Its getting to be that time of year when your home becomes a stopping off point or destination for traveling family and friends. While a trip to the closestchain store/restaurantmay beyour first and safestthought, wouldnt you beTHE star host if you treated your guests to some local flavor?

  1. Visit Lansing, MichiganShow off your town. You live here for a reason, so become an ambassador of the place that makes you proud to call home. If you need some suggestions, just grab one of our Greater Lansing Visitor Guides or visit our Things to do in Lansing website. Youll find a wealth of information there. Are you super busy and don't have a lot of time to entertain? Here's my biggest (and best)suggestion. Invite them when the event "Be A Tourist In Your Own Town" is going on, buy them a $1 passport and send them out to explore!
  2. Surprise them. When my sister came to visit from Canada, I decided that since she was such a fan of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives that I would take her to Joes Gizzard City in Potterville. Guy Fieri had recently been there and filmed a segment for his show. But I told her it was a surprise lunch. It worked out well. Joe (yes there really is a Joe) was nice enough to get into a photo I took which she sent out to Vancouver to impress a friend.
  3. Delight them. Take them somewhere that fits with their interests. My friend is a professional arborist andgraduated fromMichigan State a while back. Next time shes in town, Im packing a picnic and were heading to Cooley Gardens. I know shell be delighted because Ive heard her mention what a specimen treasure trove this small garden is.
  4. Shop local. Its fine to stop at the mall, but then make sure you take them to a local retail mecca like Old Town. Set some time aside to poke in all the shops and galleries. Stop in to the Peanut Shopdowntown for some tasty snacks or, if they are visiting from out of state, hit up Michigania.
  5. Eat local. For heavens sake dont take them to dinner at Applebees. While I love Applebees on occasion, they can do that at homeor in Topeka and a gazillion other cities. Let them experience a purely Lansing dining experience. How about pizza at DeLucas? Or some margaritas and Mexican up on the roof of El Azteco?

So invite therelatives, some friends, or some MSU alums that youve kept in touch with over the yearsand then cross your fingers that theyll do the same for you, especially if they live in New Orleans or San Francisco. I've heard Topeka is nice this time of year...