As we approach Thanksgiving, I thought it would be nice to look at some of the reasons to be thankful to live in a place as amazing as West Michigan. Below is the list that I came up with. Why are YOU thankful to live in West Michigan?

  • 1

    There's Beauty Everywhere You Look

    West Michigan is home to a plethora of beauty. From downtown Grand Rapids' awesome skyline, to the beaches along the Lakeshore, West Michigan is a tourist destination for a reason. Holland even made Forbes' list of America's Prettiest Town!

    Flickr, Fellowship Of The Rich
  • 2


    While ArtPrize has its moments where you want to yell "walk faster" or "use a crosswalk", it's generally a huge positive for the community. ArtPrize brings artists and art lovers from all over the world to Grand Rapids to check out all of the art, vote, and spend money in our local businesses. Plus, it's pretty cool to see what artists are going to come up with year after year.

  • 3

    Awesome Concert Venues

    If you want to see live music, West Michigan is the place to live! From smaller venues like The Pyramid Scheme, to mid-sized venues like The Intersection, The Orbit Room, and Frederik Meijer Gardens, to HUGE venues like the DeltaPlex and Van Andel arena. We bring in a diverse group of performers, too. Rock bands, pop stars, even our old favorites make their way through Grand Rapids at one point or another.

    flickr, emjstout
  • 4


  • 5

    The Community's Giving Spirit

    West Michigan is full of people who truly care for others and for the community as a whole. The folks here in West Michigan aren't afraid to help others be it with money, time, or service. Whether it's giving to one of the many places that provide services to the homeless, participating in a run or walk, filling sand bags during the flood in the Spring of 2013, or just helping our your neighbor, the people of West Michigan know how to give and give freely.

    flickr, Leonard John Matthews
  • 6

    We're Champions!

    Grand Rapids is home to the 2013 Calder Cup Champion Grand Rapids Griffins!

    We're also home to The West Michigan Whitecaps, and several college teams.

  • 7

    You Get To Experience All Of The Seasons

    Sometimes all in the same day! But seriously, it's nice to live in a place where there truly are four seasons. Sure, some of us wish that the winter would be a little shorter and the summer a little longer. But, it's nice to see the flowers pop up in the spring, bask in the sun in the summer, watch the leaves change color in the fall, and sit by a fire while snow quietly falls outside in the winter.

    flickr, victoriafree
  • 8

    So. Much. Good. Food.

    Seriously, there are a plethora of restaurants around West Michigan, full of amazing food. Heck, we even have an entire week (Restaurant Week GR) to celebrate eating out and show off our awesome eateries. (Not to mention a competition completely dedicated to sandwiches - GRandwich.)

  • 9

    Everything In This Pure Michigan Ad

    West Michigan got its own Pure Michigan ad this year as part of the state's tourism campaign. Every single thing that's featured in the video is something great about our area. Tim Allen even gave us a pretty good slogan, "Where every day is a work of art, and the inspiration is Pure Michigan."

  • 10

    Beer. Enough Said.

    Grand Rapids IS Beer City, USA and there's no question as to why when you look at Founder's, Grand Rapids Brewing, Harmony, The Mitten, Perrin Brewing, and all of the other breweries that have popped up in recent years. There are a ton of breweries in West Michigan outside of Grand Rapids, too. White Flame, New Holland, Bell's, Rockford Brewing, and a ton of other breweries make West Michigan a mecca for beer lovers everywhere.