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Pride Journey: Lansing, Michigan

Lansing, Michigan, the state's vibrant capital, is a city brimming with cultural diversity, historical richness, and a rapidly evolving urban landscape. From its renowned Lansing Pride festival to unique dining spots like Veg Head and the dynamic Lansing Shuffle, there is something for everyone in this bustling Midwestern city. Add to this a plethora of attractions such as the Broad Museum of Art, Potter Park Zoo, and the historically significant districts of Old Town Lansing and REO Town, and Lansing stands out as a must-visit destination.

One of Lansing's most cherished events is the annual Lansing Pride festival. This celebration of LGBTQ+ culture and community has grown significantly over the years, drawing thousands of attendees from across the state and beyond. Lansing Pride features live performances, local vendors, and family-friendly activities, all set against the backdrop of Lansing’s welcoming atmosphere in Old Town. The festival not only fosters a sense of community but also emphasizes Lansing's commitment to inclusivity and equality.

While in Old Town, visit one of the area’s many locally owned boutiques, cafes, and art galleries. This walkable neighborhood is full of charm and the perfect way to begin your Lansing adventure. The district also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including festivals, art walks, and live performances, which contribute to its lively and welcoming atmosphere.

For those seeking a unique culinary experience, Veg Head in Lansing is a standout choice. This LGBTQ-owned vegetarian and vegan-friendly eatery offers a diverse menu that caters to a variety of dietary preferences without compromising on flavor. Veg Head’s innovative dishes, made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients, have earned it a loyal following. Whether you're a committed vegan or simply exploring plant-based options, Veg Head promises a delightful dining experience that showcases the best of Lansing's culinary creativity. We ordered the Roasted Brussels for the table which came topped with Harissa sauce, crumbled Cheese, and Pepitas. For our entrees, we tried the Signature Sweet Potato Burger as well as the Cauliflower Street Tacos which were prepared with roasted cauliflower, salsa verde, avocado puree, crumbled cheese, pickled onions, cilantro, and corn tortillas. All the items were delicious and made me forget I was at a vegetarian restaurant. For those meat-eaters out there, a trip to Veg Head will make you change your mind about vegetarian cuisine.

Visitors seeking stylish and comfortable accommodation during their stay should check out AC Hotel Lansing. Situated within close proximity to downtown Lansing, this modern hotel combines contemporary design with top-notch amenities. The AC Hotel Lansing is also conveniently located near many of the city’s major attractions, making it an ideal base for exploring all that Lansing has to offer. Their king suite offers an additional seating area and of course an extra-large room fit for any king…or queen.

After some rest, check out Lansing Shuffle, another jewel in the city's crown, offering a dynamic space for entertainment and community engagement. This multi-purpose venue hosts a variety of events, from live music and drag performances to food festivals and markets. Lansing Shuffle is designed to be a flexible space that adapts to the diverse interests of Lansing's residents and visitors. With its vibrant atmosphere and ever-changing lineup of events, Lansing Shuffle is a testament to the city's lively and inclusive spirit.

Swing by Soup Spoon for breakfast and be sure to order any one of their delicious omelets or scrambles before heading to REO Town, another historic district that has seen significant revitalization. Named after the REO Motor Car Company, which was once headquartered here, REO Town has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years. Today, it is a thriving neighborhood known for its eclectic mix of businesses, including coffee shops, breweries, and vintage stores. The area also features murals and public art installations that reflect its unique character and history. REO Town’s vibrant community spirit and creative energy make it an exciting place to explore and experience.

Art enthusiasts will find much to admire at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University. This contemporary art museum is renowned for its striking architecture, designed by the internationally acclaimed architect Zaha Hadid. The Broad Museum’s collection features an impressive array of modern and contemporary art, including works by both established and emerging artists. With its innovative exhibitions and educational programs, the museum is a cornerstone of Lansing's cultural landscape, offering visitors a chance to engage with thought-provoking art from around the world.

Speaking of art, the Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center recently held the LGBTQ+ Artist in Michigan exhibition, a group exhibition of artists who identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. This exhibition was in partnership with Suits and the City, whose mission is to promote the interests of LGBTQ+ persons in the Mid-Michigan area through education and advocacy and increase the visibility and integration of LGBTQ+ persons in the broader community through networking events. Artists participating in the exhibition included: Erin Brott, Gustavo Ayala, and Jesse Amburgey.

If you visit in the fall, there is no better way to celebrate the spirit of Lansing than with an MSU football game. Michigan State University’s team, known as the Spartans, has a storied tradition dating back to its inception in 1896. Competing in the Big Ten Conference, the team has a rich history of success, including multiple national championships and conference titles. The Spartans play their home games at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, not too far from the AC Hotel and Broad Museum.

Lansing's unique combination of cultural richness, historical significance, and modern amenities makes it a standout destination in the Midwest. The city's commitment to inclusivity all contributes to Lansing's distinctive and welcoming character. Whether you're exploring its historic neighborhoods, enjoying its vibrant festivals, or simply taking in the local culture, Lansing offers a truly memorable experience.

To learn more about Lansing, visit

Enjoy the Journey!


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