Grand Rapids, Michigan: 30 Years Later

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Who knew when Randy and I visited the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids, Michigan shortly after it opened 30 years ago, the changes that would happen to the city.

I remember walking into the Plaza and being enthralled with the attention to detail and the breathtaking beauty of the hotel.  I then remember getting up in the morning and walking the streets of the city with a depressing feeling.  It was a deserted ghost town. Papers blowing through the empty streets, closed buildings and no place to eat.

What a difference 30 years and people with a vision make!

We just returned from the Art Prize 2011. I happy to say that Grand Rapids is now a thriving city.

Even though most of our attention was on the art these are a few of the observations we made:

Most of store fronts are full and the restaurants are many, with a large variety from chains to locally owned.

Grand RapidsIf you can’t find something to eat now in Grand Rapids it is your own fault.

Grand Rapids RestaurantThe Amway Grand Plaza is no longer your only choice of hotels. There are now several right downtown.

Grand Rapids HotelsOur choice for hotels was the Hyatt Grand Rapids South.

Hyatt Place Grand Rapids SouthThe Hyatt was an easy 14 minute drive to downtown.  The staff are extremely friendly and helpful. At check-in we were offered a tour of the lobby area.

Hyatt Place Grand Rapids SouthOur room had a seating area divided from the king bed by a screen. The corner sofa was great.  Often when we check into a room there is one comfortable chair and a chair at the desk.  So one of us usually sits on the bed.  It was nice for both of us to be able to sit on the sofa and relax. Free wi-fi is a plus as is free parking.

Hyatt Place Grand Rapids ReviewThe breakfast was not the run of the mill.  They had taken special care to offer eggs in a unique way.  There was also oatmeal, waffles to be made, donuts, cereal and variety of juices. The Hyatt is in a developing area and there were many choices of restaurants close by for lunch or dinner.

There were hundreds of people out and about in Grand Rapids, which were please to find was clean and we always felt safe.

Grand RapidsThey have a gamut of museums from the Gerald R Ford Presidential Museum, The Grand Rapids Art Museum, the Grand Rapids Public Museum and the Grand Rapids Children Museum.

Grand Rapids MuseumsThe riverfront walkway on both sides are beautiful and welcoming.

Grand Rapids RiverwalkWe can hardly wait to see what surprises Grand Rapids holds for the next thirty years!

Accommodations were provided. No compensation was received. The honest opinions are my own.

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  2. Maralea says:

    How pretty! Would love to visit someday!

  3. beautiful especially the hotel. the room is nice but the couch remind me of something from the 70s

  4. nice city! would love to visit!

  5. My mom was born here. Beautiful town.

  6. Love it! I love Grand Rapids (but I’m also from there)! ArtPrize is such an amazing time too! I have been pushing Cleveland to do something like this for years now. Sigh

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