When I started at Ferris three scarily short years ago, I was here for the journalism program. I loved the small class sizes, the hands on opportunities at the Torch and the dedicated faculty that were bubbling with excitement to share their knowledge and experiences with me. The one thing I did not like, however, was Big Rapids.
What I once thought was a drab and boring town is now a place I find charming, and I’m proud to call it my college home. While we may not have every luxury that residents of larger towns like Grand Rapids may be accustomed to, Big Rapids has begun to modernize and adapt to the wants and needs of the college students that call it a temporary home and to the residents who have put down roots here.
So far we’ve gotten services like DoorDash, Instacart and Bird Scooters, all of which make this town more welcoming and accessible to those who don’t drive. DoorDash makes the interesting cuisine of the town accessible to all, while Instacart gets your groceries for when you feel like staying in for dinner.
Bird has given this car focused town something extraordinary: convenient, low-cost, zero emission transportation that’s as easy as, well, riding a scooter. This service provides those who cannot drive, or just prefer not to drive, the access to town that they deserve. Bird scooters also make great urban exploring transportation!
Now that we’ve got some tech forward ways to access the restaurants in town, what’s actually out there? Big Rapids offers a wide range of cuisines that are all within a few miles. From Mediterranean, Chinese, Mexican, American, fast casual or fine dining, all can be found in town.
Once you’re full and looking for something to do, Big Rapids has you covered there too. We are blessed to have the Muskegon River run right through town. This gorgeous water way offers not only a wide variety of recreational activities, but solitude in many of Big Rapids’ luscious green parks. Whether you’re dropping tubes in at Northend Riverside Park, or just catching some rays by the water at Hemlock Park, go enjoy our natural beauty.
If you’re in the mood to go to some locally owned businesses, Big Rapids has many to offer. If you’re after an experience, The Purple Door has got you covered. Opening just over a year ago, The Purple Door is one of only 20 places to go axe throwing in the state. They offer eight different throwing stages and take everyone from first timers to seasoned pros.
If you’re after something a bit less physically involved, Artworks is for you. Artworks is a jack of all trades, hosting a gift shop, gallery and teaching studio. Here you can view, buy or learn how to create magnificent art.
Don’t dread your homework free weekends in Big Rapids, go explore the town Ferris calls home. We’re going to be here for awhile, so why not take some time to slow down and fall in love with the town.