1. FAMILY & FRIENDS
Jeff grew up in the Grand Rapids area and my family is from the Kalamazoo area - about an hour from here. We have a really great group of family and friends in this location so we don't have to travel far to hang with the people we love.
2. OUR JOBS
We both have good jobs in the city with good pay, flexible hours, doing fulfilling work. Furthermore, if one of us lost our jobs tomorrow, we know that in Grand Rapids it wouldn't take us long to find our next endeavor.
3. GR is GROWING
GR is growing by the day. Every week there's another announcement about a new hotel going up here or a park getting renovated there. New store fronts are opening and chains are moving in, which to me isn't a bad thing... it means our local economy is appealing enough that larger companies want a piece of our pie. We love the thought of being here early on and watching the city grow around us.
4. ACCESS to OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES
We are outdoor people. We love camping, kayaking, and biking. The Grand Rapids area is littered with bike trails, parks, and we can reach a number of campsites and rivers within a few hours drive.
5. LOW COST, HIGH STANDARD of LIVING
The cost of living in Grand Rapids is lower than the national average. Plain and simple, here we can live better.
6. BEER, FOOD, & ENTERTAINMENT
For two years running Grand Rapids has been voted Beer City USA as is home to a large number of microbreweries. There's an emerging food culture here with growing advocacy for local and organically produced items. GR is also home to a minor league baseball team and hockey team, multiple venues that bring in top level headliners for concerts and shows, and things like ArtPrize and Laughfest.
7. THE SIZE & FEEL of the COMMUNITY
Jeff and I both grew up in smaller communities and while GR is a mid sized city, the community here still resembles that of our up bringing. In GR you can't walk more than a few blocks without running into someone you know. Here, you know who the mayor is and you probably also have his email address. Plus, people from the midwest are usually pretty nice and well mannered.
8. IT'S CLEAN
The streets and sidewalks are clean and the air is fresh. The city employs an excellent crew that takes very good care of our shared spaces.
9. THE WEATHER
In GR you get the full cycle: Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring. We love camping in the summer, tailgating in the fall, sledding in the winter, and welcoming back the tulips and birds in the spring.
10. LAKE MICHIGAN
Grand Rapids is a 25 minute drive from the Michigan lakeshore, a place worth visiting both during the summer and in the winter. In the summer the beaches are clean, beautiful, and are easy to access while in the winter they become picturesque natural ice sculptures.