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Lansing, Michigan

Local Details

Learn more about Lansing, Michigan using the City Guide below. Plan a trip, find local shopping centers, or just discover what makes Lansing, Michigan so great!

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City Guide

Lansing, Michigan is an asthetically pleasing city, and as the state's capital, it contains many government offices. Downtown Lansing has a historic shopping district amidst the campus of renowned Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Its suburb-East Lansing-is the home of Michigan State University, a "Big Ten" school and one of the United States' largest and most distinguished public universities with three medical schools and a law school. General Motors has a major presence in the area. The Lansing metro area has a population of 455,836.

Get in

By car

Lansing is accessible from Interstates 96 and 69, and US-127.

By bus

Lansing and East Lansing are both served by Greyhound, with direct connections to Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Kalamazoo (where you can transfer coming from Chicago). Owosso-based Indian Trails bus lines provides daily service from Chicago.

By train

Amtrak runs a daily train from its main national hub at Chicago to Port Huron on the Blue Water Line that makes a stop in Lansing/East Lansing (on Harrison Rd. right next to Michigan State University). The morning train goes to southwest to Chicago, the afternoon one back to Port Huron.

By air

Capitol City International Airport lies just northwest of the city. There are some direct flights to larger cities in the Great Lakes region, but most travelers will have to connect via Detroit (Northwest), Chicago (United) or Cincinnatti (Delta) and catch a smaller plane to Lansing. Allegiant Air offers direct flights to Las Vegas and Orlando.

Get around

Lansing and most of its surrounding suburbs are served by the CATA bus system. Driving in Lansing is generally not a problem and it is not common to see large traffic backups that plague large cities. However, they can occur during "rush hour" (between 4:30 pm and 6:00 pm) generally concentrated east of the city near Okemos and East Lansing, and West Lansing (Waverly district).

Several taxi services are available also that serve the area.

Lansing also has an extensive river walk trail for biking and running that follows the Grand River from downtown eastward.

See

  • Lansing Lugnuts (Class A Minor League Baseball)
  • State Capitol Building (Historic and architectural masterpiece)
  • Hall of Justice (Michigan Supreme Court)
  • Old Town (Swanky, upscale boutiques)
  • Lake Lansing (Excellent beach, sailing, boating, and swimming)
  • Riverwalk
  • Reutter Park in downtown Lansing. (Beautiful and historic fountain in the center)
  • Potter Park Zoo (Highly acclaimed regional zoo with 100 acres located on the beautiful Red Cedar river.)
  • Historic Lansing City Market located on the beautiful Grand River in downtown Lansing. (A Taste of Europe)
  • Michigan Library and Historical Museum
  • Thomas M. Cooley Law School (Nation's largest law school)
  • Durant Park in downtown Lansing. This park was a gift to the people of Lansing by General Motors founder William Durant. (Beautiful and historic arch)
  • The Turner Dodge Mansion
  • Cooley Gardens
  • Francis Park (Beautiful rose garden and Grand River views)
  • Fenner Nature Center (Arboretum with small lakes)
  • Woldumar Nature Center (Located near the Grand River in Lansing)

Do

  • Abrams Planetarium on the beautiful campus of Michigan State University
  • The Michigan Princess Michigan's only triple decker riverboat. Offers stunning views of the Grand River.
  • Michigan State University Watch some of a Big Ten school's athletics,
  • MSU 4H Children's Gardens
  • East Lansing Film Festival which is the largest in Michigan.
  • East Lansing Arts Festival which is one of the largest in Michiagn.
  • Common Ground Festival which attracts nearly 100,000 people in downtown Lansing.
  • Silver Bells decorating the state Christmas (Holiday) tree with a parade and fireworks. More than 80,000 people attend this festival at the State Capitol.
  • Boarshead Theater 425 South Grand Avenue. Located in downtown Lansing, the Boarshead is an intimate (i.e. small) theater showing a variety of productions.
  • The Riverwalk Theatre
  • The Lansing Civic Players
  • The Greater Lansing Symphony Orchestra
  • Wharton Center for the Performing Arts, MSU campus. The Wharton Center is the largest performing arts center in the greater Lansing area and one of the largest in the state. The Wharton Center is nationally recognized as one of the top college venues for the performing arts. It often features large Broadway type shows (The Lion King, Cats, The Phantom of the Opera) as well as lesser know productions. The Wharton Center has two theatres, the Great Hall, and the Pasant Theatre.
  • MSU Auditorium, the Fairchild Theatre, and the Arena Theatre
  • The Hannah Community Center and the Albert White Performing Arts Theatre
  • The Dart Auditorium of Lansing Community College
  • Impressions 5 Children's Museum is a hands-on science center
  • The Lansing Center (Architecturally beautiful convention center)
  • Lake Lansing (Offers a beautiful beach for swimming, boating and sailing, and fishing. Lake Lansing is located only 7 miles from downtown Lansing.)
  • The Historic Lansing City Market (Very European in style)

Learn

  • Michigan State University (Big Ten University)

Buy

Lansing has one shopping mall in its city limits, and three more that are near by. Frandor Mall is located on the east side of Lansing off of US-127, between Michigan Avenue and Grand River Avenue. Eastwood Town Center, a pleasant outdoor mall is to the north in Lansing township, west of US-127 at Lake Lansing Road; Lansing Mall is to the west in Delta Township. The upscale Meridian Mall in Okemos has 120 stores with 4 anchors. All are within 15-30 minutes drive of the city center.

