Weekend Guide to Grand Rapids, MI

In collaboration with JW Marriott GR + Experience Grand Rapids

274 mi, 4 hours 6 minute in the car, about 20 coffees & a whole lot of content

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What to See/do

01 Museums! We went to both the Public and Art Museum, what is great about Grand Rapids (and staying at the JW) is that there were about 6 museums all in walking distance from our hotel. No need to get the car, call an Uber or worry abut parking.

02 Freshly Squeezed Print Shop — this is where all of your paper dreams come to live. From cards to prints, everything in this store was so unique and thought out!

03 See the city from a segway! Bryce & I did a segway tour Saturday afternoon (and even though it was through freezing rain) it gave us an opportunity to really see Grand Rapids in all of its glory. From unique photo spots to places to check out for dinner, I would highly recommend them, especially if you want to learn your way around! (Plus they're totally fun!)

04 Walk around! All of Friday night and Saturday morning was spent simply, walking around. Grand Rapids can be a lot at first glance! Tons of shops, tons of art, with endless things to see, to really be able to utilize your weekend, WALK! Over our weekend, it was freezing so we had to layer up, but nothing (another) stop in a coffee shop couldn't fix. ;)

05 Live music at the JW — every night the JW had a live performer in the lobby. This was perfect when you wanted to settle back down after a day on-the-town and added the perfect ambience throughout the hotel.

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Where to Eat/fuel up

01 Stella's Lounge — This was Bryce's favorite dinner spot of the trip. Their burgers are enriched with breadcrumbs right in the middle. Something neither of us had ever heard of, but soon became an ultimate favorite!

02 Madcap Coffee — AESTHETIC. That is all you have to say for this corner-run coffee shop in the heart of Grand Rapids. From the white walls the rustic wood tables, everything in there made you want to snap, tweet, instagram, facebook, and pinterest.

03 Six.One.Six Buffet — This buffet is located on the lobby level of the JW Marriott and was the single best way to get breakfast before we headed out for the days. There is one chef who takes and prepares your order. Even with all of my allergies (gluten, wheat, rice, corn & dairy) I had a full selection of things to eat (and drink!) Both mornings I started with an egg white omelet with spinach, peppers, onion, sausage, & more! This was sided with potatoes, fruit, soy-milk & coffee! UH YUM! Bryce got an omelet the first morning and waffles the next.

04 San Chez Bistro — this one was actually recommended to us by the Experience Grand Rapids team and let me tell you, it did not disappoint. We went for a late brunch our last day. I decided to order the Breakfast Casserole and Bryce got the Cinnamon French Toast. 

05 Starbucks — Because, duh, its Starbucks!

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Picture-Worthy Spots

01 The JW Marriott itself was probably my favorite spot to snag content images. From the white sheets, to the floor-to-ceiling walls, and even the simply textured wallpaper, I couldn't get enough. Not just in the room, but the over-lit blue lobby to the concierge lounge city view. Yes, yes, and YES!

02 The famous Blue Bridge is a staple landmark for Grand Rapids. We had the perfect view of it from our hotel room so it was a must when stopping for some photos. On this bridge is where I shot my Cluse Instagram Post right before we headed on the journey back to Indy!

03 WALLS GALORE! Grand Rapids had so many amazing murals and art pieces on the walls, it was if they were ready for my wall-picture obsession upon arrival. Ha!

04 You all know that I love a good Starbucks — but I could not get over the one we found just outside of the main streets in the city. It connected to the most beautiful hotel, and had the cutest small town feel outdoorsy area.

05 Finally — take to the streets with your camera and you will not be disappointed! When compared to Downtown Indianapolis, GR is a city with tons of bumps and hills, adding the perfect amount of perspective/something different to any content piece or image taken. Plus, if you're lucky you may just get to snap a picture with one of the famous Downtown green trolleys!

 
 
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The perfect city-town vibes, curated with amazing food, good people & even better things-to-see: Grand Rapids, MI! This weekend was so fun and unique all in itself. It was my second time to Michigan and Bryce's first.

Overall Review

11/10 — We caught the small city bug and want more! If you want to Experience Grand Rapids like we did, feel free to use this guide to find your way around the city, but be sure you rest up and enjoy what the JW Marriott has to offer!

So, where to next? Well, I am about to get cracking on my MC 2018 Calendar launch and for this, I am traveling. Guess you'll have to wait and see where the next Insta-Story location tag is! ;)