Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids is in West Michigan, in the United States of America.

Grand Rapids is the second largest city in Michigan with a population of just under 200,000 in the city limits, and nearly 600,000 in the surrounding county. The federal West Michigan metropolitan area, which includes Grand Rapids, Muskegon, and Holland (and some intervening farmland), has 1,325,000 people.

Get in

By plane

  Gerald R. Ford International Airport (IATA: GRR). The airport for Grand Rapids and Kent County with daily flights (sometimes several) from most of the country's major hubs. Although it has customs facilities for direct international flights, in practice it has very few. Most flights are on Delta Air Lines, connecting through the Delta hub in nearby Detroit. There are non-stop flights to Grand Rapids Gerald R. Ford International Airport from the following cities (some cities may be seasonal or only offer service certain days of the week): Atlanta, Las Vegas, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Memphis, Milwaukee, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York, Orlando, Toronto, Phoenix, Tampa Bay, Newark, Fort Lauderdale and Washington.

By car

Major highways to Grand Rapids include I-196 (from the Chicago area), I-96 (from Muskegon, or from Lansing/Detroit), and US-131 (from Kalamazoo, or from northern Michigan).

By train

Amtrak offers daily evening train service from Chicago's Union Station on its Pere Marquette run. The station is located at 431 Wealthy St SW.

By bus

Get around

Like most mid-sized U.S. cities, an automobile is the most convenient means of getting around, with convenient free parking available most places outside of downtown. Parking downtown can be inconvenient and somewhat costly on weekdays and during major events (e.g. arena concerts). Parking is not enforced after 6:00 PM on weekdays and on the weekends (besides Monroe Center NW on Saturday). Walking within the immediate downtown area is pleasant enough in good weather, and generally safe.

Several taxi companies operate in the city, and cabs can be picked up at designated locations such as the airport, or by calling their dispatcher; cabs are usually not hailed on the street, except around the time bars close on weekends. Pedicabs are also becoming popular within the downtown area, currently operating during special events and weekend evenings.

"The Rapid" bus service has a terminal downtown, and routes throughout the city and its suburbs, running early mornings through late evenings on weekdays. Several routes run with less frequent service on Saturdays and Sundays. The buses are clean, safe, and generally on-time.

Street addresses identify the quadrant of the city by adding NW, NE, SW, or SE after the full street name. This is the same system used by Washington, D.C., but Grand Rapids doesn't have the capital's confusing system of alphabetic and numerical street names. There are a few numbered streets just northwest of downtown, but most of the numbered streets are from 28th Street and out on the south side; the far north side instead has Three Mile Road, Four Mile Road, etc. Generally speaking, east-west roads are called "Street" and north-south roads are called "Avenue",

Interwoven bicycle paths and trails make getting around by bike within the city simple. The city website has bike route maps to make finding your way around easy.



GRCT is one of the oldest community theatres in Michigan and in the United States. GRCT has a history of continuity and is one of the more self-sufficient arts organizations in our cultural community.


There are a lot of ethnic festivals during warmer months and are most often held at the downtown Calder Plaza.


There are several enclosed shopping malls and retail centers in the city and its suburbs - most notably Woodland Mall in the southeast, Rivertown Crossing in the southwest, and Knapp's Corner in the northeast - but they feature much the same stores as similar malls in other cities, so they are mostly of interest to local shoppers and those from less urban areas without such resources.




Go next

The lakeside communities of Holland and Grand Haven lie half an hour to the west, with the arty/restaurant/shopping mecca of Saugatuck slightly further, but worth the drive.

Routes through Grand Rapids

END  N  S  Holland Chicago
Ends at Muskegon  W  E  Lowell Lansing
Benton Harbor-Saint Joseph Wyoming  W  E  END
Petoskey Big Rapids  N  S  Wyoming Kalamazoo
Ends at N S Allendale  W  E  END

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, March 10, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.