We all know Grand Rapids is listed as one of the best places to raise a family in the U.S. Affordable housing, access to quality education, both secondary and university, are just a few of the things we are proud of. We are so fortunate to have world class health care with three major hospitals, including the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital, the Michigan State University School of medicine, and medical research institutes. But, there is so much more to the Grand Rapids story that makes us a unique travel destination.

We are famous for local attractions like these.

 Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park

Courtesy Meijer Gardens
Courtesy Meijer Gardens
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The John Ball Zoo

Courtesy John Ball Zoo
Courtesy John Ball Zoo
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Grand Rapids Public Museum

Courtesy GRPM
Courtesy GRPM
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Gerald Ford Presidential Museum

Courtesy Gerald R. Ford Museum
Courtesy Gerald R. Ford Museum
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In addition, we have a wonderful art museum, and of course the arts with the Grand Rapids Symphony, Opera Grand Rapids and the Grand Rapids Ballet, the only professional ballet company in Michigan, and so much more. We have all the top touring show come to town, Broadway's Hamilton, Lion King, Wicked, to name a few.

With the VanAndel Arena, we get many of the top touring acts coming to Grand Rapids.

Elton John Concert at VanAndel Arena

Andy Rent
Andy Rent
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Garth Brooks stopped by for six consecutive concerts here. Paul McCartney blew the roof of the arena, and so many more to numerous to mention.

We're becoming a foodie destination, have great hotels to stay in, Amway Grand Plaza, the JW Marriott, Embassy Suites, Hyatt hotels and many more. We're so close to fabulous beaches on the lake shore, Holland, Grand Haven, Saugatuck, that spring, summer and fall, and even winter, make a visit to the lakeshore a must.

Summertime on Lake Michigan

Heat Wave Scorches Most Of The U.S.
Tim Boyle/Getty Images
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So, yes, we are becoming a travel destination! 

But, you do have to sell it to the public. Grand Rapids is not exactly on everyone's radar as a vacation spot. So, that is where Experience Grand Rapids comes in.

Experience Grand Rapids is the official Destination Marketing Organization for the area. Experience Grand Rapids markets tourism and conventions through short-term promotions, long-term marketing and sales strategies.

One of the new cool things they just created to sell Grand Rapids and West Michigan as a spot to visit is this whimsical and fun commercial. Take a look.

 

Feeling kinda proud, aren't you. I am! More conventions, more tourism, more economic growth for the entire West Michigan region. Not bad for a former sleepy town.

 

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