Considering moving to Grand Rapids? With affordable housing, great job opportunities, and dozens of craft breweries, Grand Rapids is one of best mid-sized cities for young adults looking to plant roots. Here are the five best neighborhoods in Grand Rapids for singles and young professionals!
If you want a quiet place to live in Grand Rapids with lots of outdoor recreation, Alger Heights might be for you! This safe, affordable Grand Rapids neighborhood provides residents with a laid-back atmosphere, making it great for first-time homebuyers—in fact, 77% of Alger Heights residents own their home! A mix of Craftsman, Cape Cod, and Colonial housing styles are available near green space, outdoor activities, and more. These characteristics also make Alger Heights one of the best neighborhoods in Grand Rapids for families—or young adults who are thinking about starting a family in the future. To top it off, Alger Heights’ variety of locally-owned businesses and safe streets offers residents a close-knit community feel without giving up proximity to the amenities in Downtown Grand Rapids.
Practice your swing during a game of doubles on the tennis courts, walk your dog, or grill out with friends at MacKay-Jaycees Park. Enjoy fresh air while mountain-biking The Underground Trail. Relax with a new book or browse selections of graphic novels and audiobooks at the Grand Rapids Public Library — Seymour Branch. Venture just outside the neighborhood for a round of golf or brush up on your putting skills at Indian Trails Golf Course. Try an Alger Heights Burger, Jambalaya, or a Prosciutto & Fig Neapolitan Pizza and while enjoying live music at neighborhood eatery, The Old Goat. Share an order of Hoser Poutine, Mozzarella Sticks, or Fried Pickle Spears at Last Chance Tavern & Grill. Grab a drink with friends and snack on a Butter Chicken Naanrito, Pear and Ham Flatbread, or Roasted Brussels at Brass Ring Brewing. Or watch the game, play trivia, and enjoy a PBR or Budweiser at The Derby—one of the best neighborhood dive bars in Grand Rapids.
If you’re hoping to escape Downtown Grand Rapids without sacrificing fun things to do, consider moving to Belknap Lookout! This lively neighborhood is perfect for outdoorsy young adults in Grand Rapids who still want an urban community. Belknap Lookout’s Canal Park provides scenic hiking trails along the Grand River—while Belknap Park boasts year-round fun with sports fields, green space, and even a seasonal outdoor concert venue that hosts the annual return of Breakaway Music Festival. Residents also enjoy the well-maintained Tudor and Colonial Revival homes, apartments, and condos that offer elevated views of Grand Rapids. With I-196 running through this neighborhood, living in Belknap Lookout allows for easy commutes within the city and beyond—but you don’t have to go far to find work when living in this neighborhood, as Medical Mile provides lots of opportunities for young professionals seeking jobs in the medical field nearby!
Go for a run, set up a picnic, or admire stunning views of Grand River at Sixth Street Park. Catch up with friends, go skating, play bike polo, or enjoy DJ nights and other community events at 555 Monroe. Lace up your ice skates for open skating and private parties, or join the adult hockey league at Griff’s IceHouse at Belknap Park. Take your dog for a walk or enjoy views of Grand Rapids on a sunset stroll through Lookout Park. Fuel up on a Vegan Skillet, Avocado Mash Toast, or Falafel Sandwich made with local ingredients at Field & Fire Cafe. Savor Moo Goo Gai Pan, Pineapple Chicken, Mongolian Beef, and other traditional Chinese cuisine from China City. Share some Garage Fries, Pub Caps, or Squeaky Wheels at the laid-back Garage Bar & Grill. Or eat Yuca Fries, Cajun Shrimp, or a Smoked Pork Taco while sipping on a locally-brewed Dry Cider at City Built Brewing Company.
Locally dubbed as the “Greenwich Village of Grand Rapids,” Eastown boasts an alternative atmosphere, perfect for singles and young professionals looking for an up-and-coming, artsy place to live in Grand Rapids. With a variety of LGBTQ-friendly businesses and restaurants scattered along Wealthy Street, Eastown is a welcoming, modern neighborhood for young adults in Grand Rapids. The Eastown Community Association only furthers this tight-knit community vibe by providing fun opportunities to connect with neighbors. Living in Eastown is also perfect for outdoor enthusiasts, as it’s near large parks, local gardens, and more. And with the Aquinas College campus located in the northeastern part of the neighborhood, both students and faculty have an easy commute—which helps make Eastown one of the best neighborhoods in Grand Rapids for students, singles, and young professionals!
