Grand Rapids Travel Guide

  • Things to Do
    by tguida
  • Judy Garland Museum
    Judy Garland Museum
    by Basaic
  • Old Central High School
    Old Central High School
    by Basaic

Grand Rapids Things to Do

  • Try a new family experience...Zip line!

    We had an amazing time at the Character Challenge Course. Located about 75 miles south west of Grand Rapids, the trip is absolutely worth your while! Staff are supportive and helpful and safety is key to the experience. Bring loads of cameras and lots of guts, the zip line will make you scream, but the Giant Swing will make you....Lets just say...

  • Mississippi River Park

    Just an hour's drive from its source at Itasca State Park, the baby Mississippi River flows through the center of Grand Rapids. The river is celebrated at this park where several exhibits detail the importance of the river, not just for Grand Rapids, but throughout its 2.552 mile course to the Gulf of Mexico. There are also pleasant picnic and play...

  • Grace

    For many years we have admired this famous photograph as we have viewed it in homes, restaurants, and churches. It's of an old man pausing to give thanks (offer grace) over a simple meal of a loaf of bread and a bowl of soup. But until we visited the Itasca County Museum we knew nothing of the picture's history, nor did we know that the State of...

  • The Yellow Brick Road

    The sidewalks leading from 5th Street to the Old Central School have been replaced with a "Yellow Brick Road," like that in the movie, "The Wizard of Oz." As we walked up to the school this crow flew down and landed in front of us, inviting us to take it's picture. So we did. Now this seemed really strange. Didn't Dorothy follow the Yellow Brick...

  • Old Central School

    Occupying a full square block right in the center of Grand Rapids the Old Central School looks more like a courthouse than a schoolhouse. No longer used as a school, it is now a multi-use structure, housing the Itasca County Historical Society Museum, a restaurant, various craft and gift shops and offices.Built in 1885, Old Central School is listed...

  • Judy Garland Birthplace and Museum

    Frances Ethel Gumm, who became Judy Garland and starred as Dortohy in one of the world's most beloved films, "The Wizard of Oz," was born and spent her earliest years in Grand Rapids. A section of the Ithaca County Museum is dedicated to her, but even more interesting is to visit the home where the famous child star was born.This 1925 historic home...

  • Grand Rapids Visitor Center

    It would be well on any first time visit to a town to start at the Visitor Center, which is where we began our day in Grand Rapids. Here we learned that we needed more than just one day to explore all the many things there are to see and do in this very interesting area. One of the places we most wanted to visit, the Forest History Center, an...

  • Wizard of Oz Mural

    This is one of two murals we saw in downtown Grand Rapids honoring the town's most famous daughter, Judy Garland, who starred as Dorothy in the enduring family movie, The Wizard of Oz.

  • Follow the Yellow Brick Road

    I must admit that I was at first flummoxed by the sight of corn growing in the square surrounding the Old Central School. But then as I drew closer and noticed the yellow brick road, it all came together. When Dorothy followed the Yellow Brick Road out of Munchkinland she was quickly in the cornfields--hence her meeting with the Scarecrow who had...


Grand Rapids Hotels

Grand Rapids Local Customs

  • zrim's Profile Photo
    Becky and Phil

    by zrim Updated Oct 6, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I suppose there is no more common custom worldwide than marriage. Is there a society or culture that does not practice marriage in some form? Probably not. For me, this was a special day not because of the family, friends, ceremony, flowers, dinner, celebration, etc. No, that stuff was nice and everything, but the real reason that it was the best day of my life was the realization that Becky and I had made a lifelong commitment to travel through life as one and this was the first day of that journey.

    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

    Was this review helpful?


Grand Rapids Warnings and Dangers

  • zrim's Profile Photo
    Blandin Paper Company

    by zrim Written Oct 5, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Transforming a tree into reams of paper is a stinky business. Really. It smells pretty bad and given the right atmospheric conditions the entire town can be engulfed by rather noxious fumes.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?


Grand Rapids Off The Beaten Path

  • Pokegama Dam and Recreation Area

    Just three miles upstream from Grand Rapids, on Hwy. 2, is this beautiful recreation area developed and maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Here you will find Class A waterfront camping sites, picnic and playground areas, hiking trails, restrooms, and a fishing dock. Pokegama is always open.

  • The abandoned Tioga mine is a...

    The abandoned Tioga mine is a great place to go mountain biking. There are alot of old roads that have been partially grown over but makes for a great off-road ride. There are no maps of the mine so you can get lost easily, I still do even though I've been riding them for years. And when your done riding you can take a dip in the turquiose blue pit...

  • The Fedral dam on the...

    The Fedral dam on the Mississippi River. It's located just west of town on highway 2. It's really not that big because way up here the Mississippi isn't that big but there are some good hiking paths on the other side of the dam and a campground along side it.(pic. of swamp near Lake Pokegama)


Grand Rapids Favorites

  • Judy Garland Mural

    Judy Garland was born in Grand Rapids in 1922 but moved to California by the time she was 5 years old. Therefore, it seems a little silly to me that Grand Rapids would have a Judy Garland Museum and have a yellow brick road leading up to the old Central school building in the center square in town. But the folks still worship the diminuitive Judy...

  • Visit one of the surrounding...

    Visit one of the surrounding lakes. Lake Pokegama is one of the largest in the areas and there are many public landings and beaches. There are over 1,000 lakes in Itasca county alone so your bound to find one you like. Swimming in lake Pokegama, the water is clean and usually not too cold.(different view from our cabin)

  • Grand Rapids Hotels

    9 Hotels in Grand Rapids

    73 Reviews and Opinions

Instant Answers: Grand Rapids

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

114 travelers online now


Explore Deeper into Grand Rapids
The Mississippi River
Things to Do
Things to Do
Map of Grand Rapids

View all Grand Rapids hotels