Once known as America’s Furniture Capitol and the hometown of 38th U.S. President Gerald R. Ford, Grand Rapids is home to a thriving, diverse downtown with something for everyone. If you want to further explore Grand Rapids history and culture, 4 museums are within a 10-minute walk of each other downtown. As Beer City USA, Grand Rapids is home to 15 breweries, with 3 breweries located right downtown. Grand Rapids also hosts the annual ArtPrize® competition, the world’s richest, most radically open art competition. The Avenue for the Arts, a community within Grand Rapids focused on diversity, expression, and improvement of the city, celebrates creativity year-round. The symbol of Grand Rapids, La Grande Vitesse “the grand swiftness,” is located in Calder Plaza, a sculpture designed to represent the Grand River.


The Arena District is a non-profit organization that promotes community, sustainability, and diversity. Our collaboration creates awareness and support for the collective growth of unique and distinctive independent restaurants, entertainment, and cultural venues, located in downtown Grand Rapids; the hub of the second largest city in Michigan. Come ‘Explore, Experience & Enjoy’ our exceptional urban flavor and flair!


  • Promote Grand Rapids as the destination of choice for dining, nightlife, and live music
  • Assist with and support collective growth and sustainability initiatives
  • Champion common business interests and improved business conditions for all downtown establishments
  • Enhance the Downtown Grand Rapids experience through a variety of efforts including the organization and promotion of annual events as a collaboration between our members
  • Production and distribution of ‘Tastes Grand Guide”, a directory of downtown independent bars and restaurants, which provides information about downtown venues to residents of and visitors to the greater Grand Rapids area
  • Partner with the Downtown Alliance, Grand Rapids CVB ‘Experience GR’, Downtown Merchants Council, and other civic organization to lobby for a change in relevant policies, procedures, and political agendas to improve access to the downtown area
  • Provide support to various civic groups including the Heartside Business Association, and the Kent County Lodging Association
  • Set an example for other communities to follow by displaying the benefits of collaborative promotion and community
  • Make all member venues are welcoming to all that visit downtown
  • Support our sponsors, giving targeted exposure to our member base


  • Night Parking Pass
  • Hotel/Medical Mile Shuttle; East Hills/Eastown/East Grand Rapids Shuttle
  • Arena South Development
  • Ionia Sidewalk Extensions (Summer 2014)
  • Restore the Rapids
  • Heartside Gleaning
Experience Grand Rapids Experience Grand Rapids Experience Grand Rapids Experience Grand Rapids