West Michigan Has Emerged as Michigan’s Economic Power House and Vacation Playground

Posted by Gary Hall on Jul 7, 2017 10:00:00 AM
Find me on:

25661515351_141d50f180_b.jpgGrand Rapids, Michigan’s second-largest city, has been at the center of strong economic growth in West Michigan, and it continues to show that growth will continue into the future according to the latest census date. The city is home to five of the world's leading office furniture companies and is nicknamed the Furniture City. But what is giving the city national notoriety is being named: “Beer City.”

Beer City, USA

Named Best Beer Scene in 2017 by USA Today, Grand Rapids sports the state’s strongest beer market, thanks largely to the presence of the world-renowned Founders Brewing Co. Not to be outdone, there are several other brewing operations around town, most notably the Belgian-inspired Brewery Vivant.

The city’s official “Beer City Ale Trail” lists more than 40 breweries in the surrounding area, and the local calendar is constantly filled with beer festivals, events, and promotions. Throw in exceptional beer stores such as Siciliano’s Market, and it’s easy to see why Grand Rapids proudly stakes its claim as “Beer City USA.”

Festivals near Grand Rapids

For those who have been Michigan life-long residents you have heard the stories, seen the “Pure Michigan” TV ads with its invitation to visit west Michigan. The city hosts a number of festivals, many of which take place at its Vandenberg Plaza, including the Celebration on the Grand and Festival of the Arts.

Activites near Grand Rapids

Other points of interest for visitors and locals include the Grand Rapids Art Museum, John Ball Park, Belknap Hill, Gerald R. Ford Museum, Van Andel Museum Center and Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium. Grand Rapids is home to myriad theatres and stages, including the Civic Theatre, DeVos Hall, and the historic Wealthy Theatre.

Beaches near Grand Rapids 

Within a few miles of Grand Rapids, you’ll find some of the best beaches in America along the Lake Michigan Shoreline. From Holland, to Grand Haven, to Muskegon, public access beaches include Michigan State Parks, and municipally managed beaches available to residents and visitors.

If you've never been to a West Michigan beach, you're missing out on one of America's finest treasures. Crystal-clear fresh water as far as the eye can see. Clean, spacious sugar-sand beaches. Gorgeous sunsets that fall into Lake Michigan.

Condé Nast Traveler named the Lake Michigan shoreline one of the 25 best in the world. Visitors who spend time on the lakeshore will tell you it's unlike any other place on Earth. All the more amazing: the beaches are just 30 minutes or so away from the heart of Grand Rapids. So you can easily spend a day on the beach and a night on the town.

Food and Game

A rich agricultural area, Michigan is ranked third in U.S. apple production behind Washington and New York, but Kent County is number one in the state of Michigan for apple production.

Sports fishing is also vastly popular in the area. You can fish in the nearby inland lakes, or go out on the “Big Lake,” fishing in one of the five Great Lakes. It’s all within an easy drive.

Relocating to Grand Rapids

So if you are looking to relocate, Grand Rapids may be the place for you. Plenty of opportunities for employment, reasonable housing prices compared to the national average, and strong art, cultural and recreational outlets, good schools, and top medical facilities highlighted by the “Medical Mile.”

Five Grand Rapids-area high schools were among the top public high schools in the nation in the last couple years, according to a report released by Newsweek. East Grand Rapids, Rockford, Forest Hills Central and Northern and Grand Rapids Public City Middle/High School were included in Newsweek’s top 500 high schools.

The average commute to work is 20 minutes, which is substantially less than the national average.

If a move to Grand Rapids and buying a home is your goal, finance your new home at ChoiceOne Bank, a locally focused community bank that can provide the financial services you will need to close the deal.

Get the hombuyers guide to mortgages

Topics: Mortgage, Living in Grand Rapids