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The 14 Essential Ann Arbor Area Events to Attend September 2018

Things to do in Ann Arbor this September 2018

Though September brings the end of summer, it also brings us a long weekend to celebrate Labor Day, the beginning of Wolverine football season, and beloved fall harvest celebrations. In the Ann Arbor area, our communities are saluting the summer and welcoming the fall with cultural celebrations, great annual happenings, huge return performances, tours, fundraisers and more.

This year, join the fun at our region’s biggest September events. Will you attend a concert, a festival or Oktoberfest? Let us know in the comments below!

For events and ideas for celebrating Labor Day weekend in Ann Arbor, check out How to Celebrate Labor Day Weekend 2018 in Ann Arbor.


Jump ahead:

Arts + Culture | Community Celebrations | Sports | Food + Drink


Arts + Culture


Kerrytown BookFest | Ann Arbor

September 9, 10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Ann Arbor Farmers Market  

Things to do in Ann Arbor this September 2018

For the 16th year, Kerrytown BookFest is coming to one of Ann Arbor’s most beloved downtown areas. Celebrating books, authors, printers, publishers, sellers and readers, the event highlights the Ann Arbor area’s rich heritage in the book and printing arts by showcasing local individuals, businesses and organizations.


Saline Antiques & Vintage Market | Saline

September 9, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Washtenaw Farm Council Fairgrounds  

Since beginning just a few years ago, Saline Antiques & Vintage Market has become one the area’s favorite places to shop handcrafted, repurposed and locally-made gifts, home decor and goods. Follow the team on Facebook for a preview of the items available at each event!


Ann Arbor Russian Festival | Dexter

September 15 – 16 | St. Vladimir Russian Orthodox Church

The 6th Annual Ann Arbor Russian Festival will include Russian dance, music and song ensembles, an infused vodka tasting for guests over 21, authentic foods, and so much more. Bring the whole family down to Dexter to celebrate Russian culture!


Orphan Car Show | Ypsilanti

September 16 | Riverside Park   

The term orphan car describes a vehicle built by a manufacturer that has discontinued business entirely, and because Ypsi has such an important history in cars and orphan cars, it’s the perfect place for this unique car event. The 2018 show celebrates the 20th year of the Orphan Car Show!


Old West Side Homes Tour | Ann Arbor

September 23, 12 – 5 p.m. | St Paul Lutheran Church  

The 45th Annual Old West Side Homes Tour celebrates Ann Arbor’s historic Old West Side whose architecture, streetscape, history and environment are especially characteristic of 19th-century, midwestern America. You can find $10 advance tickets at Nicola’s Books, The Jefferson Market, Downtown Home & Garden, Argus Farm Stop and Washtenaw Dairy, or you can purchase tickets the day of the event at St Paul Lutheran Church for $12. For more details, check out the website.


Philadelphia Orchestra | Ann Arbor

September 27, 7:30 p.m. | Hill Auditorium

The Philadelphia Orchestra first performed in Ann Arbor’s Hill Auditorium in 1913, was the orchestra-in-residence for the Ann Arbor May Festival for nearly 50 years, and last played in town in 1994. Now, they’re returning to Hill Auditorium for the first time in 24 years! This event is part of Series:You so you can enjoy it and four other events when you subscribe to get your tickets.



Community Celebrations


Saline Community Fair | Ann Arbor  

August 28 – September 3 | Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds

Things to do in Ann Arbor this September 2018

Rounding out the summer, Saline Community Fair provides days of fun for local families. Events include tractor pulls, a car and tractor show, the USA Auto Cross Enduro Derby, carnival rides, fair foods, and more!


Wiard’s Orchards and Country Fair | Ypsilanti

September 8 – October 28 | Wiard’s Cider Mill and Apple Orchard

Operating for more than 180 years, Wiard’s Cider Mill and Apple Orchard offers u-pick apples, a u-pick pumpkin patch, delicious cider, a corn maze and haunted thrill park, mini golf, hayrides, and more during the fall. Throughout the month of September, you can enjoy Wiard’s Country Fair on Saturdays and Sundays beginning September 8th. For full details, check out the website.


Harvest Festival | Ann Arbor

September 16, 2 – 5 p.m. | Sutherland-Wilson Farm  

The 10th Annual Harvest Festival at Sutherland-Wilson Farm is welcoming the fall harvest season with a performance by the Saline Fiddlers, face painting, carriage photos, lawn games, a pumpkin patch, house tours and self-guided building tours, a petting farm, and so much more. All of this is included in general admission which ranges from free for children under 2-years-old to $5 for adults.


Webster Fall Festival | Dexter

September 22, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Webster United Church of Christ

Hosted by the Webster United Church of Christ and the Webster Township Historical Society, this fall festival has something for everybody: hayrides, live music, an auction, a petting zoo, a children’s carnival, historical buildings, baked goods and preserves for sale, demonstrations like wool spinning and blacksmithing — and the famous pig roast!


Oktoberfest | Saline

September 28 – 29 | Downtown Saline

This fall celebration brings the spirit of Germany to downtown Saline. In celebration of the community’s sister city relationship with Lindenberg, Germany, you can enjoy traditional and modern music, a festive bier garten, a corn hole tournament, wiener dog races and so much more.





University of Michigan Football | Ann Arbor

September 1 – December 1 | Various locations

Things to do in Ann Arbor this September 2018

Wolverine football returns on the first day of September! Though their first game of the season is at Notre Dame, they’ll be playing in The Big House on September 8th, 15th and 22nd. For the full schedule, click here. And, if you’re looking for local places to watch away games, check out The 13 Best Sports Bars in the Ann Arbor Area.


RunTough for ChadTough | Saline

September 29, 8:30 – 11 a.m. | Saline High School  

Benefitting The ChadTough Foundation, a local nonprofit in Saline, this running event is celebrating its fifth year with a family-friendly 5K and a one-mile fun run. Whether you want to virtually run to support the cause or you want to run the route yourself, you can register online here.  



Food + Drink


Chefs in the Garden Fundraiser | Ypsilanti

September 16 and September 30, 5 – 8 p.m. | Growing Hope Urban Farm

 Things to do in Ann Arbor this September 2018

Hosted by and benefitting Growing Hope Urban Farm, the Chefs in the Garden series brings together local charity, local food and urban farm education. The three-part dinner series will feature well known, local culinary talent at each event occurring on September 16th, September 30th and October 14th. For more information and tickets, click here.



Happy September!

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How to Celebrate Labor Day Weekend 2018 in the Ann Arbor Area | Events, Activities + More

Labor Day weekend 2018 Ann Arbor Michigan

Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer. In Ann Arbor, that means the kids are either back in school or are heading back on Monday so we need to pack a whole lot of fun into three weekend days.

To help plan your festivities, we rounded up the weekend’s best events alongside a few ideas and local activities that can make your long weekend one for the record books.

For more events happening throughout September, check out The 14 Essential Ann Arbor Area Events to Attend September 2018.



