Explore Michigan from Grand Rapids: 1 to 2 Hour Drive

After (or before) experiencing the best that Grand Rapids has to offer, check out the nearby destinations that will allow you to continue your adventure.

Visitors feeding giraffes at Binder Park Zoo

Share This

Discover Michigan's unique history and culture, trek stunning sand dunes and get up-close encounters with amazing animals. There's so much to experience just a car ride away.


Things to Do in Lansing: The Ultimate Pure Michigan Guide
Michigan State Capitol | Photo Courtesy of Greater Lansing CVB
1 hour DRive

Just a short drive away is Michigan’s capital city of Lansing. Find world-class attractions, arts and culture, unique distilleries and breweries, a ten-mile paved river trail and the beautiful campus of Michigan State University.


A boy running through cloud mural at the Air Zoo
Air Zoo in Kalamazoo | Photo Courtesy of _tomhughes._
1 hour Drive

There’s a buzz about Kalamazoo that makes people fall in love with its vibe. With renowned trails, museums and attractions, award-winning craft beer, a locally-loved arts scene and historic neighborhoods, summertime is one of the best times to visit Kalamazoo! 

Silver Lake

Dune buggy on dunes by Lake Michigan
Silver Lake Sand Dunes | Photo Courtesy of Pure Michigan
1 hour + 15 minute Drive

Experience a day trip to explore Silver Lake Sand Dunes State Park. Featuring 1000+ acres of sand dunes bordering Lake Michigan, there are also nearby lodging options, restaurants and attractions surrounding the state park in Silver Lake. These are also the only sand dunes in the eastern U.S. where you can go ORVing on the dunes, and one-third of the park is designated for hiking.

Mt. Pleasant

4 Must-See Native American Cultural Sites
Ziibiwing Cultural Center | Photo Courtesy of Midwest Living Magazine/Ziibiwing Center
1 hour + 30 minute Drive

Experience adventure by choice or by chance and meet in Mt. Pleasant.  Explore 18 nature preserves; disc golf and find covered bridges at the beautiful Deerfield Nature Park; or canoe, kayak or tube down Michigan’s laziest river, the Chippewa River. Try your luck at one of the largest gaming floors in the Midwest at the Soaring Eagle Casino and cheer on the Chippewas at a Central Michigan University event. 

Battle Creek

Giraffe with baby giraffe.
Binder Park Zoo | Photo Courtesy of Calhoun Country Visitors Bureau
1 hour + 30 minute Drive

In Battle Creek, you can go experience unique animal interactions, see the largest car museum in North America and get your Vegas on! Tour the historic cars at Gilmore Car Museum. Feed a snack to giraffes at Binder Park Zoo. Meet the alligator families at Critchlow Alligator Sanctuary and enjoy some unique bridge installations at Historic Bridge Park. End the day with the Vegas glam of FireKeepers Casino Hotel.  


Downtown Cadillac from above
Downtown Cadillac | Photo Courtesy of Cadillac Area Visitors Bureau
1 hour + 30 minute Drive

Cadillac offers an abundance of opportunities for summertime fun: fishing, boating, canoeing, hiking, backpacking, camping, mountain biking, golfing, kayaking and so much more. Whatever your interest, adventures abound!


mountain biker on the trails inside the metro parks
Trails in Howell | Photo Courtesy of Livingston County CVB
1 hour + 40 minute Drive

Explore the Brighton Howell Area, where historic downtown districts serve up an open invitation to enjoy destination dining, boutique shops and vibrant entertainment. Known as an outdoor playground, the surrounding area overflows with sights and scenes that will leave you inspired. Plan your escape to 50,000+ acres of parks, 123 miles of trails, 184 lakes and 20 golf courses.


Sign reading Flint
Downtown Flint | Photo Courtesy of Pure Michigan
1 hour + 45 minute Drive

Discover rich history and immersive culture in the Flint and Genesee area. From the nationally acclaimed Flint Institute of Arts to the beautiful Applewood Estate, get lost in the art and legacy of many generations. Find one-of-a-kind craft food and drinks along the historic bricks of downtown Flint, and tour more than 150 awe-inspiring murals. You’ll be surprised what you’ll find when you explore the Flint and Genesee area.

Coldwater Country

The entrance to the Capri Drive-In Theater.
Capri Drive-In | Photo Courtesy of Coldwater Country CVB
1 hour + 45 minute Drive

Situated along the historic US-12 Heritage Trail, the Coldwater Country area is a haven for relaxation. Spend the day on one of 100+ inland lakes, kayak a waterway trail or reel in the catch of the day. Step back in time with a ride aboard the 110+ year steam engine train or by exploring timeless Victorian downtowns and antique shops. Learn the tricks of the trade in the Magic Capital of the World. Take in a performance at Tibbits Opera House or a double-feature at the nostalgic Capri Drive-In.