Top 11 Reasons Grand Rapids/West Michigan is the #1 Place to Visit in 2014
A huge thank you to various national publications for appreciating the gem that is Grand Rapids and West Michigan in the recent year. Most recently added to the list, Lonely Planet, the well-known travel advisor, listed Grand Rapids and the West Michigan Gold Coast as the #1 place to visit in the United States in 2014. A huge honor to the community and the state as a whole, this recognition reiterates what most of us already know.
To capitalize on Lonely Planet’s distinguishing ranking, we at A Healthier Michigan believe there are even more reasons to visit Grand Rapids and West Michigan, not only in 2014, but any time of the year. Below, in no particular order, are the top 11 reasons Grand Rapids and West Michigan is the #1 place to visit next year.
1. Farm to Table Movement
West Michigan has fully embraced the farm to table movement within the area restaurants. A large number of the area chefs take pride in locally sourcing their ingredients from plentiful farms.
ArtPrize has become an internationally renowned art competition with the largest public prize in the world. This last year represented art from over 70 different countries.
3. Wineries and Beer City, USA
Michigan comes in as the fourth-largest grape growing state in the country. Additionally, Grand Rapids has won the title of Beer City, USA for the past 2 years in a row.
4. Farmers Markets
Farmers Markets provide top-notch access to the freshest, most locally grown food—second only to picking the produce yourself!
5. Beaches and Dunes
West Michigan has some of the most beautiful beaches and dunes in the country. In fact, the Sleeping Bear Dunes were recently voted “Most Beautiful Place in America.” Additionally, the winner of this year’s ArtPrize was an amazing quilt of the Sleeping Bear Dunes.
6. Outdoor Recreation
Grand Rapids and West Michigan as a whole has a wide variety of outdoor recreation options throughout the entire year. From hiking to trails to water sports and snow sports, there are options for all fitness levels and passions.
7. Entrepreneurs and Start-Ups
West Michigan has become a hub of start-up talent for the state of Michigan. Through philanthropic support, grassroots initiatives, and community support, these entrepreneurs are becoming the top contenders in the region.
LaughFest brings together nationally known comedians to West Michigan venues in hopes of spreading laughter, awareness of mental health, and benefits of happiness.
9. Healthcare and the Medical Mile
The Medical Mile in Grand Rapids has catapulted the region into being an international hub for healthcare, hospitals, and research. In West Michigan as a whole, there are a number of the top hospital and healthcare systems for the state of Michigan.
10. Raising a Family
According to Forbes Magazine, Grand Rapids is the best place in the country to raise a family. Additionally, factors such as low cost of living, education system, and more affordable housing options allows for West Michigan to achieve this honor.
11. Apple Orchards and Cider Mills
Autumn in Michigan is a truly beautiful experience with all of the colors and activities. Plentiful in West Michigan, apple orchards and cider mills are sprinkled through what seems like every mile of the area.
What else makes Grand Rapids and West Michigan the #1 Place to Visit?
Photo credit: Bobby Pulte Photography