Located within Allendale Charter Township, Allendale stretches two-thirds of the total township. It starts from the eastern boundaries of Grand Rapids to the western boundary of Lake Michigan. It was first named as Malta and later change to Allendale by state senator Pennoyer. The senator honored the wife of Hannibal Allen, Agnes Allen. The town was originally famous for being the main campus of Grand Valley State University.
Allendale might be an off-the-beaten-path for some, but others will love to come here for a bit of adventure, history, and a relaxing weekend with nature. Here are some of the best destinations in and around Allendale.
Coopersville Farm Museum
Built in 2001, the Coopersville Farm Museum is a non-profit organization keeping the tradition of rural life alive. With their mission, the museum has become an active part of the community, particuarly when educating people about the past. Here, children learn the importance of farming and how it was done before without technology or modern machinery. They also have exhibits from all over West Michigan covering topics like tools, barbed wire, and feed sacks. There is also an old grange hall dedicated to all sorts of trinkets from rural towns around the country. The museum may look small on the outside but is packed with goodies from floor to ceiling.
Gerald Ford Museum
This museum will take you back in time and get a glimpse of the life of President Ford and his wife. The museum honors democratic citizenship to instill an appreciation of the past. There are also temporary exhibits that display several artifacts from museums across the country.
The beautiful landscapes in this museum also leave people in awe. The layout is nicely done with friendly and very knowledgeable staff to assist guests. Short films show vital information about the former President’s politics and life. Another great thing about the museum is that the tours are very organized and easy to follow. Exhibits are well balanced, honest and very factual. Take a souvenir with you in their gift shop which features items relating not just to the Ford presidency but to other American Presidents as well.
Public Museum of Grand Rapids
The Grand Rapids Public Museum is one of the oldest history museums in the country. Founded in 1845, it still has an amazing facility and fascinating exhibits. The museum has three stories and is located just by the downtown riverfront. It houses some of well-preserved objects of the past and collections from more recent times. Some of the great features of the museum are the mystery puzzle and the planetarium. Family members of all ages will love spending time inside the museum. And if they get their tummy grumbling, the museum has a café with some great choices. Staff is also ready to assist guest as they’re all friendly in a way that you’ll only find in towns like Allendale.
Windmill Island Gardens
A few miles away from Allendale, you can find the picturesque beauty of Windmill Island Gardens. It’s not too big which makes it a perfect place to explore and enjoy all the scenery in one visit. They offer tours but the main attraction is their famous windmill. Let the kids enjoy a comfortable pace in the beautiful garden lined with different flowers in vibrant colors. Try to come to their Tulip Festival and you’ll truly experience Windmill Island Gardens in its most lustrous time. Spend the day taking pictures and you’ll definitely capture great frames in this scenic locale.
With the chilly season coming soon, if you spend much time in Allendale or Michigan in general, you might want to grab yourself one of our comfortable Michigan sweatshirts!