Attend an event

Ann Arbor Michigan events summer August 2018

Saline Community Fair  

August 28 – September 3 | Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds

Rounding out the summer, Saline Community Fair provides days of fun for local families. Events include tractor pulls, a car and tractor show, the USA Auto Cross Enduro Derby, carnival rides, fair foods, and more!


Dexter Summer Concerts

August 31 | The Monument Park Gazebo

The Dexter Summer Concert series ends its 2018 run on August 31st with Salmagundi! This Ann Arbor band brings horn-driven rock and roll for a full evening of dancing and fun.


Eastern Football vs. Monmouth

August 31 | Rynearson Stadium

Eastern Michigan University football returns during Orientation Weekend and the Eagles are facing off against Monmouth on our home turf. Kick-off is at 6:30 p.m.


Summer Games

August 31 | Pointless Brewery & Theatre

Pointless Brewery & Theatre combines improv comedy shows with craft beer. On August 31st, Summer Games returns with a lineup of playful improv games. Tickets are $15 each and there are back-to-back shows beginning at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.


The 2018 Ballet in the City Gala

August 31 – September 1 | Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre, Michigan League

The 2018 Ballet in the City Gala takes place on the University of Michigan campus. This exhibition event celebrates the best and brightest in the arts today by presenting the legendary works of George Balanchine in performance, hosting educational events, and offering up close and personal experiences with professional artists from around the country. There are two different events happening on August 31st and September 1st; get the full details here.


Michigan vs. Notre Dame

September 1 | South Bend, Indiana

Wolverine football returns on the first day of September! Though their first game of the season is at Notre Dame, you can watch locally at The 13 Best Sports Bars in the Ann Arbor Area. For the full schedule, click here.


African Comedy Show

September 1 | Power Center for the Performing Arts

Hosted by the Waganda and Wakenya Comedians, this laugh out loud comedy show is bringing talented stand-ups to Ann Arbor from Uganda and Kenya. The feature performance will be The Queen of African Comedy, Anne Kansiime, from Uganda and other sets will be given by Smart-Joker (Michael Omuka) and 2mbili (Dankan Onyango).


Willow Run at Purple Rose Theatre

June 14 – September 1 | Purple Rose Theatre

Willow Run is a world premiere show by Jeff Duncan and is ending its Purple Rose Theatre run on September 1st. The play takes place during WWII at the Willow Run Bomber Plant located near Ypsilanti—the largest factory under one roof in the world. Learn more and buy your tickets here.



Opt outside

Hiking trails near Ann Arbor Michigan

Home to 159 parks just within the city and located at the heart of an impressive lineup of state recreation areas and open spaces, Ann Arbor offers countless opportunities to opt outside. From hiking and fishing in town to boating through the Chain of Lakes and even kayaking down the Huron River, there are a variety of options available to every local and visitor.

To get an idea of what you can do outside and where you can do it, check out 8 Things to Do in the Ann Arbor Area for Outdoor Enthusiasts, which highlights some of our favorite adventures in our backyard.



Go camping

If you want to extend your outdoor excursion into an overnight adventure, we recommend planning a camping trip over Labor Day weekend. Pinckney Recreation Area offers six different campgrounds ranging from rustic spots without hookups to yurts! For reservation and pricing information, click here. And to check out the nine campgrounds in Waterloo Recreation Area, click here.



Dive into a Michigan lake

Swimming beaches and lake near Ann Arbor Michigan

Michigan borders four of the Great Lakes and contains more than 11,000 inland lakes. So, when you’re looking for a summer swimming destination, this is a good place to be.

In the communities around Ann Arbor, we get to take advantage of countless swim beaches, state parks and pristine waters. To help you on your water-themed summer adventures, we rounded up a handful of the best options around Ann Arbor. From just a few minutes away to about two hours away on the shores of Lake Michigan, check out The 15 Swimming Holes Near Ann Arbor You Need to Visit This Summer and start experiencing the true #PureMichiganLakeEffect.



Spend time with your kids

things to do with kids in Ann Arbor Michigan

As the last unofficial day of summer vacation, Labor Day weekend means your kids are either already back in school or they return to the classroom on Monday. Take advantage of your extra day by taking them on a local excursion they’ll never forget! Our guide, 18 Things to Do with Kids in Ann Arbor, includes details on Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, Planet Rock, Young People’s Theater, Leslie Science and Nature Center and so much more!



Salute patio season

With the warm months winding down, we have to get ready to say goodbye to our favorite Ann Arbor patios. They’re the ideal places to satisfy any craving for sunshine, local food, Michigan beer or artisan cocktails. The local lineup includes garden patios, beer gardens, and patios bathed in cozy string lights or shaded by trees along Main Street. To start planning your patio tour, check out The 16 Best Outdoor Patios in Ann Arbor.



Take a wine tour of Southeast Michigan

Southeast Michigan tasting rooms and wineries Ann Arbor

A long weekend is the perfect excuse to visit Michigan’s wine country. Different regions of our state have organized their own wine trails to highlight local wines. You can explore the Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail near Grand Rapids, the Bay View Wine Trail in Northwest Michigan, the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail around Grand Traverse Bay, and the Southeast Michigan Pioneer Wine Trail which goes right through our backyard.

For more information on Southeast Michigan’s best wineries, check out The 14 Essential Wineries to Visit Near Ann Arbor.



Visit a local museum

Ann Arbor is home to the University of Michigan, so it makes sense that our little town is packed with museums and educational opportunities. The long list of options includes University of Michigan Museum of Art, African American Cultural and Historical Museum of Washtenaw County, Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, Kempf House Museum, the Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum, and the Michigan Firehouse Museum in Ypsi.



Enjoy your long weekend!  

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Wonderful Move-in Ready Home in Ann Arbor

FeaturedFriListing_2016This week we are featuring Joe Neely’s listing – 1757 Briar Ridge Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48108

Q. Can you describe the architectural style of the home?
This home is in the French-Norman architectural style.

1757 Briar Ridge, Ann Arbor, MI 48108Q. What distinctive features set this home apart?
This brick family home is updated, clean and move-in ready.

1757 Briar Ridge - FireplaceQ. What are the advantages of the location & neighborhood?
Located in the Ann Arbor School District this home has easy access to town or university destinations. The nearby Pittsfield Township walking trails are great for walking and biking. For the commuter, it’s just a hop, skip and jump to the highway.

1757 Briar Ridge - Kitchen 1Q. Have there been any recent renovations or upgrades?
The roof, furnace, air conditioner and sump pump have all been replaced within the past four years. The carpet has been replaced throughout the entire second floor prior to listing. Many additional upgrades throughout.

1757 Briar Ridge - BedroomQ. Does the community have any amenities we should know about?
Nearby neighborhood park, a great spot for children to play.

