Breaking it down: Grand Rapids by neighborhood.
Located on the near Northeast side, this neighborhood is relatively unknown by the Calvin community, but is home to some great treasures. Riverside park is the largest greenspace in Grand Rapids, with several frisbee golf courses and miles of walking/biking path. Graydon's Crossing, the Gilmore Collection's Red Ball Jet Café and Pilar's Café are popular neighborhood restaurants that are contributing to a major economic revival of the business districts. Nursing students may do a community rotation here and enjoy the short commute downtown for clinical in the hospitals. The neighborhood is socioeconomically and ethnically diverse. Only ten minutes from campus, it is not nearly as far as it seems.
- Creston Neighborhood Association, (616) 454-7900
Breton Village Neighborhood: This well-maintained, family-oriented neighborhood is located immediately to the west of campus. It is walking distance from campus, which Calvin students and employees appreciate. Breton Village Shopping Mall is part of this community, along with several eating establishments. More information, including neighborhood community events, can be found on their website:
East Hills - Cherry Hill
This neighborhood is located just east of the central city. This neighborhood is referred to as the “Center of the Universe.” A wide selection of eateries, shops and art galleries fill the neighborhood. Calvin students boast about Marie Catrib’s delicious organic masterpieces. They also frequent Gaia’s vegetarian cuisine, where you’ll be served a green burrito bigger than your head. This area also has a unique mix of ethnic diversity and lots of artistic creativity. This area has its own flavor.
- East Hills Association 131 Eastern Ave SE, Grand Rapids, 49503, (616) 454-9079
East Grand Rapids
Students flock to East Grand Rapids in the warmer months to enjoy Reeds Lake. Studying and having lunch by the lake is a mini getaway. The surrounding parks, woods and trails draw you to take a jog or ride your bike. Rose’s, a restaurant in the local Gilmore Collection, is a nice place to go for dinner with Mom and Dad. East Grand Rapids is more of a vacation neighborhood, with upscale homes and shopping. Enjoy strolling downtown with an ice cream cone from Jersey Junction.
- East Grand Rapids Association, (616) 949-2110
Calvin students are regulars in Eastown, located between the inner suburb of East Grand Rapids and the East Hills neighborhood. The neighborhood offers breakfast, lunch and night life—it’s the trendy place to be. You can experience a unique array of cuisine from Bombay’s Indian food to Sammy’s gyros. The signature spot in Eastown is Yesterdog—open till 2:30 a.m. for those late-night hot dog cravings. The local coffee joint, Kava House, is packed with students studying and socializing. You can’t walk too far in this neighborhood without seeing someone you know hanging out on their front porch.
- Eastown Association, 415 Ethel SE, Grand Rapids, 49506, (616) 451-3025
What are students saying about living in Eastown?
“I chose to live in Eastown because it is a unique area with plenty of
strengths and resources to take advantage of. It is conveniently on the bus
line to Calvin and has a wealth of Calvin people—whether students,
faculty or staff—in the area. I thought it was important as a Calvin
student to take part in the city that the college is located in.
I really love the accessibility of Eastown. There are plenty of restaurants
and stores all within walking distance that make the neighborhood so
pleasant to live in. I also love the eclectic mix of people in Eastown,
ranging from college students to families to old couples who invite you over
for dinner.” - Colin, Senior
Garfield Park - Alger Heights
This neighborhood is located on Grand Rapid’s southeast side. This area celebrates diversity, with numerous Latino groups, African Americans, European Americans and Guatemalans—culture is celebrated. Calvin students frequent neighborhood spots like Real Food Cafe for breakfast and Gathering Grounds for coffee or an ice-cream cone. Several houses are rented out in this neighborhood.
Garfield Park Association, 334 Burton St Se, Grand Rapids, 49507 (616) 241-2443
The Heartside/Downtown area is an area rich with diversity...of fabulous restaurants, interesting furniture shops, retro and eclectic gifts, salons, art galleries, coffeeshops, medical facilities, the Van Andel arena and a whole host of other dynamic destinations. In addition, Calvin has the Center Art Gallery at 106 S. Division and the historic Ladies Literary Club at 61 Sheldon Boulevard, both of which offer wonderful opportunities for both students and community friends.
This architecturally significant neighborhood is located in the heart of Grand Rapids. 1,300 homes dating from 1848 make this Grand Rapids’ first residential neighborhood. The interesting architecture here brings tourists through the neighborhood for attractions like a guided tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s restored masterpiece, the Meyer May House. Students often live in quaint apartments within the large historic homes. Take a stroll down the streets and admire the beauty of the neighborhood.
- Heritage Hill Association, 126 College SE, Grand Rapids, 49503, (616) 459-8950