To finish out my series on the best Instagram spots in the cities I’ve lived is the place I grew up: Grand Rapids, Michigan. 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, it’s more alive than ever. And 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.
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!
Corner of Monroe Center and Ottawa
This corner in front of Madcap Coffee in downtown Grand Rapids provides a great urban 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.
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 is 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.
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.
About the author
Jill Zwarensteyn is a writer, comedian, and television producer who has been featured on Amazon, truTV, The New York Times, Matador Network, BUST Magazine, 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