1757 Briar Ridge - Lower levelQ. Can you tell us a fun fact about the home?
Plenty of homes offer a walk-in closet; this home offers two. One in the master bedroom and another in bedroom number two.
1757 Briar Ridge - YardQ. What amazing views will the new homeowner be able to enjoy?
The backyard view is wooded and peaceful.

Q. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about the home?
This is a wonderful family home at a good price. Come take a look.

If you would like more information about 1757 Briar Ridge Drive, Ann Arbor or if you are interested in scheduling a showing, please contact Joe Neely at 734-276-0612.

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18 Things to Do with Kids in Ann Arbor

things to do with kids in Ann Arbor Michigan

Sure, we may be a little biased, but we think the Ann Arbor area is the best place to live, work and play no matter your age. Not only are we a hub for culture, entertainment and education, but our city boasts some of the most adventurous, playful and fun destinations, organizations and businesses in the region.

To prove it, we rounded up 18 things you can do with kids in Ann Arbor. From educational opportunities to outdoor experiences, there’s something for every age and every interest in our kid-friendly guide.


1. Visit Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum

Hands-on museum Cupcake station things to do with kids in Ann Arbor

The Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum specializes in interactive exhibits with the goal of helping both children and adults discover the scientist within them. Visiting the museum any day of the week means you can explore exhibits like Michigan Nature, Lyons Country Store, MediaWorks, and DTE Energy Foundation Light and Optics. Learn more about the exhibits here.


2. Explore Matthaei Botanical Gardens

Matthaei Botanical Gardens boasts 11 outdoor garden spaces which feature bonsai, native and medicinal plants, perennials, and seasonally blooming flowers from spring to first frost. Outside, you’ll find nearly three miles of trails and inside the year-round conservatory, you’ll find plants from around the world.


3. Play in Gallup Park

Ann Arbor’s most popular recreation area, Gallup Park is a 69-acre park located along the Huron River and Geddes Pond. A haven for kids who love being outside, the park offers two playgrounds, a canoe livery for riding down the river, picnic areas and grills, two picnic shelters, an open field for play, and over three miles of asphalt trails suitable for biking, rollerblading, walking and running.


4. Meet the animals at The Petting Farm at Domino’s Farms

Domino’s Farms began back in 1925 and The Petting Farm, located on what is now a twenty-acre farm, opened its doors in 1984. When you stop by, you can meet alpacas, cattle, chickens, ducks, goats, llamas, peacocks, pigs, ponies, sheep, rabbits and Badger the cat!


5. Climb at Planet Rock

Planet Rock Ann Arbor things to do with kids

Photo courtesy of Beth Gonzales via Planet Rock

Both beginner and experienced climbers can find fun challenges and learning opportunities at Planet Rock. Ann Arbor’s premier, indoor rock climbing gym, Planet Rock offers more than 25,000 square feet of climbing surface, a full training area and a giant bouldering mushroom. Their second location in Madison Heights offers a 15-meter official competition speed climbing wall and an ice climbing training area as well! Special programs for children ages 4 – 19 encourage body awareness, coordination and problem-solving skills, and each program includes free belay lessons for parents and free climbing while their child is in class!


6. Tour Chelsea Milling Company

Free and open to the public with a reservation, tours of Chelsea Milling Company — the home of JIFFY Mix — take guests through the packaging plant on a one-hour excursion that includes a video presentation, refreshments and a product sample. Yes, that means you get to enjoy a free muffin!


7. Shop at Mudpuddles

Located in Kerrytown in downtown Ann Arbor, Mudpuddles is a specialty toy store filled with smart and creative toys and games for all ages. Local owners Jan and Sharon hand select every item in the store so you can rest assured each one will be suitable for education and fun!


8. Peruse the Ann Arbor Farmers Market

The Ann Arbor Farmers Market occurs year-round on Saturdays and again on Wednesdays from May through December. As a bonus during the summer and fall, you can enjoy the monthly Food Truck Rally, too! Get more information and specific dates here.


9. Learn at Leslie Science and Nature Center

Leslie Science and Nature Center Ann Arbor Michigan things to do with kids

Photo courtesy of Leslie Science and Nature Center

This educational facility on the north side of Ann Arbor encourages sustainability, understanding and regular nature encounters. Join the fun and visit the grounds, trails and raptor enclosures outside any day from sunrise to sunset. The Critter House is open most Sundays from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and allows you to observe frogs, turtles, snakes and more. Free admission makes this one of our favorite budget-friendly options!


10. Visit Kidopolis

Kidopolis Imagination & Discovery Center is a safe and fun play space for all of Ann Arbor’s little ones. With a strong emphasis on development, the play facility is designed to support cognitive development, demonstrate clever and fun ways to recycle, and facilitate personalized, self-guided play. Kids ages 2 to 100 can stop in and play in Kidopolis’ Mini Hollywood!


11. See a show at Young People’s Theater

Young People’s Theater is a completely volunteer-run organization in Ann Arbor that provides professional theater experiences, training and educational opportunities for young people from preschool through high school. From summer camps and dance classes to live stage performances, there’s something for every family to enjoy!


12. Jump at AirTime Trampoline Park

Airtime has locations all over Michigan, including Ann Arbor and Canton. Each park has open jump areas as well as separate dodgeball zones, Olympic-grade foam mosh pits and a basketball “Jam Session” area for the aspiring basketball star in all of us.


13. Eat at The Cupcake Station

Cupcake station things to do with kids in Ann Arbor

The Cupcake Station has five locations in the Ann Arbor area, including one downtown. Made in-house and from scratch every day, you’ll find 24 unique flavors available each time you visit. Stop in to try creations like Cotton Candy Sweet Treat, Hot Fudge Sundae and Strawberry Sunshine!


14. Scream for ice cream

Speaking of sweet treats, handmade, local ice cream is just about the most kid-friendly item on the menu. And we rounded up the ten best places for ice cream in Ann Arbor to make your ice cream adventure quick and easy!


15. Go on an outdoor adventure

If you have a kid who loves outdoor adventures, you’re in the right place. Here in Ann Arbor, we have countless open spaces and parks within the city limits and we’re just minutes from some of the state’s most impressive recreation areas. To get the low down on our favorite activities — from hiking to horseback riding and even disc golf — check out 8 Things to Do in the Ann Arbor Area for Outdoor Enthusiasts.  


16. Visit The Creature Conservancy

The Creature Conservancy Ann Arbor things to do with kids

Photo courtesy of Kim Ellis via The Creature Conservancy

The Creature Conservancy began back in 2005 when Al the alligator was left abandoned at the door of a local veterinary hospital. He was soon joined by a sloth rescued from a trailer park, a macaw left at a pet boarding facility, ball pythons found in a dumpster, and iguanas wandering loose on the UM campus. Now, you can meet Al, Poco the sloth, Tulip and Maybelline the red kangaroos, as well as all their friends on Saturdays and Sundays between 1 and 5 p.m.


