clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The East Lansing/Michigan State Visitors' Guide -- Travel to East Lansing and Lodging

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Full Guide

(Note -- this is a living document, and will be updated as more travel options, including the coveted flying car, become available/invented. I'm doing the best I can with this, and if you have any suggestions/criticism, please post in the comments and the post will be updated. Thanks! And a special thanks to commenters SpartyFever, The Ghost of John Hannah, and PittsfieldIndex with their information and suggestions in this section.)

So you've decided to visit East Lansing. Good for you! You're going to have a great time. The first step in a visit to the EL Is getting here, and you have a few different options of doing so. These directions will put you onto the Michigan State campus, and here they are.

BY AUTOMOBILE (Point of order -- I'm using the Trowbridge road exit for all cases because it's the simplest way to make it onto campus. Feel free to add your favorite exits in the comments).

From the West: I-94 East to I-69 North will put you onto I-96 West, and then you can take 496 East to the Trowbridge Road exit; MSU is a straight shot.

From the East: You can do this one of two ways; I-94 West to 127 North will get you there about as fast as I-96 West. If you're taking 127 North get off at the Trowbridge Road exit. If you're on 96 you can exit onto 496 West around mile marker 106, then get off on the Trowbridge Road exit a couple miles earlier.

From the South: Depends? If you're coming from Bloomington, I-69 North to 496 East is your best option. If you're in West Lafayette, take 65 North to 94 East and follow the directions in the "From the West" section after that. If you're in Columbus, Take 23 North until you hit 96 West, then follow the directions in the "From the East" section.

From the North: Like a sojourn from the South it depends, but you'll most likely want to take 75 South until 127 South, then take that until the Trowbridge exit. 131 South to 96 East to 496 East works as well.

One note about car travel by commenter SpartyFever:

Traveling AROUND East Lansing, I wouldn’t recommend a car. It gets very hectic. There are taxis, $3 a person for up to 5 miles. There are some (believe it or not) rickshaws that some people run for extra cash. Not too many though. Don’t bother with bicycles, as the pedestrian traffic will make it a mess. Honestly, if you want to stick around EL on gameday, your best bet is using your own two feet.

One more note -- if you want a cab in East Lansing and are in a small group (four or less), I recommend Green Cab ((517)-643-1905). If traveling in a larger group, Shaggin' Wagon ((517)-507-5047), Spartan Cab ((517)-482-1444), and S-Cabs ((517)-374-5500) are all good options. Expect to pay about $3 a mile regardless of how many people you have.


Amtrak does have an East Lansing station, and you'll be dropped off right next to campus, but about a mile South of downtown East Lansing. I've ridden the train from East Lansing to Chicago before, and I can tell you that it was a pleasurable experience, but a slight bit tardy. A round-trip ticket from Chicago will cost you around $100, and for more information visit Amtrak's website.


Greyhound does have service to East Lansing, and uses the Amtrak station as its boarding point. Sorry Megabus fans, but they do not have an East Lansing stop.


Lansing does have an airport, the Capital Region International Airport, a 20 minute drive from Michigan State University. I'm not familiar with all the flights in and out of Lansing, but the chances are it will be more expensive to fly into Lansing than either Grand Rapids or Detroit. If you're flying into Detroit Metro the Michigan Flyer bus runs several times a day to East Lansing, costs around $50 per round-trip, and about $60 without a reservation. The Michigan Flyer does have free water and Wi-Fi.


(There are many hotels in the EL/Lansing area, so I'm only going to be highlighting the few that are directly adjacent to campus or close. The Ghost of John Hannah did a great job summarizing the hotels, so I'll let him explain:)

If you're an alumni coming into town for a weekend for the game, chances are you're going to need a hotel. Unfortunately, hotel selection is a little difficult if you want to be within walking distance of the stadium and campus, but here's what's nearby:

Right at the center of downtown East Lansing, the hotel is likely to be pricey and difficult to book for a football weekend, but is likely to provide your best experience. It's in one of the tallest buildings in East Lansing, and is right on Albert Street. Food, shopping, and bars are all right outside its doors. The other bonus is that this is also the location of the Michigan Flyer stop for East Lansing. If you've flown into Michigan from DTW and opted for the Flyer instead of renting a car, you'll be dropped off and picked up right outside your hotel door.

2) Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center - Harrison and Kalamazoo, across from Brody
Another pricey hotel choice is the Kellogg Hotel. This puts you down the street from the Breslin Center and an easy walk to the stadium, tailgating, and downtown. It is, however, gorgeous inside, and is also the site of the Hospitality Business program at MSU.

It's a pretty typical HoJo, about the equivalent of a Best Western. It's cheap and a place to stay. It is small, however, and like the other hotels, may be difficult in reserving a room if you're coming in for a football game.

- From commenter PittsfieldIndex: Ridiculously cheap and close to the stadium. I’ve stayed there (the HoJo) my last two visits to East Lansing and it’s a decent place to sleep.
These are the only three hotels I know anything about. Google tells me there is a Quality Inn on Saginaw, and a Towne Suites off of Hagadorn, but I don't know anything about them. There used to be another hotel right at Grand River and Harrison, but it has since closed. Looking into Lansing, Okemos, Holt, and Haslett will also get your options, but bear in mind transportation concerns.