Best Places to Live

East Lansing, MI

Population: 48,669
LIV
SCORE
610

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

Read More:

Why East Lansing Is One of the Best Places to Live in America

The 20 Greatest Things About Living in the Midwest

Things To Do in Michigan

“We moved back to East Lansing after living in Chicago and Washington D.C., and we love how easygoing and family-friendly the area is. There are tons of local activities to get out of the house — biking the river trail to the zoo, walking to the farmers market, sledding, neighborhood parks, walking MSU's campus, tailgating and going to MSU sporting events and quick access to Lake Lansing.”

Allie Sarto
Lifestyle and wedding photographer

East Lansing, MI Ranking Data

Civic
63
Demographics
48
Economy
60
Education
72
Health
45
Housing
64
Infrastructure
90