Lansing travel guide

Lansing Tourism | Lansing Guide

You're Going to Love Lansing

The capital of Michigan, Lansing is unsung but well worth visiting, with engaging museums, fine food, and beautiful parks near the city center. You'll love it.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Lansing

1. There Are Some Superb Museums to Explore

Lansing is fortunate to have some great museums, from the dinosaur exhibits at the Michigan State University Museum to the inspirational Michigan Women's Historical Center.

2. Get to Know Michigan's Center of Power

Take a tour of the Michigan State Capitol, with its soaring 260-foot-high dome, sculptures, and paintings. It's one of America's most beautiful public buildings.

3. There Are Acres and Acres of Parks to Enjoy

Lansing is one of the greenest cities around. When the sun shines, visitors can hit miles of trails along the riverbank or get to know the peacocks and camels in Potter Park Zoo.

4. It's a Hive of Creativity and Culture

Lansing punches well above its weight in cultural terms, with constant shows at the Riverwalk Theatre, classical music at the Wharton Center for Performing Arts, and less refined entertainment at Mac's Bar or the Loft.

5. You Can Eat, Drink, and Relax in Friendly Bars and Restaurants

The city is packed with great places to drink like the Midtown Brewing Company, as well as Mexican, Korean, and down home American restaurants to enjoy.

1. There Are Some Superb Museums to Explore

Lansing is fortunate to have some great museums, from the dinosaur exhibits at the Michigan State University Museum to the inspirational Michigan Women's Historical Center.

2. Get to Know Michigan's Center of Power

Take a tour of the Michigan State Capitol, with its soaring 260-foot-high dome, sculptures, and paintings. It's one of America's most beautiful public buildings.

3. There Are Acres and Acres of Parks to Enjoy

Lansing is one of the greenest cities around. When the sun shines, visitors can hit miles of trails along the riverbank or get to know the peacocks and camels in Potter Park Zoo.

4. It's a Hive of Creativity and Culture

Lansing punches well above its weight in cultural terms, with constant shows at the Riverwalk Theatre, classical music at the Wharton Center for Performing Arts, and less refined entertainment at Mac's Bar or the Loft.

5. You Can Eat, Drink, and Relax in Friendly Bars and Restaurants

The city is packed with great places to drink like the Midtown Brewing Company, as well as Mexican, Korean, and down home American restaurants to enjoy.

What to do in Lansing

1. Michigan State Capitol: A Fine Mix of Art and Politics

Get to the heart of what makes the Wolverine State tick by touring the Michigan State Capitol. About a 10-minute walk west of the R.E. Olds Museum and the Impression 6 Science Center, the State Capitol came to town in 1847, although the current building dates back to 1872. It's a grand construction, with an 81-meter-high dome, paintings of the eight muses around the rotunda and, more importantly, space for the State Legislature, which you can watch in action when the politicians are in session.

2. Michigan History Center: How the Great Lakes State Became Great

Located on West Kalamazoo Street not far from the Capitol, the Michigan History Center is an excellent place to visit next. Across five levels, this engaging museum tells the story of Michigan, Native American cultures through the pre-Independence pioneering days, the Civil War, and the rise of Detroit and the automobile age. There is no better way to understand how the state came to dominate American industry, and where it might be headed in the future.

3. Potter Park Zoo: Meet Some of the World's Rarest Animals

If hardcore history and politics aren't your thing, then Potter Park Zoo is the perfect alternative. Easy to find next to the Red Cedar River, the zoo is spread over 102 acres and specializes in housing endangered species (over 160 of them at the latest count). Get ready to meet some amazing characters, with rare Amur tigers from Asia, snow leopards, black rhinos, and Chinese water dragons all part of the community. There are relaxing gardens, places to eat and even pony rides as well - rounding off a great family attraction.

4. Impression 5 Science Center: A Sparkling Scientific Playground

Although there aren't as many tigers to meet, the Impression 5 Science Center will be just as exciting for kids. Situated on Museum Drive on the east bank of the Grand River, this museum skillfully blends science and play, often in highly imaginative ways. Special zones allow youngsters to learn about atomic chemistry, light, and color or to blow the biggest bubbles they will ever have seen. Add in special talks and rotating exhibits, and you've got one of America's finest science edutainment centers.

5. R.E. Olds Transportation Museum: A Gallery of American Icons

Michigan is famous for its automotive industry, but all too often people focus only on Detroit when visiting motoring-related attractions. Actually, Oldsmobile was founded by Ransom Olds in Lansing way back in 1897, and stayed there until its demise in 2004. Situated next to the Impression 5 Center, this magnificent collection tells the Oldsmobile story, and includes some iconic American cars. From the 1901 Curved Dash which helped to kickstart America's passion for the road to REO Speedwagons from the 1930s and stylish 60s models like the Tornado, the Vehicle Showcase is heaven for motoring enthusiasts.

