The Best Summer Spots in Grand Rapids

I’m really much of beach goer, never have been. To me spring and summer are not just about the beach. It’s all about what the city has to offer! Give me a sunny 70 degree day in the city over the beach anytime!

So, I have complied a list of my favorite things about summer in Grand Rapids. In no particular order:

  • West Michigan Whitecaps, minor league baseball. There’s not a bad seat in the whole place. I love Thrifty Thursdays: $2 for hot dogs and beer!
  • Farmer’s Market. There’s nothing better than homegrown fresh veggies and fruit. My fave: Watermelon!
  • Hillcrest Dog Park. Actually, this is Stewie’s favorite and he asked me to put it on the list. I agreed and, he got a treat.

  • The Cone Shoppe. Located on Michigan and Fuller. Amazing selection, perfect place to eat outside. They even have frozen yogurt! Brayton likes to pronounce it, the cone shoppeeee. FYI: Cash only
  • The deck at Founders Brewery. There’s nothing like drinking a cold Cerise and sitting in the sunshine. Yes, its a girly beer and I don’t care.
  • The deck at Logan’s Alley. What is better than FREE popcorn? Peanuts? Probably, but it’s a close tie. Well, the free popcorn they have. Also amazing beer and food specials on Sunday afternoons.
  • This one is not so much a place, but a drink I love dearly. Especially when it’s inexpensive. $5.95 Sangria from D&W Market.
  • Maratha’s Vineyard. I love this market’s beer, wine and, food selection. My favorite is grabbing a bottle of wine, some sandwiches and heading downtown to…
  • Ah-Nab-Awen Park. Brady and I call it, “walking with non-descriptive liquid.” Right in the heart of the city, there is much to see and climb, and you can’t beat the view.

It’s Misty approved!

  • Speaking of parks and being along the river, it’s also one of my favorite places to run. A fresh breeze and some Missy Higgins playing, I’m set for life.
  • While we’re talking downtown, you must, must must check out the Pink Floyd laser light show at the Planetarium. It only shows till the end of May, so go soon!
  • Traveling a little further west, you cannot (in my opinion) start out the Grand Valley Football season without seeing the GV Spring Game. I may be very biased on this one, but I miss the days of shooting football and getting taken out on the sidelines. I could only get up to say, “Oh my God, is the camera ok?!’ I could care less if I got the wind knocked out of me, its part of being in the action! Unfortunately, this year I cannot go because I have a wedding. But I will be there in spirit!
  • And, since I would be remiss not throwing in at least one beach-like place on this list, one of my favorite beaches is at Kirk Park in West Olive, MI. It’s about 15 miles from Grand Haven, but it is so worth the drive. Its usually much less crowded than the Grand Haven beaches, and it has an amazing gazebo for all your picture taking needs! I took this image there in college. Don’t look too close, it needs serious re-editing. Anyone have a scanner for 4×5 negatives? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

  • Even though this event is NOT in Grand Rapids, or even Michigan for that matter, I could not make this list without mentioning Chicago. There could be 500 more lists made just on Chicago alone, but one of my favorite things in the world is visiting my friends in Chicago! I am so lucky to have my girls from college there and, a free place to stay. But more importantly is not the city of Chicago itself but the Chicago Fire Soccer Club. You have seriously not lived until you’ve been to a Chicago Fire game! Now, to me soccer on tv is personally boring to watch. Kick the ball, run around, blah blah. BUT, you must go to a game and sit in the cheering section 8. You will never see fans crazier than this ever again. I went last year to the game against the LA Galaxy where David Beckham played… oh yeah be jealous. I fully intend to go again this year and ride the Section 8 Beer Bus. I can’t wait!  Yes, John I stole this photo from you 🙂

Really, to sum it all up, there are no better time than spring (well maybe fall to me) and nothing better than grilling at home with your favorite beverage and foods. For me it’s grilled corn on the cob and an arnold palmer. And of course… if you have a nice porch or a big back yard, and don’t mind a crazy dog who likes to chase sticks, drop me a line!

What’s your favorite summer activity in Grand Rapids?

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