11 Lansing Hot Spots That Are Sure To Bring Out Your Inner Hipster

11 Lansing Hot Spots That Are Sure To Bring Out Your Inner Hipster

It's time to explore.
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Lansing, the capital of the Mitten State, holds some of the most unique, ultra-urban hotspots you'll ever find. Not only do these hole-in-the-wall businesses give off a chill vibe, but the locals you will come to know could easily become your new pals. I invite you to read up on some of Lansing's finest, but beware: this listicle will leave you itching to throw on those Birkenstocks and start exploring.

1. Strange Matter Coffee Co.

Alexis, Instagram: @alexisrose95

Strange Matter Coffee Co.'s claim to fame is its unique pour-over multi-roasting experience, also providing its customers with a sleek espresso bar. You will be sure to love the natural light within this comfortable dwelling, as well as the unique flavors, such as "Cinnamon Honey Latte," that will leave your taste buds dancing.

2. Horrocks Farm Market.

Katharine, Instagram: @katehashope

What doesn't Horrocks provide? Whether it's that specialty brew you've been searching for, that bottle of wine you've been dying to pop open or the fresh produce for that summer picnic, you'll find it ... in abundance. Horrocks also prepares ready-to-go meals, soup and a colorful greenhouse, making it Lansing's one stop shop!

3. Old Town General Store.

You know the saying "Don't judge a book by the cover"? Well, in this case, judge a store by its exterior, because the interior looks just as amazing! If you're looking for organic products, yummy teas or need a gift idea, stop into Old Town General Store!

4. Juice Nation.

Instagram: @catonmyshirt

This one is a given. Juice Nation offers just that: juice. With two locations in both downtown and Old Town, you will find that press that offers you all the nutrition you need, yet all the flavor you were secretly hoping for. Oh! And don't count out their smoothies at the downtown location: the "Blueberry Bliss" is ... well ... blissful.

5. Firefly Hot Yoga Bar.

Facebook: Firefly Hot Yoga Bar

If you enjoy heat and relaxation, Firefly Hot Yoga bar is for you. The best part? You don't even need to be an experienced yogi. If you have a mat, want to relax and have a desire for chill music, stop in and give it a go!

6. Glazed and Confused.

Instagram: @glazed_and_confused

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and in this case, this picture contains a thousand calories. And I'm OK with that. Glazed and Confused is home to some amazing sweet treats, and I can tell you from an experience or two (or three) that you will not be disappointed. I mean, have you ever seen such pretty donuts?

7. American Fifth Spirits.

Instagram: @americanfifth

American Fifth Spirits is "Lansing's first distillery, ever." Local ingredients are added into their drinks, and free tasters are offered to those who crave a swig or two between the hours of 12-5 p.m. on Saturdays. Alcohol isn't all they offer: yummy sweets and snacks are in the mix, such as the pickle and olive platter.

8. Spin Bicycle Shop.

Instagram: @retroduckdotcom

If you like to ride, or you like cats, then hit this place up this summer. Whether you want to start riding or are looking for more gear, the chill staff is here to help. Spin is also a full-service repair shop that takes pride in getting you back on your bike in no time.

9. Fish Ladder Tattoo Co.

Cameron Pohl, Instagram: @campohltattoos

With summer here and your winter clothing hidden away in your closet somewhere, it's time to show off those arms and legs! If you are looking to tat them up or add just a bit of art to your skin, go visit Fish Ladder Tattoo Co. Here you will find some of the best artists in town who will give you just the design you were looking for.

10. Golden Harvest.

If you love eclectic decor and are starving for some homemade food, Golden Harvest will provide just that. As you can tell, they are all about those neat, cool, old, amazing pickings that add contribute to the WOW factor of visiting this stellar scene.

11. Lansing Art Gallery.

Instagram: @lansingartgallery

The Lansing Art Gallery may be non-profit, but it is rich in all things art. Est. 1965, it is home to various exhibitions, camps, galleries and more. The Lansing Art Gallery gives back the community and hosts several ultra-cool and colorful events that branch out onto the sidewalks of Washington Square.

