Grand Rapids provides retirees with culture, recreation, and breweries.

Located in West Michigan, Grand Rapids is fast becoming a popular destination for retirees. The low cost of living is sure to entice buyers. The city is also a cultural hub with a love of public art and is home to several well-regarded cultural institutions. The area maintains a small town Midwest feel but also has the dining, shopping, and entertainment options of a big city. No wonder we recently named it the seventh-best place to retire in America on our 2018 list of the 20 Best Places to Retire.

Low Cost of Living

The Grand Rapids area has a low cost of living when compared to the national average. The median cost of homes is $144,900. Compared to other large metro areas, the city also features affordable groceries, dining and entertainment options, and utilities. BestPlaces gives Grand Rapids an overall cost of living score 87, which is 13 points below the national average.

Dining and Breweries

Grand Rapids features several dining options and some of the highest-rated craft brewers in the country. Residents can head to The Chop House of Grand Rapids for a steak. If seafood is more your speed, Leo’s is an upscale seafood restaurant located downtown. For a lighter option, the Grove offers farm-to-table small plate dining.

Recently, the city has become one of the top destinations in the country for craft beer. Beer aficionados come from across the country to experience all the breweries the area has to offers. Founders Brewing Co. is considered one of the best craft brewers in America and features a brewpub downtown. Brewery Vivant is a unique microbrewery located in a historic former chapel. Other popular Grand Rapids breweries, many of which are in walking distance of each other, include Elk Brewing, The Mitten Brewing Co., Brass Ring Brewing, and Grand Rapids Brewing Company.

Culture and Art

Grand Rapids is a regional hub for culture and art, featuring dozens of festivals each year ranging from art, music, and food. One of the most anticipated is ArtPrize, a multi-week art fair that spans multiple venues throughout the city and culminates with several awards. Other festivals include the African American Arts and Music Festival, Grand Rapids Polish Festival, and the Grand Rapids Hispanic Festival.

One of the most popular places to visit in Grand Rapids is the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, featuring Michigan's largest tropical conservatory and sculpture collections.  Other popular places to visit are the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library, the Grand Rapids Art Museum, and the Urban Institute for Contemporary Art.

Outdoor Recreation

West Michigan features several scenic beaches, rolling dunes and forests, and several nature preserves. Blandford Nature Center, Lamberton Lake Fen Nature Preserve, and Ecosystem Preserve are among a few of them. Biking, walking, and hiking trails are sprinkled all over the Grand Rapids area. There are also plenty of golf courses and fishing spots.


There are two low-maintenance communities just outside of Grand Rapids that offer a variety of housing options.

Avalon Pointe features 190 single-family and attached homes. A wealth of amenities are available for residents to enjoy, including a clubhouse for indoor parties and gathering. Outdoors, residents will find a swimming pool and patio area.

The Villas of Ada feature 126 attached homes for resale only. Homes range from 1,778 to 1,932 square feet with two or three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and two-car garages. Residents of the Villas can stay in shape in the exercise room or relax over a game of billiards with neighbors.