Credit

Courtesy of Experience Grand Rapids

Free Things To Do in Grand Rapids

If you have extra time, Fish Ladder Park is worthwhile.
  • #8
    Things to do in Grand Rapids
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    #8 in Grand Rapids
    Free, Historic Homes/Mansions
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Free, Historic Homes/Mansions
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Architecture buffs will want to plan a visit to the Meyer May House, a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home located in the city's Heritage Hill Historic District. Originally constructed in 1908, the house was built for Meyer and Sophie May; Meyer's family owned a local department store. Though the house eventually fell into disrepair, it was carefully restored and opened to the public in 1987. A Michigan historic site, the home is considered one of Wright's most elegant Prairie residences. Inside, visitors will find details that have come to define Wright's style, including art glass windows, skylights, built-in cabinetry and geometrically patterned screens.  

    Recent travelers praised the house's restoration, the knowledgeable docents and furnishings. Many said the house is a "hidden gem" in Grand Rapids.

  • #10
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    #10 in Grand Rapids
    Free, Parks and Gardens
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Free, Parks and Gardens
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    Did you know one of the largest urban parks is located in western Michigan? Spread across 1,400 acres, the park technically occupies land in four cities: Grand Rapids, Walker, Grandville and Wyoming. Along with 18 miles of trails, the park also boasts a 6-acre beach, a splash pad, boat rental facilities and picnic areas, among other features. Upon completion, the park is expected to be more than two times larger than New York City's Central Park.

    According to past visitors, the park provides an abundance of family-friendly activities. Reviewers described the park as quiet, peaceful and clean. Others appreciated the opportunity to rent kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddleboards.

  • #11
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    #11 in Grand Rapids
    Free, Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Free, Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    When sightseeing through downtown Grand Rapids, consider a stop at Fish Ladder Park. A functional piece of architectural artwork designed by Joseph Kinnebrew, this concrete fish ladder was constructed to allow migrating fish to circumvent the powerful flow of the Grand River. During seasonal spring and late summer migration, visitors can observe fish jump up the "ladder" as the animals make their way down the low-grade waterfall. There are a variety of walkways and viewing platforms for onlookers to take advantage of.

    Recent travelers said this is an interesting sight to see and that if you're patient you'll spot all different types of fish, including salmon and carp, jumping up the ladder during a seasonal migration in the spring and late summer.

  • #12
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    #12 in Grand Rapids
    Museums, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    Through recorded oral histories, memorabilia, exhibits, pop-up displays and special events, the Grand Rapids African American Museum & Archives serves to share the stories of the Black experience in Grand Rapids. Though it occupies a relatively small space for a museum (measuring 2,100 square feet), GRAAMA hopes to move to a more than 13,000-square-foot contemporary museum in downtown Grand Rapids. Until then, travelers can visit the intimate space to learn about the accomplishments of Black leaders in Grand Rapids. Beyond the museum, travelers can also trace the steps of Grand Rapids' civil rights history via the museum's 2-mile walking tour that's accompanied by a podcast.

    Though past visitors lamented the museum's small size, many recommended it for the vast amount of knowledge shared here.

  • View all Photos
    Free, Shopping
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Free, Shopping
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

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