Grand Rapids has been named one of‘s Top 100 Places to Live for 2011. GR is only one of two Michigan cities (the other being Ann Arbor) to be on the list this year. Of Course.

Those of us who live here in Grand Rapids know what makes our city awesome. Many of us have relocated from other areas of the country, or (in the cases of people like me) the state. There’s just so much to love about our city, the people who live here, and our community as a whole.

I know that one of the things that I love about Grand Rapids is that, while it is a big city, and has all of the big city amenities, it also has a small-town feel. Every area of town from Wyoming, to East Grand Rapids, to the West Side, to Wyoming is its own little community. You wouldn’t have to leave it if you didn’t want to. But, we do. We explore our city, we explore all of West Michigan.

In their description of Grand Rapids, says,

Those who live in Grand Rapids swear they will never live anywhere else! And it is mostly true, many young people leave Grand Rapids for the Detroit area, to further their studies perhaps, or the lure of a job, but most hanker for their town, and they return.

So, what is it that makes Grand Rapids a place that evokes such loyalty? Could it be its breathtaking beauty, no matter the season? Perhaps the special homes that have been built here, including some famous Frank Lloyd Wright homes, or perhaps it’s the exquisite downtown area where people of all ages congregate? Whatever the reason, Grand Rapids is definitely a popular place, whether you’re a newcomer or a long time resident.

What are your favorite things about Grand Rapids?