GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Visitors to Grand Rapids and locals alike now have a new opportunity to take a closer look at the city.
A company called Discovering Michigan is now offering guided tours of the city. You can learn about anything from the history of downtown Grand Rapids, to the different beers that make this Beer City USA and to the wines of Northern Michigan.
Candice Fleszar-Smith is Operations and Communications Manager for Discovering Michigan. She says: "We want to show the city to people, and not just visitors.
"We want to help locals see what's in the city that they don't know about. Experience it in a different way. ... We're showing the history of the city. Unique stories even a lot of locals don't know."
For example, did you know...
"The Rapids were so loud, the sound would echo through the hills of the area," according to Fleszar-Smith.
Plus, many people have heard that the story of the rocks being taken out of the rapids of the Grand River in order to build up the city. But, did you know a man pulled the rocks out of the river to help build a local church and pay for his family's pew rent?
Fleszar-Smith explains: "He offered to haul the rocks up from the river to be used to build the church. And that's how he paid his rent.
"So, the fact that we don't have rapids is because this guy wanted to pay the rent on his pew."
Discovering Michigan can help you learn about Grand Rapids favorite son, former President Gerald R. Ford. Like the fact that he was born in Nebraska, but his mother brought him to Grand Rapids when he was just a few weeks old.
Or the fact that Gerald and Betty Ford were the first President and First Lady in the White House to sleep in the same bed.
The tours also showcase parts of the history of the native tribes of West Michigan, including the mounds created in memory of the tribes of the three fires.
You can learn more about tours from Discovering Michigan by going to their website, discoveringmichigan.com.
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