17. Play at Pinball Pete’s

Pinball Pete’s opened its doors more than 30 years ago and has since become the Ann Arbor destination for arcade fun. Kids and adults can spend their quarters along the entire wall of pinball machines, play video games, and try their hands at pool or air hockey!


18. Play laser tag at Zap Zone

The Ypsilanti Zap Zone is one of our favorite places for laser tag, but that’s not all they have. Enjoy an entire day of fun with bumper cars, an arcade and a virtual reality experience.


Do you know a local Ann Arbor kid?

Tell us about their favorite activities and destinations in the comments below!

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The 13 Best Places to Get a Burger in Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor Michigan best burger

Amongst all the food trends we love (shout out to you, brunch!), there’s one we can rest assured will never go out of style: the burger. From fast, casual eats to gourmet creations, the toppings may get more strange but the mouth-watering, beloved burger remains an American classic.

To show off our own local flavors, we’re touring Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and even hopping over to Saline to track down the best burgers in town. Be warned, our guide features burgers (and photos) that will likely cause an immediate craving. But luckily, these hometown spots are right down the street. Enjoy!


Elevation Burger | Ann Arbor

3365 Washtenaw Ave + 529 E Liberty St | Facebook

Elevation Burgers Ann Arbor Michigan best burger

Photo courtesy of Elevation Burger

This chain restaurant has two Ann Arbor locations and is dedicated to the fine art of the burger. Theirs feature 100% organic, grass-fed and free-range meat. You can choose from five delicious signature burgers, vegetarian and vegan options, or build your own. Then, be sure to load up on fresh cut fries and thick, hand-scooped milkshakes!


Frita Batidos | Ann Arbor

117 W Washington St | Facebook

It’s all in a name, right? And at Frita Batidos, the burgers are the main attraction. The Frita is a traditional Cuban burger made from spicy chorizo and served with shoestring fries on a soft egg bun. A Batido is a tropical milkshake made with fresh fruit, crushed ice, sweetened milk and rum (optional, of course). That’s what we call a perfect pairing!


Sidetrack Bar & Grill | Ypsilanti

56 E Cross St | Facebook

Sidetrack Bar and Grill Ann Arbor Michigan best burger Ypsilanti

Photo courtesy of Sidetrack Bar & Grill

Sidetrack has been a Ypsilanti destination since it opened its doors in 1850 and it’s easy to explain why. They serve some of the best pub food, pour some of the best beer, and offer it all in one of the best neighborhood atmospheres. Their burger — Our Famous Burger — was included on GQ’s 2005 round-up of The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die, so it’s probably about time you tried it.


Krazy Jim’s Blimpy Burger | Ann Arbor

304 S Ashley St | Facebook

If you’ve been in Ann Arbor very long, you know Krazy Jim’s — and you know exactly how to order. They’ve been serving up customizable sliders with one-of-a-kind style since 1953. When you arrive, simply grab a tray and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to order. By the time you reach the end of the line, you’ll have one of Ann Arbor’s best burgers prepared just the way you want it and made with fresh beef, ground in-house daily.


Rappourt Brew & Chew | Ann Arbor

2721 Plymouth Rd | Facebook

The family-owned Rappourt offers a communal dining room and a true community atmosphere. Pair that with a gourmet burger and you’ll leave happy every time. Their menu offers three signature burgers: their namesake burger topped with Gruyere cheese, the A2 Melt with Wolverine Lager beer cheese, and the Diner Burger which features a smashed patty and classic toppings. Additional bonuses include 48 taps of rotating craft beer and a delicious Vegetarian Black Bean Burger!


Hunter House Hamburgers | Ann Arbor

609 E William St | Facebook

Hunter House Hamburgers Ann Arbor Michigan best burger

Photo courtesy of Hunter House Hamburgers

Hunter House Hamburgers was established in 1952. Their original home is a small, white pill-box diner on the first paved road in America in Birmingham, Michigan. Their second location opened in Ann Arbor in 2014. Consistently named one of the best restaurants in the Detroit area and frequently ranked the best burger in Michigan, Hunter House is a must-visit!


Got Burger | Ypsilanti

301 W Cross St | Facebook

In the Got Burger kitchen, the meat is always fresh and the burgers are always handcrafted with natural ingredients. If you decide not to build your own, you can choose from nine signature options, including the vegetarian Portobello Bliss. But with choices like the Puree Garlic Burger served with swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and pureed garlic sauce, it may be tough to choose.


Craft Breww City | Ann Arbor

640 Packard St | Facebook

CBC is a sports bar, a beer bar and a gourmet restaurant all rolled into one. Alongside one of the biggest selections of craft brews and beers anywhere, they offer a menu of pub-inspired eats that includes everything from Duck Poutine to Chicken Parmesan. And right in the middle of that menu, you’ll find ten one-of-a-kind signature burgers. For example, the Pretzel Burger comes with maple glazed bacon, cherry BBQ sauce and cheddar cheese on a pretzel bun. Yum!


HopCat | Ann Arbor

311 Maynard St | Facebook

HopCat is known for a lot of things, including their famous Crack Fries and having 100 beers on tap. Today, we’re making sure they’re known as the home of one of the best burgers in Ann Arbor. In addition to a classic burger, a turkey burger and a black bean burger, the menu features four stuffed burgers: a half-pound of signature beef patty stuffed with Wisconsin American cheese! See the menu here then get to HopCat ASAP (you’ll want to, trust us).


Sizzles Burgers and Subs | Ypsilanti

10 N Adams St | Facebook

Sizzles Ann Arbor Michigan best burger

Photo courtesy of Sizzles Burgers and Subs

Sizzles may craft some of the best hoagies and sub sandwiches in town, but the other half of their menu is dedicated to gourmet burgers. The namesake Sizzles Burger is stuffed with cheese and topped with fresh jalapeños, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, romaine lettuce and tomatoes. You’re definitely going to want to try it!


Dan’s Downtown Tavern | Saline

103 E Michigan Ave | Facebook

Offering a laid back, neighborhood bar setting, Dan’s Downtown Tavern has been a Saline favorite for years. Their menu features comfort foods, one of the largest craft beer selections in town and an entire section dedicated to custom burgers. You can choose one of 15 creative flavor combinations — from the Cowboy topped with chili, bacon, jalapeños and BBQ sauce to the Peanut Butter Burger which includes a peanut butter infused patty!


The Wurst Bar | Ypsilanti

705 W Cross St | Facebook

The Wurst Bar may be named for its gourmet bratwursts, but the burgers should definitely not be overlooked. Made with house-ground brisket and dipped in a blend of umami-rich sauces and flat iron grilled, every 6.5-ounce burger is cooked to order and comes atop a pretzel, sesame seed or brioche bun. Is your mouth watering yet? If not, check out Mr. Monster on the menu.


