Because the city’s winter months are unforgiving, the bulk of Lansing’s daytime activities are best enjoyed between mid-March and early November. As long as cruel Old Man Winter cooperates, though, there are plenty of outdoors activities to go around. The River Walk along the Grand and Red Cedar Rivers is a popular haunt for walkers, bikers, and mellow meanderers alike. Numerous parks, museums, lakes, and festival grounds dot the area as well, so you won’t find any shortage of daytime destinations.
If you like bars, bars and more bars, you’ll like Lansing, Lansing, and more Lansing. From martini-sipping bistros and techno dance clubs to beer joints and live music hotspots, you’ll find plenty of places that wet your whistle in Lansing. Rule of thumb: It’s mostly watering holes and bars in downtown Lansing proper.
Of course, the pub ‘n club scene isn’t for all, but don’t worry, non-barflies: Lansing boasts thriving arts, theater, and music scenes as well.
People may not often think of Mid-Michigan as a model of effective public transportation, but it is, and we have the boring numbers to prove it. More than 300 percent more Michigan residents use public transit in Lansing than the rest of the state, and Lansing commuters use their city bus system (the Capital Area Transit Authority) nearly 50 percent more than the average American city. What does this mean for you? Well, it means that there’s a good chance you can survive in Lansing vehicle-free.
A vast fleet of taxis service the areas as well, but you should know that cabbies are much easier to come by in East Lansing, where they practically flood the streets (especially at night) than in the areas around the capital. Bike trails and paths are also more prevalent in East Lansing than in other parts of the city.
Good news: Just be sure to have proof of income and a recent bank statement (or a cosigner with these two nifty commodities) and you should be able to score an apartment, no problem. Occupancy rates tend to spike in the late summer months, but even then, units are almost always available at all the major rental properties on any side of the Grand or Red Cedar Rivers.
The average leasing cost is lingering at only $550, but rental prices vary depending on obvious X-factors like size, amenities, and location. In the recently re-juiced downtown area, for instance, the slew of recently remodeled lofts and apartments typically rent out from anywhere between $500 and $1100.
East Lansing rental units usually go for less than a grand, while lucky leasers can often find multi-BR townhouses, duplexes, and freestanding homes for less than $1100 or $1200.
Old Town Lansing (just north of downtown) is ripe with Victorian houses for rent (usually in the $700-$950 range), while other neighborhoods – REO Town and the suburban northwestern ‘hoods, for example – present viable renting options as well. Waiting lists are pretty much nonexistent in any Lansing neighborhood, so don’t rush into a lease unless you’re sure it’s your best option, and be sure to shop around for the best deal, because your options are plentiful.
Best of luck in Lansing, and happy hunting!