What to do and see in Lansing, United States: The Best Places and Tips

July 29, 2017 Velvet Champine

The birthplace of the Oldsmobile and Michigan's automotive center, Lansing offers visitors a number of car-related sites like plant tours and automobile museums, but there are other forces driving this capital city. On the political side, there's the award-winning State Capitol Building, completely restored in 1992, where tourists are wowed by the glass-floor rotunda and acres of decorative handpainted surfaces. The Michigan Historical Museum, which boasts a great collection of items from Michigan's past, including a recreated copper mine, will please history buffs. Children and families will enjoy taking a camel ride at the Potter Park Zoo or spending the day biking through Sleepy Hollow State Park. On the cultural side, the nearby campus of Michigan State University is a must-see for the Kresge Museum and for the beautiful campus itself. Entertaining and educational attractions, great shopping, fabulous restaurants and a variety of affordable accommodations make Lansing worth the ride.
Restaurants in Lansing

1. Michigan History Center

702 W Kalamazoo St, Lansing, MI 48915-1609 +1 517-373-3559
Excellent
68%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 180 reviews

Michigan History Center

The Michigan History Center fosters curiosity, enjoyment and inspiration rooted in Michigan's stories. Home to both the Archives of Michigan and the Michigan History Museum, the Michigan History Center offers experiences for visitors of all ages and interests. There is no admission charge for the museum on Sundays. There is no admission charge for the Archives of Michigan. The Archives are open 1:00 - 5:00 pm Monday-Friday, and 10:00 am - 4:00 pm on Saturday.

Reviewed By LifeisTooShort69 - Kalamazoo, Michigan

I love History, and I am trying to work my way through the state checking off all the major venues from the bucket list. This museum had plenty of parking, a friendly staff, and was reasonably priced. If you have the SSS "park pass", the cost is cheaper. Price I do not recall, but I wanna say it was $4 versus $6. We went on a Saturday, so we did not have to pay to park. I guess on Sunday you can get in free we were told.

The museum is two levels and it's very well laid out with good displays and a variety of information. There is a snack shop on the first floor, but it did not appear to be open weekends. There was a vending machine however. We opted to do the first level, then drive down a few blocks and eat, then come back.

It did not take us long to get through the museum, even reading a lot of the displays as a couple with no children in tow. However, it is an affordable way to spend an afternoon learning something new.

2. Michigan State University

220 Trowbridge Rd, East Lansing, MI 48824-3407 +1 517-355-1855
Excellent
86%
Good
11%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 296 reviews

Michigan State University

MSU's huge country-like campus offers a lovely setting for running, biking or just hanging out, and also has places to visit, like the Beal Botanical Gardens, Sanford Natural Area, the 70,000-capacity Spartan football stadium, an art center, planetarium and, of course, the MSU Dairy Store for ice cream.

Reviewed By blkangusgal - East Lansing, Michigan

Anytime I have friends and loved ones from out of state, they want to see the updates at Michigan State University. The campus is designed with the walking student to classes in mind. Don't forget to tour the farms attached too. Even check out the Student Union is a must.

3. Michigan State Capitol

Capitol Avenue at Michigan Avenue, Lansing, MI 48906 +1 517-373-2353
Excellent
63%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 285 reviews

Michigan State Capitol

Designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1992, this building has served as Michigan's seat of state government since its completion in 1879.

Reviewed By Erie Deneal J - Davenport, United States

This is one of the better marketed Capitols we have visited. We toured the building with a 3rd grade class and found it educational and entertaining. We appreciated learning more about the Capitol. It was great to learn that one of Michigan's favorite governors, Austin Blair, was an abolitionist.

4. Impression 5 Science Center

200 Museum Dr, Lansing, MI 48933-1914 +1 517-485-8116
Excellent
63%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 162 reviews

Impression 5 Science Center

Interactive museum engages all five senses in the exploration, understanding and appreciation of the wonders of physical science.

Reviewed By Erie Deneal J - Davenport, United States

Fun place for the family. Definitely happy we took the time to visit this Center. We were able to use our membership to recieve reciprocity access and enjoyed ourselves.

