Exploring US Cities – Grand Rapids, Michigan

Do you know what’s great about having lived in multiple places? The fact that I’ve made a lot of friends who are now themselves living in different places, giving me a chance to visit them. Which means I also get to check out new places I’ve never been.

About a month ago, I had the opportunity to visit such a friend who lived next door to me for a while when I was growing up in Maryland. She recently moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan. Now, I’ve been to Michigan before (and visited Ann Arbor, Detroit and Dearborn) but this was the first time in Grand Rapids for me so it was exciting!US Cities - Grand Rapids, Michigan

Grand Rapids is about a 3 hour drive from Chicago so it ended up being a mini road trip which was fine because I had two other awesome friends with me.road-trip-to-grand-rapids-1

So we began this journey at 9am and got there around 12pm which meant we made it right in time for lunch. My friend had picked out the perfect place for us to dine at, Taqueria San Jose for some tacos. road-trip-to-grand-rapids-taqueria-san-jose-1 road-trip-to-grand-rapids-taqueria-san-jose-2Folks, this is a place that you HAVE TO EAT AT, I repeat, YOU HAVE TO EAT HERE! It’s soooo good!! I’ve had amazing tacos while living in Southern California and these were just as good!!!Eating out in Grand Rapids - Taqueria San Jose

I got one shredded beef and two steak tacos. They were all finger licking good, not to mention the two salsas that they came with. It was so good that two of us went back in to order one more each! lolroad-trip-to-grand-rapids-tacos-taqueria-san-jose-3

I think one of the things that made these tacos amazing was that it seemed like they had fried the tortillas ever so slightly which gave them a bit of a crunch from the outside and somehow managed to also stay soft from the inside. Honestly, I could probably go on about these. My mouth is salivating just thinking about them and looking at these photos of them!Eating out in Grand Rapids - Taqueria San Jose

Okay, after we decided enough was enough we drove around what is called Heritage Hill Historic District which featured houses from the famous architect Frank LLoyd wright. (My friend knows me so well, tacos and architecture what more could I want in a visit?) We only drove through this area because it was super windy and just could not handle walking it.road-trip-to-grand-rapids-architecture-2 Frank Lloyd Wright's Home - Grand Rapids, MIroad-trip-to-grand-rapids-architecture-1 road-trip-to-grand-rapids-architecture-4

Next up, was Grand Rapids downtown which also had some beautiful architecture.Architecture in Grand Rapids, MI Architecture in Grand Rapids, MI Architecture in Grand Rapids, MI Architecture in Grand Rapids, MI

Loved all the buildings and the feel of the area. It was cute, not too crowded and fun to walk around in. Again, we didn’t spend too much time here as it was cold but we did get a chance to go into a few places.road-trip-to-grand-rapids-2

The first place was this olive oil shop. Did you know tasting olive oil is a thing? I did not, so I thought let’s give it a try. I tried a rosemary infused olive oil which, okay, it was good but where was the bread?? I needed bread to dip in it. But to try it in a cup and drink it like a shot is what is required. So interesting. It was weird drinking oil so I stopped at the rosemary.road-trip-to-grand-rapids-4

It was a very nicely designed shop though. I really liked the rustic theme that was going on and I can see why it’s a thing. I also later found out that I was supposed to add vinegar to it which could probably have helped the weirdness of the oil going down my throat. Olive Oil Tasting in Grand Rapids, MI Olive Oil Tasting in Grand Rapids, MI

Before heading back, it was only fitting that we also stop in at a coffee shop. Friend suggested Madcap, so in we went.Madcap Coffee - Grand Rapids, MI Madcap Coffee - Grand Rapids, MII’m not a coffee person, but the people I was with are and they looooved the coffee here. My friend enlightened me about how Americans don’t know how to drink coffee, we just burn it and drink it. But apparently in other countries, its smoother and tastes better. (It all tasted the same to me, I ordered the hot chocolate.) Madcap Coffee - Grand Rapids, MI

Overall, it was a day well spent with good friends and delicious food!

Have you ever been to Grand Rapids? If so, where? Please give me recommendations for my next possible visit! 🙂

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