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Why rent a car in Grand Rapids?

Grand Rapids is situated on the Grand river in the state of Michigan, about 30 miles west of Lake Michigan. The city offers a huge number of cultural attractions and a paradisiacal outdoor garden. It was voted ‘beer city USA’, being home to some of the world’s best breweries and brewpubs. Craft beer lovers can look forward to a self-guided tour, but remember not to drink before driving.

With a Grand Rapids hire car you can also visit Detroit in less than two and a half hours or explore the shores of Lake Michigan – Chicago is two hours and 40 minutes away.

How to get to and around Grand Rapids?

Grand Rapids is under a half-hour drive from Gerald R. Ford International Airport. Wyoming and Kentwood can both be reached in 20 minutes. In less than 20 minutes from the centre of Grand Rapids, an absolute must-see is the 158-acre Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, one of the most visited museums in the world. It combines the concept of a botanical garden with an outdoor sculpture park with works by artists such as Auguste Rodin, Henry Moore and Ai Weiwei.

Along the Grand river there’s no lack of interesting museums. The Grand Rapids Public Museum has science, local history and culture exhibits; it also has a 1928 carousel and a planetarium. Learn about the life and administration of President Ford at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, which has a replica of the Oval Office. For 19th and 20th century European and American art, visit the Grand Rapids Art Museum. A block away, in the plaza around the City Hall, is the La Grande Vitesse sculpture by Alexander Calder painted in the artist’s signature bright red.

Admirers of Frank Lloyd Wright will want to take the free tour of the Meyer May House in the Heritage Hill District.

What brands are available?

From Gerald R. Ford International Airport you can pick up a Grand Rapids hire car in from one of the following companies:

  • Alamo
  • Avis
  • Budget
  • Hertz
  • National
  • Must-sees within an easy drive of Grand Rapids

    Drive an hour and a half to Silver Lake State Park to enjoy over 2,000 acres of sand dunes on the shores of Lake Michigan and rent a dune buggy for a scenic dune cruising. A 40-minute drive along the lake takes you to Amber Elk Ranch in Ludington, where you can tour the farm and see huge bulk elk.

    A lovely island escape is a three hour and 40 minutes’ drive to the north of Michigan plus a ferry ride to Mackinac Island State Park. Motorised vehicles are forbidden here, so either walk, bike or take a horsedrawn carriage. Make sure to eat some of Michigan’s famous fudge.

    Tips and tricks for driving in the US

    American cars usually have automatic transmission. Drive on the right side. An international driving permit is not compulsory but recommended. Carry it at all times along with ID (passport) and proof of insurance.

    Speed limits vary from state to state; in general stick to 70mph on motorways. Beware that undertaking is not illegal in the US; to stay safe, don’t forget to signal before changing lanes.

    Provided there is no oncoming traffic, you can turn right at red traffic lights. At a four-way stop, all cars should stop, and the one that arrived first sets off first followed by the others in the order of arrival.

    Ready to plan your Grand Rapids city break?

    Feeling inspired to start planning a visit to Grand Rapids and the rest of the US? Check out this city guide and use the Expedia search tool to help you find the best car hire, flight and hotel and research the best attractions and activities.

    Remember that Expedia car hire comes with no hidden fees. The price you see is the price you pay!



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