One of a four part series Play, Stay, Savor & Unwind as printed in The Golf Explorer magazine, volume 1, issue 1.
By R.J. Weick
Take a look at some of the great places to play, stay, dine, and unwind in the greater Grand Rapids area in The Golf Explorer’s first golfing tour series.
Fueled by an industrious and creative momentum, Grand Rapids has become a vibrant and booming metropolis in recent years to now be considered among the top destinations in the country. With recent accolades by The New York Times as one of the “52 Places to Go in 2016,” and as the #1 U.S. Travel Destination in 2014, Grand Rapids provides visitors with a robust social, cultural, and recreational experience
The metropolitan area has been recognized as a destination for the arts, wine, food, festivals, golf, and of course, craft beer; which has led to its nickname as Beer City U.S.A. There are more than 28 public golf courses within close proximity of the iconic downtown skyline.
It is also home to Gerald R. Ford International Airport, which is the second largest airport in the state offering 120 nonstop flights to nearly 23 major market destinations. The award-winning airport is conveniently located less than 15 miles of downtown Grand Rapids and has also been recognized by the Airports Council International-North America for its environmental stewardship and for providing first-class travel experience.
From runway to fairway, Grand Rapids offers a myriad of possibilities for the avid golfer and enthusiast alike during their stay. Whether planning a visit for leisure or business, Grand Rapids is a great destination for golfing and exploring the sights. The following are just a few notable selections of places to dine:
The Knickerbocker Brewpub & Distillery, New Holland Brewing Co.
417 Bridge St. N.W., Grand Rapids
Initially established in 1997 in Holland, New Holland Brewing Co. has expanded from its roots to the downtown Grand Rapids West Side neighborhood with its recently completely Knickerbocker Brewpub & Distillery.
The nearly 40,000-square-foot restaurant, brewpub, and distillery not only offers indoor dining, an outdoor bar, and beer garden, but also a retail store, private rental space, and onsite distilling and brewing capabilities.
New Holland Brewing Co. is known for its creative and diverse collection of craft beer, artisanal spirits, and food inspired by rustic traditions from locally sourced ingredients.
Founders Brewing Co.
235 Grandville Ave. S.W., Grand Rapids
A recognizable force in the craft brewing industry, Founders Brewing Co. creates award-winning complex beers full of flavor and aromatics. When Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers launched the company in 1997, they pushed the envelope for taste and style after deciding to pursue the “renegades and rebels” who would appreciate a different kind of beer.
Nearly a decade later, Founders Brewing Co. has won more than 13 medals across eight different beers, including six World Beer Cup medals, four European Beer Star medals, and three Great American Beer Festival medals. Located in a former trucking depot, the German beer hall-inspired taproom is complete with handcrafted deli menu influenced by the very beer brewed, a patio, beer garden, and store.
Year-round staples, such as the All Day IPA, Dirty Bastard, and Rubaeus; specialty brews, such as the Imperial Stout and Breakfast Stout; and the seasonal, nitro draft, and limited series can be found on tap at this iconic Grand Rapids-based brewery.
Other notable Savors
25 Ionia Ave. S.W., Grand Rapids
Gray Skies Distillery (Eastern Kille)
700 Ottawa Ave. N.W., Grand Rapids
Vander Mill Grand Rapids
505 Ball Ave. N.E., Grand Rapids
Ferris Coffee & Nut Co.
227 Winter Ave. N.W., Grand Rapids
Ruth’s Chris Steak House
187 Monroe Ave. N.W., Grand Rapids
60 Ottawa Ave. N.W., Grand Rapids
Marie Catrib’s of Grand Rapids
1001 Lake Drive S.E., Grand Rapids
San Chez A Tapas Bistro & Café
38 Fulton St. W., Grand Rapids
Reserve Wine & Food
201 Monroe Ave. N.W, Grand Rapids
Bistro Bella Vita
44 Grandville Ave. S.W., Grand Rapids
Maru Sushi & Grill
927 Cherry St. S.E., Grand Rapids