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Old 09-03-2012, 10:02 PM
 
301 posts, read 714,961 times
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My girlfriend is coming to visit me mid september through first of October, and I'm trying to figure out what to do with her here. I have about 8 days with her in Michigan. A few days before, we will be in NYC, and a few days after, we will be in Chicago.

I have NYC and Chicago planned out but I'm trying to figure out about Michigan. I'll be working on the days that she is in Michigan, so besides the weekend, we have the evenings to spend together. I know a couple days in the AM, I will drop her off at the mall: river crossing and woodland mall. I'll probably take her to the movies. I have some restaurants in mind I want to take her. I know there is the frederick meijers garden. But besides that, what else is a good touristy place for her? This is her first U.S experience by the way.

Is there any experiencein michigan that is unique? I thougth about taking her to downtown,but we are not really bar hoppers. I dont know if it makes sense to just walk around downtown without any destinations.

Are there any upcoming live musicals or shows coming up? Are there any areas that has stuff going on at night?

I've been in grand rapids for only a year and I haven't explored as much as I should have, so I just want to get some of your thoughts.
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Old 09-04-2012, 05:30 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
82 posts, read 112,944 times
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ArtPrize - An open art contest based in Grand Rapids Michigan, the world's largest Art Prize.
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Old 09-04-2012, 05:51 AM
 
Location: Midwest transplant
2,046 posts, read 5,157,119 times
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Frederick Meijer Gardens is worth the trip. Get the Grand Rapids tour book (free from the visitors and convention bureau)
and let her pick out some items. Maybe Lake Michigan/Holland or Saugatauck for the Dune Buggy Rides or just to stick your feet in the water. Holland has a cute village area. Downtown Grand Rapids would be fine for a walk~there are tons of great restaurants near the Van Atta center. Lake Rose has a great trail that runs around it, always full of people walking and biking. President Ford Museum is interesting if you are forced indoors. John Ball Park Zoo...

Art Prize if it's going on while she's here.
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:18 AM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
8,225 posts, read 16,828,129 times
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Downtown has the, Ford museum, art museum and the public museum, which are probably worth a look, and the area has a lot of interesting architecture. You could also do a walking tour of nearby Heritage Hill:

Heritage Hill Neighborhood Association, Grand Rapids, Michigan

I think you're a little too early for apple season, but Robinette's might have other things going on if you're into rural/farm tourism.

Some time spent at a Meijer's will give her the US big box store experience, though it's not a whole day thing.
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Old 09-05-2012, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids
235 posts, read 460,201 times
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The Mexican festival is in downtown GR Sep 14th through 16th....also Eastown Street fair on the 16th with live music.

Last edited by notdeconcentrate; 09-05-2012 at 05:34 PM..
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:02 PM
 
56 posts, read 85,639 times
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ArtPrize was mentioned - it falls on Sept 19th - Oct 7th, so it's definitely going to overlap with the bulk of your trip. She actually couldn't have planned to come here at a better time, because venues like GRAM or UICA or Meijer Gardens will be all the more lively while she's here. You could plan several afternoons/evenings covering different venues. You may want to consider dropping her off downtown in the AM and letting her get lost there as opposed to the malls... I mean, in between the shopping in NYC and Chicago, I can't see how the malls would impress her.

There's a 21-mile long bike trail from Holland State Park to Grand Haven. If Lake Michigan is too cold, I'd suggest going for a ride along the shore. There's bike trails all around Kent County too.
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Old 09-06-2012, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
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ArtPrize for sure. You could go visit venues every night she's here and not see it all. Lots of other activities during ArtPrize as well.
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:36 PM
 
301 posts, read 714,961 times
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll definitly check out artprize. I'm trying to figure a couple things out though. if you guys can provide suggestions:

She wants to visit a university. I've never been to University of Michigan, but is that a good place to visit, to get that college campus style vibe? good place to take pictures? I believe there is also an 'olde town' nearby?

She wants to go picnic. My first thought would be to take her to the beach and have a picnic there and watch the sunset, include a stroll Is that even possible? I did drive to Grand Haven once. Will that work? If not, is there a park nearby?

Last edited by semidevil; 09-06-2012 at 07:49 PM..
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:58 PM
 
56 posts, read 85,639 times
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Well then I'm going to put in a plug for my alma mater - you're going to Chicago, right? Why not head up to Evanston and visit Northwestern? It's a Big Ten school, it's got ivy-covered buildings, and it borders Lake Michigan. You will not find a more picturesque campus. Downtown Evanston is right there too, and it's actually pretty substantial.

U of M and Ann Arbor are nice too, but two hours away. Northwestern is about 30 minutes from the Chicago Loop if you take Lake Shore Drive.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Midwest transplant
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Big university~head over to East Lansing! It's only an hour away. Have ice cream in the dairy store on campus, rent/ride bikes along the Red Cedar River, visit the state capitol building, check out Old Town.
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