Nestled between the city centers of Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo, the city of Wayland, MI is a vibrant community with a rich history. Before it was officially named Wayland in 1868, the lush forested region was established and settled by the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians (now known as the Gun Lake Tribe). By the early 1800s, outsiders saw the area’s potential for agriculture, dairy farming, and lumber, and began developing a city. Today, Wayland enjoys looking back at its history as much as it looks forward to its continued growth and prosperity.
Whether you’re a lifelong local or a passing visitor, here are seven ways to experience Wayland’s unique small-town charm and progressive spirit.
#1. Wayland Farmers Market.
The Wayland Farmers Market makes it easy for you to access local food and products in the heart of downtown. Offering seasonal produce, fruits, veggies, and other locally grown and produced products, the Wayland Farmers Market is held on the NE corner of Hanlon Street and Main Street every Saturday from 10am-2pm from June through October and every Tuesday from June through August.
#2. Wayland Main Street Celebration.
Every July, the Downtown Wayland Main Street Program celebrates the local businesses and the community that make Wayland a great place to live and visit. The annual festival, which is free and open to the public, includes an artist marketplace, live music, local food vendors, children’s activities, tournaments, and more. Since the festival began in 2010, downtown Wayland has continued to enjoy growth, progress, and positive changes. In the 2019 festival, the Wayland Main Street Celebration also looks forward to featuring local artists in Minerva and Athena: Goddesses of the Arts Celebration.
#3. Acqua In Vino.
Meaning “Water Into Wine” in Italian, Acqua In Vino is downtown Wayland’s hub for buying and learning about quality cheeses and wines. Proud to offer locally made and locally sourced cheeses and wines, the knowledgeable team at Acqua In Vino loves teaching people about the processes, pairings, and tastes that make their products special and unique. Acqua In Vino partners with Michigan retailers to create an enjoyable and memorable experience around buying wine and cheese, including expert advice, personal stories, and small tastes of their favorite offerings.
#4. Gun Lake Park.
Located on the west shore of beautiful Gun Lake, Gun Lake Park is a welcoming four-acre park with over 450 feet of beach, picnic tables, a covered pavilion, grills, a playground, a basketball court, and boat launch. An all-sport lake with over 2,700 surface acres of water, Gun Lake is a local favorite for boating, tubing, sailing, swimming, kayaking, jet skiing, and bass fishing.
#5. Gun Lake Casino.
Established in 2011, the Gun Lake Casino is a local favorite for food, fun, and entertainment. In addition to offering an array of gaming, Gun Lake Casino has a buffet for every taste, a 24-hour restaurant, weekly karaoke, live music and comedy.
#6. Jayda Gale Distillery.
Located in downtown Wayland, Jayda Gale Distillery is a welcoming, family-friendly restaurant that offers fresh, local, and homestyle foods and their very own small-batch craft spirits and cocktails.
#7. Visit the dentist.
No matter what brings you or keeps you in Wayland, a healthy and attractive smile allows you to enjoy your experiences with comfort and confidence. Specializing in family and cosmetic dentistry, Dr. Bruce Sexton and his dental team are proud to provide you and your family with the best of dental technology and techniques in the inviting small-town atmosphere that makes Wayland an especially great place to live and visit.
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