Lansing (Michigan, United States)

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Lansing’s attractions can very well be classified into two; political and natural. I had a wonderful experience of all on my recent visit to this quiet, elegant and down-to earth capital city of Michigan.

Talking of being elegant, Lansing was not like this always. Way back in mid 19th century the town of Michigan was decided to be the state capital and at that time a few names were suggested. Among those, one was El Dorado… wonder how this name came up to be a choice. El Dorado is the lost city of gold that has fascinated travelers and explorers for centuries and Lansing did not have anything to do with even the concept of the lost city. The city was then named after an American Revolution hero, John Lansing. The State Capitol of that time was brought down and a new one was built. I stood in front of the Capitol and gaped at its awesome structure; the first of Lansing’s political or historical attraction.

It would be unfair to just say that the building was beautiful; it was unique. The grand architectural wonder looked like a palace and I was excited to go inside to see the interiors. It is advisable for visitors to book a tour prior to arriving in the city as tours get filled up mainly by school groups. After the photo shoots in front of the huge bronze statue of the war Governor of Michigan, Austin Blair, on the stairs and the gardens around, a tour guide took us inside. There was a school group already inside the Capitol and the tour turned out to be very educative for me and the kids at the same time. 

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Going around the building was fun; especially when I got to admire the Governor’s Ceremonial Office, paintings, flags and the majestic Dome. The kids were excited; they could lie on the floor and get a full view of the artistic Dome; I sincerely wished I could too. Being able to sit in the gallery of both the State Senate and the State house was itself a grand experience.

Out of the Capitol scenario I even visited the Hall of Justice just to be awed once again by its sheer grandeur. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take up a tour of the Learning Center that would have given me some ideas about the judicial branch of the Government.

The Grand River was truly grand. Being the longest river in Michigan, it was a pleasant place to sit and relax and even to watch the sun go down behind the manicured gardens that flank the river. There are short trips on the river if you know someone out there who can take you on a speed boat ride, which I did. Otherwise, there is the huge boat, Michigan Princess that organizes lunch and dinner cruises for those who would like to be on the water for a longer time. I personally preferred the speed boat ride as the calm and quite water rose from its slumber and there were thousands of ripples on the water as the boat zoomed through it.

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