Grand Rapids named one of New York Times' '52 Places to Visit in 2016' (but no, not Detroit)


  • Courtesy of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

Increasingly, Detroit has found itself as the star of travel and trend pieces by publications like The New York Times and the Washington Post.

That's we were a bit surprised to see NYT drop the Motor City comeback story in a recent listicle about the 52 places worldwide worth visiting this year. Instead, the Gray Lady has chosen our neighbor to the west, Grand Rapids — ranking it No. 20 on a list that includes global destinations like Barcelona, Abu Dhabi, and St. Louis

This is what they said about what Grand Rapids has to offer:

The early 20th-century furniture companies Herman Miller and Steelcase established a creative community in central Michigan’s Grand Rapids, one now flourishing thanks to a confluence of urban revival and arts funding. The 138,000-square-foot food hall Grand Rapids Downtown Market, built using repurposed materials from the dilapidated buildings it replaced, earned LEED-gold certification in 2014, and enticed a branch of Detroit-famed Slows Bar-B-Q to open last summer alongside bakers and other food-focused start-ups. For three weeks each fall, the city’s contemporary art competition ArtPrize attracts more than 1,500 works and awards $500,000 in prizes. Artists from Auguste Rodin to Ai Weiwei stake the 158-acre Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, which recently added a Japanese garden with works by Anish Kapoor and Jenny Holzer. Don’t leave thirsty; over 40 craft breweries line the city’s ale trail.

Well, here's all we'll say about that: We agree about the beer. ArtPrize might be overrated. And we find it amusing that NYT still can't stop gushing about Slows Bar-B-Q.