CNN Features Grand Rapids as One of America’s Best Towns to Visit in 2024

Grand Rapids, MI, has once again been recognized as a top destination, this time by CNN in their series “America’s Best Towns to Visit 2024.” Grand Rapids native Derek Van Dam, now a renowned CNN meteorologist, returned to his hometown with his seven-year-old daughter, Maya, to explore and showcase the city’s family-friendly attractions.

A Day on the Water

Derek and Maya began their adventure with a day on the water, enjoying the natural beauty of Grand Rapids’ rivers and lakes. Boating in the area provided a fun and refreshing way to experience the scenic landscapes that make this city so special.

Downtown Exploration

Their next stop was a stroll around downtown Grand Rapids. The vibrant downtown area offered a mix of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. Derek highlighted how the city’s atmosphere is perfect for families, with its safe, walkable streets and numerous attractions.

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

One of the highlights of their visit was the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. This renowned destination combines stunning gardens with an impressive collection of sculptures, providing an enriching experience for visitors of all ages. Maya particularly enjoyed the Children’s Garden, which is designed to engage young minds with interactive exhibits and activities.

Family-Friendly Breweries

No visit to Grand Rapids would be complete without experiencing its famous craft beer scene. Derek and Maya visited Founders Brewing Co., where Derek enjoyed a locally brewed beer. He noted that even the breweries in Grand Rapids are family-friendly, offering spaces and activities that cater to children, making it a welcoming spot for all visitors.

Public Art and Culture

Throughout their journey, Derek and Maya encountered numerous public art installations. Grand Rapids’ commitment to creativity and culture is evident in its public art, which adds a layer of beauty and intrigue to the city. These installations make exploring the city a unique and visually stimulating experience.

Well, How Did It Go?

Is Grand Rapids the most family-friendly town in the country? Derek Van Dam and his daughter Maya believe it just might be. With its diverse attractions, welcoming atmosphere, and commitment to culture and family, Grand Rapids stands out as a top destination for families.

For more details, check out the full CNN article and video here.