Midwest Adventure 2018, Part 2: Lansing, Michigan

This is my second post about our adventure traveling through Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Indiana. You can find the first post from this trip here and links to all the other educational US travel our family has done here.

Because I blog about educational travel, I received free admission tickets, discounts, media rates, and other benefits for some of the hotels and attractions we visited throughout the trip. Many attractions we toured are free to everyone. I paid full price for the rest. This has no bearing on my reviews. Everything I'm sharing is something that I whole-heartedly recommend. If you notice any gaps in my narrative, it is because I didn't love a particular hotel, attraction, or restaurant enough to recommend it to you, regardless of how much I paid or didn't pay.


Lansing, Michigan

The distance from Chicago to Lansing is 219 miles, so it took us around 3.5 hours (plus a time zone change) to get there. By the time we arrived in Lansing it was 1:30 local time, so we were definitely ready for lunch. I'd heard that the place to eat was Meat Southern BBQ and Carnivore Cuisine. I'm not much of a carnivore, but I do love BBQ and there were lots of options that didn't include just ordering a big pile of meat.

Check out these nachos. Homemade tortilla chips, topped with shredded pork, bacon, and brisket, cheese, BBQ sauce, sour cream, onions, tomatoes, peppers, and avocado. Heavenly.

Everything we tried was absolutely delicious. The table was set with their six different sauces, so of course we had to try them all. Repeatedly. Yum.

Downtown Lansing is really cute, with lots of neat shops and restaurants to explore. But we only had time for a few quick pictures before we had to get to the main places we'd come to Lansing to see.

We drove a few miles to the Michigan History Museum. It's an amazing place and serves as the flagship for the Michigan History Museum System. This was a new concept to me, but we encountered it again later in our travels, where all the history museums within a state are linked together and run by one organization.

We only had 2 hours at the Michigan History Museum before it closed and we easily could have spent 4-5 hours. It was annoying to have gloss over some of the interesting exhibits, but we saw as many as we could. Michigan’s history is a very interesting mix of logging, mining (copper and iron), fishing, cereal, the automobile industry, post-war migration, race relations, music, and a lot more. Quite a few of the museum's exhibits are interactive. Here's Trevor trying out virtual reality to experience fishing in Michigan.

Cereal. (RIP Cereal City.)

The amount of detail in the museum was impressive. And we loved that it was such an immersive experience.

Steve and I make quite a pair, don't you think? 


Like I said, we could have spent a lot more time at the Michigan History Museum. Alas, it was not to be. We had a Capitol to explore. We walked a few blocks toward the Capitol and saw this. All three of us said, "New Jersey!"

Fortunately, we were wrong. The other side of the building had no fencing and the visitors' entrance was well-marked. Phew! (Trenton, take note. Signs for visitors, please, particularly when construction blocks all obvious entrances.)

We joined a guided tour, which was outstanding. As we visit more and more Capitol buildings, we are learning that they have more differences from each other than similarities. Lansing features lots of wood and glass, not the stone that is so common in many others.

The ceiling of the Senate chambers is particularly unique. Check out those square spaces.

Each one features the seal of one of the 50 states. We've never seen a Capitol that displays other states' seals, flags, or other symbols.

We left the Capitol, not ready to say goodbye to Lansing. But we had to move on. Tomorrow I'll tell you all about Detroit and our unplanned visit to the US Detention Center. (Spoiler alert: They let us out eventually.)


  1. I don't live to far from Lansing. Have never been to the downtown area or that museum.

  2. That museum looks like so much fun! And their capital building looks pretty awesome too!! LOVING the photos!!!

  3. We're so glad you enjoyed your visit to the Michigan History Museum! We really appreciate your thoughtful and detailed review and hope you'll come visit us again someday :)


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