Live Like A Local: A Virtual Reality Exploration of Grand Rapids

A new series of videos and 360-degree online tours takes you to the heart of this gem of a Minnesota city.

Many visitors are drawn to the hometown of Judy Garland by the city’s pristine lakes, dense forests, and bountiful recreation opportunities. Often, it’s the community-centered culture and thriving arts scene that work together to convert temporary tourists into long-term residents. That’s the testimony of several of the Grand Rapids locals featured in a collection of videos produced by Visit Grand Rapids (VGR) in the newly launched Live Like A Local series, supported by The Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation Board’s Culture and Tourism Grant.

“Small town living isn’t for everyone, but for those seeking a community that reflects and complements the splendor and strength of the outdoors, then this is the place for you,” states VGR’s website.

The videos offer a close-up look at the “ideal balance of community and wilderness” to be found in Grand Rapids, along with “unique boutique style shops, and rustic and charming dining options,” the Live Like A Local webpage points out. “Grand Rapids is a great place to visit, but also a wonderful place to live, raise a family, work, and enjoy the outdoors. You will find a prevailing sense of optimism among residents of the possibility and promise for the future of this community.”

In the videos, nine out of the city’s 11,000-plus residents share their personal stories about why they choose to live and work in Grand Rapids.

“Economic development, tourism and quality of life are interconnected,” explains Megan Christianson, Executive Director for VGR. “When people consider a region for relocation or as a travel destination, quality of life plays a significant role in their decision.” 

Ranking high among those decision-making factors are the great outdoors and the natural resource industries that go along with them, including timber and taconite. Apart from attracting many tourists seasonally, the local economy also boasts a dependable healthcare system, a strong commitment to education, and an advanced manufacturing sector.

Find current job postings in Grand Rapids HERE on NORTHFORCE!

Check out the Live Like A Local videos and take 360-degree virtual reality tours of key spots around the city on VGR’s website:

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