1. Michigan State Capitol: A Fine Mix of Art and Politics

Get to the heart of what makes the Wolverine State tick by touring the Michigan State Capitol. About a 10-minute walk west of the R.E. Olds Museum and the Impression 6 Science Center, the State Capitol came to town in 1847, although the current building dates back to 1872. It's a grand construction, with an 81-meter-high dome, paintings of the eight muses around the rotunda and, more importantly, space for the State Legislature, which you can watch in action when the politicians are in session.

2. Michigan History Center: How the Great Lakes State Became Great

Located on West Kalamazoo Street not far from the Capitol, the Michigan History Center is an excellent place to visit next. Across five levels, this engaging museum tells the story of Michigan, Native American cultures through the pre-Independence pioneering days, the Civil War, and the rise of Detroit and the automobile age. There is no better way to understand how the state came to dominate American industry, and where it might be headed in the future.

3. Potter Park Zoo: Meet Some of the World's Rarest Animals

If hardcore history and politics aren't your thing, then Potter Park Zoo is the perfect alternative. Easy to find next to the Red Cedar River, the zoo is spread over 102 acres and specializes in housing endangered species (over 160 of them at the latest count). Get ready to meet some amazing characters, with rare Amur tigers from Asia, snow leopards, black rhinos, and Chinese water dragons all part of the community. There are relaxing gardens, places to eat and even pony rides as well - rounding off a great family attraction.

4. Impression 5 Science Center: A Sparkling Scientific Playground

Although there aren't as many tigers to meet, the Impression 5 Science Center will be just as exciting for kids. Situated on Museum Drive on the east bank of the Grand River, this museum skillfully blends science and play, often in highly imaginative ways. Special zones allow youngsters to learn about atomic chemistry, light, and color or to blow the biggest bubbles they will ever have seen. Add in special talks and rotating exhibits, and you've got one of America's finest science edutainment centers.

5. R.E. Olds Transportation Museum: A Gallery of American Icons

Michigan is famous for its automotive industry, but all too often people focus only on Detroit when visiting motoring-related attractions. Actually, Oldsmobile was founded by Ransom Olds in Lansing way back in 1897, and stayed there until its demise in 2004. Situated next to the Impression 5 Center, this magnificent collection tells the Oldsmobile story, and includes some iconic American cars. From the 1901 Curved Dash which helped to kickstart America's passion for the road to REO Speedwagons from the 1930s and stylish 60s models like the Tornado, the Vehicle Showcase is heaven for motoring enthusiasts.

1. Michigan State Capitol: A Fine Mix of Art and Politics

Get to the heart of what makes the Wolverine State tick by touring the Michigan State Capitol. About a 10-minute walk west of the R.E. Olds Museum and the Impression 6 Science Center, the State Capitol came to town in 1847, although the current building dates back to 1872. It's a grand construction, with an 81-meter-high dome, paintings of the eight muses around the rotunda and, more importantly, space for the State Legislature, which you can watch in action when the politicians are in session.

2. Michigan History Center: How the Great Lakes State Became Great

Located on West Kalamazoo Street not far from the Capitol, the Michigan History Center is an excellent place to visit next. Across five levels, this engaging museum tells the story of Michigan, Native American cultures through the pre-Independence pioneering days, the Civil War, and the rise of Detroit and the automobile age. There is no better way to understand how the state came to dominate American industry, and where it might be headed in the future.

3. Potter Park Zoo: Meet Some of the World's Rarest Animals

If hardcore history and politics aren't your thing, then Potter Park Zoo is the perfect alternative. Easy to find next to the Red Cedar River, the zoo is spread over 102 acres and specializes in housing endangered species (over 160 of them at the latest count). Get ready to meet some amazing characters, with rare Amur tigers from Asia, snow leopards, black rhinos, and Chinese water dragons all part of the community. There are relaxing gardens, places to eat and even pony rides as well - rounding off a great family attraction.

4. Impression 5 Science Center: A Sparkling Scientific Playground

Although there aren't as many tigers to meet, the Impression 5 Science Center will be just as exciting for kids. Situated on Museum Drive on the east bank of the Grand River, this museum skillfully blends science and play, often in highly imaginative ways. Special zones allow youngsters to learn about atomic chemistry, light, and color or to blow the biggest bubbles they will ever have seen. Add in special talks and rotating exhibits, and you've got one of America's finest science edutainment centers.

5. R.E. Olds Transportation Museum: A Gallery of American Icons

Michigan is famous for its automotive industry, but all too often people focus only on Detroit when visiting motoring-related attractions. Actually, Oldsmobile was founded by Ransom Olds in Lansing way back in 1897, and stayed there until its demise in 2004. Situated next to the Impression 5 Center, this magnificent collection tells the Oldsmobile story, and includes some iconic American cars. From the 1901 Curved Dash which helped to kickstart America's passion for the road to REO Speedwagons from the 1930s and stylish 60s models like the Tornado, the Vehicle Showcase is heaven for motoring enthusiasts.

