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10 Things Eastsiders Should Know Before Moving to West Michigan

Are you from the east side of the state and planning on moving to West Michigan? Or maybe you know someone who’s going to make the move? I’m from the metro-Detroit area, and have lived there for most of my life, but I’ve been living in West Michigan for over 4 years now and just cuz we’re all from the same state doesn’t mean there aren’t differences. Differences to be aware of.

Here are 10 things every East-Sider should know before becoming a Westsider:

A glass of beer against the background of old buildings

There are Just as Many Breweries as there are Churches


It’s no doubt that the people in West Michigan love their faith but they also love their beer. A typical Sunday can be spent celebrating the Lord by going to an early mass and continuing that celebration at Founder’s.

In fact, Brewery Vivant, in Grand Rapids, is an old chapel for a funeral home that was converted to a brewery. Sunday Funday anyone?


Hunting is HUGE in W. MI


On the East side, we get Martin Luther King Jr. Day off of school. On the west side, you get Opening Day off.

Woman whispering to husband
Image Source Pink/ThinkStock

The Accents are Different


And if you stay long enough, you’ll eventually pick it up.

You wouldn’t think that the accents would be that much of a difference but on the east side, people have more of the “Chicago accent” while the further west (and north) you go, it starts to sound more like a Yooper accent.

An example would be the word ‘bag.’ As a Detroiter, I say “BAA-G” with a short A, the way it looks is the way it sounds. While a person from West Michigan pronounces it to where it sounds like “baeg” almost like “beg.”

Don’t worry though, we all still say POP!

Bearded man in a black hat holding a old ax

There are 2 Types of Guys to Choose From:


Hipsters and rednecks.

You’ll get more of one type depending on where you live but regardless, they both love drinking beer! You just have to decide whether you prefer craft beer or cheap beer.

Maybe you’ll get lucky and find yourself a lumbersexual.

Favorite team has won the championship

Bring Your Sports Pride!


Detroit isn’t the only city that goes hard for their teams. People in West Michigan LOVE Detroit sports but they also rep their local teams.

The Grand Rapids Griffins and West Michigan Whitecaps bring so much hype to the west side so bring yours too!

Tired girl in shopping centre

The Shopping Isn’t as Good


Unfortunately, it’s true. The bigger cities do have the best shopping.

Of course there are malls and stores you can go to but if you’re into fashion and looking for a variety your best bet is to wait for when you go back to the Eastside to visit, or just do your shopping online.

But if you plan on calling West Michigan your home, the Grand Rapids area is where you’re going to get the better options.

Lake Michigan in Ludington [Christine George/TSM]
Lake Michigan in Ludington [Christine George/TSM]

Get Ready to Fall in Love with Nature


The shopping may not be as good in West Michigan, but the nature is WAY better!

You may have grown up on a lake but nothing compares to living near Lake Michigan. You’re going to find some of the most beautiful places, drives and beaches on this side of the state.

If you didn’t appreciate nature before, trust me, you will once you move to the West side.

Businessman driving angry in car

People Don’t Drive as Aggressively as You Do


The driving differences are one of the first things you’re going to notice.

It could be because there are more people on the roads to look out for in Detroit, but you can ease up on the aggression in West Michigan.

Something to remember is that you’re not driving on Southfield Freeway anymore; nobody is going 75 in a 55. The majority of drivers here aren’t in a big rush like they are in major cities so it’s okay to slow it down a bit. It might actually be good for the road rage.

Feet on a bathroom scale - Isolated
Amy Walters/ThinkStock

Expect to Gain Weight


Between all of the amazing food and beer options, it’s bound to happen.

Don’t say I didn’t warn ya.

man with a snow blowing machine working in winter day
SergeyIT, ThinkStock

It Snows WAY More on the Westside!


If you thought you’ve seen a lot of snow, you haven’t lived on the Westside yet.

Obviously Michigan is known for its crazy weather and brutal winters but on the Westside there’s something called ‘Lake-Effect Snow’ which causes more snow and makes the winters way worse.

And yes, your boss is still going to make you drive into work even if its a blizzard outside.


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