East Lansing is synonymous with Michigan State University, a land-grant institution with more than 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students. But aside from being a vibrant college town, it’s also conveniently located just a few miles away from the state’s capital, Lansing.
The city has a strong economy and impressive infrastructure, like public transportation provided by the Capital Area Transportation Authority, a busy Amtrak station and multi-use trails like the Northern Tier Trail and Lansing River Trail.
Local Obsession: Michigan State sports — this is a college town through and through, and people love their Spartans here.
Climate Described In 6 Words Or Less: Humid, mostly cloudy, beautiful fall colors.
Top Industries and Employers: Education-related jobs dominate East Lansing, thanks to the university and the Michigan Education Association. Other top employers are supermarket company Meijer and IBM Global Delivery Services.
Local Dream Job: Technician at The Dairy Plant, the on-site dairy research and production facility at MSU. Here, a dedicated team conducts research and creates new ice cream and cheese varieties.
Quintessential Meal: Cosmik fries (formerly known as “crack fries”) at HopCat.
Favorite Weekend Activity: Tailgating on campus during football season or hitting up basketball games and gymnastic meets during the winter.
After-Work Meetup Spot: Sansu Sushi, a tasty Japanese fusion restaurant specializing in sushi.
Best Brewery/Local Beer: Tiramisu Stout from Ellison Brewery & Spirits. This stout has just enough sweetness, plus hints of vanilla, caramel, chocolate and coffee.
Beloved Bookstore: Curious Book Shop, which hawks rare and used books in downtown East Lansing. The store has been around since 1969 and has three floors perfect for exploring on a lazy Sunday afternoon (or really anytime).
Free Way To Have Fun: W. J. Beal Botanical Garden at MSU, a peaceful spot that dates back to 1873.
Truly Hidden Gem: Lunch at Brody Square, an on-campus dining center that’s open to the public. This isn’t your typical dorm cafeteria, either. People who live in East Lansing love visiting the all-you-can-eat buffet with tons and tons of options.
- Sarah Kuta