5. Spartan Stadium

325 W Shaw Ln, East Lansing, MI 48824-4401 +1 517-355-1855
Excellent
76%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 59 reviews

Spartan Stadium

Reviewed By Stategt - Traverse City, Michigan

Renovations keep making this venue better and better.
It's easy to get around inside. There are many food choices.
I love our West Upper Deck seats. Lines of vision are great.
There are multiple large bathrooms and several concession stands with a few free standing food options. Take the ramp instead of the stairs, though. It's a long way up.

6. R.E. Olds Transportation Museum

240 Museum Dr, Lansing, MI 48933-1905 +1 517-372-0529
Excellent
58%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 130 reviews

R.E. Olds Transportation Museum

From rare vehicles like REO, Star, Durant, and Viking to classic Oldsmobiles, buggies, bicycles, aviation endeavors, trucks and engines- enjoy the excitement of transportation history! See why we are rated one of "The Ten Best Automobile Museums in the United States" exhibiting a small collection, by Car Collector Magazine.

Reviewed By SETraveler2012 - Atlanta, Georgia

I visited the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum in October 2017 during a visit to Lansing. The museum staff were very helpful in answering questions about the museum and the museum has a variety of cars to look at from all different decades of the 20th...MoreThanks so much for visiting and for the review!

7. Potter Park Zoo

1301 S Pennsylvania Ave, Lansing, MI 48912-1646 +1 517-483-4222
Excellent
46%
Good
39%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 354 reviews

Potter Park Zoo

Visit more than 100 species of animals, many of which are endangered, including Black Rhinos, Siberian Tigers, Red Pandas and Snow Leopards.

Reviewed By traveling_tegan

After our plans fell though, we decided to try out this zoo. Yes it's still open in the winter: $3 an adult, $2 a child, super cheap. I couldn't believe how many animals were actually still out. It was a very nice 40° day, so maybe that made a difference. All the exhibits looked well kept, and many brand new. The otters we so much fun to watch. Most of the exhibits had a nice spot with glass instead of a fence to look through, and designed with little humans in mind to allow them to see as well. There are two buildings that are heated. The aviary and lizard house and the house for monkeys, lemurs ,lions and tigers. All the animals seemed happy and even liked to show off when some one walked by. For it being a small zoo there are a lot of variety of the animals here. Penguins, red pandas, llamas, meerkats, ravens, crows, peacocks galore and so much more. The coolest part was the moose exhibit. It was way in the back of the zoo, a huge area with a nice board walk with a pond. Never have I had a chance to see moose in real life, so we sat there watching for a long time. Definitely worth the trip back in the summer.

8. Cooley Law School Stadium

505 E Michigan Ave, Lansing, MI 48912-1148 +1 517-485-0463
Excellent
70%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 91 reviews

Cooley Law School Stadium

Reviewed By Nancy H - Rio Rancho, New Mexico

My sister had free tickets that her agency provided her. Had not been to any baseball game in eons. This was so much fun! So much to watch and do! Lots of kid fun and activity. We had supreme seating behind the home plate. Don't know why more people don't come. There were a lot of empty seats. I'd go back.

9. Jack Breslin Student Events Center

534 Birch Rd, East Lansing, MI 48824-5402 +1 517-432-1989
Excellent
64%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 41 reviews

Jack Breslin Student Events Center

Reviewed By whisox - Lake Forest, Illinois

Even though the Breslin Center is more than 20 years old it remains one of the best places to watch a college basketball game in the country. With the renovations they are currently performing the place should be even better (wider concourses, vending areas etc.

10. Old Town

201 E Grand River Ave, Lansing, MI 48906-4329
Excellent
48%
Good
38%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 128 reviews

Old Town

Reviewed By johnlamacchia - Lansing, Michigan

I've been going to this diner for breakfast since I was a young kid. The current owner has kept the old style of grill cooking with fresh taste and hearty portions. The prices are very affordable and the service is very attentive. It's what your neighborhood restaurant used to be.

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