So what you are you waiting for? It's time to tour your town like you've never seen it before!

Cover Image Credit: Flickriver, Lansing 1969

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11 Inexpensive Road Trip Destinations For College Students

Because adventure.
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College is a time to make memories. It is a time to set out and explore the world. The only problem is that it can be difficult to travel when you’re flat-out broke. Many college students are discovering that while the cost of textbooks and tuition increases, their travel funds sadly decrease. Since jet-setting to Paris or Rome may be out of reach at the moment, many students are resorting to road trips within the United States to fix their case of wanderlust. Not only are road trips much more affordable, but they also allow for more spontaneity and exploration. There are countless of hidden gems just waiting to be explored, so grab some friends, put on your favorite Spotify road trip playlist, hit the road and make memories at these 11 incredible places.

1. Havasu Falls, Arizona

It is hard to believe that such a breathtaking waterfall can exist in the middle of the desert. Thankfully, Havasu Falls is no mirage. The falls are located in a remote region of the Grand Canyon and can only be accessed through a 10-mile hike. The entry fee to the park is relatively low and the overnight camping fee is even lower, making it a great destination for college students on a budget.

2. Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado

Instead of spending a semester's worth of tuition on an expensive snowboarding trip, students can try a cheaper alternative - sandboarding. Located in Southern Colorado, Great Sand Dunes National Park is a unique destination that offers a variety of activities. Businesses right outside the park offer the rental of boards, sleds and even skis all specially made for the sand. This means that the rental and entrance fees are the only costs for a fun-filled day of surfing the dunes.

3. South Padre Island, Texas

Whether you head to South Padre for an exciting, fun-filled spring break or for a relaxing weekend getaway, renting a condo is the way to go. The cost of renting a condo can be very low if you split it among several people, which means you can enjoy a tropical beach vacation without breaking the bank.

4. Las Vegas, Nevada


Vegas can either be a very expensive destination or a very inexpensive destination. That's why it is important to play your cards right - and I'm not just talking about gambling. Skip staying the night at the high-end hotels and enjoy their free attractions instead. If you decide to hit the casinos, make sure to keep track of your money - those textbooks don't pay for themselves.

5. Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

In the fall, college campuses across America celebrate the chilly weather with football games, bonfires, and pumpkin-spiced everything. For those who want to switch things up, pack your bags and head to the Smoky Mountains. These beautiful mountains are a must-see in the fall due to the stunning scenery and fall foliage. Try renting a cheap cabin or camping at Smoky Bear Campgrounds to save money.

6. Austin's Sixth Street, Texas

Sixth Street is an iconic and historic street in the heart of Austin. From the exciting nightlife and multitude of bars to the live music and unique art galleries, Sixth Street offers a little something for everyone. For a truly unique Austin experience, stay at the affordable Firehouse Hostel, just minutes from Sixth Street.

7. Daytona Beach, Florida

Located about and hour and half south of Jacksonville, Daytona Beach is notoriously known as a wild spring break destination for college students. While exploring all the concerts, bars and clubs that Daytona has to offer, students can take advantage of the free party bus for easy and affordable transit.

8. Albuquerque, New Mexico

For the low price of only $10 per person, you can experience Albuquerque's annual Balloon Fiesta. A photographer's dream, the Balloon Fiesta offers tons of unique sights, shopping opportunities, and delicious food. If you can't make it to Albuquerque in October, when the Balloon Fiesta takes place, there are plenty of other affordable places to explore. From Sandia Peak to Old Town, Albuquerque offers something for everyone.

9. Rainbow Springs State Park, Florida

For water lovers, this Florida gem has it all. Kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving and tubing are just a few of the many activities you can enjoy in the crystal clear water of the Rainbow River. Since this destination is off the beaten path, it is an affordable alternative to Florida's Discovery Cove.

