Travel After Five

West Michigan After Five

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Check out this list of things to do in West Michigan after 5:00 pm. Regardless of which exact city you visit, West Michigan offers some great cuisine, beer, and nightlife. Although Grand Rapids is by far the largest city, many of the smaller surrounding towns have metropolitan charm as well.

Check out local brewing companies

Craft beer has taken off across the world, and USA Today’s 10Best has rated Grand Rapids as the Best Beer Scene in 2016 and 2017, and taken 2nd place in 2018. Some of the most well-known, local beer places include Hopcat, Founder’s Brewing Company, Grand Rapids Brewing Company, and New Holland Brewing Company. But, being well-known doesn’t mean those are the only great places to visit.

A personal favorite of mine is Osgood Brewing, in Grandville, Michigan (only about 7 miles from Grand Rapids). Osgood offers a delicious menu of sandwiches, pizza, and salads, as well as a delicious menu of ever-changing beers.

I’m also incredibly excited for the soon to open Waverly Stone Gastropub, in Holland, Michigan, which will feature the delicious beer from Macatawa Ale Company. Known for their beer flavors, it will be really interesting to try out their new, specially designed menu!

Attend a Show

Grand Rapids is no stranger to the stars. With exciting venues such as Van Andel Arena, 20 Monroe Live, the Deltaplex, and Devos Performance Hall, you can always find concerts in any genre preference! Just a couple of the big name visitors coming soon are Keith Urban, Lynard Skynard, Kelly Clarkson, and Seether.

While the bigger name artists are fun, I really love to hear artists at more intimate concerts that can be found slightly off the beaten path. These smaller locales such as The Pyramid Scheme, have excellent music, affordable ticket prices, and fantastic drinks.

Another smaller venue, Stella’s Lounge, hosts a fun weekly event, The Drunken Retort. Here you can experience spoken word poetry, acoustic open mic, and feel good comedy. Add in some delicious drinks and great people, and you have all the best components to help you get past the Monday blues.

Catch a match, a game, or a performance

If you’re anything like me, events excite you. And if you’re a bigger fan of the theatre than of concerts, Grand Rapids has you covered there too! Home to multiple performing arts classes, schools, and students, both the Civic Theatre and the Circle Theatre showcase our excellent local talent. These theatres typically announce their season majorly ahead of time, for example, the Circle Theatre’s entire 2019 season is already available!

Maybe you’re the type to prefer sports over the theatre, well the good news is that whether it’s Baseball or Hockey, Grand Rapidians love their local teams. The Grand Rapids Griffins hockey matches are held at Van Andel Arena and make for an exciting night out.  And, not too far away, in Comstock Park, the Fifth Third Ballpark hosts the Grand Rapids Whitecaps. With affordable tickets and different daily promotions, the Whitecaps games are great for individuals, families, and groups looking to go out together.

Visit the Lakeshore

Approximately half an hour south-west of Grand Rapids is the charming city of Holland, Michigan. Located on the coast of Lake Michigan, this city is known for it’s annual Tulip Festival. Much like Grand Rapids, there are many fun restaurants, bars, and places to visit. However, a trip to the lakeshore isn’t really complete until you visit the LAKE!

Holland offers numerous public beaches. While the State Park is a crowd favorite due to the view of the Big Red Lighthouse, Tunnel Park is my personal favorite. It offers a kid’s play area, volleyball courts, grills, and picnic tables to enjoy an evening cookout.

After-dinner Coffee

Both Grand Rapids and the Lakeshore have some awesome nighttime coffee joints. There’s no shortage of the traditional, corporate shops with their Chocolate Moo’s and Caramel Frappuccinos, but if you want a different ambiance and some local flavor, be sure to check out Lemonjello’s Coffee in Holland. Located directly downtown, this coffee shop has grown into a local favorite and been recognized in multiple best-of lists.

Right in the Heartside district of downtown Grand Rapids is the Lantern Coffee Bar and Lounge. With local artists featured on the walls, a commitment to waste reduction, and touting treats for everyone, including vegan and  , the quality of their product is something that must be experienced.


Guest Contributor

Mia Mahaney | West Michigan Consulting Services | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn


Continue your journey in the Midwest by checking out:


West Michigan After Five | What to do in West Michigan once you are off work.

Are you traveling in a city for work or for a conference, and not sure what is open afterwards? Check out our city guides on Travel After Five for some ideas on open tourist attractions.

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