I did a fall road trip in the Midwest starting with a drive through Michigan, and there are so many cute towns to explore! I definitely want to go back to see more, especially with all the beautiful fall foliage. If you’re staying in Grand Rapids, bigger cities like Detroit and Lansing are a pretty easy drive, but if you’re looking for some smaller towns in Michigan to explore, these are 4 great day trips from Grand Rapids!
Luna Pier is the furthest of these day trips from Grand Rapids at about 2.5 hour drive, but if you’re looking for a fun beach day, I recommend getting heading to Luna Pier! It’s a cute town with a pretty beach and a pier with a red lighthouse on Lake Erie.
When I was there, it was pretty empty and quiet, so it was a nice place to take a stroll around the beach.
I loved exploring Ann Arbor! It’s a little under a 2 hour drive from Grand Rapids, and it isn’t far from Luna Pier so you could combine those spots into one trip.
Ann Arbor has a nice downtown area near the university, and lots of beautiful houses. I really enjoyed just walking around the town and taking in all the pretty sights. If you’re looking for some more things to do, you can explore the parks, visit Michigan Stadium or go to a football game, visit the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum, and try a fragel!
Did you know that Michigan has its own little Dutch town? Holland is a super easy day trip from Grand Rapids because it’s only a 30 minute drive! It’s such a unique town with a cute downtown area, parks, a cuckoo clock store, bakeries, and a replica Dutch town complete with windmills in Windmill Island Gardens.
And if you visit in the spring, you can see all the tulips in bloom! Holland was one of my favorite spots in our road trip because it was so different from everywhere else we visited, so if you’re looking for something unique or a taste of Europe in the US, I definitely recommend visiting Holland!
South Haven is an hour from Grand Rapids, and it’s a great place to hang out at the beach! It was busier than Luna Pier, so I recommend getting there as early as you can in the day.
South Haven is on Lake Michigan, and the water was absolutely gorgeous! The water was a little rough (and cold when we were there), but it was still a really pretty area to walk around and take in the sights.
So those are my 4 small town Michigan day trips from Grand Rapids! Each one has different sights to see and different things to offer. And if you’re staying in Grand Rapids, check out my guide for things to do there.
I definitely want to go back to Michigan soon, so let me know if you have recommendations for other towns to visit 🙂