  • The Historic Lansing City Market located downtown on the Grand River. (Very European)
  • Old Thyme Books (Antiquarian books)
  • The Way Station Books & Stuff (Antiquarian and used books)
  • Schuler Books

Grand River Avenue in East Lansing is a commercial strip on its north side for most of its length. Since it fronts onto the campus of Michigan State, many of the stores are student-oriented. Amid the national franchises, though, are several unique and locally-owned places, including:

  • Gibson's Bookstore 128 West Grand River in East Lansing. Their community space featuring works by local artists. Gibson's offers free coffee, free wireless internet and quirky used books. Contributions to the decor and record/book collections most welcome. Gibson's is also the home of East Lansing's first and only public recycle bin.
  • Curious Books (Antiquarian books)
  • Archives Books (Antiquarian books)
  • Flat, Black and Circular (Also known as "FBC" is a trendy used record and CD store)

Eat

Lansing

  • The Knight Cap, 320 East Michigan Avenue. Probably the most romantic restaurant in the Lansing area, it is known for its excellent steaks and its excellent service. Don't forget to make a reservation - the whole place seats only about 40 people.
  • The Cadillac Club, in hip and happening REO Town. Possibly the coolest restaurant in the Lansing area.
  • Troppo in downtown Lansing. Upscale alfresco dining looking down the street to the State Capitol building.
  • DeLuca's Restuarant The best pizza in Michigan and probably the entire United States. The House Special is the most popular pizza.
  • Altu's Ethiopian Cuisine, 1312 East Michigan Ave. Offers great food in a traditional atmosphere. Vegetarian and Vegan friendly.
  • Jerusalem Bakery, 1456 East Michigan Ave. Traditional Mediterranean food, and home to one of the best Falafel sandwiches you'll find in the greater Lansing area.
  • Emil's Restaurant Lansing's oldest family-owned restaurant. Italian food, located in a swanky part of Lansing known as the "East Side Neighborhood."
  • Kelly's Downtown Pub, downtown Lansing, an Irish pub with good food and a lively atmosphere. A Lansing downtown fixture since 1985, with a great Fish and Mac special on Friday and Saturday.
  • Mitchell's Fish Market, 2975 Preyde Blvd. Located in Eastwood Towne Centre on the north end of town, Mitchell's is the best fish restaurant in town. The Sharkfin Pie dessert is huge and feeds several people. In the summer, enjoy alfresco dining by a beautiful fountain.
  • Bravo Italian restaurant in Eastwood Towne Center. In the summer, enjoy alfresco dining by a beautiful fountain.
  • Claddagh Irish Pub, 2900 Town Centre. With creaky floors and a dark wood interior, it is themed as a traditional Irish pub. It is known for its huge portions of fish and chips, but serves American food as well as Irish meals.
  • Champps, 2800 Preyde Blvd. An upscale sports bar, there is not a seat in the place where you cannot see one of the many large televisions. The food is better than most bars.

East Lansing

There is a fair selection of restaurants in East Lansing. If one is looking for burritos or ice cream, it is hard to go wrong.

Mexican

  • Big Ten Burrito is probably the cheapest option, and all the prices are rounded to the nearest dollar.
  • Pancheros features made-from-scratch tortillas.
  • Qdoba and
  • Chipotle are popular chains.
  • El Azteco, Ann Street Plaza (Albert and M.A.C. Avenues) in East Lansing, or try their other location at 1016 W. Saginaw. Offers tasty Mexican fare. The cheese dip appetizer is a unique treat, and the fresh homemade salsa is seasonally variable from mildly scalding to devilishly hot. The Topopo salad is gigantic — expect to share. Try the jocoque or blue corn enchiladas; order them verde if you can handle spicy.

Ice Cream,

  • MSU Dairy Store Try the Sesquicentennial Swirl and Final Four Fudge Dribble, two "limited time" flavors made in 2005 that have become regulars in the menu. Two locations -- one on Grand River in the MSU Union, the other in the heart of campus.
  • Melting Moments is a local store that has done boffo business through their ice cream cookies. A must have.
  • Tasty Twist is a soft-serve and shake haven, only open during summer months.
  • Coldstone mixes toppings in the ice cream.
  • Baskin Robbins is the choice for late-night cravings, it's open until midnight.

