We recently had the opportunity to attend ArtPrize Seven in Grand Rapids, Michigan hosted by Michigan House and CAT Footwear. We were super excited to attend and see the city of Grand Rapids. We had never been to Michigan before and were eager to explore. Michigan House is a new pop-up run by three of the most fun, yet hardworking people around: Jamie, Ted and Peter. Together they host and curate events with unique Michigan based companies, artists, and musicians. They showed us all over Grand Rapids, along with a handful of other bloggers and creatives from across the U.S. For three days we explored the city with strangers, who quickly became friends, joked over coffee and some of the best food around, and climbed a tree house located on a woodsy property dating back to 1866.
Here are some of the places we visited, along with many, many photos. 🙂
JW Marriott graciously hosted our stay while we were in Grand Rapids. It’s located in the heart of downtown, which was pretty perfect because we were in walking distance to so many of the great places listed below, including Michigan House. We had an awesome view of the river and might have taken way too many photos of the sunsets, but they were truly something else.
It was pretty amazing getting to experience this art competition first hand. After speaking with some of the locals we quickly learned ArtPrize is a pretty big deal in the Grand Rapids community each year. People from all over the world come for this unique experience. We had a blast being thrown in the mix, exploring downtown, and feeling the energy of the city. We saw many installations that centered around the theme of loss. One that particularly stood out to us was “State of Exception” (pictured above), which consisted of hundreds of backpacks and objects that were left behind from migrants crossing the U.S. border.
HUNT AND GATHER ANTIQUES
On our first day in Grand Rapids, we all headed to Hunt and Gather, which for any interior lover is a must. The place is full of amazing furniture and eclectic accent pieces. The owners share the space with a local artist, making the creativity in the space that much more infectious.
GRAND RAPIDS ART MUSEUM
The Nature/Nurture exhibition was moving. We were lucky enough to have a tour guide with knowledge on how the art was created for this very special event and what the selection process is like for the Art Prize exhibit.
FOUNDERS BEWERING CO.
We took a tour through Founders Brewing Company and learned about their process. It was fun getting a behind the scenes look, not to mention a tasting as well.
One of the highlights of our trip was getting a little pampering at Cheeky Strut Salon. With all the traveling we had been doing, it was nice to just sit back, and let the professionals take over. We left with some fresh cuts and styles, which was perfect because our hair was definitely not used to the humidity after all the dry desert heat.
LE BON MACARON
Macarons and vanilla lattes, with a large tea selection…Need we say more? 😉 It seems macarons have been a common theme while we’ve been traveling lately. We can’t seem to stay away from the sweet goodness.
Man! Did we get spoiled at this beautiful rooftop greenhouse. Incredible spread and creative cocktails. After filling our bellies, we headed down to the market where we drooled over the various food and drink options. Fresh fish, soup, popcorn, ice cream, a bakery and so much more. We didn’t know what to do with ourselves!
Such a great vibe in this cozy, coffee shop. Not sure if we needed the caffeine kick, but it was gladly welcomed! We fueled up, took a breath, and hit the town a little more.
CAKABAKERY + DIRECT TRADE COFFEE CLUB
Our sugar high didn’t stop at Le Bon Macaron. One afternoon we stopped at Cakabakery, which is partially owned by one of the Michigan House founders. It was a cute little spot with amazing cupcakes. While we were there we had the chance to learn a bit about the Direct Trade Coffee Club, through a presentation accompanied by a rep from Kitchen Aid. Since moving to Phoenix, we have enjoyed learning about the local coffee culture, so it was a real treat to hear about the latest brewing methods and fun new machines like the siphon brewer and the precision french press design.
On our last day we all headed to a Mexican brunch at Donkey Taqueria and bonded over chips, guacamole, and burritos. We discovered pretty quickly that it’s never too early for some guac!
FARMHAUS CIDER CO.
On our last day in Michigan, just a few hours before heading to the airport, we visted Farmhaus Cider Co. We were treated with some of their quality ciders and then wandered the historic grounds. We couldn’t have picked a better place to end our trip. The trees were tall and the air was crisp. I think we tried to not glance at our watches, but the time eventually came for us to head back to Phoenix.
Thanks again to Michigan House and to all the amazing new friends we made, for an unforgettable weekend. We have a feeling there will be another Michigan trip in our future real soon!
His: Jacket and gingham shirt c/o Bridge & Burn | jeans c/o Dstld Denim | Urban Outfitters chambray shirt (similar) | Levi’s denim jacket (similar) | boots styles 1, 2 and 3 c/o Cat Footwear | Garrett Leight sunglasses c/o Framed Ewe
Hers: Free People jeans | chambray, black plaid shirt, mustard sweater, plaid scarf c/o Madewell | Sisters of Nature striped sweater (similar) | black scarf c/o Everlane | Nordstrom army jacket (similar here and here) | boots styles 1 and 2 c/o Cat Footwear
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