Zingerman’s Roadhouse | Ann Arbor

2501 Jackson Ave | Facebook

Zingerman’s Roadhouse is a go-to option amongst many Ann Arbor locals. So when you’re craving a burger, it’s always a safe bet. This branch of the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses brings the fresh ideals of Zingerman’s together with globally-inspired eats and locally-sourced ingredients. That means when you order your burger, you can bet the hand-formed patty was made with Washtenaw County meat!

To learn more about all the Zingerman’s businesses in Ann Arbor, check out Your Guide to 14 Zingerman’s Businesses in Ann Arbor.


Do you have a favorite local burger?

Tell us about it in the comments below!

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A Private Retreat Minutes from Ann Arbor and Saline


This week we are featuring Jean Wedemeyer’s listing – 1478 Fieldstone Court, Ann Arbor, MI 48108

1478 Fieldstone Court- FrontQ. Can you describe the architectural style of the home?
This is a 2,252 sq. ft. colonial with a contemporary feel. In addition to the open living area at the back of the house, there is a formal living room and dining room. An oversized master suite and 2nd floor laundry make living easy.

1478 Fieldstone Court- FamilyQ. What distinctive features set this home apart?
One of the best things about 1478 Fieldstone is the open, easy living space on the first floor. The kitchen/breakfast area is a natural gathering place. The family room has a gas fireplace, brick hearth, bay window with a seat and vaulted ceiling with skylights. In addition, there is a walk out to the large deck and to the large backyard.

1478 Fieldstone Court- KitchenQ. What are the advantages of the location & neighborhood? 
This is a wonderful location: a one acre lot with mature plantings, easy access to highways, only 10 minutes from downtown Ann Arbor and Saline. Enjoy the “trifecta” of an Ann Arbor mailing address, Saline Schools and low Pittsfield Township taxes.

1478 Fieldstone Court- MasterQ. What amazing views will the new homeowner be able to enjoy?
The home sits on a private one acre lot at the end of a cul-de-sac. You will enjoy the many perennials that bloom throughout the summer and the nice green views of the expansive yard.1478 Fieldstone Court- DeckQ. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about the home?
The kitchen has new granite counters. Down below there is finished space for gathering and a study. The roof and water heater are new; the 2.5 car garage and shed provide plenty of storage space.1478 Fieldstone Court- BackyardIf you would like more information about 1478 Fieldstone Court, Ann Arbor, MI or if you are interested in scheduling a showing, please contact Jean Wedemeyer at 734-604-2523.

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The 13 Best Places to Eat After Midnight in Ann Arbor

New York Pizza Depot Ann Arbor Restaurant late night after midnight food

Ann Arbor is a college town, a foodie haven, a live music locale and a craft beer gem all rolled into one. That entertaining blend makes it the perfect place for late night eats to flourish. And luckily, we have plenty of local options to choose from! That is, when you’re looking for something other than the neighborhood Jimmy John’s (open as late as 4 a.m. on weekends!).  

To help you satisfy all your late night cravings, we rounded up the best food in town that can be enjoyed past midnight. On our list, you’ll find pizza joints, tequila bars, cookie delivery, the best hamburger in Michigan and, of course, Ann Arbor’s 24-hour diner. Enjoy!


Fleetwood Diner

300 S Ashley St | Facebook | Food served 24 hours  

Fleetwood Diner is the home of late night eats in Ann Arbor. You can get their entire menu of diner classics 24 hours a day. The lineup includes omelets, pancakes, egg dishes and the famous hippie hash which is a plate of homemade hash browns topped with grilled tomato, green pepper, onion, mushroom, broccoli topped and feta cheese.


Pizza House

618 Church St | Facebook | Food served until 4 a.m.

Pizza House has been the late night pizza destination in Ann Arbor since they opened in 1986. You can eat in the dining room until 4 a.m. any night of the week and you can also get pizza delivered right to your door until 4 a.m. every single night! Their downtown headquarters is also the home of The Garage Bar where you can get your Pizza House eats with one of 32 beers on tap, craft cocktails and more.


BTB Burrito

810 S State St | Facebook | Food served until 4 a.m.

BTB Burrito Ann Arbor Restaurant late night after midnight food

Photo courtesy of BTB Burrito

BTB Burrito was born right here in Ann Arbor to fill the town’s need for high-quality, local, counter-service eats. Thanks to their late night hours seven nights a week, they’ve become the go-to late night spot for students, residents and townies alike. So next time you need a great burrito, a plate of nachos, a side of guacamole and a warm churro after midnight stop in or order delivery!


Old Town Tavern

122 W Liberty Rd | Food served until 1:30 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday

When Old Town Tavern opened in 1972, it was a blue collar bar that served to accommodate third shift workers from area factories who needed to refuel as early as 6 a.m. Today, it’s still a beloved townie bar and they still accommodate diners at unique hours. Wednesday through Saturday, you can get their menu of burgers, sandwiches and Southwestern plates until 1:30 a.m. — and until 10:45 p.m. on all other nights of the week!


Insomnia Cookies

1229 S University Ave | Facebook | Food served until 3 a.m.

Insomnia Cookies was started by student Seth Berkowitz in a college dorm room in 2003 at the University of Pennsylvania. And the rest is history. Or rather, the rest is cookie delivery. Located just a quick walk from the Michigan Union, the Ann Arbor retail shop is open until 3 a.m. and inside, you’ll find cookies, brownies, ice cream, cookie ice cream sandwiches, cookies served with milk and so many other combinations! Even better than that, you don’t have to leave your home because everything on the menu can be delivered until 3 a.m. too!


New York Pizza Depot (NYPD) 

605 E William St | Facebook | Food served until 4 a.m.

New York Pizza Depot Ann Arbor Restaurant late night after midnight food

Photo courtesy of New York Pizza Depot

The story of Ann Arbor’s NYPD begins with Italian-born Domenico, Mauro and John. They moved to New York nearly fifteen years ago, honed their craft in the big city, then brought real, New York-style pies to Ann Arbor. The huge menu includes wings, sandwiches, burgers, pasta, Italian specialties, calzones and pizza which you can get until 4 a.m. every night of the week.


Good Time Charley’s

1140 S University Ave | Facebook | Food served until 1 a.m.

Home of fishbowl cocktails and one of the best sports bar atmospheres in town, Good Time Charley’s is a classic hangout for Ann Arbor locals looking for a good time — and for great food! Luckily, we can get all of that until 1 a.m. every night of the week. The pub menu, featuring Monster Fries, Homemade Pretzels and Queso, a Chicken Tenders Platter, wings and more, is served late into the night and you can keep the drinks coming until 2 a.m. when Charley’s officially closes down.


Jolly Pumpkin Café & Brewery

311 S Main St | Facebook | Food served until 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday

Jolly Pumpkin Café & Brewery is the Ann Arbor outpost of Northern United Brewing Company’s Jolly Pumpkin line of beers brewed in Dexter. In the taproom and restaurant, they serve craft beer on draft, food menus that feature upscale pub classics and a smaller late night menu served Friday and Saturday until close.


