How far is Bay City from Grand Rapids? Here's the quick answer if you drive this relatively short distance without making any stops.
Nonstop drive: 159 miles or 256 km
Driving time: 2 hours, 17 minutes
Even though you can drive this distance straight through, it might be more interesting to stop along the way. You can scroll down to calculate how many hours it would take if you drive with stops.
Now let's assume you have a private jet and you can fly in the fastest possible straight line between Grand Rapids, Michigan and Bay City, Michigan. Because of the curvature of the Earth, the shortest distance is actually the "great circle" distance, or "as the crow flies" which is calculated using an iterative Vincenty formula.
Flight distance: 100 miles or 161 km
Flight time: 42 minutes
The straight line flight distance is 59 miles less than driving on roads, which means the driving distance is roughly 1.6x of the flight distance.
Your plane flies much faster than a car, so the flight time is about 1/3th of the time it would take to drive.
This is a relatively short flight in a private plane, but you might be planning to book a commercial flight. In that case, your travel time would really need to include how many minutes to get to your local airport, wait for security, board and taxi on the runway, land at the other airport, and get to your destination. Scroll down to see a more realistic calculation that takes into account all these factors to get a more accurate estimate of your actual flight time.
Let's say you're actually planning a road trip to Bay City, and you want to stop on the way to explore. If it's a real road trip, you might want to check out interesting places along the way, or maybe eat at a great restaurant. That's what Trippy is perfect for, helping you figure out travel plans in detail.
Road trip: 1 day of driving
With the full itinerary planned out, we can estimate your total travel time for this trip.
Travel time: 3.5 hours on the road
Start in Grand Rapids.
Drive for about 1 hour, then stop at Zaytoon Mediterranean Grill and stay for about 1 hour.
Next, drive for another 1 hour then stop in Flint and stay for 1 hour.
Drive for 31 minutes then stop in Frankenmuth and stay for 1 hour.
Finally, drive for about 29 minutes and arrive in Bay City.
To see all the details on this itinerary, including recommended restaurants, hotels, and things to do along the way, check out the full road trip planner:
In the quick calculation above, we assumed you had a private plane and just wanted to know the time in the air from city to city. But for most of us, we're going to be flying on a commercial airline (whether it's first class or coach). So that means we really need to account for all the extra travel time getting to the airport, waiting for our flight, and making it to the destination.
To give you a better estimate of real-life travel, we've put together a flight itinerary with actual airports. Eventually you'll be able to customize this plan, choosing your own airports and flights. But for now, here's an example we've selected to give you an idea of how traveling might work between airports.
Departure airport: Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR)
Arrival airport: MBS International Airport (MBS)
With the airports selected, we can estimate the travel time to and from the airport, based on how far the airport is from downtown.
Getting to the airport: 27 minutes
Getting to your destination: 31 minutes
Now finally, let's look at an example flight from GRR to MBS and figure out how long it would take to fly including take-off and landing, and time to taxi on the runway.
Commercial flight time: 42 minutes
So now we can finally get an idea of the total travel time from Grand Rapids to Bay City including time spent getting to/from the airports, an estimated wait time of 2 hours at the airport for TSA security lines and waiting at the gate, and the actual flight itself.
Total travel time: 4 hours
To see the details on this flight plan, including recommended airports, airline, and route, check out the flight planner:
Trippy has a ton of information that can help you plan your trip to Bay City, Michigan. Start by reading the Trippy page on where to stay in Bay City. Click the button below to explore Bay City in detail.
The distance is the same either way if you're flying a straight line (or driving the same roads back and forth). But for a real trip, there can be plenty of differences so go ahead and check the reverse directions to get the distance from Bay City to Grand Rapids, or go to the main page to calculate the distance between cities.
If you happen to know Grand Rapids, don't forget to help other travelers and answer some questions about Grand Rapids!