Take 5 in Downtown Lansing

What if we told you that you could stroll through a copper mine, lie on a glass floor and look up to the stars, make some slime, find out that REO Speedwagon is not just a band and be encouraged to go nuts all in a single day in Michigan’s capital city? And that you could find all that within an easily walkable five block radius? Look no further than downtown Lansing where exploring these diverse attractions makes for an enjoyable weekend getaway.

Michigan’s State Capitol Building, Photo Courtesy of Lenon James Photography

5 Must-Do’s in Downtown Lansing

1. State Capitol Building
Step back into the Victorian era with a visit to Michigan’s award-winning Capitol Building. Designed by Elijah E. Myers, one of the foremost architects of public buildings during the Gilded Age (1865-1914), construction of the Capitol Building took six years and contains over nine acres of hand-painted surfaces. It was dedicated to the citizens of Michigan in 1879.

2. Impression 5 Science Center
Come play, create and challenge your understanding of science at Impression 5 Science Center–a hands-on experience that encourages visitors and families to be curious and learn together.

3. Michigan Historical Museum
The flagship of the Michigan Historical Museum System, the Michigan Historical Museum offers you Michigan’s rich past, from the time of the state’s earliest peoples to the late 20th century. Don’t miss the Museum Store for great Michigan related gift items!

4. Lansing Lugnuts/Cooley Law School Stadium
Enjoy good times with good friends as Lansing’s minor league baseball team—the Lansing Lugnuts—celebrates its 20th season in Michigan’s capital city. It’s family fun at an affordable price, so don’t miss out on the action and your chance to “GO NUTS.”

5. R.E. Olds Transportation Museum
This fascinating museum features artifacts and documents tracing the history of area transportation from 1883 to the present. Antique vehicles and automotive memorabilia as well as aircraft, bicycles and carriages are displayed.

Michigan Historical Museum

5 Things Good to Know

1. Sundays are free admission at the Michigan Historical Museum.

2. The Capitol is open and free Monday through Saturday, closed on Sundays.

3. REO was a car and truck manufacturer and was the initials of Ransom Eli Olds. He founded Oldsmobile, then went on to start another car company using his initials. And it’s pronounced Reo like Rio. Not like the 80’s band REO Speedwagon whose name they totally stole from the car company.

4. Impression 5 Science Museum has reciprocity with other children’s and science museum. So you may get in free or at 50% off.

5. The Lansing Lugnuts got their name because of Lansing’s big automotive history. Look for the big lugnut atop a smoke stack while enjoying a great casual lunch or dinner at The Nuthouse. See? We told you about going nuts!

5 Reasons to Make the Trip
1. Fun

2. Affordable

3. Easy to Get to

4. Walkable

5. Family friendly. And don’t tell the kids, but they’ll be learning something and you will be too.

What is your favorite thing to do in the Lansing area? Share with us by commenting below!

Think You Know Pure Michigan?

From glorious lakes and relaxing beaches to beautiful golf courses, fantastic scenery and an revitalizing Detroit, there’s so much to explore in the Great Lakes state. Think you know everything there is to know about Pure Michigan? Test your knowledge with our Pure Michigan quiz.

Note: This quiz experience works best for iOS and desktop users.

Scroll down to see the answers to the questions! Do any surprise you? Let us know by commenting below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Question 1: This Michigan National Park is one of the least visited national parks and can only be accessed via boat or plane. Answer: Isle Royal National Park

Question 2: Which Michigan city recently defended its title as Beer City, USA? Grand Rapids

Question 3: How many lighthouses can be found in Pure Michigan? 129 lighthouses

Question 4: Operating out of Detroit, Michigan boasts the world’s only floating ___. post office

Question 5: In Michigan, you are never more than __ miles from a lake or stream. 6

Question 6: Mackinac Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere. How long is it? 5 miles

Question 7: Which delicious food is the U.P. famous for? Pastys

Question 8: How many public golf courses are in Michigan? 650

Question 9: Which Michigan highway has been named one of the top five greatest fall scenic driving tours in America? M-22

Question 10: Which winter sport is Michigan famously the birthplace of? Organized skiing and snowboarding

Roadtripping Along Michigan’s Sunrise Side

Start planning your summer road trip through the Mitten State. Guest blogger Shannon Saksewski from The Awesome Mitten share places to explore along Michigan’s Sunrise Side.

