The city of Grand Rapids has invested heavily over the decades into accumulating modern and contemporary sculpture and placing it in streets and parks. Highlights downtown include Alexander Calder’s massive, 42-ton La Grande Vitesse, which has become a symbol for the city, and Joseph Kinnebrew’s Grand River Sculpture and Fish Ladder, which allows people to watch spawning fish climb the ladder to return upstream. Dozens more sculptures adorn the city - see website below for a pdf map of sites.
The Midwest's largest gay & lesbian resort, Saugatuck, 333 Blue Star Hwy, Douglas, Michigan. 81 rooms and individual cottages on 20 acre, dance club, restaurant, mostly men but women-friendly, a few minutes drive to Douglas and Oval beaches. Forty minutes drive from Grand Rapids Airport.
The main attraction in Grand Rapids is the Meijer Gardens and Scultpure Park. The huge parkland is ringed with nature trails and a lovely boardwalk and dotted with examples of world-class sculpture. Indoor galleries include even more magnificent sculptures and a conservatory that’s home to tropical and carnivorous plants. There’s also an outdoor amphitheatre where summer concerts are held; check the listings.
President Ford grew up in the area and the Ford Museum chronicles his life and “accidental” presidency following the resignation of Richard Nixon. Ford is buried just north of the Museum. Worth a visit for history buffs.
Michigan loves its hockey and a great way to sample this part of the local culture is to catch a Grand Rapids Griffins game in season. The Griffins are a farm team for the Detroit Red Wings.
Grand Rapids is home to some of Michigan’s finest performing arts companies. The Grand Rapids Symphony presents a very accessible program year-round, at various venues including the DeVos Performance Hall. The Grand Rapids Ballet presents the classics alongside some modern creations at the Peter Martin Wege Theatre (341 Ellsworth SW). Opera Grand Rapids has a very traditional program at the Betty Van Andel Opera Center (1320 E Fulton) and is well-loved by its subscribers.