Grand Rapids is a gem of a town. Located on the Grand River in West Michigan, there's much to see and do here—you can check out museums, a presidential library (Grand Rapids is Gerald R. Ford's hometown), breweries, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Meyer May house, a 158-acre sculpture park, and a world-famous, city-wide art competition and festival.
Grand Rapids also has a long history when it comes to design. It was the country's premier furniture-manufacturing city in the late 19th and early 20th century (its nickname is "Furniture City"). Steelcase and Herman Miller—maker of those famous ergonomic chairs—are based here. The city is also home to the Grand Rapids Art Museum and the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, and hosts a number of dance, theater, and opera companies. Six miles from downtown is the Frederik Meijer Garden & Sculpture Park, an 158-acre outdoor gallery that features works by the likes of Ai Weiwei, George Segal, and Claes Oldenburg. And of course, there's ArtPrize, a now-biennial art competition that takes over Grand Rapids and is always cool as heck.
Grand Rapids is also home to the Founders Brewing Company, and local breweries like New Holland Brewing, Grand Rapids Brewing Co., and microbrewery Brewery Vivant, which is located in a former funeral chapel. The city's also full of trendy bars and restaurants, including farm-to-table spot Grove and the upscale Reserve Wine and Food.
On top of all that, Grand Rapids has one of the best housing markets in the U.S., according to a recent WalletHub ranking, which ranked the city the 15th best place to buy a house. If any of that appeals to you, here's a taste of what's out there.
209 Charles Ave SE, East Hills
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This six-bedroom, three-bath manor house, also pictured top, is located in East Hills, a vibrant neighborhood filled with shops, restaurants, and Brewery Vivant. The house was built in 1865 and features a number of vintage touches, like original woodwork and molding, though the kitchen has new stainless steel appliances and the bathrooms are modern. Other highlights include space for a large master suite, a porch with space for outdoor seating, and stained glass windows. The house is priced at $399,000.
356 Cherry St. SE, Heritage Hill
Heritage Hill is one of Grand Rapids's crown jewels, a massive historic district filled with landmarked properties. The Frank Lloyd Wright Meyer May house is here, as is this five-bedroom, three-bath landmarked beauty, built in 1890 and dubbed the Coit/Johnson house. The property is full of woodwork, stained glass windows, chandeliers, and an ornate ceiling in the dining room. There's also a smart contemporary kitchen outfitted with an island and cabinetry, in addition to multiple fireplaces, a three-season porch, and a lovely yard. The house is priced at $569,000.
142 Campau Circle 1615 NW, Heartside
If you'd prefer more urban digs, this one-bedroom, two-bath condo has a new eat-in kitchen with quartz countertops and Jenn-Air appliances, brand-new flooring, an in-unit washer/dryer, and floor-to-ceiling windows. It sits on the top floor of the Plaza Towers, a mixed-use, high-rise building that has a pool and access to Grand Rapids's Skywalk, which keeps pedestrians out of the worst of Grand Rapids's not-great winter weather. The unit is located in Heartside, a funky downtown neighborhood known for its quirky galleries and nightlife. It is priced at $299,900.
127 Wallinwood Ave NE, Fulton Heights
Fulton Heights is a mostly residential neighborhood near Grand Rapids's Eastown, with easy access to downtown while still maintaining a suburban feel. This three-bedroom, two-bath house was built in 1928 and has been fully renovated, with big wood-paneled windows and a funky, modern kitchen with stainless steel appliances. There's also a concrete patio and backyard. The house is priced at $235,000.
733 Madison Ave SE, South Hill
This four-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath house was built in 1910, and has high ceilings, ornate wood paneling, original stained-glass windows, a fireplace, and exposed brick. Other highlights include an updated kitchen with historically-accurate soapstone counters; a wood-paneled dining room, an outdoor patio, and a walk-in closet in the master suite. The house is located in South Hill, an urban neighborhood popular with young professionals and families. The house is priced at $379,000.
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