Welcome to East Lansing, Mi

East Lansing

Courtesy of Michigan State University

Tailgating. Michigan's other pastime.

The blue-collar ethic of American manufacturing runs deep in the capital city of East Lansing, Mich. With Oldsmobile and General Motors factories, it is a hotbed of automotive power and home to vibrant Michigan State University. A mere four hours northeast of Chicago, situated squarely in Michigan’s lower peninsula equidistant between Grand Rapids and The Motor City of Detroit, it is a haven of industry and every fall, a center of college football activity.

Where to stay

The Marriott East Lansing at University Place is a top-rated hotel in East Lansing. Close to the stadium, you will find the staff friendly and the rooms clean and comfortable. The Radisson Hotel never disappoints and at a terrific Expedia daily rate, it also offers a convenient business center, gym, indoor pool and complimentary shuttle to and from the airport.  Low-key and a stone’s throw from Michigan State University, the Howard Johnson East Lansing is also a fair option.

Where to eat/drink

Considered one of the top breakfast spots in town, the Golden Harvest is worth the wait. Yummy breakfast standards come with a side of quirky décor and the friendly conversation of football fans, visiting parents and college students. For a great burger and cold brew, try Crunchy’s, a local constant and supporter of Michigan State University Sports for more than 20 years. For game-day festivities before and during the game, Beggar’s Banquet is the place to catch predictions and game highlights over delicious grub and drinks. Harper’s Brew Pub is the only microbrewery in East Lansing and features its standard draws as well as seasonal favorites. It also comes pretty highly praised by the locals for best happy hour and as a lively music and dance spot.

Game day tips

Tailgating fans can find open spots around the campus in any public place. Not to get too tricky here, but take note that designated lots open at 7 a.m. for noon or 1 p.m. games, 9 a.m. for 3:30 p.m. games and 1 p.m. for evening games. Before the game, take part in the traditional team walk when fans line a path from the Kellogg Center to the stadium or touch the statue of the team’s namesake for luck. Since the 1970s, no football game would be complete without Zeke the Wonder Dog’s Frisbee-catching antics during halftime.  As any university with a strong football program and deep history will attest, traditions are a huge part of being a member of their community. A small factoid: the Michigan State University marching band was founded in 1870 and originally made up of only 10 students, all of whom were Civil War veterans.

What to do

What to do

Courtesy of
The Statesman

Autumn in Michigan is made up of the stuff that fronts picture-perfect postcards. Fall foliage drips from trees in perfect shades of burnt orange and brilliant red, and the weather is perfectly crisp. Take full advantage of the scenery with a stroll through Michigan State University, a campus full of historic brick buildings and during autumn, spreading lawns surrounded by the showcase of fall’s full glory. Linger in the outdoors by renting a bike from MSU’s Bikes Service Center and head toward the Northern Tier Trail, about five miles of paved pathways that takes just enough time to work up an appetite.

For something a bit out of the ordinary during a football weekend, plan to catch live music or a Broadway show at the Wharton Center for Performing Arts, and take a trip to the family-friendly Potter Park Zoo where you can meet some of the 500 animals that call it home. A short jog from town, The Country Mill satisfies any cravings for local, fresh Michigan cider and a dash through pick-your-own pumpkin fields. Don’t leave without feasting on its fresh-made donuts or taking some with you for the folks at home.

Get in the game

Know a great spot for the best wings and beer post-game? Got a great tailgating tip to share? Join the conversation on Twitter to share your own travel tips and ask questions of other fans using #ExpediaCFB.

football fun fact