In just one week Pokemon Go has become a national sensation, soaring past apps like Tinder and now challenging Twitter for the most used app daily by people in America.

If you're out of the loop, Pokemon Go is an "Augmented Reality" game where your phone is used to track down wild creatures called Pokemon in your local area using a map overlay. It is considered "freemium" because while it is free to download, extra items to help you progress faster cost real money.

Players can also stop at "Pokestops" for items and battle "gyms" for control of areas that are points of interest in any given town.

Think of it as a giant scavenger hunt to be the very best.

As the game mentions when you boot it up, be aware of your surroundings at all times while playing the game and please don't dangerously multitask while playing, like trying to catch an Eevee while driving, it's not safe.

So with Pokemon Go's popularity continuing to rise we decided to look at some of the best places to catch Pokemon in the Lansing Area.

  • 1

    Parks

    It's not always the most famous places that are the best for Pokemon Go. The game seems to treat areas with more people visiting better in terms of encounters and Pokestops in general, and while other landmark areas will be on this list, just checking out your nearby park could yield great results.

    No matter the size of the park there is usually at least one Pokestop and/or one Pokemon gym in the area of all parks in the Lansing area.

    A good of rule of thumb is the more "stuff" that is in the park, the better it will be for Pokemon Go players. Things like baseball diamonds, play set structures, outdoor picnic areas, tennis courts, soccer fields. The more things that you can check off from lists like that the better because it means there will be more people and thus more chances for things like rare Pokemon or good item hauls from multiple Pokestops.

    Some of my personal favorite parks in the area:

    Patriarche Park (Saginaw and Alton Street): Multiple gyms, four Pokestops plus the church across the street is a gym and has a couple of Pokestops around it within easy walking distance. Rare Pokemon found there: Dratini, Staryu, Electabuzz*

    Nancy Moore Park (Okemos Road North of Grand River): A big open park area with walking and biking trails make this great for encounters plus hatching eggs. Rare Pokemon found here: Dratini, Nidorans

    Marshall Park (Saginaw and Marshall Road): A big open space allows for easier movement to track down Pokemon via radar, and it has a church nearby that is a gym and the Lansing Fire Department nearby is a Pokestop. My favorite part about this one is that there's a canopy area right near a couple of Pokestops so it's perfect for dropping a lure module and letting Pokemon come to you while you enjoy the park. Rare Pokemon found there: Gastly, Psyduck*, Krabby.

    *Only ever showed up on my radar, couldn't track it down

    Courtesy City of East Lansing
  • 2

    Michigan State Arboretum

    Honestly, this whole page could be dedicated to Michigan State areas of interest, it is a hotbed from Pokemon due to the size and population of the campus. However the Arboretum offers walking paths abound and because you’re “in nature” there with all the gardens, Pokemon are plentiful in the area.

    Even straying away from the Arboretum and walking by some academic buildings or student housing will net you plenty of items via Pokestop, and if you’re using an item that attracts Pokemon to you, you will need all those Poke Balls to catch them.

    In my own personal adventuring there I’ve been able to catch rare Pokemon for the area, like Geodude, and even fully evolved Pokemon like Slowbro, Parasect and Pidgeot. It is definitely one of the many go-to spots on the MSU campus for Pokemon Go.

    Photo courtesy MSU
  • 3

    Anything connected to the Red Cedar or Grand River

    Riverways and other bodies of water in the Lansing area are great spots for catching water type Pokemon. The game uses the map overlay and will often increase the encounter rate of water types in the vicinity of notable bodies of water.

    In East Lansing with the Red Cedar, you'll be on the border of the campus and with plenty of restaurants and hotels that are Pokestops and gyms across Grand River avenue it makes this a must visit hot spot if you are looking to add variety to your Pokedex. The best part about that area is the closeness of everything. Quickly you'll be racking up the kilometers to hatch your eggs while visiting a lot that East Lansing has to offer.

    As you move west and get more into Lansing, Municipal Park (hey there's point 1 again), Potter Park Zoo and downtown Lansing (more on that in a moment) where the two rivers converge will have a great deal of Pokemon to catch and Pokestops to visit.

    Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons
  • 4

    Downtown Lansing

    Unsurprisingly if you head into Downtown Lansing you will see droves of people with their phones open for blocks as they visit all that the area has to offer. There's really no wrong way to trek the city with how many things are available to Pokemon Go players in Lansing.

    A good starting point is the Capitol building, just the block around it has about five or six Pokestops, a couple of gyms and plenty of encounters for players.

    Past the Capitol there seems to be a Pokestop on every corner and going here during really any time of the day you'll probably find someone camped out at a Pokestop with a lure module (you'll see there are pink flowers in game surrounding it when a module is active). Whether you choose to camp and let the Pokemon come to you or you trek the city hunting them down, there's no denying that Downtown Lansing has plenty to offer.

    In my personal adventures in this area, I've caught loads of Drowzees to evolve into a Hypno, and scored some pretty rare finds with a Jynx, a Squirtle and a Lapras that as of this writing is still one of my top 5 most powerful Pokemon.

    More so than the opportunity on most of these places to advance in game, there also is a great camaraderie that exists when you see someone else playing the game. Just striking up a conversation or sharing rumors on where you saw this rare pokemon, it's great.

    My favorite moment came on the first weekend the game was out, I was rolling through the block near Cooley Law School Stadium and I talked with a couple of guys who turned out to be relief pitchers for the Lake County Captains who were in town for a series against the Lugnuts. Imagine the Pokemon travelling athletes get to catch.

    Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons
  • 5

    Old Town

    More things connected to Grand River here but it deserves a mention. With the river nearby and plenty of businesses and landmarks that are Pokestops it's a good place to get items from Pokestops en masse.

    Also walking around the area will get you some egg steps towards hatching the next rare Pokemon in your collection.

    It also can be considered "off the beaten path" too if everybody is hitting up Michigan State or Downtown Lansing and crashing servers due to overloads in one big area near there. The most popular areas will have tons of stuff but also have a lot of risk of down server time.


    Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons