Every community has its own vocabulary -- the names and places that make it feel like home. Here's an insider's look at the history, culture, and special character of a place called West Michigan. By the time you're done reading, you should be able to find us on The Mitten, name some of our beautiful beaches and local celebrities, describe the function of the Fish Ladder, and identify why dentists have a special place in their hearts for Grand Rapids. For extra credit: what world-famous architect designed our downtown amphitheatre?
Chris Van Allsburg, the world-renowned author of literary and cinematic blockbusters like The Polar Express and Jumanji, grew up in East Grand Rapids.
His street looked like the street on the cover of The Polar Express and a film
crew actually shot footage of that street for the film.
Until 1985, Chris' mother owned Jersey Junction, a wildly popular ice cream parlor in East Grand Rapids. Stop in for a rich, sloppy sundae and check out old photos of the Reeds Lake amusement park and the Van Allsburg family.
Download a brochure of all 57 Reasons to Love West Michigan (pdf). This information has been provided by The Right Place.