More bragging rights for Grand Rapids! GR tends to make a lot of lists - best places to live, top foodie cities, etc. -  Now it's been named among the top ten places to visit in the U.S.

This time the praise comes from CNN! Instead of big cities like Chicago, New York City, and San Francisco, they were looking for smaller, lesser known spots to visit this summer.

READ MORE: Grand Rapids Brunch Restaurant Named Among 12 Best in U.S. 

These places likely aren't already at the top of everyone's travel list and are "places where you'll often find small-town vibes and loads of personality s well as plenty to see and do for a few days or more."

Grand Rapids
TSM, Canva

I think Grand Rapids fits that bill! I've lived here for more than twenty years and I always call it a "little big town". There's plenty to check out, but you still have that small town feel - especially with all the cute neighborhoods like Creston, Eastown, and Alger Heights.

Alger Heights
Janna, TSM

To determine their ranking first ever ranking of "America's Best Towns to Visit", CNN tapped their network of contributors for nominations. They narrowed it down to the top ten by looking at each town's attractions, nightlife, cultural scene, restaurants, lodging options, sense of identity, proximity to other interesting spots, and overall wow factor.

CNN picked Grand Rapids, Mich., as the No. 8 travel destination in the country!

Grand Rapids scored high for art and design, beer scene (we are after all, Beer City USA!), and outdoor activities.

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Specifically, CNN notes GR's more than 100 breweries, distilleries, and cideries, plus museums, and the Grand River for outdoor family friendly activities.

The new amphitheater on the way in coming years even got a shout out!

If I were too add more praise for Grand Rapids, it'd would be to highlight the fun festivals, great concerts that come to town, awesome restaurants, and fantastic parks!

Here' s the rest of CNN's top places to take a vacation:

  1. Richmond, Virginia
  2. Providence, Rhode Island
  3. Tacoma, Washington
  4. Portland, Maine
  5. San Luis Obispo, California
  6. Flagstaff, Arizona
  7. Macon, Georgia
  8. Grand Rapids, Michigan
  9. Knoxville, Tennessee
  10. Duluth, Minnesota

Outdoor Games, Gear, and Equipment You Can Rent for FREE From Grand Rapids Gear Library

Not too long ago, Grand Rapid Parks and Recreation added skateboards to the Thrive Outside Gear Library. Did you know about all the cool stuff you can rent for free? Just about anything you'd need for a camping trip you'll find in the Gear Library at Roosevelt Park Gym, plus team sports equipment, clothing, picnic supplies, even gear for cold weather activities too! The Gear Library is located at the gym at Roosevelt Park at 739 Van Raalte Dr. SW in Grand Rapids. The library is open on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm. 

Gallery Credit: Janna