Michigan is one of the best snowmobile destinations–for lots of reasons! The key one, of course is the snow. With an average of more than 70 inches of snow falling each winter, there’s plenty for great trails. The winter weather in Grand Rapids is easy to take too, with the average winter daily temperature hovering around 30 degrees, and the nights only dropping to 16 degrees.
Grand Rapids, long known as the best manufacturers of fine furniture, owes its reputation to the same dense pine forests that make it a number one snowmobile destination. With hundreds of miles of groomed trails through snow-packed forests, who needs anything more?
Snowmobile Trip Planner to Grand Rapids
Visit the Grand Rapids/Kent County Convention & Visitors Bureau
at http://www.visitgrandrapids.org or call toll-free 800-678-9859.
- Snowmobile Grand Rapids (trail information) — http://travel.michigan.org/outdoors/?city=G3095&m=4;10
PLACES TO STAY
- Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, online at http://www.amwaygrand.com/
- Crowne Plaza, online at http://www.crowneplaza.com/grr-airport/
- Hilton Grand Rapids airport online at http://www.hilton.com/en/hi/hotels/index.jhtml?ctyhocn=GRRHIHF
- Hotel listings for Grand Rapids and area online at http://grand.rapids.hotelguide.net/
DINING & ENTERTAINMENT TOP CHOICES
- The B.O.B. (Judson’s Steakhouse, Gill’s Fish House, The Monkey Bar and Dr. Grins)
Don’t miss this spot for a unique atmosphere and architecture, incredible food, and evening entertainment. Online at http://www.thebob.com/ At 20 Monroe Avenue NW in Grand Rapids entertainment district or call 616-356-2000. I rate this nightspot number one!
- Bar Divani is unbeatable for sampling around-the-world wines, beers, and liquers. Their hors’doeuvres are excellent too. Online at http://www.bardivani.com/ At 15 Ionia Avenue SW in the heart of Grand Rapids entertainment district or call 616-774-9463. I give this an atmosphere rating of over the top!
- The Sierra Room is one of the best fine dining rooms in the state — get online reviews at http://travel.yahoo.com/p-travelguide-2988207-sierra_room_the_grand_rapids-i It’s downtown in the heart of the entertainment district at 25 Ionia Avenue SW, or call 616-459-1764. The staff and service here are absolutley tops!
- Robinette’s Apple Haus & Gift Barn is not only a great spot to eat, but also a treasure trove of gifts to browse. Visit online at http://www.robinettes.com/ or 3142 Four Mile Road NE in Grand Rapids. Call 800-400-8100.
- San Chez, A Tapas Bistro offers a unique menu and delicious food. Visit online at http://www.sanchezbistro.com/ or 38 West Fulton Street, Grand Rapids. Call 616-774-8272
This one is well worth a visit.
Don’t miss this menu for some great new tastes.
AROUND THE CITY
Grand Rapids is not only a great destination for the snowmobiler, it’s also a great destination for the rest of the family to explore during the day or after the trails. Come in out of the cold and visit the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park — see the largest tropical conservatory in Michican, the desert section, or even the carnivorous plant area! I give this one a must-see on your visit, no matter what time of year it is. Visit online at http://www.meijergardens.org/ with visitor information at http://www.meijergardens.org/generalinfo.htm Don’t miss the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden, which has recently been added.
Spend a few hours driving through the historical Heritage Hill District and see the 40-Block National Register of Historic Places district. It was one of the high points of my trip. Visit online at: http://www.heritagehillweb.org/
The Public Museum of Grand Rapids provides a great perspective of the history of the area, with a variety of exhibits from Anishinabek to Furniture City. Visit online at http://www.grmuseum.org/ or 272 Pearl Street NW in Grand Rapids.
The kids will love the Grand Rapid’s Children’s Museum at 22 Sheldon AVenue NE. Visit it online at http://www.grcm.org/ or call 616-235-4726.
Snowmobile Grand Rapids!
First published in SnowRider Online Magazine in 2003. Photo and article by Linda Aksomitis.