Michigan House, the greatest curated experience of the most beautiful city in Michigan.
Grand Rapids is my home. It is where I was born and raised. I left in December of 2009, just after the inaugural Artprize event that has been a part of the revolutionary change in the city over the last decade.
After 6 years away from Grand Rapids I was elated at the opportunity to return, and to experience the new and wonderful things my city has to offer.
Michigan House is a popup run by several amazing people who call Grand Rapids their home. It's the partnership of Jamie, Ted and Peter (More on this trio later on the Daily Fashion Project). They made this experience possible by bringing together a group of amazing bloggers (see more about them at the bottom of the post), and now I want to share some must-do-see-experience places in Grand Rapids
But first,CATfootwear was a gracious sponsor of the Michigan House experience. They donned our feet and kept us walking from dawn to dusk to the wee hours of the morning. With an amazing selection of casual footwear you can't just think of CATfootwear as utility anymore.
J.W. Marriott in downtown Grand Rapids.
Smack dab in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids and high enough up to get the best views of the river and the city scape. My absolute favorite view is right where highways 96 and i96 meet, crossing US 131 north of the city, but you can't just stare like you can at the top of the Marriott.
I had heard about Donkey from a friend. It was a year ago when my wife and I tried to find it but failed, but it was dark and snowy and I was done driving.
This time around I had the great pleasure of enjoying a lovely Mexican Brunch. The wet burrito was fantastic and the color of the sauce matched my gold sharpie. To me, that was a great sign of the deliciousness to come.
Rowster is one of the top tier coffee house's in Grand Rapids. It's not located in the downtown area but I would be angry if that stopped you from sampling the coffee. Just jaunt down Wealthy St. and in a snap you're there.
The pairing of a fine menswear illustration with the stylish cortado and the sumptuous latte is the best justice I could do in a photo. I'll be back, and I can't wait till I am.
Farmhaus Cider Co., Hudsonville MI.
Less than a year old when we visited and already at capacity. The Farmhaus Cider Co. is located on land that has been in the family for 150 years. Recently purchased by one of the family members Farmhaus is hitting on the cider craze that seems to be taking the country.
They're poised to expand operations to meet the fast growing demand.
Down Town Market, Grand Rapids
I've only heard great things about the Down Town Market in Grand Rapids. It didn't exist 6 years ago when I left the city and those of my friends who have seen it come are glad that it did. We ventured up to the event space atop the Market for a small, private cocktail party.
Other than eating at Slow's barbecue the day I arrived I didn't get to see much of the market. Based on my experience in the event space and all of the recommendations I would say stopping at the Market is a must.
Artprize winner 2014
The entire reason for Michigan House bringing out the bloggers to experience Grand Rapids is the major success of ArtPrize. This was the seventh season of ArtPrize in Grand Rapids- the innovative social experience for artists and the public with the largest art prize in the world (couple hundred grand isn't bad).
The cube was the big winner of the 2014 ArtPrize and we got to enjoy a private viewing over champagne.
Wandering Cherry Hill with The Midwestival and New Darlings
The Cakabakery is part owned by one of the Michigan House founders and was a great place for a midday, sugary snack. This is another great reason to go strolling down Wealthy St. The atmosphere was inviting, the front of the building was a windmill and the cupcakes superb.
While at Cakabakery, Chad and Kirby of Direct Trade Coffee Club gave us all a wonderful new coffee experience. Along with a Kitchen Aid representative and the latest gadgets for brewing the best coffee possible we sipped caffeine to our hearts' delight. Some of the new experiences included the new siphon machine, improved french press designs and the innovative cold brew Nitro coffee.
Madcap Coffee downtown Grand Rapids
We didn't make a group visit to Madcap but I would be remiss to not mention this Grand Rapids must-drink establishment. One of the veterans of Grand Rapids coffee brewing, Madcap's simple aesthetic is complemented with a sophisticated brew.
Cheeky Strut Grand Rapids
With Unicorns and Mermaids dancing about, the stylists at Cheeky Strut range in skill from the apprentice to the master, with levels of expertise in between. This magical studio is home to skilled beauticians and the the novices they are training for greatness.
Le Bon Macaron Grand Rapids
Macaroon or Macaron, I'm still not completely clear on the difference but what I do know is that the Macaron's at Le Bon Macaron are true expressions of joy and ecstasy. I had lavender and chocolate and caramel and I had to stop or I would have died of a wonderful sugar overdose.
Grand Rapids is 'Brew Town USA' and Founders Brewing Co. is the leader of the pack. I recommend the breakfast stout when you go and visit the Founders Pub. Expansion after expansion, Founders has continued to craft the best brews in the city known for brewing.
Our first morning out in the city we visited Hunt and Gather. A breakfast of Greek Yogurt or Chia Seed Pudding with an assortment of fruits and donuts was awaiting us.
The space is shared with a local painter and has a wonderful creative vibe. As you walk the space you can't help but notice the different vignettes showcasing the assortment of antiques and furniture. Below you can see the vignette created by myself, Shawn and Annie.
When you are in West Michigan it is regretful if you cannot make it out to one of the many State Parks along Lake Michigan. This journey out, several of us stopped in Saugatuck to do just that.