10. New Orleans, Louisiana

Two words: Bourbon Street. Full of iconic bars, local jazz musicians and interesting cuisine, there is never a dull moment on Bourbon Street. As if this famous street wasn't crazy enough, in February thousands of college students flock there to celebrate Mardi Gras. Though the prices of drinks can be high during this time, students can save money by booking their hotel ahead of time. For under $100 per night, Astor Crowne Plaza offers guests a luxurious stay on a budget.

11. Pacific Coast Highway, California

Though this one is not quite a destination per se, it should definitely be high up on your bucket list. This coastal highway, also known as Highway 1, hits many of California's major cities such as San Fransisco and Santa Monica. As if a trip to these cities is not exciting enough, the drive itself is extremely scenic. To save money on this trip, try booking cheap hotels or even stay for free at hostels. Of course, with this trip and all of these trips, you are bound to spend some money. But the memories that you will make on these trips will be worth every penny.

Cover Image Credit: StockSnap

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Gun Control: A Band-Aid Fix to a Grade-A Problem

An op-ed outlining why gun control merely skims the surface of a whole family of issues which all stem from violent tenets embedded in American society.

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Gun violence and gun legality have been vigorously debated in America by everyone from politicians to students. Shootings are horrific, inhumane acts, but many people focus more on the "gun" and less on the "violence" taking place inside the perpetrator of the horrific act. While tighter firearm regulation may reduce gun violence in the United States, I submit that this solution is a band-aid fix for a much graver problem plaguing American society.

Gun violence in America is a recent phenomenon. All of the 5 deadliest mass shootings in America have occurred since 2007, and 28 of the 35 deadliest shootings have occurred since 1990. It is also worth noting that assault rifles with the same capabilities as the ones around today became available with the production of the AK47 assault rifle back in 1947. This data suggests that gun violence as it exists today is not solely a product of gun availability or lax legislation, but rather a societal flaw present in America today that was not present pre-1990.

Any act of violence stems from aggression inside the perpetrator. Aggression itself is a natural emotion and is experienced quite often by humans, especially by men who have naturally higher testosterone levels and possess natural instincts to fight off anyone whom they deem a threat. But why do some manifest this aggression in the form of violence? Psychologists suppose that cultural shaping, peer relationships, and individual characteristics are responsible for a person's choice to act violently. These aspects of human character development have largely been influenced media exposure (and in particular electronic media exposure) over the past 20 years. Since 1998, consumption of television, video games, music, and other forms of e-media has increased exponentially.

Consuming media is not innately bad. For our purposes, it only becomes problematic when the media being consumed is violent. Exposure to violence increases aggression levels in humans, and thus increases the likelihood of those humans to perpetrate acts of violence, whether it be on a large or small scale. The reality is that Americans consume an uncanny amount of violent media on a daily basis. Whether it is earning extra points for a head-shot in Call of Duty, watching that body be dissected during an autopsy in Law and Order, or listening to the violent ideas promoted in contemporary rap music, Americans are barraged with more violent images than their brains can process.

Not only does exposure to violent media increase aggression levels, but it also has a numbing effect on those who consume it. Desensitization exists in various instances of our day-to-day lives. The bliss of finding a new song wears off with each additional listen. Doctors and soldiers become desensitized to the sight of flesh and blood. In a similar way, continual exposure to violent media dulls the natural, negative human reaction to violence. Violence in the minds of Americans has shifted from horrific to commonplace, which is frightening news. When violence is seen as commonplace, people have no reason to distance themselves from it, nor do they have a framework from which to deem it evil.

As melancholy as this article has sounded thus far, there is a solution to this abomination plaguing American culture. To content creators on all media platforms, for humanity's sake, please promote healthy, productive messages over the violent and destructive ones, even though they may not line your pockets as deeply. To all consumers of media, be mindful to consume only that which depicts behavior you wish to emulate. This is the only long-term solution and is the path to health, sanity, and the end to the violence afflicting America today.

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