Memorial Day marks the unofficial beginning of summer in Michigan. Swimming pools open, barbecues become commonplace, and the weather errs more toward warm than cold. Summer weekends are built for road trips, and there’s plenty to explore in the Mitten. If you’re ready to grab some car snacks, pop in a mix tape (or, well, the modern-day equivalent), here are a few ideas for exploring Michigan’s Sunrise Side, from south to north:

Photo Courtesy of Bruno Vanzieleghem.

Photo Courtesy of Bruno Vanzieleghem.

Detroit

If you haven’t been to Detroit in a while, you should consider making a visit. The city’s experiencing a rebirth. While it’s one thing to read about urban renewal, experiencing changes first-hand is impactful both personally and regionally. When you’re in town, make sure to check out Detroit’s thriving restaurant and bar scenes, incredible opportunities to experience live music and the visual arts, and a season packed with festivals.

Ypsilanti

A college town with a lot to offer both residents and guests, Ypsilanti is one of Southeastern Michigan’s hidden gems. Only 35 miles west of Detroit, and ten miles east of Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti’s roots are both academic– it is home to Eastern Michigan University– and working class. These influences form the foundation of a welcoming, entrepreneurial, diverse town. While in town, spend some time at the local museums, grab a mind-blowing meal at Beezy’s or Bona Sera, a beer at the ABC Microbrewery (formerly the Corner Brewery), or a coffee at the Ugly Mug. Not keen on these suggestions? There are plenty more to explore!

Ann Arbor

Photo Courtesy of Bruno Vanzieleghem.

Photo Courtesy of Bruno Vanzieleghem.

If you’re visiting Ypsilanti, it’s likely that you’ll visit Ann Arbor as well (and probably Detroit, too). Regardless of whether you side toward Sparty or the Wolverines, spending a few hours on the University of Michigan’s campus is likely to be rewarding. Take a walk across the Diag on Central Campus, or visit one of the University’s many museums and open spaces.

Off-campus, those who prefer outdoor adventure can rent a kayak or other watercraft along the Huron River, and then picnic at one of the beautiful local parks. If you prefer restaurant dining, or a well-crafted cocktail, spend some time at one (or many) of Ann Arbor’s many restaurants and bars.

Flint

Around 65 miles north of Detroit, Ypsilanti, and Ann Arbor, roadtrippers will find Flint. Many people road trip their way past Flint, (wrongly) assuming that the town, which was built on the back of the challenged automotive industry doesn’t have much to offer explorers. In fact, Flint offers a host of art museums and galleries, a thriving farmers’ market, and an active downtown. Instead of driving past Flint on your way up north, pull off the highway and spend some time getting to know this east side city.

Photo Courtesy of Shannon Saksewski.

Photo Courtesy of Shannon Saksewski.

Bay City

Downtown Bay City, built along the Saginaw River, is simultaneously quaint and stunning. Along the river walk, public art is on view and parks are available for sitting and enjoying the water– all within a couple of blocks of the locally-owned shops and restaurants. From spring through fall, Bay City and other towns in the Great Lakes Bay region host a plethora of festivals to which all are welcome.

Alpena & the Sunrise Coast

For those roadtripping from an area south of Alpena, do yourselves a favor and exit I-75 in Standish. Find your way to Old US-23, and head north until you get to Alpena. You’ll drive along a beautiful coast, through Au Gres, Tawas, Oscoda, and Harrisville (among others), each offering cabins and other lodging on the coast of Lake Huron. Situated on the shores of Thunder Bay, Alpena is a beach-lover’s dream. For those who prefer to explore, there’s plenty to do. Have an interest in nautical history? Spend some time at the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, and then take a cruise with Alpena Shipwreck Tours.

In addition to these towns, what others on Michigan’s east side do you like to explore? What are your recommendations for a #PureMichigan adventure?

Saksewski_informal_croppedShannon Saksewski is a life-long resident of Michigan. Professionally, she is a healthcare strategist focusing on consumer experience.  She was trained, and has experience in, psychology, social work, and business at the University of Michigan.  Outside of work, she enjoys cooking, traveling, writing, and experimenting with local beer and craft cocktails.  Connect with Shannon on Twitter (@ssaksews), or LinkedIn.