— About Central/Mid Michigan
Central/Mid Michigan: The region contains cities of moderate size, including Flint, Saginaw, Frankenmuth and the state capital of Lansing, In this section, we will be focused on Lansing and Frankenmuth.
Lansing, referred as “Lansing metropolitan area”, is an important center for educational, cultural, governmental, commercial, and industrial functions. Lansing is the only U.S. state capital (among the 47 located in counties) that is not also a county seat. Neighboring East Lansing is home to Michigan State University, a public research university with an enrollment of more than 50,000. It is the site of the Michigan State Capitol, the state Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, a federal court, the Library of Michigan and Historical Center, and headquarters of four national insurance companies.
Step back into the Victorian era with a visit to Michigan’s Capitol Building, set in the heart of downtown Lansing. Designed by acclaimed architect Elijah E. Myers during the Gilded Age (1865-1914), the Capitol Building incorporated more than nine acres of hand-painted surfaces in its construction, which took six years to complete and was dedicated to the citizens of Michigan in 1879. Join a guided tour or pick up a tour booklet at Information Services for a self-guided visit at your own pace.
Address: Capitol Avenue at Michigan Avenue, Lansing, MI 48933
Michigan State University was established in 1855, and by 1862, it stood as the nation’s premier land-grant university. Over the decades, the university has continued to be a model of what a land-grant university can and should do. As a university of, for and by the people, Michigan State University began a long tradition of empowering people through educational opportunity.
Michigan State University is the nation’s premier land-grant university and one of the top research universities in the world. Every day, Spartans work to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community.
Address: Michigan state university, East lansing, MI, 48824
The science and culture museum at Michigan State University:
The MSU Museum is one of the earliest established museums in the nation and has continued to preserve collections and serve learners since its opening on the campus in 1857. It is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and was the first museum in the state to receive Smithsonian affiliate status. The MSU Museum is a public steward for nearly a million objects and specimens in Anthropology, Natural Science, Folk Arts, and History from around the world. The collections provide the foundation for research, education, and outreach both locally and internationally. The Museum cultivates and maintains interdisciplinary linkages across campus, particularly in college-based programs in the sciences, arts and humanities, and international studies.
Address: 409 W Circle Dr, East Lansing, MI 48823
The Michigan State University Horticultural Demonstration Gardens surround the Plant and Soil Sciences Building and serve as a resource for students and gardeners, plant lovers and children of all ages. You can easily get a bit of exercise while walking the displays. You may get garden design ideas, or learn new annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees. The Gardens also offer private rentals in which to host your event. Call or visit their website for more information.
The 14-acre Gardens consist of several themed areas, including The Michigan 4-H Children’s Garden (designed to provide a place for children of all ages to experience plants), The Amien Carter Annual Gardens (where new breeding introductions are evaluated), The Judith A. DeLapa Perennial Garden (showcasing a wide variety of perennials that perform well in our climate and soils), The Clarence E. Lewis Landscape Arboretum (see Japanese gardens, English gardens, fruits displays, and a small native plant prairie), and much more. The Indoor 4-H Children’s Garden also serves as a butterfly house from mid-March to late-May each year. Several species of free-flying butterflies demonstrate the interaction between flora and fauna. See their website for hours of operation.
Address: 1066 Bogue Street, Plant & Soil Sciences Building, East Lansing, MI 48824
Explore Michigan’s rich history, from the days of its earliest human settlement to the Motown era, at the comprehensive 3-story Michigan History Museum. Prehistoric Native American tools, automobiles from the 1950s, a replica Upper Peninsula Copper Mine and exhibits recounting Michigan’s role in the nation’s manufacturing boom sit on display here, at the flagship of the Michigan History Museum System. Afterward, check out the Museum Store for great Michigan-made gift items.
Address: 702 W. Kalamazoo Street, Lansing, MI 48915
Discover the engaging Michigan Supreme Learning Center at the Hall of Justice. Pose with Lady Justice. Decide a case in the model courtroom with interactive A Day in Court games. Then, go up to see the Michigan Supreme Court courtroom and get the city’s best view of the State Capitol.
Address: 925 W. Ottawa St., PO Box 30048, Lansing, MI 48909
The Lansing River Trail stretches all the way from Jolly Road to Old Town! You can also catch it from Potter Park into East Lansing and MSU. Altogether, approximately 13 miles of paved trail. This trail is great for mountain biking. Lansing’s Urban River became the prime focus of civic leaders in the 1960’s. By the early 1970’s a specific Waterfront Master Plan and been prepared, which established the first formal policy for the continued acquisition and redevelopment of targeted central city properties. Implementation of the Waterfront Plan began with acquisition of deteriorated industrial and warehouse properties along the riverbank. Purchased at a cost of $2,000,000, twenty-seven parcels within the central city had been transformed, by 1976, into Riverfront Park. The key feature of the park is the 2 ½ mile continuous Riverfront Trail which interconnects all river-oriented features in the central city.
Address: 325 City Market Dr, Lansing, MI 48901
Your day off in Lansing just got more exciting. River Town Adventures offers canoe, bike, paddleboard and kayak rentals in Lansing, MI. Whether you’re in the mood for a high-energy escapade or a relaxing time floating down the river, your perfect adventure awaits you at River Town Adventures. Bike through the city or explore Grand River or Red Cedar River in a way that’s comfortable for you. Great fun for all ages!
Address: 305 City Market Dr, Lansing, MI 48912
Frankenmuth, Known as “Little Bavaria” by more than three million who cross its cobblestone paths and covered wooden bridge each year, this tiny German town defines iconic. And anchored by two signature staples, Zehnder’s and Bavarian Inn — both with their top indoor waterparks and world-famous chicken dinners — traditions here run deep. Add in streets lined with Bavarian architecture and a picturesque riverfront peppered with shops — plus the chance to tour it all on a horse-drawn carriage ride, pedal trolley, or riverboat cruise — and you start to experience the warm nostalgia of this inviting city and its European feel.
You can enjoy the horse-drawn carriage ride, riverboat cruise, or pedal trolley with local suds from Frankenmuth Brewery on board — there’s no shortage of ways to take in the sights of this iconic German town. Besides, you could browse a European-style village of shops and pop in to sample hand-paddled fudge, truffles, and toffee, wander cobblestone walks to quaint boutiques, and experience the magic of the world’s largest Christmas store, Bronner’s. Go ziplining on a forest adventure or wine tasting on a sunset river cruise — and find more than you could ever enjoy in just a one-time trip!
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