If democracy and college football is your thing, then you might feel right at home in Lansing. Home to the Michigan State Capitol and located right near Michigan State University, the capital region has a lot to offer those who are just getting started out or those looking for a new city with plenty of opportunity in education and government. And it seems like others agree — Lansing’s population grew for eight years in a row between 2010 and 2018, undoubtedly thanks to the low cost of living (the average home price in the Lansing-East Lansing Metro area is $152,250) and the quirky, fun offerings the city has, like their beer, wine and spirit trail or their vibrant downtown districts with shops, restaurants and bars.
Top Industries and Employers: Lansing is the Michigan state capital and is located near Michigan State University, so its top industries are government and education.
Best Coffee Shop: Blue Owl Coffee, which initially started out as a coffee bike, now has three locations, one of them in Old Town Lansing, where they sling out caffeinated beverages in a cozy space.
Best Local Beer/Brewery: Lansing Brewing Company is located in the heart of downtown in the stadium district and has quite the storied history: They opened in 1897, closed in 1914 because of the effects of an approaching prohibition and then 100 years later, they resurrected the brand.
Must-Have Meal: The French Onion Soup at Soup Spoon Cafe will warm your cold, Michigan bones.
Best Co-Working Space: SOS: Shared Office Space
After-Work Meetup Spot: Zoobies Old Town Tavern is a bar where you can easily see yourself becoming a regular with good drafts and an easygoing atmosphere.
Creative Hub: Reach Studio Art Center, a community center for arts education and civic engagement.
Favorite Weekend Activity: Potter Park Zoo has 500 animals, many of which are endangered species. The zoo’s mission is to inspire visitors to conserve animals and to save species throughout the world.
Free Way to Have Fun: Tour the Michigan State Capitol, which gives you an opportunity to watch the legislature meet for a session, admire the nine acres of hand-painted decorative art and learn about Michigan history.
Local Dream Job: A communications advisor for one of the Michigan state political parties, so you can walk around Aaron Sorkin-style in the office.
- Jamie Birdwell-Branson