Last summer, I lived at home as I interned in Detroit due to my short commute. This summer, I moved out to the west side of the state to Grand Rapids. Living and working in the same city has taught me so much about what it’s like here.
I live very close to downtown GR with the other interns and luckily, we’ve all been interested in exploring our new city together. I quickly learned that GR has a big art scene, whether that be art displayed in one of its many museums or festivals or live music performed at its venues. I really enjoy learning more about art and music, so I’ve enjoyed the museums here.
I’ve also learned that everything here is very walkable. I drive to work because headquarters are about five miles away, but I walk everywhere else. The YMCA and library I go to are only a couple of blocks away, and downtown is about a half mile walk over the Grand River Bridge. Once I’m downtown, I have a handful of coffee shops and restaurants to choose from that are in reasonable walking distance.
I’m interested in moving to a mid-to-large sized city once I graduate, so I would definitely consider moving back to GR. I can see myself finding an apartment downtown so I can stay active in the city culture. I really enjoy not having to drive everywhere because in Metro Detroit, I pretty much have to drive everywhere. I was spoiled when I moved to Ann Arbor and learned I could walk to most places.
I think most young people would like Grand Rapids because of its mid-size and walkability. It’s also really close to Lake Michigan and multiple state parks, so unlike other cities, it’s easy to find nature. On top of that, if you are missing the big city, it’s a two-hour drive to Detroit and a three-hour drive to Chicago.