Kosmo’s Bop Shop

308 S Ashley St | Facebook | Food served until 4 a.m. Friday and Saturday

In 2001, Don Kwon purchased the Kerrytown eatery Kosmo’s and immediately began adding Korean-inspired flavors to the menu. Now, it’s 17 years later and Kosmo’s has become a favorite in Ann Arbor for innovative Korean fusion dishes. Try the famous Seoul Dog if you want a get a taste for yourself! The second location, the Late Night Bop Shop, serves food until 10 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, until 12 a.m. on Thursday and until 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.


Hunter House Hamburgers

609 E William St | Facebook | Food served until 3 a.m. Monday through Saturday

Hunter House Hamburgers Ann Arbor Restaurant late night after midnight food

Photo courtesy of Hunter House Hamburgers

Hunter House Hamburgers was established in 1952. Their original home is a small, white pill-box diner on the first paved road in America in Birmingham, Michigan. That location is the oldest continually operating restaurant in Birmingham and their second location opened in Ann Arbor in 2014. Consistently named one of the best restaurants in the Detroit area and frequently ranked the best burger in Michigan, Hunter House is a must-visit when you get a late-night craving in A2.


Tios Mexican Cafe and Tequila Bar

401 E Liberty St | Facebook | Food served until 2 a.m.

Founded by Tim and Harriet Seaver in 1986, Tios Mexican Cafe has been A2’s Tex-Mex favorite for decades. Open and serving food until 2 a.m. seven nights a week, you can order from the unique menu of South American, Spanish and Mexican dishes late into the night. Just make sure you order a specialty margarita or sangria too!



1140 S University Ave | Facebook | Food served until 2 a.m.

Form their casual space perched above South University, Cantina serves bold tacos made from quality ingredients alongside tequilas, whiskeys and craft margaritas. After 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, you can get a special selection of snacks and the full lineup of drinks as late as 2 a.m. And you’ll definitely want to on the weekends because on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, they have live DJs playing late into the night!


Aut Bar

315 Braun Ct | Facebook | Food served until 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday

Aut Bar is a gay bar, a pub and a brunch destination all rolled into one. Homemade, hand cut, hand dipped and local — their food menu is made up of artisanal eats like an Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl with Caviar, the Aut Burger made with Knight’s Market ground beef, a Portabella-Tempeh Burger and a full lineup of Mexican dishes. During the week, you can eat until 11 p.m. but on Friday and Saturday, the kitchen stays open until 1 a.m.


Do you have a go-to?

If you have a favorite local, late night spot in Ann Arbor, give them a shoutout in the comments below!

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The 15 Essential Ann Arbor Area Events to Attend August 2018

Ann Arbor Michigan events summer August 2018

The culmination of summer fun in Southeast Michigan, August brings some of the season’s most highly anticipated festivals, races and events. Taking place in communities throughout the region, you can enjoy live music, tractor pulls, parades, craft fairs and even a United States Air Force air show!

Peruse our top picks for August events below and mark your calendars so you don’t miss a second of the action.



Arts + Culture

Ann Arbor Michigan events summer August 2018


Milan Bluegrass Festival | Milan

August 1 – 4 | KC Campground

Featuring both well-known bluegrass bands and up-and-coming acts, Milan Bluegrass is a can’t-miss music festival in Southeast Michigan. The 2018 event features five different bands each day and a special guest on Saturday! For the full concert experience, we recommend camping on-site with KC Campground.


Sonic Lunch | Ann Arbor

June 7 – August 30, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. | Downtown Ann Arbor

Since 2008, Sonic Lunch has been bringing free, outdoor concerts to the streets of downtown Ann Arbor every summer. Suitable for all ages, the 2018 concert series kicked off on June 7th and continues through August with shows on August 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th. All shows begin at 11:30 a.m. and you can see the full lineup here.


Ton-Up | Ypsilanti

August 12, 12 – 10 p.m. | Arbor Brewing Company Microbrewery

Ton-Up Motorcycle and Music Festival is returning to Ypsilanti for the ninth year this August! Serving to promote and educate the public about the art, science and history of the motorcycle, motorcycle safety, and awesome music, this one-day event will bring vintage and custom motorcycles, scooters and mopeds to ABC in addition to local music and tons of fun.


Paint Dexter Plein Air Festival | Dexter

August 13 – 18 | Monument Park

En plein air is the act of painting outdoors, and the Paint Dexter Plein Air Festival invites artists and community members to do just that! Over the course of four days, local and visiting artists will paint in and around Dexter. Then, non-painters can view and purchase artwork at the three-day exhibit in Monument Park.


Ann Arbor Blues Festival | Ann Arbor

August 17 – 18 | Washtenaw Farm Council Fairgrounds

In August 1969, several thousand blues lovers gathered in a small field in Ann Arbor for the first ever Ann Arbor Blues Festival where they sang and danced along with blues legends that included B.B. King. This August, it all comes back to the Washtenaw Farm Council Fairgrounds for an all-ages music event you don’t want to miss. Buy your tickets here.


DIYpsi | Ypsilanti

August 18 – 19 | Arbor Brewing Company Microbrewery

An indie art fair like none other, DIYpsi is a handmade art fair that takes place in Ypsilanti’s business districts once each summer and winter. Alongside incredible homemade foods and drinks, you’ll find unique handcrafted gifts that are sold by and in support of local, Ypsilanti artists!



Community Celebrations

Ann Arbor Michigan events summer August 2018


Ann Arbor Pride | Ann Arbor

August 3 – 5 | Kerrytown  

Originally called OUTFest, Ann Arbor Pride has been showcasing equality and LGBTQ support for decades. Throughout the Kerrytown District this August, you can enjoy a parade, face painting, family-friendly activities, presentations, a silent auction and more. Proceeds from the event benefit the Jim Toy Community Center.


Dexter Daze | Dexter

August 10 – 11 | Various locations

For nearly 50 years, Dexter Daze has been providing an occasion for our communities’ families to come together and celebrate with artisans and crafters, local businesses and free entertainment.


Saline’s Summerfest | Saline

August 10 – 11 | Various locations

Returning to the streets of downtown Saline this month, Saline’s Summerfest is a hometown celebration like none other. In 2018, the event promises even more food, fun, music and memories but with all the local flare we’ve come to love.


Chelsea Community Fair | Chelsea

August 21 – 25 | Chelsea Community Fairgrounds

One of our favorite community events in the region, the Chelsea Community Fair includes a rodeo, multiple tractor pulls, livestock competitions and auctions, demolition derbies, a local merchant tent, and more.


YpsiFest | Ypsilanti

August 24 – 26 | Riverside Park

In 2018, the Ypsilanti Heritage, Arts, and Entertainment Festival will be bigger and better than ever before. There will be two stages in the music, entertainment and beer tent, more arts and crafts vendors as well as a juried competition, an expanded Magical History Tour, a larger children’s entertainment area, and so much more! To stay up-to-date on everything coming this year, follow the team on Facebook.


