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Grand Rapids Travel Updates & Openings

Updated:9/3/2020

The Experience Grand Rapids team is proud to call this community home – and not just because of our world-class art, culinary, craft beverage and outdoor recreation scenes. We also appreciate our people, who sacrificed much to help Michigan “flatten the COVID-19 curve” and pave the way for reopening the state economy.

Michigan’s governor has now lifted her stay-at-home order for the entire state, allowing most businesses to resume operations. We look forward to welcoming visitors back to Grand Rapids and Kent County, with a reminder that these state rules are in effect:

  • Masks are required in all enclosed public spaces. Any business can refuse entry or service to people who refuse to wear face coverings. See more details below about face masks.
  • Social distancing of at least six feet is required both indoors and out. (Members of the same household are exempt from this requirement).
  • Indoor gatherings are restricted to 10 people maximum, outdoor gatherings are restricted to 100 people or less. Social distancing applies in all cases.
  • Barber shops, hair salons, spas, tattoo shops, nail salons are allowed to open with reduced capacity.
  • Gyms and indoor pools will be allowed to open beginning September 9 at reduced capacity.
  • Indoor theaters and bowling alleys in our region are still closed. 

Face Masks & Coverings Required

To combat the spread of Covid-19 in Michigan, face coverings are required: 1) in all indoor public spaces, 2) in outdoor spaces where you cannot stay at least six feet away from people not in your household, and 3) when waiting for or riding on public transportation (including ride-sharing vehicles). Businesses must refuse entry to those not wearing a face covering, or they risk losing their license. Individuals may be charged with a misdemeanor and fined up to $500 for violating the order.  

You do not have to wear a face covering when eating or drinking while seated at a restaurant. Children under five years old and those who can’t medically tolerate a face covering are also exempt from the order. Seven additional exceptions are listed in the Michigan Executive Order.

This order applies to all Grand Rapids-area restaurants, retail shops, tourist attractions and the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. Visitors to attractions with outdoor areas such as John Ball Zoo and Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park will need masks at admissions and should keep their masks handy in case they encounter a crowded spot outside.

Thank you for doing your part to keep Grand Rapids safe!

Please scroll down to read what’s happening in different sectors of the visitor economy. Not all businesses are opening all at once – many are still in the process of implementing health and safety protocols to help protect customers and employees. Be sure to call ahead or check Facebook to confirm hours of operation and other details.

We’ll update this page to reflect new updates, so check back often.

Airport

The Gerald R. Ford International Airport has introduced a Fly Safe. Fly Ford. campaign to educate travelers on new precautions for their health and restore confidence in air travel. New safety features at the airport include continuous cleaning protocols, hand sanitizer stations, plexiglass dividers at interaction points, visual cues to reinforce physical distancing, and PPE available in concession areas and through vending machines. Passengers, guests and airport personnel are required to wear facial coverings throughout the terminal and all enclosed areas. Explore more airport safety measures and travel tips.

Hotels

Hotels are ready to welcome all guests traveling to the area. Indoor pools and exercise rooms will begin to reopen at reduced capacity. Meeting rooms are not open due to the “10 people or less” guideline. Please check with the hotel for details on specific amenities availability and safety procedures.

Dining & Drinking

Restaurants, breweries, distilleries, cideries, coffeehouses and other food service businesses can now welcome customers for in-person dining, in adherence with new state health and safety regulations. Many local restaurants have signed on to the Michigan Restaurant Promise, which spells out their commitment to guests—including daily staff wellness checks, spacing tables at least six feet apart, implementing CDC-approved cleaning and sanitizing protocols, and more. In return, these eateries request that guests adhere to certain safety measures, including staying home if you feel sick, wearing a face mask when not at your table and maintaining proper social distance. Check out the list of Michigan Restaurant Promise members.

The state has mandated that indoor service is currently closed for bars and restaurants that earn 70% or more of their gross receipts from alcohol sales. Please search our dine-in listings for an open restaurant, and check with the location before you go—some will require reservations to comply with the state mandate to limit guests to 50% capacity. Some restaurants are expanding capacity by offering outdoor seating in new social zones. Face masks are required until you are seated. Refreshment Areas in some Social Zones, allow patrons of participating restaurants, pubs and entertainment venues to carry an open alcoholic beverage outdoors.

Still don’t feel comfortable dining in? Keep in mind that many local eateries are still offering expanded carryout and delivery service – including alcohol sales.

Attractions

All area attractions are permitted to open. Because of the size and scope of some of these operations, they may take a little extra time to get ready for visitors. Attractions that are currently open include Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, John Ball ZooGrand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids Public Museum, TreeRunner Grand Rapids Adventure Park, Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park, Gun Lake Casino, Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery, Craig's Cruiser, Blandford Nature Center and Michigan's Adventure WildWater Adventure Water Park. The amusement park will not open this summer. Face masks are required indoors and outdoors when social distancing isn't possible.

Shopping

Retail stores can now operate at 50% customer capacity. Rivertown Crossings Mall, Woodland Mall and Tanger Outlet Mall are open, though not all of its stores are. Select stores at all three malls are offering curbside pickup service. Other shopping areas like Breton Village Shopping Center and Gaslight Village are open for shopping. Many retailers across the region are encouraging online shopping while they prepare their stores for in-store shopping. Search our retail listings by merchandise category and neighborhood, and check with individual retailers for opening details. Face masks are required for all indoor public spaces and outdoors when six feet of distance is not possible.

Outdoor Recreation

You can explore all of our Grand Outdoors right now – bike, hike, fish, golf, visit parks, and canoe and kayak to your heart’s content. Just remember to remain at least six feet apart from anyone outside your household and if you can't you are required to wear a face mask.

The beaches at Long Lake, Millennium Park, Myers Lake and Wabasis Lake are open. Millennium Park is open with capacity restrictions. Camping at Wabasis Lake is now available. Restrooms and disc golf courses throughout the Kent County park system are open. Outdoor picnic areas are open for groups of 100 or less (social distance must be maintained). Enclosed shelters remain off limits for now.

The health and safety of visitors and residents is our paramount concern. Thank you for your patience as we reopen the right way – carefully and deliberately, with protocols and procedures in place to protect all of us as much as possible. We look forward to your visit!

The Pure Michigan PledgeThe Pure Michigan Pledge

Pure Michigan announced a statewide safety pledge for business, tourism and local communities. Building on the “Two Peninsulas, One Pure Michigan” message of strength and unity across the state during COVID-19, Pure Michigan is encouraging businesses, visitors and local communities to take the Pure Michigan Pledge, a promise to uphold local safety protocols and CDC travel guidelines to travel safely this summer season and beyond. Experience Grand Rapids has taken the pledge with pride.

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Dream Grand Today. Experience Grand Rapids Tomorrow.

We invite you to Dream Grand with us! We miss all of you and want you to dream about your future visit to the Grand Rapids area. Share memories and photos with us on social channels of your favorite experiences in the Grand Rapids area to inspire travel when it is safe to do so. Tag #DreamGrand on social for us to see and reshare!

Get Inspired: Your Future Visit Awaits