This past October we were looking for a quick getaway for the Columbus Day weekend. We needed someplace not too far away but with enough highlights to keep us busy for a couple days. Having been recently voted “Best Beer Town” by USA Today, we set our sights on Grand Rapids and its smaller neighbor Holland. The city of around 200,000 currently contains 15 breweries, with many more in the surrounding region. Grand Rapids also has a lively arts scene (our visit coincided with the final weekend of ArtPrize), so there’s plenty to do besides booze.
Do: Visit the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. This 158 acre park has an impressive botanical garden and an extensive collection of sculptures, including the famous “American Horse” (pictured above).
See: Meyer May House – Tour “Michigan’s Prairie Masterpiece,” designed for a prominent local clothier. Considered one of the best-preserved Frank Lloyd Wright homes.
Eat (brunch): Terra – Handcrafted, seasonal, local cuisine. Delicious Brunch.
Eat (dinner): Grove – “Earth to Table” concept. Listed by OpenTable as one of the “Top 100 Best Restaurants for Foodies in America.”
Drink: Elk Brewing – Modern craft brewery in a residential neighborhood just east of downtown. Perfect for a drink while waiting for a tour of the Meyer May House.
Drink: Brewery Vivant – Fantastic beer and a pub housed in a former funeral chapel, so cool.
Drink/Do: New Holland brewery tour – The nearby town of Holland is home to one of Michigan’s best-known breweries. Enjoy samples while learning about the processes they use to create their unique brews.