WordCamp Grand Rapids 2013 will take place in the DeVos Center on Grand Valley State University’s Pew Campus in downtown Grand Rapids.
GVSU Pew Campus, Building E (starts in Loosemore Auditorium)
401 Fulton St. W
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Grand Valley has a number of parking lots surrounding their downtown campus, all of which are free on the weekends (as are the city’s metered spots). We recommend you park in either the DeVos lot or the Fulton St lot, both of which are directly behind where we’re meeting and literally across the street from one another. Plus, they’ll be pretty much empty except for us this weekend. Here’s a handy map to illustrate this better:
GVSU Pew Campus Map (PDF)
There are several major in-roads to the city: US-131, I-96, I-196 and then some. If you’re coming from the south and taking US-131, there is some construction as you get closer to town. You could route around it, but it’ll probably take just as long as sitting through it. So, plan on an extra 10-15 min beyond what your GPS suggests.
If you prefer to fly in, Grand Rapids does have its very own airport: Gerald R Ford International Airport (GRR). A taxi will cost ~$20 from the airport to just about anywhere downtown. Otherwise, Detroit and Chicago are both ~3hr drives and Lansing is about 1.5hrs.
We recommend the Holiday Inn, Downtown Grand Rapids. It’s just across the street and around a corner from where the conference is being held, and only a few blocks from where we’ll have the after-party. There are several other hotels in the area, so find what will work best for you. In fact, if you’re looking for hotel that is unique to Grand Rapids, we also highly recommend the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.
There are plenty of incredible places to eat all within walking distance of the GVSU campus. Some local favorites include: Founders Brewing Co, HopCat Brewing, San Chez Tapas Bistro, The BOB, Grand Rapids Brewing Co, and the list goes on. You also have the benefit to cash in on some amazing Restaurant Week GR deals, so be sure to check those out before deciding!
The fine folks at ExperienceGR put together a special page just for WordCamp Grand Rapids attendees, which includes directions, parking, accommodations, dining, attractions, and activities.
About Grand Rapids
Whether you already realize this or not, Grand Rapids is home to a number of notable WordPress figures. In fact, Grand Rapids was recently ranked #9 in a list of 15 unexpected tech scenes and so we’re holding our very own WordCamp to celebrate. Join us and help demonstrate that West Michigan is as technologically rich and diverse as the West Coast!