Welcome to West Michigan!

West Michigan is a combination of big city hustle and small town charm where residents enjoy fast-paced excitement and laid-back leisure. This area revolves around downtown Grand Rapids which features dining, nightlife, and culture. This unique city is also home to museums, Broadway performances, operas, ballet, concerts, and semi-professional baseball, hockey, and soccer teams. Outside of the city, this area provides a wide array of outdoor attractions in nature which feature hiking, fishing, boating, and beaches. Michigan experiences all four seasons allowing one to participate in almost any imaginable recreational activity.

The American way of life is rich and complex as peoples from around the world contribute to the ever changing culture expressed through diverse traditions in food, clothing, recreation, ceremonies, education, the arts, architecture, literature, and more. The Compass guide is intended to assist international students in understanding American culture and finding local attractions around Grand Valley State University to help one make the most of their experience in West Michigan. It can also connect you to cuisines and cultures to remind you of home. We invite you to see what West Michigan has to offer you and enjoy your adventure!

This resource provides contact information and addresses for sites in and around Grand Rapids. Both Google Maps and our Transportation page will be of great use to you in planning your trips and finding your way to these sites.

If you have specific recommendations which you think should be shared, please email: [email protected] Thank you! 

Page last modified September 21, 2021