Thunder Over Michigan Air Show | Ypsilanti

August 25 – 26 | Willow Run Airport

Presented by Wayne County Airport Authority at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti, this family event is bringing the United States Air Force Thunderbirds to Southeast Michigan. The air show will feature presentations from Team Oracle and Quicksilver P-51D as well so buy your tickets today and don’t miss it. Kids 15 years and younger are admitted for free!


Saline Community Fair | Saline

August 29 – September 3 | Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds

Every year, the Saline Community Fair brings together the community to celebrate Saline’s favorite activities, local vendors and organizations. This year’s event will feature tractor pulls, carnival rides, racing and derbies, rodeo presentations, livestock and animal competitions and so much more.




Ann Arbor Michigan events summer August 2018


Ann Arbor Triathlon | Ann Arbor

August 4, 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. | Pinckney Recreation Area  

The third and final event in the Wolverine State Brewing Company Series of Races, the Ann Arbor Triathlon is the culmination of all your training, all your running, all your biking and all your swimming. Beginning at Halfmoon Lake in Pinckney State Recreation Area, you’ll swim the waters of Halfmoon, bike the country roads of the surrounding rural area, then run the 5-mile classic Poto Trail course to complete the challenge. If you’re ready, register online here.


Run Manchester | Manchester

August 4, 8:30 – 11:30 a.m. | Downtown Manchester  

Run Manchester is the fun, race event that kicks off Manchester Street Festival. Starting in historic downtown Manchester racers will run through quaint neighborhoods, past award-winning schools and finish back downtown for cold drinks, live music, a vintage car show, a kids corner, duck races, a pancake breakfast and more!



Happy August!

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The 15 Food Trucks You Have to Try in Ann Arbor This Summer

Food Truck Ann Arbor Michigan

For seven years, the foodies of Ann Arbor enjoyed Mark’s Carts, the town’s original food cart and mobile eatery courtyard. Though Mark’s Carts closed down for good in 2017, the trucks that called it home are still thriving and can be found at events throughout Southeast Michigan.

To celebrate those local, mobile entrepreneurs alongside the newbies, the foodies and the innovators, we rounded up the must-try food trucks in Metro Detroit and the Ann Arbor area. Found frequently at events in Ann Arbor and in our surrounding communities, it won’t be hard to track these down — and you’ll be glad you did!


Simply Spanish

Track them down on Facebook

Simply Spanish Food Truck Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Simply Spanish

This mobile eatery brings the authentic flavors of Spain to the streets of Southeast Michigan. The team’s paellas and tapas are prepared with a mix of locally sourced ingredients and imported Spanish products. They became an Ann Arbor favorite at Mark’s Carts and now can be found at events throughout the region.



Follow them on Facebook

Famous amongst all Ann Arbor foodies, this barbecue joint has a permanent parking spot at 1928 Packard St. While enjoying the sun and the outdoor seating, you can taste brisket, pork shoulder and spare rib served with Pacific island style atop rice, scallion, tomato and a splash of finadene.


Wood Fired Up

Track them down on Facebook

Pizza is one of our favorite food truck meals and Wood Fired Up takes the classic pie up a notch. Each pizza is topped with hand-pulled mozzarella and cooks in the wood fire pizza oven in less than two minutes! During the summer, you can find this truck and mobile pizza oven at Sundays in the Garden at Cultivate Coffee & TapHouse, the Ann Arbor Farmers Market Food Truck Rallies and more.


Cosa Sabrosa

Track them down on Facebook

Cosa Sabrosa Food Truck Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Cosa Sabrosa

Cosa Sabrosa is an Ann Arbor original serving up some of the best tacos and Mexican food in the area. Using natural and local ingredients, the menu features seven different tacos — including vegetarian options — as well as burritos, homemade salsas, sides and drinks like watermelon limeade and horchata!


Crepe Day-Twah

Track them down on Facebook

One of the most recognizable food trucks in Metro Detroit, Crepe Day-Twah serves up delectable crepes filled with ingredients like mini marshmallows, Oreo crumbles, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and chocolate syrup in the sweet options and thinly sliced prosciutto, mozzarella, baby spinach and pear slices amongst the savory.


Jamerican Grill

Track them down on Facebook

Based out of Ypsilanti, Jamerican Grill specializes in Jamaican Jerk, Jamaican street food and American bison burgers served with hand-cut french fries. Their colorful truck can be spotted at events throughout Metro Detroit and the rest of Southeast Michigan.


Matt & Mo’s

Track them down on Facebook

All handmade by an Italian from Chicago, Matt and Mo’s serves up authentic, homemade, Chicago-style Italian beef sandwiches and sausages. Savory toppings like sautéed sweet green bell peppers and hot giardiniera ensure every sandwich is flavor packed!


MI Burger Burger

Track them down on Facebook

MI Burger Burger Food Truck Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of MI Burger Burger

One of Southeast Michigan’s favorite mobile eateries, MI Burger Burger offers hand-pattied burgers made with a locally sourced, custom ground beef blend. Heaps of creative toppings and options like the donut slider make this one of our favorite burgers in the region!



Track them down on Facebook

Whether your diet is gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian or strictly bread, cheese and meat, this food truck has a custom or signature bowl for you. Using local, Michigan products, the team crafts fresh, home-cooked comfort food in easy to manage bowls so you can enjoy it on the go.



Track them down on Facebook

All natural, gluten and nut free, locally made and featuring 100% Michigan fruit, MI Pops’ ice pops are the sustainable, cold treat you need this summer. Each seasonal flavor is handcrafted without artificial flavors, sweeteners, preservatives or colors.


Hero or Villain

Track them down on Facebook

This Detroit-based food truck is the go-to for gourmet sandwiches with character (literally). Their creations are named after heroes like Thor, Hawkeye and Megatron, and they’re filled with fresh ingredients, sourced as locally as possible. You can catch them at events around Metro Detroit and at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market Food Truck Rallies!


Naughty Boy’s Rolled Ice Cream

Track them down on Facebook

Naughty Boy's Rolled Ice Cream Food Truck Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Naughty Boy’s Rolled Ice Cream

Using the freshest ingredients sourced from local farms and Michigan communities, Ypsi-based Naughty Boy’s Rolled Ice Cream crafts trendy, Thai-style ice cream right in front of you. Made without artificial sweeteners or preservatives, you can rest assured your dessert is always fresh and always delicious.


Petey’s Donuts

Track them down on Facebook

Petey’s Donuts takes homemade apple cider donuts, coffee and fresh apple cider on the go. Found at events throughout Metro Detroit and Southeast Michigan, this little red trailer is one of our favorite summer sightings!


Shimmy Shack

Track them down on Facebook

Always vegan and always gluten-free, the food at Shimmy Shack turns vegetarian and vegan food stereotypes on their heads. Featuring American classics like burgers, coneys, chili, fries and milkshakes, the menu includes mouthwatering descriptions like homemade sweet potato-black bean chili and a grilled lentil patty topped with vegan cheese.



