While a lot of attention is paid to Detriot and Ann Arbor, don’t forget about Lansing, Michigan.

Located right in the middle of ‘the glove,’ it’s actually the capital of the state too. That means it has some of the best of both worlds when it comes to big city feel and culture, but a small-town vibe and welcome. 

It’s a place you don’t want to miss on any tour of the Upper Midwest. 

In this post, we’ll share some of our favorite things to do and see in Lansing, Michigan. 

Things to Do and See

Here are some of the top sights you can see on a quick tour of Lansing. 

Michigan State Capitol

The Michigan State Capitol building was named a National Historic Landmark in the 1990s for its unique history and architectural feat as one of the first state capitol buildings to have an iron dome. If you’re in Lansing over a weekend, guided tours are available on Saturdays. 

Old Town Lansing

Old Town Lansing was one of the first places settlers set up shop when they arrived in the newly minted city. After years of disrepair, local groups got together to revitalize this part of town and give it new life. Now, it’s home to a number of cool boutique shops, bars, and independent restaurants. 

Michigan State University

Shhh don’t mention that other university here, this part of the state is for the MSU Spartans all the way. Being a college town means visitors can stop in and enjoy a game or check out the MSU Broad Museum and the MSU Art Lab, with free admission, it’s a great deal.

The Lansing River Trail

The Grand River runs through the heart of Lansing. You can explore it both on the water and via the Lansing River Trail. This 13-mile paved trail will take you to some of Lansing’s best sites. It meanders through Old Town, Potter Park Zoo, and the MSU Campus. 

R.E. Olds Transportation Museum

Michigan has always been known for building cars. And while Oldsmobiles are no longer in production, you can check out the history of this car as well as automotive manufacturing at the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum. Car fans will love checking out some of the old models on site.

Getting There

Since Lansing is right in the middle of the state, it’s got plenty of access to major highways. It’s less than four hours from other major Midwestern cities including Chicago, Cleveland, and Indianapolis.

Highway 96 runs right through Lansing on its way to Grand Haven from Detroit. Lansing is just about a 90-minute drive from both destinations. It’s also not far from Interstate 75 which starts at the Canadian border and runs south to Miami. 

As you can see, there’s no shortage of things to enjoy while you’re in Lansing. When you’re planning out your next road trip to this area, make sure you block out a bit of time to spend exploring this part of “Mid-Michigan.”