Grand Rapids African American Museum & Archives

#12 in Best Things To Do in Grand Rapids
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Key Info

87 Monroe Center St NW

Price & Hours

Free
Tues-Sat noon-5 p.m.

Details

Museums, Free Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 2.0Facilities
  • 3.5Atmosphere

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.

The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. Access is free, but donations are welcome. For more information, visit the museum's official website.

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To learn about the life of the 38th president of the United States, consider a visit to the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. Though he was born in Omaha, Nebraska, Ford spent much of his life in Grand Rapids. The museum showcases more than 19,000 artifacts related to the president, including items from the 1976 presidential campaign, American bicentennial gifts, and gowns and dresses worn by the president's wife, Betty Ford. Throughout the museum, visitors will learn about Ford's childhood in Grand Rapids, his time at the University of Michigan and Yale Law School, his unique ascendency to vice president and eventually his time as the 38th president of the United States. Visitors also have the chance to see a replica of Ford's White House Oval Office and the original Watergate burglar tools, among other highlights.

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