Other

  • Charlie Kang's, Grand River Avenue for Chinese/Korean food.
  • Woody's Oasis has respectable Mediterranean food with a good Michigan beer selection. Two East Lansing locations: one downtown on Grand River Avenue, the other in the shopping mall at Trowbridge and Harrison Roads.
  • A great place to see and be seen is at Harrison Roadhouse in East Lansing where diners in the summer can dine alfresco.
  • Beggar's Banquet, 218 Abbott Road, East Lansing, has many good offerings and a great counterculture atmosphere but does not offer very much for the vegetarian consumer. Good for a nice relaxing meal close to campus. The menu is extensive and the chocolate mousse is excellent. Wednesday is 1/2 price wine day.
  • Harper's Restaurant and Brew Pub, downtown East Lansing. Great alfresco dining in the summer — the beer's good too. Wednesdays are half off everything. Come early on Wed, Fri, Sat, or you won't get a table.
  • All Seasons Bistro, 1500 W. Lake Lansing Road, East Lansing. Upscale, sophisticated French bistro located near the Eastwood Towne Centre.

Okemos, Haslett, and Meridian Township

  • The Travelers Club and Tuba Museum in Okemos offers an eclectic menu of global cuisine. Weekly specials focus on a specific country with a prix fixe menu. Décor is a quirky combination of artefacts and fabrics from the owners' world travels, along with a sizeable collection of rare tubas and euphoniums.
  • Dusty's Cellar, 1857 West Grand River, Okemos. An upscale eatery on the east side of the greater Lansing area, it has great food and an excellent wine list. A good place for a special occasion (birthday, Valentine's Day) dinner.
  • Buddies, 1937 West Grand River, Okemos. If you looking for the best nachos in town, go no further than Buddies. Be warned - their portions are large.
  • Mark's Watershed and The Blue Gill Grill are two fabulous restaurants located near the beach at Lake Lansing Park.
  • Cancun Grill is an inexpensive but quite tasty Mexican restaurant with festive decor, a full bar, and outdoor seating; it's across from the MSU Federal Credit Union near Target.

Drink

  • Beggar's Banquet Abbott Street (just off Grand River Avenue). Half-off most wine on Wednesdays.
  • Peanut Barrel Grand River. An East Lansing institution; with a floor covered in peanut shells and the strongest Long Island you're likely to find in East Lansing. Great alfresco dining in the summer next to a fountain, but good luck scoring an outside table on nice days. A place to see and be seen.
  • The Rendezvous on the Grand is another Old Town bar which features local acts and open mic sessions, it is located on Grand River Ave, just 3 blocks west of Temple Club
  • South Town is located just south of downtown on Washington Ave. It is geared towards the young hip-hop/urban genre. Recent shootings have threatened to force the club to shut down, as has been the case with similar clubs opening in the same general area.
  • Dagwood's Tavern & Grill 2803 East Kalamazoo in Lansing. Cozy neighborhood sports bar with great burgers and lively open-mic sessions every Tuesday.
  • Izzo's Bar is located in trendy REO Town.

Sleep

Budget

  • Comfort Suites Lansing 2235 173rd St., Lansing.
  • Econo Lodge Lansing Hotel 1100 Ramada Drive. (517) 394-7200 (Fax: (517) 394-0826).
  • Quality Inn University Lansing Hotel 3121 E. Grand River Ave. (517) 351-1440 (Fax: (517) 351-6220) Just one mile from Michigan State University, East Lansing area, and three miles from downtown and urrounded by 15 restaurants and 70 stores which are within walking distance.
  • Quality Suites Lansing Hotel 901 Delta Commerce Dr. (517) 886-0600. (Fax: (517) 886-0103). A 117-Room all suites hotel offering in-room coffee maker, refrigerator, microwave, wet bar, iron ironing board and hairdryer. Secure Online Reservations.

Mid-Range

  • Red Roof Inn Lansing East University 3615 Dunckel Rd., Lansing.
  • Best Western Midway 7711 W Saginaw Hwy. Lansing.

Splurge

  • Clarion Hotel And Conference Center, 3600 Dunckel Dr. (517) 351-7600 (Fax: (517) 351-4640). Located on 12 acres, adjacent to Michigan State University, and just five minutes from Downtown Lansing, the State Capital and G.M., this newly refurbished and completely renovated hotel is home to Sigee's Sports Grill.
  • Candlewood East Lansing, 3545 Forest Rd., On MSU Campus, attached to James B. Henry Center for Executive Development and the University Club.
  • Courtyard By Marriott Lansing, 2710 Lake Lansing Rd.
  • East Lansing Marriott at University Place, 300 M.A.C. Ave., East Lansing, Across from MSU Campus.
  • Holiday Inn Lansing South, 6820 S. Cedar St, Large conferences.
  • Holiday Inn Lansing West, 7501 W. Saginaw Hwy.
  • The Kellogg Center at Michigan State University (Large hotel and conference center with views of the campus.)
  • Sheraton Lansing Hotel, 925 South Creyts Rd.
  • Radisson Hotel Lansing, 111 N. Grand Ave., A luxurious hotel accommodating large conferences which adjoins the convention center.

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