Where to Eat in Lansing

Lansing offers a wide variety of dining options. There's wholesome all-American food available at Golden Harvest, southern cooking at Meat Southern BBQ & Carnivore Cuisine, pizzas at the Cosmos, and Mexican at Pablo's Panaderia. Price vary wildly, but a good sit-down meal will come to around $20.

When to visit Lansing

Lansing in December
Estimated hotel price
C$ 151
1 night at 3-star hotel
Lansing in December
Estimated hotel price
C$ 151
1 night at 3-star hotel

Lansing can be pretty chilly in spring and fall, but from June to late September, the climate is ideal for sightseeing and exploring the city's parks.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Lansing

Plane

There are regular flights from major cities into Capital Region International Airport (LAN). From there, take bus number 14 into the city ($1.25). Taxis should cost about $20.

Train

Amtrak's Blue Water route connects Lansing to Chicago.

Car

Those driving from Detroit or Grand Rapids need to take I-96. If you are coming from Chicago, take I-94 and switch to I-69.

Bus

Lansing is served by Greyhound, Indian Trails, Michigan Flyer Motorcoach, and Megabus, so budget travel should always be an option.

Plane

There are regular flights from major cities into Capital Region International Airport (LAN). From there, take bus number 14 into the city ($1.25). Taxis should cost about $20.

Train

Amtrak's Blue Water route connects Lansing to Chicago.

Car

Those driving from Detroit or Grand Rapids need to take I-96. If you are coming from Chicago, take I-94 and switch to I-69.

Bus

Lansing is served by Greyhound, Indian Trails, Michigan Flyer Motorcoach, and Megabus, so budget travel should always be an option.

Airlines serving Lansing

Lufthansa
Good (4,690 reviews)
KLM
Good (838 reviews)
SWISS
Good (956 reviews)
British Airways
Good (4,653 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (2,237 reviews)
Delta
Good (4,573 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (488 reviews)
Iberia
Good (1,601 reviews)
Air France
Good (985 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (2,108 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (2,420 reviews)
United Airlines
Good (4,994 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (6,020 reviews)
Brussels Airlines
Good (228 reviews)
Finnair
Good (860 reviews)
LOT
Good (678 reviews)
TAP AIR PORTUGAL
Good (1,173 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (840 reviews)
Alaska Airlines
Excellent (5,782 reviews)
Cathay Pacific
Good (534 reviews)
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Where to stay in Lansing

Downtown - encompassing the State Capitol and the stores and restaurants on S Washington Square, Downtown Lansing is the first stop for most visitors.

Popular Neighborhoods in Lansing

East Lansing - on the other bank of the Grand River, East Lansing is down to earth and diverse, with superb Mexican eateries like El Azteco and the campus of Michigan State University.

Waverly - over in western Lansing, Waverly is dominated by the massive Lansing Mall, the city's biggest shopping complex.

East Lansing - on the other bank of the Grand River, East Lansing is down to earth and diverse, with superb Mexican eateries like El Azteco and the campus of Michigan State University.
Waverly - over in western Lansing, Waverly is dominated by the massive Lansing Mall, the city's biggest shopping complex.

Where to stay in popular areas of Lansing

Most booked hotels in Lansing

Residence Inn by Marriott East Lansing
3 stars
Excellent (9.1, Excellent reviews)
C$ 208+
Quality Suites
2 stars
Excellent (8.7, Excellent reviews)
C$ 126+
Hyatt Place Lansing - East
3 stars
Excellent (8.6, Excellent reviews)
C$ 180+
Hampton Inn East Lansing
2 stars
Excellent (8.5, Excellent reviews)
C$ 171+
Comfort Inn Okemos - East Lansing
2 stars
Excellent (8.1, Excellent reviews)
C$ 145+
Marriott East Lansing at University Place
4 stars
Excellent (8.1, Excellent reviews)
C$ 296+

How to Get Around Lansing

Public Transportation

CATA's public bus network covers the whole city and single tickets cost just $1.25.

Taxi

Taxis in Lansing charge around $2.50 per mile in the center of town, and Uber is also active in the city, so you may be able to get around for less.

Car

You can rent a car in Lansing from branches of Avis or Enterprise, and rates can be as little as $15 per day.

Public Transportation

CATA's public bus network covers the whole city and single tickets cost just $1.25.

Taxi

Taxis in Lansing charge around $2.50 per mile in the center of town, and Uber is also active in the city, so you may be able to get around for less.

Car

You can rent a car in Lansing from branches of Avis or Enterprise, and rates can be as little as $15 per day.

The Cost of Living in Lansing

Shopping Streets

Lansing Mall is easily the biggest shopping center in town, but you might also check out the Meridian Mall in Okemos. Don't miss the Lansing City Market by the Grand River. The summer flower markets are a beautiful sight.

Groceries and Other

Supermarkets in Lansing include Meijer, Walmart, and Whole Foods. Expect to pay around $1.75 for 12 eggs - below the national average.

Cheap meal
C$ 13.77
A pair of jeans
C$ 50.33
Single public transport ticket
C$ 1.73
Cappuccino
C$ 4.48