Official established in 1926, the Belknap Lookout neighborhood was named after Charles E. Belknap. As the First Commissioner of the Boy Scouts of America, Grand Rapids mayor in 1884, and a United States Congressmen in 1888, Charles Belknap was important to the city. Belknap Lookout has its own unique topography featuring a hill that overlooks the city. The hill in the neighborhood has over 400 steps shared by four staircases that allow for gorgeous views of the city. There are staircases on Division Avenue, Fairview Avenue, Fairbanks Avenue, and Newberry Avenue that will take you to the top of the hill where you can see for miles.
Built in 1880 Coit Elementary School which has since then become known as Coit Creative Arts Academy, is the oldest operating school in the state of Michigan. Around for decades, the school underwent a restoration process that allowed the building to continue functioning as a school within the Grand Rapids Public School District. One of the newer school additions to the Belknap Lookout neighborhood is the Kirkhof College of Nursing, part of Grand Valley State University.
There are a number of other parks in the Belknap Lookout neighborhood for residents to enjoy. Two of the larger parks in the neighborhood with the most amenities to offer are Belknap Park and Mary Waters Park. Just over 4-acres each, Canal Park, Coit Park, and Calder Park offer great amenities like sledding hills and playgrounds for year round enjoyment. Classified as “mini parks” with 1-acre of green space, Lookout Park and Crescent Park have outdoor picnic tables perfect for enjoying lunch outside. Lookout Park is a special and unique park that has picnic tables that overlook the city of Grand Rapids.
For a delicious meal and fun atmosphere, stop into the Grand Rapids Garage Bar & Grill. Grab a bite to eat with a burger or a sandwich and be sure to look for the wrench next to the title, those are garage specialties. Wash down your meal with a “coolant” like a craft or domestic beer, they also offer Pepsi products if you are just stopping in for lunch. For another enjoyable atmosphere, just down the street is Rocky’s Bar and Grill with tasty food, cocktails, and live music. On the weekends, their second floor becomes a dance party and the DJ plays dance tunes all night.
Just around the corner from these delicious and fun restaurants is the SpeakEZ Lounge. This restaurant theme is based on the prohibition era and serves a great array of enjoyable dishes and classy cocktails. One of the newer additions to the Belknap Lookout neighborhood is the Field & Fire Cafe. This cozy cafe offers a great selection of breakfast and lunch items as well as quick items you can get right at the counter when you order.