By Dan Jenkins
When you think of some of the top tourist destinations in the world some of the places that come to mind are obvious — New York, Paris, London, Los Angeles, Chicago, to name a few.READ MORE: Michigan Moves To Fund Mental Health Like Physical Health
The New York Times recently added another to that group. Grand Rapids, Michigan.READ MORE: Michigan Matters: Impacting Health & Well-Being Across Metro Region
On its list of 52 Places To Go In 2016, the New York Times ranked Grand Rapids No. 20 in the world and No. 3 in the United States, finishing behind Park City, Utah and the Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota.
Travel writer Elaine Glusac explained why Grand Rapids earned the honor and why it’s a furniture-making city which “champions urban renewal and art.”
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“The early 20th-century furniture companies Herman Miller and Steelcase established a creative community in central Michigan’s Grand Rapids, one now flourishing thanks to a confluence of urban revival and arts funding. The 138,000-square-foot food hall Grand Rapids Downtown Market, built using repurposed materials from the dilapidated buildings it replaced, earned LEED-gold certification in 2014, and enticed a branch of Detroit-famed Slows Bar-B-Q to open last summer alongside bakers and other food-focused start-ups. For three weeks each fall, the city’s contemporary art competition ArtPrize attracts more than 1,500 works and awards $500,000 in prizes. Artists from Auguste Rodin to Ai Weiwei stake the 158-acre Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, which recently added a Japanese garden with works by Anish Kapoor and Jenny Holzer. Don’t leave thirsty; over 40 craft breweries line the city’s ale trail.”
Mexico City topped the list, with Bordeaux, France and Malta coming in second and third.