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Heartside - Downtown

Downtown Grand Rapids

If a city could have a soul it would be the Heartside neighborhood of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Located in the middle of it all, Heartside includes the bustling downtown scene of Grand Rapids. This area offers so many great things to see and do that narrowing down the choices can be difficult. Although Heartside is home to downtown Grand Rapids, there is still plenty of green space to enjoy within the city limits.

With five areas designated to preserving some green space in the city, there are many opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. Perkins Park and Monument Park are the two smallest parks in the downtown area but still offer outdoor enjoyment. Rosa Parks Circle is a great outdoor gathering place when having lunch during the week or for enjoying an evening walk around the city. In the winter, Rosa Parks Circle is turned into an ice skating rink for all ages to enjoy. Veteran’s Memorial Park was founded in 1926 when the Grand Rapids Council of American Legion funded the construction of memorial pillars dedicated to World War 2 veterans. As of 1975, the memorial park also has pillars that were constructed to honor those who fought in the Korean War. The largest park in the neighborhood is the three-acre area known as Heartside Park which is home to a splash pad, picnic tables, grills, and other great amenities.

One of the best and most popular events held in the Heartside community is the annual Art Prize. This popular event features art pieces from all over the world and brings visitors from many places. Artists have the opportunity to display their masterpieces in various locations throughout the city for everyone to admire. In addition to the ability admire these art pieces, you are able to vote on your favorite artwork. Some of the pieces that are on display can also be purchased on the art prize website for you to take home.

The Grand Rapids Ballet is located in the Heartside neighborhood and puts on several productions a year. In addition to the productions that are put on throughout the year, there are dance classes provided for all ages. With over 43 years of experience, the Grand Rapids Ballet comes highly recommended and puts on great productions throughout the year.

Although Heartside is not part of the Medical Mile in Grand Rapids, there are two medical facilities in the neighborhood. Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Center and Mercy Health Saint Mary’s Campus are both located in the Heartside neighborhood. Mary Free Bed is dedicated to helping other through their rehabilitation needs and Mercy Health is a patient focused organization. Both of these hospitals come highly recommended by the patients they have helped.

There are also several options for colleges or universities in the Heartside neighborhood. Colleges like Grand Rapids Community College and Kendall College bring a diverse group of students to the area for both livings and studying. In addition, Davenport University is located in the Heartside along with many satellite facilities from colleges all over Michigan.


What's For Dinner?

With so many great restaurant options in Heartside, choosing just one for dinner can seem like a daunting task. One of the most popular places to dine downtown is HopCat with a menu that is unique, delicious, and accompanied by a huge selection of beer. HopCat has nicknamed their restaurant as “The Craft Beer Mecca,” with their large selection of draft and bottled beer, there are so many options they have their own menu dedicated to their beer selection. Be sure to get an order of Crack Fries before you leave! Stella’s Lounge located a quick walk away from HopCat has over 250 whiskey choices to savor while enjoying one of their award winning burgers. Voted Best in America by GQ in 2012, their giant burgers will leave you feeling full. For some after dinner fun, check out their vintage arcade full of games from the past.

A few doors down from HopCat on Ionia Avenue, stop by the Grand Rapids Brewing Company for craft beer and a unique menu. With unique food options like a PB & J Burger and  Brewhouse Mac & Cheese, there are plenty of great meals to try. Known as Beer City USA, there are more options for craft beer in the Heartside neighborhood at Founder’s Brewery Company. Established in 1997, Founder’s brews their own craft beer from their warehouse and serves food to accompany their variety of beer flavors.


Visit the best places

Full of great restaurants and breweries, Heartside has other great amenities to offer for the residents of the neighborhood. These amenities are not just fun for the residents but also bring people from all over Grand Rapids and the state of Michigan to enjoy. Heartside has a number of great museums to visit while walking around the downtown neighborhood. The Grand Rapids Public Museum is fun for all ages and is a great way to learn about the history of the city of Grand Rapids. This museum takes visitors on a trip down memory lane and has an exhibit dedicated to the area when it was known as The Furniture City. The next stop on the list should be a trip to the Grand Rapid Children’s Museum which is dedicated to the learning of children. Children are sure to fall in love with this museum which was built to engage the mind of children from all ages. With fun activities and games to play throughout the museum, there is no doubt that even the adults might have a little fun.

Home to the Grand Rapids Griffins, the Van Andel Arena is more than just a hockey rink. Van Andel Arena host numerous events every year like concerts, graduation events, season events, and so many other fun events. After the event is done, stop by one of the many restaurants or breweries within walking distance.