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Where to Stay in Lansing
The area of East Lansing surrounding Michigan State University is where a large share of the city’s hotels are located. Many of these hotels are situated near the campus’ north end, within walking distance of a lively district of bars, nightclubs, restaurants and shops. During the school year, particularly on weekends, this can be a loud and rowdy neighborhood, but still safe. If you want lots of things to do within walking distance of your room, check this area first.
About three miles west of this area is Downtown Lansing and the state capitol. Lodging options here are extremely limited, but if you stay Downtown, you’ll enjoy the most centrally located starting point from which to explore Lansing.
Most of the remaining hotels are located in clusters at the far western, southern and southeastern reaches of Lansing. The western hotels are close to The Marketplace at Delta Township, a massive shopping plaza with several dining options. There isn’t much to see near the accommodations directly south of town, but you’ll find cheap hotel deals in Lansing by checking the discount properties in that area. The hotels in the southeast are all within walking distance of Michigan State University’s south campus.
Lansing Hotel Tips
Most of the hotels in Lansing are operated by familiar national hospitality chains, but there are a few independent hotels in the mix. Rooms range from cheap and simple to pricey and grand, but there are quite a few more upscale and mid-range hotels than there are discount motels. Still, throughout most of the year, you should have little trouble reserving the room of your choice.
There will be times, particularly during Michigan State University’s home football weekends, when Lansing’s hotels will be at or near capacity. Other busy periods for Lansing’s hotels are usually related to the university, such as when students move in the summer and spring. Call a local hotel if you’re concerned about such conflicts with your travel plans.
Lansing Hotel Recommendations
One of the most distinctive hotels in the city, the Lexington Lansing Hotel is elegant and comfortable without feeling stuffy. Guests are greeted in the spacious, brightly colored atrium lobby and treated throughout their stay with perks like free wireless Internet access and nightly delivery of warm cookies and cold milk to their rooms. A heated indoor swimming pool, whirlpool tub, basketball court, fitness center, game room and family restaurant are among the on-site amenities.
In the bed and breakfast category, the Wild Goose Inn is your best bet. It’s optimally located near the university campus and exciting Downtown East Lansing, and despite its modest rates, the rooms are among the most luxurious in town. Six individually appointed suites each feature private bathrooms, modern electronics, premium bedding, Jacuzzi tubs and gas fireplaces. The suites are located in two separate homes with a connecting deck where guests can enjoy their breakfast outdoors on pleasant mornings.
Other leading accommodations include the Radisson Hotel Lansing, located just two blocks from the Michigan State Capitol. This property is connected to Lansing’s convention center, so it may be crowded if an event is in town. There’s also the well-appointed Candlewood Suites, an extended stay hotel with full-kitchen suites near the west side of the university campus.
Lansing’s attractions and tourist-friendly neighborhoods are spread throughout the city, so the most convenient way to explore the area is by car. Traffic is generally light and parking is plentiful and cheap, if not free, in most places. If you’re taking a flight to Lansing, you can rent a car at Capital Region International Airport from your choice of national rental agencies.
The Capital Area Transportation Authority, or CATA, provides a variety of bus routes throughout the metro area, including some late-night lines. If you’d rather not drive or incur the expense of a rental car, it can be pleasant to explore the city by bus. Main terminals in Downtown Lansing and on the Michigan State University campus will have the most up-to-date information on routes and schedules.
You can often hail taxis on the street in East Lansing, just north of the university, but you should take the numbers of one or two local cab companies with you if you expect to need a ride.
If you’re flying into Detroit Metro Airport, you don’t necessarily need to rent a car to make it to Lansing. Affordable shuttle service is available through Michigan Flyer, a private coach service.