Monday, December 16, 2013

Best of the Net 12/9-12/15

Grand Rapids Is Not Lonely At The Top

Michigan has always styled itself as a tourist destination with its abundance of outdoor activities, but its cities are now being recognized as vacation hot spots. Travel website Lonely Planet recently named Grand Rapids its number one travel destination in the U.S. for 2014. 

Lonely Planet extols Grand Rapids for its craft brewing scene, Meijer Gardens, the Grand Rapids Art Museum and the ArtPrize art competition. The travel website also mentions the city's proximity to Lake Michigan's Gold Coast and notes that this shoreline may rival Hawaii's and Southern California's coasts.

Detroit Gets Love From Out-Of-Towners

Grand Rapids is not the only Michigan city receiving praise from travel experts. Fodor's placed Detroit on its Go List for 2014. Fodor's applauds Detroit's newer cultural and design-savvy businesses, emerging culinary scene and old standards like the Detroit Institute of Arts and Eastern Market.

The Chicago Tribune praises Detroit and its suburbs for its many breweries. Writer Kevin Revolinski features many of the microbreweries in Metro Detroit and concludes that the "craft beer scene alone is reason enough to visit Detroit."

Great Idea Gives Books To Michigan Kids

The Petoskey News features the Great Start Collaborative, a nonprofit that helps get used books into the hands of Northern Michigan children. The article shows how a few people with good intentions and a great idea can make a difference. The program started with a total of 500 books and now gives 1,000 books per month to children.

Michigan Artists Give Back

The Detroit Free Press reports that several Michigan musicians have recorded a Christmas album to help abused, abandon and neglected Michigan children. The album, "A Michigan Christmas of Hope," benefits Holy Cross Children's Services and features music by artists such as Jeff Daniels and the Silver Bullet Band. To purchase the CD, a minimum donation of $10 can be made here.

Lawrence Tech Building In Detroit

Crain's Detroit Business reports that Lawrence Technological University is breaking ground on a new design center in Midtown. The new building at Woodward Avenue and Willis Street will house three Lawrence Tech College of Architecture and Design programs as well as programs that are centered on community-based projects for Detroit.

The building also will house Ann Arbor-based Quinn Evans Architects, Inc., Invest Detroit and possibly a restaurant.

Grand Rapids Is Planting Trees

Grand Rapids is becoming greener according to Mlive. The city is working towards a goal of having a tree canopy over 40 percent of its land. The city recently received a significant financial contribution to help realize this goal. The Grand Rapids Community Foundation has donated $189,200 to the Friends of Grand Rapids Parks to help promote tree planting on private property.

Young Detroiter Inspires

In July, Governor Rick Snyder named Travis McClendon Michigan's Youth Volunteer of the Year. Detroit 2020 now has named McClendon its Person of the week. The Detroit Loyola High School student was born without forearms, yet he is living his young life by caring for those less fortunate than him.

He has performed hundreds of hours of community service during the past year through a variety of organizations. To read the Detroit 2020 article and to see a brief video about McClendon, click here.

Muskegon Hotels Expect A Strong 2014

2013 was a flat year for Muskegon area hotels, but they are expecting a boom for fiscal year 2014. According to the Grand Rapids Business Journal, Muskegon hotel owners expect increased occupancy rates due to several events that are expected to draw more visitors to the area this year.

Among the events mentioned in the article are the Bassmaster fishing tournament, the Bike Time motorcycle convention and the Michigan State Open Championships for bowling.

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