Fly To Grand Rapids, Michigan
Grand Rapids is the second largest city in Michigan, next to Detroit. Unlike its raw, grungy big brother, however, Grand Rapids is the picture of Midwest civility. Known for its office furniture manufacturing and conservative attitude, the economy of the city is nonetheless diverse, with health care, Information Technology, automotive, aviation and consumer-goods manufacturing all contributing to a healthy GDP.
Book the cheapest flights to Grand Rapids using the online flight search tool above, and fly into Gerald R. Ford International Airport. Named after the only Michigan-born president, it’s the easiest and most convenient way to visit this great city.
Visa Requirements & SA Embassy Details
- South African Passport holders do need a Visa to visit Grand Rapids, Michigan, and anywhere else in the USA. Leave plenty of time for Visa processing, and make sure your passport is valid for 6 months after your return date, and that you have 2 blank pages available for entry stamps.
- There is a South African Honorary Consulate in Michigan, contactable by phone and email. Phone: + 1 313 410 7575. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
See and do
Being the birthplace of Gerald R. Ford, it’s not unexpected that Grand Rapids would have a museum dedicated to his life and times. It’s an interesting story as far as politicians go, and well worth a visit to learn more about the “accidental” presidency, and Ford’s beneficial impact on the nation’s trust in their leadership.
If politics aren’t your idea of good holiday fun, try the Van Andel Museum Centre for a taste of Grand Rapids history, or wander the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. The park takes at least 4 to 8 hours to really explore, with nature trails and boardwalks and a world-class outdoor sculpture park. There’s also a children’s garden for the little ones, kept far away from the park’s other main attraction – the largest tropical conservatory in Michigan featuring a large selection of carnivorous plants.
Theatre and festivals are another big part of Grand Rapids life, and there are productions on by various companies throughout the year. Festivals happen mostly in the warmer months. Try June for the Festival of the Arts, Fulton Street Artisans’ Market and Blues on the Mall.
You’ll find all the usual tee-shirts, mugs and caps as souvenirs, but for something a little different try visiting the Founders Brewing Company. They’re famous for their ale, and a bottle or two makes a great gift for friends and family back home.
Public transport in Grand Rapids is fairly limited, and most people recommend hiring a car while you’re in town. Parking downtown can be inconvenient and costly, however, especially during major events. There is a bus service that runs through most of the city, which is clean and safe, and reliably scheduled. It’s a good option if you’re not up for driving yourself, and taxi fares are a little rich for your blood.
Gerald R. Ford International Airport – GRR
Food and beverage: Starbucks, and Cinnabon.
Currency Exchange: There are no currency exchange facilities at Gerald R. Ford International Airport. The nearest currency exchange office can be found at the Fifth Third Bank branch, located on the corner of Patterson Avenue and 44th Street, just across from the airport entrance.
Lost Luggage: Lost hold luggage should be handled by your individual airline’s help desk. For items lost or found within the airport terminals, contact airport security, or visit the information desk located opposite the baggage claim area, in the front lobby.
Airport Hotels: None on site. Nearby: Hampton Inn & Suites, SpringHill Suites, Econo Lodge & Suites, Crowne Plaza, Baymont Inn & Suites and Best Western Hospitality Hotel & Suites.
Car Hire: Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, and National/Alamo.