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Michigan, U.S.A.
Welcome to Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Grand Rapids is situated on the Grand River, around 30 miles east of Lake Michigan. With approximately 188,040 residents, Grand River is the second-largest city in Michigan. During the second half of the 19th century, Grand Rapids grew into a major lumbering center. The city's abundant access to fine wood turned it into the premier furniture-manufacturing hub of the United States, which earned it the nickname Furniture City. Today, Grand Rapids is still home to five of the world's leading office furniture companies, but is now often called River City for its location by the Grand River. Grand Rapids is a city that has much to be proud of. Historic landmarks, excellent culture venues and famous residents are just some of the things that are associated with this interesting spot on the Michigan map. For instance, Grand Rapids was the childhood home of the famous Mayweather boxing family and namely world-class boxer Floyd Mayweather. Other well-known people that have their origins in Grand Rapids include World Championship Boxer James Toney, singer Al Green and U.S. President Gerald Ford. The former president is actually buried in the city along with his wife Betty, on the grounds of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. Grand Rapids is also renowned for its excellent breweries, and in 2012, the city was named Beer City USA in an online poll. Prominent breweries in the city include B.O.B's Brewery, Brewery Vivant, Founders Brewing Company and Hideout, all part of earning the city its new nickname. So head on over, and try some of the best beers in the country! If you're looking for a urban recreation, head to Downtown Grand Rapids where you'll find a plethora of restaurants, bars, shops and various entertainment venues. Also worth checking out is the Urban Institute for the Contemporary arts, which houses art exhibits, a movie theater and an urban clay studio. The city is also home to the Van Andel Museum Center, which was founded in 1854 and is one of the oldest history museums in the United States. History buffs should definitely explore the Heritage Hill neighborhood, which comprises one of the largest urban historic districts in the country. As the first established neighborhood in Grand Rapids, it boasts 1,300 homes dating from 1848 and represents over 60 architectural styles. When you're done exploring all the history, theaters, operas, museums and art galleries in Grand Rapids, venture outdoors to the Grand River, where you'll find reconstructed earthwork burial mounds. In this area, a group of prehistoric people known as Hopewell settled around 100 B.C., and built their villages on the river banks. It was once believed that between 30-40 burial mounds were located here, and today the 17 remaining ones are called the Norton Group; listed as a National Historic Site.
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