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What was once a sleepy downtown is now a thriving Midwest hub. The city of Grand Rapids is filled with new high-rise apartment buildings and exciting businesses. From locally-owned boutiques in Eastown to trendy bars and restaurants Downtown, GR is more alive than ever.
So, what better way to show that off than with the best instagrammable spots in Grand Rapids? These top Grand Rapids photo spots will provide you with stunning backdrops, bold colors, interesting art, and more.
Where Can I Take Pictures in Grand Rapids?
1. La Grande Vitesse
Starting off the list is Grand Rapids’ artistic claim to fame and a long-standing symbol of the city. La Grande Vitesse – or the Calder sculpture – is located Downtown in Calder Plaza. It was created by American artist Alexander Calder, whose iconic red sculptures can be found in museums, galleries, and gardens all over.
What makes La Grande Vitesse so Instagram-worthy isn’t just its ties to the city (though that’s certainly a major factor) but also the variety of options you can use for your photo. Of course, there’s the obvious idea to take a photo of the sculpture in its entirety. However, if you want to mix it up for additional shots, you can utilize the beautiful bright red of the sculpture as a colorful backdrop. Simply walk right up against the sculpture and frame your photo so that you only see red in the background and boom: Instagram ready!
2. Corner of Monroe Center and Ottawa
This corner in front of Madcap Coffee in Downtown Grand Rapids provides a great city backdrop for your photos thanks to the gorgeous architecture of the buildings and the brick road that runs along Monroe Center.
You can opt for either portrait style or a regular background, but my personal recommendation is using this backdrop in portrait mode. For the optimal shot, stand across the street in front of the Grand Rapids Art Museum to get the full backdrop behind you.
3. Ah-Nab-Awen Park
Located on Pearl St. in front of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, Ah-Nab-Awen Park is a perfect spot to capture a beautiful view of Grand Rapids.
There are plenty of interesting parts in this particular viewpoint that will create a beautiful photo for your Instagram, including the Grand River, Pearl Street Bridge, and city skyscrapers and buildings. Your ideal photo times will be either a sunny day or at night to capture the city lights.
4. Follow Your Heart Mural
Murals are wonderful to photograph, and as Grand Rapids grows, so does its access to beautiful artwork. The reason I picked this one in particular is because it also represents a positive, uplifting message with the phrase ‘Follow Your Heart’.
This mural can be found at 368 Diamond Ave. SE – an eclectic, growing neighborhood just outside downtown. Created by artist Dave Battjes, this mural is somewhat hidden on a side street, which means you won’t have other folks walking into your shot and you can take more time so that you get the perfect image for your feed.
5. The Blue Bridge
The Blue Bridge in Grand Rapids is another iconic downtown location. It's over 100 years old and is great for photos.
This bridge extends across the Grand River, and as the name suggests, this bridge is painted a beautiful sky blue, which actually adds to its photogenic qualities. The bridge is especially great for portrait-style shots with the background slightly blurred for added dimension.
FAQs About the Best Photo Spots in Grand Rapids
1. Where can I take engagement photos in Grand Rapids, MI?
There are plenty of beautiful engagement photo locations in Grand Rapids, including the places mentioned above: La Grande Vitesse, the Corner of Monroe and Ottawa, Ah-Nab-Awen Park, the Follow Your Heart Mural, and the Blue Bridge.
If you plan to take sunset engagement photos, I recommend going to Riverside Park just outside downtown. The views along the river with the greenery are absolutely beautiful at that time of day and can make a romantic backdrop.
Learn more: Why Summer in Grand Rapids is the Best
2. What are some indoor photo locations in Grand Rapids, MI?
The Public Museum and Art Museum in Grand Rapids can be really great for indoor photo locations. Another gorgeous spot is the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, which boasts an elegant décor. The hotel is open for people to explore, and you'll likely find other visitors capturing photos inside the hotel.
3. Does Grand Rapids have a downtown?
Yes, Grand Rapids has a downtown. Since 2010, Downtown Grand Rapids has grown immensely, making it a popular spot to live, hang out, and of course, take great photos.
About the author
Jill Zwarensteyn is a writer and comedian who has been featured on Amazon, truTV, The New York Times, Matador Network, BUST Magazine, Sleep Advisor, Tiplr, ARTRPRNR Magazine, YourTango, Thought Catalog, GoMad Nomad, Mashable, The Daily Mail UK, the Cannes Film Festival, LaughFest, Women's Lifestyle Magazine, and the Funny Women Festival LA. For more info visit: http://www.jillzwarensteyn.weebly.com