Support the Grand Rapids theatre community by seeing shows like Tick, Tick…Boom, Monty Python’s Spamalot, and more from local actors and directors at Circle Theatre. Hike the lush green space or throw a picnic with friends at Wilcox Park. Grow your green thumb while volunteering with neighbors to plant produce at the Shalom Park Community Garden. Play trivia, see a stand-up show, or catch up with friends while enjoying local brews at Harmony Brewing Company. Start your day with a Nitro Cold Brew, Peppermint Mocha, Cafe Miel, and more from Brown Butter Creperie & Cafe, located in the historic Windmill building. Find tasty breakfast dishes in Grand Rapids, like the Stacy Wolfgang Benedict, Forsyth Skillet, or Chicken Fajita Omelette from the family-owned Wolfgang’s Restaurant. Try a Matchbox Burger, Crab Cakes, or Pastrami Reuben from Matchbox Diner & Drinks. Or satisfy your sweet tooth with a Chocolate Torte, Apple Bread Pudding, or Goat Cheese Cake at farm-to-table restaurant, Terra Bagels.
Moving to Grand Rapids in search of a vibrant neighborhood packed full of fun things to do? Living in Heartside-Downtown puts you right in the middle of all the action! Within this walker’s paradise amongst busy coffee shops, bars, and restaurants, young adults can purchase or rent modern skyrise apartments, luxury condos, or vintage Craftsman and Victorian-style homes. What’s more, this Grand Rapids neighborhood provides easy access to museums, music venues, along with a strong sense of community. In fact, the Heartside Downtown Neighborhood Association hosts monthly meetings and events that encourage residents to connect with one another. Living in Heartside-Downtown also allows you to further your education at schools like Ferris State University, which is home to the Kendall College of Art and Design. Plus, this neighborhood sets Grand Rapids’ young professionals up for success as it’s near employers like Trinity Health Grand Rapids, City of Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation, and more.
Attend Adult Workshops, Drop-In Studio Days, or Gallery Chats to learn about a variety of art styles and techniques at the Grand Rapids Art Museum. Catch the Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL) on the ice or the Grand Rapids Gold (NBA G) on the court at Van Andel Arena. Listen to Drake White, Jordan Moore, Big Something, and other musical acts at the live music joint in the heart of Downtown Grand Rapids, The Intersection. Head to the karaoke stage or dance the night away at longtime-favorite LGBTQ spot, Rumors Night Club. Pick up The Randy Savage, The Bob Ross, or The Willie Nelson sandwich for lunch in Grand Rapids from Two Beards Deli. Looking for a great Grand Rapids Indian restaurant? Order Paneer Pakora, Goan Fish Curry, Yellow Tardka Dal, and other Indian favorites from Palace of India. Get your seafood fix with Tuna Sashimi, Seafood Cake Duet, or Lobster Bisque at Leo’s Seafood Restaurant & Bar. Or celebrate date night with Tomato Bruschetta, Filet Mignon, Black Spaghetti and more from upscale Bistro Bella Vita.
Heritage Hill might be the place for you if you’d enjoy a peaceful, residential Grand Rapids neighborhood without losing access to convenient amenities. Near the hustle and bustle of Downtown Grand Rapids, the historic district of Heritage Hill provides residents with urban charm, mature trees, and well-kept homes in styles like English Cottage, Craftsman, Greek Revival, and more. The Heritage Hill Association works to preserve and celebrate the neighborhood’s unique history, while also caring for its future and hosting lively community events for young people—including happy hours! Young adults can explore courses and career paths at the nearby Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) DeVos Campus—or benefit from Heritage Hill’s quick commuter-friendly options to work or school via the Gerald R. Ford Freeway and frequent bus stops along Fulton Street.
Get to know your neighborhood while admiring historical Victorian houses—including Gerald R. Ford’s childhood home—with a self-guided walking tour. Take a free, docent-led tour of the well-preserved Meyer May House, a Prairie residence designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Have a party at the picnic tables, relax in the shade, or explore the sculptures at Foster Park. Go for a jog or take your dog for a walk at Pleasant Park. Wake up with a Cranberry Almond Scone, Cream Cheese Danish, Monkey Bread, or daily special treats from Wealthy Street Bakery—or enjoy brunch in Grand Rapids like a Brunch Wet Burrito, Breakfast Sammy, or Chicken & Waffles at The Commons Grand Rapids. Slurp up Wonton Soup, Beef Cantonese Chow Mein, Vegetables Lo Mein, and other authentic Chinese dishes at locally-owned Beijing Kitchen. Or carry out a Chicken Pesto Pizza, Re-Loaded Potato Pizza, or The Greek Pizza from Martha’s Pizza.
Moving to Grand Rapids? Extra Space Storage has lots of self storage facilities in Grand Rapids to help with your transition. Find cheap storage near you!
Neighborhood statistics from AreaVibes
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