Before you set your itinerary in stone, it would be advisable for the Grand Rapids tourist/visitor to check out and perhaps purchase one of the numerous books about the city and its history in order to ensure a visit both rich and fulfilling.

Not to mention articles like Rand McNally’s “Grand Rapids, Michigan,” or Lovetripper’s “Grand Rapids, on a Grand River, and More,” multiple books exist that delve more deeply into the city’s complex culture and history.  Such works, unfortunately typically only available in hardcover, allow the casual visitor and local resident alike to gain an appreciation for what makes Grand Rapids unique (aside from being the “Office Furniture Capital of the World”).  

Christian Carron’s work Grand Rapids Furniture: The Story of America’s Furniture City is a full summary, photographical and textual, of its rise to fame as an international leading producer of furniture.  Heart & Soul: The Story of Grand Rapids Neighborhoods by Linda Samuelson, a celebration of the city and how its past has shaped its demography and cultural norms, also makes an excellent read.  Learn about the city’s role in the mid-nineteenth century as a logging center, its later development into a booming furniture exporter and recent blossom into a Midwestern center of culture, museums, and art.  

Such books are practically prerequisites to planning a trip to Grand Rapids.