A.K.A. The Upper Westside
As the westernmost neighborhood of Grand Rapids, it's quite common to hear the Westside Connection neighborhood also referred to as the Upper Westside. One of the highlights of the area is Sullivan Field. Established in 1937 as Valley Field, funding from the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was used to improve the land as an athletic field. It's home to local baseball clubs, including the American Seating Company team, the Seaters. In 1996, the park was renamed: Sullivan Field in honor of longtime local amateur baseball sponsor and entrepreneur, Bob Sullivan. Today, you'll find a baseball diamond with a grandstand and restroom facilities on approximately 5-10 acres, maintained by the City of Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation Department and Friends of Grand Rapids Parks.
Another great outdoor space in Westside Connection is Covell Dog Park. Mingle with your fellow dog lovers in this dog-friendly while your canine pal gets some exercise and plays with other dogs.
For more outdoor enjoyment, stop by the Blandford Nature Center to explore nature and make sure to stop by the farm while you are there. This 246-acre nature preserve is dedicated to helping both adults and children learn by experience rather than classroom teaching. Following acquisition in 2017, the preserve now includes the former Highlands Golf Club. Part of the nature center is dedicated to nurturing animals that have been found with injuries before being released back into the wild. Animals that aren't released become participants in educational programs for those who visit the nature center.
The Best Kept Secrets of Westside Connection
For the best donuts in the Westside Connection neighborhood, stop in at Sandy’s Donuts for some delicious treats. This donut shop does more than just make a variety of donuts, they also make cakes, cookies, and cinnamon rolls. Stop in and snack on a donut or homemade cookie with a cup of coffee while you order your custom made cakes from Sandy’s Donuts.
Siciliano’s Market is a great place to find a unique blend of spirits, beer, wine, and coffee or tea. You will be amazed at their large selection of beer and wine along with their other array of quality goods to choose from. If you enjoy making your own beer or wine from home, you can find the necessary supplies at Siciliano’s Market for home brewing.
For great food and a relaxing atmosphere stop by The Walker Roadhouse on Remembrance Road. Their menu has a wide variety of food items that are sure to accommodate even the pickiest eaters of the group. They have a lunch/dinner menu with affordable prices and have created an affordable gluten-friendly menu for those who are sensitive to gluten.
Great options for children of all ages
Westside Connection is a large neighborhood with many great schools that are in the area. C.A. Frost Environmental Science Academy is an application school for Grand Rapids Public School that focuses on environmental sciences. Students are given the opportunity to use their classroom knowledge by participating in activities that are conducted outside. By participating in activities like gardening, rock and mineral studies, camping, and wildlife observation, students are able to gain first-hand experience with what they have learned in the classroom.
Academy of Design & Constriction is another application school that Grand Rapids Public Schools offer to their students. This academy is offered to students who are interested in architecture, engineering, design, and constructions. Students who are interested in these categories are given the opportunity to experience the life of design and construction by participating in construction events happening around the city. Field trips are organized through the school to teach students how to interact with professionals in their same field of study.
The Westside Connection neighborhood also offers a plethora of private schools for students to attend. Holy Spirit School, West Side Christian School, West Catholic High School, and many other great private schools all reside in the West Connection neighborhood.