As the second largest city in Michigan, Grand Rapids has long been associated with big city living in a small town atmosphere. Although the population of the metro area exceeds a million residents, most people who live here embrace a slower-paced lifestyle than other cities of the same size. That’s because nearby Lake Michigan and the Grand River create a unique kind of scenery. In fact, once you step outside the city, you’ll find plenty of forest, farmlands, and other green spaces.
Living and Working in Grand Rapids
One of the greatest perks to life in Grand Rapids is the diversity of the job market. Health care professionals make up the bulk of the workforce, and the area is known as a destination for medical research and education. However, there’s also a strong manufacturing base (especially furniture), with additional opportunities in aviation and automobile manufacturing. Tech jobs in Grand Rapids are also on the rise, as is common in many urban centers of the same size.
With so many jobs but a population that isn’t overwhelming in size, Grand Rapids offers an alternative to families who want urban opportunities without a huge urban lifestyle. The homes here are very affordable, with the average falling well under the $200,000 price range. In fact, Grand Rapids is often ranked as one of the most affordable U.S. cities in which to buy a home and raise a family—especially if you’re interested in the many older, historic homes that make up the current real estate inventory.
Fun and Entertainment in Grand Rapids
If arts and/or history are your thing, Grand Rapids is the place to be. Well-known as the home of Gerald Ford, Grand Rapids offers plenty of presidential history to explore. The same is true of architecture in the form of both museums and individual homes for sale (in fact, Heritage Hill has more than 1,300 homes that date from 1848). In addition, outdoor art sculptures, the Grand Rapids Art Museum, multiple performing arts venues, and a huge summer art festival all make this city a kind of haven for those who enjoy the arts. You’ll also find more traditional tourist venues like gardens, parks, and theaters that offer year-round entertainment.
An outdoor lifestyle is also easy to enjoy in Grand Rapids. City pursuits like biking and jogging are popular along the river, and if you head out just a few miles out of the center, you’ll find lake and beach activities, golf courses, mountain biking trails, and more. And because traffic is rarely a problem, it won’t take you long to get there.
Welcome to Grand Rapids!
Most people who move to Grand Rapids come for the job opportunities and low cost of living…and stay for the great quality of life. When you want to focus on family, friends, and the arts—but you want to do it in a setting that’s full of economic strength, then this is the place for you.
Welcome to your new home!