriculture hub, featured every day at the Grand Rapids Downtown Market. The agribusiness industry has been growing steadily for the past decade and GR is a great place to find local, seasonal produce. Lastly, the city is a bustling hub of activity and culture for western Michigan. In addition to being the location of the yearly ArtPrize competition, there are countless museums, theaters, and gardens in the city. Finally, and maybe most importantly to some, it is nicknamed Beer City USA because its over 80 breweries, many of which offer world-class brews.

Worst Part About Grand Rapids

The weather is very…Midwest

If you’ve never lived in the midwest you’re going to have a hard time adjusting to the weather in Grand Rapids. For what they lack in numerical heat, the summer makes up for in humidity. Whatever you do, do not start arguing with a local Michigander about the summers. They do not care if you’re from Florida, they will win the humidity argument. In the opposite season, the winters can be bru-tal. Lake Effect snow is no joke and the high precipitation the city sees turns to mountains of groan-inducing snow from November to sometimes March. If you’re not a fan of or are not used to the snow, it will be a hard adjustment.

Here are several cons a local notes about Grand Rapids: Harder to find good non-American/non-Americanized food (if you like Asian food/cooking you're going to have a hard time). Lack of diversity (Grand Rapids is very very white compared to Oakland County) with a more of the local population having a mentality of "my family is here so why go anywhere else" which is great for them but can make finding new friends to hang out with difficult

Standard of living and costs are about the same. Social life is what you make of it. There's definitely a bigger beer and bar scene here. Another nice perk of Grand Rapids is that it has it's own airport. Although it's definitely not as large as DTW, going through security is a breeze and usually only takes a few minutes. Plus the domestic flights that they do offer can be pretty cheap. Airport parking is also cheaper and easier.

Lifestyle of Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids is a fun, lively town with a lot of midwest charm and modern convenience. All four seasons means there are a ton of activities year round, from skiing and snowboarding in the winter, to biking and boating in the summers. Grand Rapids is known for many things, but the two biggest are going to be the art culture and the beer scene. The city is home to ArtPrize, the world’s largest annual art competition where the winners are chosen by the public. The fair has been going since 2009 and brings over half a million people to the city every fall. The winner receives a cash prize of $250,000 as well as the chance to have their pieces featured around the city. Besides the art scene, breweries are another thing Grand Rapids does well. The city has been voted Beer City USA multiple times and is home to many famous breweries like Founders, Grand Rapids Brewing Co., and more.

Workstyle of Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids used to be known for the large number of furniture companies that called the city home, even going so far as to be called “Furniture City” in its heyday. Now, the economy has shifted away from furniture and towards medical and retail. The city’s largest employer is Spectrum Health and there is a very impressive stretch of medical buildings called the “Grand Rapids Medical Mile.”

It’s home to world class medical facilities that focus on health sciences, some of which are associated with state universities. Major headquarters in the city include Bissell, Meijer (your new favorite grocery store), and GE Aviation. In recent years, the expanding agribusiness industry has been garnering attention as it’s been growing over the past 10 years and the city now accounts for ⅓ of Michigan’s total agricultural sales. The lower unemployment rates, coupled with a lower cost of living make Grand Rapids a great place to work and live.

Why You Should Move Here Now?

On The Way Up!

Grand Rapids is what every city should be. The city is committed to sustainability, it’s LGBTQ+ friendly, there is a huge food and drink scene, and it’s a great place for everyone from young professionals to retirees. You should move now because there’s no telling how long it’s going to take for cities across the US to realize that Grand Rapids is the new standard for modern cities.