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Happy '616 Day,' West Michigan!

grand rapids.jpg
Posted at 3:33 PM, Jun 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-16 15:45:39-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — June 16 means a celebration for the greater Grand Rapids area, which uses the area code “616.”

Here are some fun facts about the greater Grand Rapids area:


  • La Grande Vitesse is the first public artwork funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
  • Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is one of the world’s 100 most-visited art museums.
Meijer Gardens conservatory.JPG

  • ArtPrize is the world’s richest, most radically open art competition.
  • Newsweek Magazine named the Grand Rapids Art Museum one of the six best buildings of 2007.


  • Stella’s Lounge serves America’s Best Burger (GQ Magazine, 2012).
  • However, USA Today says the Cottage Burger at Cottage Bar is Michigan’s best.
  • MadCap Coffee brews up America’s Best Tea (GQ Magazine, 2012).
  • The Cornmeal Financier Cake at Grove is one of America’s “101 most crazy-awesome new desserts” (New York Magazine, 2012).
  • Founders Brewing Company is the World’s 2nd Best Brewery (, 2012).
Founders Brewing Company

  • HopCat is the 3rd Best Beer Bar on the Planet (Beer Advocate, 2012).


  • 28 public golf courses, within 15 minutes of downtown, make Grand Rapids one of the top cities for per-capita public golf courses.
  • The Fifth Third Riverbank Run is America’s largest 25K road race, with more than 21,000 participants from around the globe.
  • Grand Rapids is a “Bicycle-Friendly Community” (League of American Bicyclists, 2009) and the “Best Town for Mountain Biking” (Outside Magazine, 2010).
  • You’re never more than a few miles from a body of water in Grand Rapids – one reason why we’re America’s 6th Best Fishing City (Field & Stream Magazine, 2006).


  • Ottawa Indians were Grand Rapids’ first inhabitants.
  • French fur traders settled the city in 1826.
  • The city’s name comes from the Grand River, Michigan’s largest inland river.
  • Gerald R. Ford, a native son, became the 38th President of the United States on August 9, 1974.
Gerald R. Ford statue unveiled at GFIA

  • Grand Rapids is home to two Frank Lloyd Wright designs – the privately-owned Amberg House and the Meyer May House, which is open to the public three days a week.


  • Grand Rapids is Michigan’s second-largest city, with a metro-area population of 1.4 million people.
  • The Gerald R. Ford International Airport is the second-largest airport in Michigan and the 86th largest airport nationally, serving more than 2 million passengers, annually.
Gerald R. Ford International Airport

  • Grand Rapids is home to many national and multi-national headquarters, including Steelcase, Herman Miller, Haworth, Alticor (formerly Amway), Wolverine World Wide, Meijer and Zondervan.
  • Grand Rapids was the first city in the United States to add fluoride to its drinking water, way back in 1945.
  • Michigan is second only to California in agricultural diversity, and West Michigan produces 85% of all crops harvested in Michigan. That economic impact is more than $2 billion.
  • Michigan is America’s third-largest apple producer, and Kent County produces more than any other county in Michigan.

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