East Grand Rapids
is an upscale, idyllic community located just 5 miles southeast of Grand Rapids. Located on the shores of Reeds Lake, East Grand Rapids offers fishing, boating, hiking, shopping and many other leisure activities. While many locals consider this city part of Grand Rapids, East Grand Rapids has its own separate government and infrastructure.
The Gaslight Village represents the heart of East Grand Rapids. This downtown area has been restored to give it vintage charm and gives local residents access to shopping, restaurants and nightlife.
Schools in East Grand Rapids
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Restaurants & Nightlife
East Grand Rapids provides lots of options for dining, and many of these restaurants are located centrally in the Gaslight Village, giving the area a surprisingly urban feel for a suburban community. While there may not be an abundance of bars, locals do have a few local favorites for enjoying a craft beer or signature cocktail. With easy access to Grand Rapids, residents can always head into the city for a bigger nightlife scene.
For a dirty martini before dinner, head to Olive's Restaurant & Bar. From hand-crafted cocktails to locally sourced, seasonal menu items, this local favorite features an upscale menu in a relaxed atmosphere. Menu items change frequently, so you may not be able to order the same dish twice. Despite the extensive drink selection, Olive's provides a family-friendly atmosphere as well as a kids' menu, making it a great option for a night out with the little ones.
Derby Station provides a neighborhood pub feel with an upscale menu. The menu categorizes each dish, so guests can quickly identify vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options, as well as meals that are made with Michigan-grown ingredients. The drunken brisket is a favorite with regulars, combining red peppers, garlic aioli, brisket, caramelized onions and Swiss cheese on a hearty roll. Derby Station proudly serves a wide range of craft beers and provides beer pairings with its dishes. If you have a special dietary concern, the executive chef is always willing to make special accommodations.
Big Bob's Pizza serves up pizza pies, sandwiches, pasta and more. Like many other local establishments, this restaurant supports Michigan breweries by carrying a large selection of bottled microbrewery beers. Students from nearby Grand Valley State University stop in at Big Bob's to take advantage of the 15-percent college-student discount. With a laid-back atmosphere and spacious seating, this neighborhood favorite gives diners a great option for relaxing at the end of a long day.
History & Culture
Settled in the 1830s and established as a city in 1891, East Grand Rapids
has a rich and varied history. Despite being nearly a century old at the time, East Grand Rapids wasn't incorporated until 1926. The first settlers were the Reed Family, who traveled to western Michigan from New York. The family gave its name to Reeds Lake, which became a premier destination for boating, fishing, swimming and other lakefront activities. During the early 20th century, visitors could board steamboats for a leisurely journey around the lake. Today, visitors are still drawn to East Grand Rapids for its scenic lake and excellent fishing and boating opportunities.
Residents enjoy easy access to I-96 and I-196, making travel to Lansing, Grand Rapids or the Lake Michigan lake shore fast and convenient.
Despite its suburban locale, East Grand Rapids offers public transportation options for residents. The Rapid provides bus service that connects Grand Rapids to East Grand Rapids, making commuting to and from work or school easy. The Rapid also has van, bike and car-pooling options for people who prefer not to take public transit.
You won't be able to hail a cab on the street corner in East Grand Rapids, but you can call ahead to one of several cab companies, including Yellow Cab and Metro Cab of Grand Rapids. Uber also serves the East Grand Rapids area, giving residents easy access to airports, shopping centers and more.
East Grand Rapids tends to be more cyclist-friendly than other areas. Some streets have bike lanes, and there are many bike paths not open to motorized vehicles that cyclists can enjoy.
The average rent for a one-bedroom
residence in East Grand Rapids is approximately $700, making it an affordable place to live despite its upscale looks. Since gas prices sit at around 8 percent less than the national average, you'll also pay less to travel around this breathtaking area of western Michigan. People without a vehicle can still get around town without spending a fortune. A one-way fare on The Rapid bus averages $1.50 per adult, or you can purchase a 31-day unlimited pass for $40.
Prices for a night of entertainment in the greater Grand Rapids area remain relatively low. The average price for a beer runs about $3.50, and the average movie-theater ticket costs approximately $9. Grabbing a cappuccino to start your day will set you back about $3.80.
For the traditional mall experience, East Grand Rapids residents head to Woodland Mall in nearby Grand Rapids. This mall provides access to favorite stores, including the Apple Store, Hollister and Pottery Barn, as well as Macy's and Sears.
The Gaslight Village area houses
excellent local shopping options. Baby Mine is a baby boutique that sells unique baby toys and gifts as well as on-trend clothing by some of the biggest names in baby apparel. This bright boutique has wide aisles that make it easy for new moms to navigate a stroller through. Mason Jones sells upscale furnishings and decor pieces, making it an excellent place to plan your next redecorating project or find a wedding or anniversary gift. This store's elegant interior is decorated to provide you with inspiration for how beautiful your home can be.
D&W Fresh Market has a location near the Gaslight Village, giving residents convenient access to a full range of grocery items. The Kroger grocery store chain serves the greater Grand Rapids area, though East Grand Rapids residents will need to travel outside of the city limits to shop at one of these stores.
For fresh produce and locally sourced ingredients, residents head out of town to the Fulton Street Farmers Market in Grand Rapids. Unlike many markets, this one keeps its doors open year-round to provide Michiganders with access to great foods no matter how much snow has fallen.
Reeds Lake represents the heart and soul of the East Grand Rapids park system. With waterfront strolls, hiking and bike trails, the area surrounding the lake provides recreation and exercise
for local residents. Scattered throughout the walking trails are shaded areas and picnic tables that provide space for resting and enjoying an outdoor lunch. These areas are free to the public.
For a family-friendly area, head to Manhattan Park. It has a playground area for the little ones as well as volleyball and tennis courts for teens and adults. In the winter, residents head to Manhattan Park for sledding on the natural hills located throughout the grounds. Grills and picnic tables make this park a popular destination in the summertime too.
Every year, East Grand Rapids plays host to a city-wide Fourth of July celebration, with many of the events taking place at local parks. A party with live entertainment takes place at John Collins Park at Reeds Lake after the annual parade, and residents can take in the sights of daredevil water skiers. The day ends with fireworks over the lake, with residents sitting on blankets throughout the area parks to catch a glimpse of the light show.