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Moving to Grand Rapids: Everything You Need To Know

Grand Rapids is the second largest city in Michigan and a wonderful place to call home. It is filled with amazing restaurants, breweries, outdoor activities, and a vibrant art scene. Combine that with a booming job market and an affordable cost of living and it’s easy to see why Grand Rapids has been ranked one of the best cities in the U.S. to live, retire, or raise a family.

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Life in Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids offers all the excitement of a big city including a vibrant nightlife, live music venues, pro sports, local breweries, festivals, art galleries, museums and more. It is also perfect for those who love spending time outdoors. Residents can bike, hike, swim, golf, ski, and fish all within minutes of downtown. After a long day outdoors, relax and enjoy a delicious meal at one of the city’s incredible restaurants. Aside from all of these fantastic amenities, Grand Rapids is also an exciting college town, with more than a dozen local colleges and universities serving more than 70,000 students. Grand Rapids also ranks among the most beautiful and affordable cities to live in the U.S., so keep reading to learn more about why this is one of the fastest growing cities in the Midwest. 

Cost of Living

With so many amazing amenities, you may be surprised to learn that the cost of living in Grand Rapids is 5% lower than the national average. Housing costs are 15% lower than the national average, as well as groceries and healthcare. The median home price in Grand Rapids is $266,000 while the average rent is $1163. This means you can find plenty of safe, affordable Grand Rapids homes, apartments, and neighborhoods to choose from. 

Employment Opportunities

Grand Rapids has a booming economy and is considered one of the best cities for remote work as well as one of the best places to find a job. Education is a dominant sector in the area, thanks to the abundance of colleges and universities in the area. There are also plenty of jobs in healthcare, manufacturing, or administration. You can even find a job working for one of many large corporations headquartered in the area such as Gordon Food Service or Meijer groceries. 


For those moving with school-aged children, Grand Rapids offers an excellent public school system, ranking in the top districts in the state of Michigan. Some of the best schools in the area include Brookside Elementary, Buchanan Elementary, East Leonard Elementary, Alger Middle School, City High Middle School, Ottawa Hills High School, and Innovation Central High School. Grand Rapids is also a college town with at least 15 institutions of higher education in the area. You will find a diverse selection of college experiences, including state universities, private colleges, Christian colleges, and outstanding community colleges. These include Grand Valley State University, Central Michigan University, and Grand Rapids Community College just to name a few. 

Outdoor Activities

With over 75 parks throughout the city, there are plenty of places to connect with nature in Grand Rapids. Residents enjoy a number of biking, hiking, and jogging trails as well as fishing and kayaking at Riverside Park. You can also spend time at some of America’s best beaches on Lake Michigan, located just an hour from Grand Rapids. Soak up the sun or enjoy a picnic at Oval Beach in Saugatuck, which consistently ranks among the top beaches in the country or go surfing at Grand Haven City Beach. You also want to check out the famous lighthouses along the shoreline of Lake Michigan. 

Best Neighborhoods in Grand Rapids

When you are moving to a new city, choosing the right neighborhood to live is undoubtedly one of the most challenging decisions. Fortunately, Grand Rapids offers a diverse selection of neighborhoods to suit any lifestyle. Here are some of the top neighborhoods in the area. 

East Grand Rapids: This idyllic neighborhood features tree-lined streets and stunning lake views that are tough to beat. It is also one of the safest neighborhoods, making it a top choice for families. There are top-notch schools and a range of amenities including shopping, restaurants, and recreational facilities. 

Heritage Hill: If you are looking for more architectural beauty, Heritage Hill might be the place for you. This historic neighborhood is home to gorgeous Victorian-era homes that offer a unique charm. You are also just a short distance from downtown, giving you easy access to trendy shops, cafes, and museums. 

Midtown: This lively neighborhood is the place for those who like a little more action. The neighborhood is made up of a mix of residential, commercial, and entertainment spaces so there is always something to do. From bars and restaurants, to boutiques and art galleries, this neighborhood has it all. 

Fulton Heights: This neighborhood is the perfect blend of historic and modern homes and offers a peaceful environment. Excellent schools and nearby parks also make it an ideal location for young families. You get the feel of a suburban neighborhood but are still just minutes from downtown. 

Ready to Move to Grand Rapids? Allied Van Lines Can Help

Grand Rapids is a vibrant city with a rich history, excellent job market, exciting amenities, and affordable cost of living. If you are ready to move to Grand Rapids, let the professionals at Allied Van Lines assist you with your relocation. As a leader in the moving industry for more than 85 years, Allied has the knowledge and experience to make your move as efficient and hassle-free as possible. Allied offers a comprehensive list of moving services to fit any budget, so call today or start by getting a free quote using our convenient Instaquote tool.