On Campus and Local
MSU is home to the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, which is the nation’s largest nuclear science facility on a university campus. The facility offers guided tours with advanced reservation. Adjacent to it, is the nascent Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, slated to be one of the world’s premier rare isotope laboratories.
The MSU Bug House run by the Department of Entomology has all-ages educational entomology exhibits and offers tours with advanced notice and a fee.
The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum hosts a rotating collection of contemporary art in a building designed by Zaha Hadid. Admission is free, though donations are accepted.
Potter Park Zoo in Lansing is a small zoo with many big cats and primates. Great for all ages.
The MSU-run W.K. Kellogg Biological Station, approximately one hour away from East Lansing, is part of the U.S. network of Long Term Ecological Research sites. It offers tours of its scientific projects and hosts a bird sanctuary that is fun for all ages
A little over an hour’s drive to the west, Grand Rapids hosts the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, which has an impressive selection of sculptures, a zen garden, and spectacular grounds year-round. The Grand Rapids area has a large number of nearby hiking and outdoor recreation options. Grand Rapids has one of the highest densities of independent craft breweries in the US, earning the nickname “Beer City USA.”
The Great Lakes
Michigan is surrounded by the Great Lakes, which are vast freshwater lakes with sand dunes higher than those bordering oceans.
- Lake Michigan beaches: nearby towns of Holland and Saugatuck, and the astonishingly huge Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes are well worth a trip.
- Lake Huron beaches: less crowded and just as lovely as the Lake Michigan beaches
- Consider a stay at the inexpensive Whitestone Pointe Cabins
The Upper Peninsula
For the purest trails, boating and fishing, mountain bike trails, and forested mountains, the Upper Peninsula (four hours north of East Lansing) is unrivaled.