Track them down on Facebook

TruckShuka serves up flavors not often found on the Metro Detroit food truck scene: authentic Israeli street food! Filled with bowls, platters and artisan Jerusalem pita sandwiches, the menu is influenced by Michigan ingredients but stays true to the scratch made, healthy, tasty cuisine of Jerusalem.


Do you have a favorite?

Let us know in the comments below!

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The 15 Swimming Holes Near Ann Arbor You Need to Visit This Summer

Swimming beaches and lake near Ann Arbor Michigan

Our home state of Michigan — The Great Lakes State — borders four of the Great Lakes and contains more than 11,000 inland lakes. So, when you’re looking for a summer swimming destination, this is a good place to be.

And in the communities around Ann Arbor, we get to take advantage of countless swim beaches, state parks and pristine waters. To help you on your water-themed summer adventures, we rounded up a handful of the best options around Ann Arbor. From just a few minutes away to about two hours away on the shores of Lake Michigan, these should all be on your summer bucket list!


Independence Lake Park | Whitmore Lake

Distance from Ann Arbor: 12 miles | Get directions

Swimming beaches and lake near Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission

Operated by the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission, Independence Lake Park offers countless, year-round attractions. During the summer months, the park’s 360 acres feature trails for biking and hiking as well as fishing, boating and swimming in Independence Lake. Featuring both a small dock and a boat launch, you can take off in your kayak or leap off the dock into the water. When you’re done, you can sunbathe on the beach or continue the water-themed fun at Blue Heron Bay Spray Park, which features water canons, geysers and water slides.


Rolling Hills Park | Ypsilanti

Distance from Ann Arbor: 14 miles | Get directions

Ypsilanti’s Rolling Hills Park is a 439-acre park and one of the most recreational-diverse destinations in Washtenaw County. Anyone looking for swimming adventures and water-themed fun can enjoy a splash in the waves, a float on the lazy river, or a ride down the slides of the Water Park.


Van Buren Park | Belleville

Distance from Ann Arbor: 16 miles | Get directions

Van Buren Park Beach is one of Southeast Michigan’s most popular spots for lake swimming. Just a 20 minute drive from Ypsilanti, the entire park offers hiking trails, three play structures, picnic areas, pavilions, horseshoe pits, a volleyball court, a basketball court, grills, a community garden, restrooms and, of course, the beach with its own concession stand for snacks and refreshments!


Pinckney State Recreation Area | Pinckney

Distance from Ann Arbor: 20 miles | Get directions

Swimming beaches and lake near Ann Arbor Michigan

Covering a whopping 11,000 acres, Pinckney State Recreation Area is one of our favorite outdoor destinations in the Ann Arbor area. Known for its extensive trail system and chain of excellent fishing lakes, the park also offers over forty miles of multi-use trails, picnicking, playgrounds, beaches, a concession stand, boat launches and rowboat, canoe, paddle boat and kayak rentals.

For swimmers, there are two public beaches, one at Silver Lake and one at Halfmoon Lake. A third beach at Bruin Lake is only open to campers and you can see a list of available campgrounds here.


Brighton Recreation Area | Howell

Distance from Ann Arbor: 19 miles | Get directions

Covering 4,947 acres, Brighton Recreation Area is a hilly, outdoor paradise interspersed with a number of picturesque lakes. The best swimming lake can be found at Bishop Lake. The remodeled, universally accessible beach features a beach house with vending machines, picnic shelters and a sand volleyball court.

In addition to the lake and beach attractions, Bishop Lake is also home to Jump Island! This lake waterpark features an inflatable iceberg, inflatable slides, runways and more so you can slide, run, walk and play atop the water.


Waterloo Recreation Area | Chelsea

Distance from Ann Arbor: 22 miles | Get directions

Swimming beaches and lake near Ann Arbor Michigan

The largest park in the Lower Peninsula, Waterloo Recreation Area consists of more than 20,000 acres. Across these grounds, you’ll find two modern campgrounds, a rustic campground, an equestrian campground, swimming beaches, several picnic sites, 11 fishing lakes, eight boat launches, 12 miles of interpretive nature trails, 47 miles of hiking trails, four rustic cabins, a yurt, equestrian trails, mountain biking trails, and the Gerald E. Eddy Discovery Center.

Day-use swimmers should head to the public beach at the Portage Lake Unit. And registered campers can also take a dip at the beach accessible from the Sugarloaf Campground.


Island Lake Recreation Area | Brighton

Distance from Ann Arbor: 22 miles | Get directions

At 4,000 acres, Island Lake Recreation Area offers a bit of northern Michigan just 30 minutes from Ann Arbor. In addition to mountain biking, hiking, boating and fishing areas, you’ll find two beaches available for swimming. There’s one at Kent Lake and one at Spring Mill Pond, a spring fed pond with more than 100 feet of sandy beach!


Kensington Metropark | Milford

Distance from Ann Arbor: 25 miles | Get directions

Swimming beaches and lake near Ann Arbor Michigan

Just 40 minutes from Ann Arbor directly above Island Lake Recreation Area, Kensington Metropark is one of the most popular parks in the state of Michigan. Throughout 4,486 acres, you’ll find an 18-hole golf course, a 27-hole disc golf course, a nature center, a farm center, beautiful picnic areas as well as scenic hiking and biking trails for hours of enjoyment.

And, on the 1,200-acre Kent Lake, you can swim at Martindale or Maple beaches, get soaked at the Splash ‘n’ Blast, or just spend the day fishing, boating and picnicking along the water.


Highland Recreation Area | White Lake

Distance from Ann Arbor: 37 miles | Get directions

Offering 5,900 acres of forest, marshes and lakes in the rolling hills of Southern Michigan, Highland Recreation Area is a destination for equestrian riders, mountain bikers, hikers and boaters during the summer months. Boat access can be found on four lakes within the park for fishing and recreational boating and swimmers can enjoy the public beach on Teeple Lake!


Seven Lakes State Park | Holly

Distance from Ann Arbor: 43 miles | Get directions

An hour north of Ann Arbor, Seven Lakes State Park is made up of farmland, rolling hills, forested land and 230 acres of water. During the summer months, you can rent or bring row boats, canoes and paddle boats, or embark on a hike across more than six miles of trails. Near the swim beach, you’ll find a boat launch, a concession stand for snacks, restrooms and changing courts as well as horseshoes, volleyball and playground equipment!


South Beach Park | South Haven

Distance from Ann Arbor: 140 miles | Get directions

One of the most popular beaches for swimming along the southern shores of Lake Michigan, South Beach Park offers concessions, a playground and historic memorials in addition to the sandy swimming beach. Just steps from the beach, visitors can enjoy the skatepark or walk out onto the pier to watch the sunset against the beautiful South Haven Lighthouse.


Grand Haven State Park | Grand Haven

Distance from Ann Arbor: 165 miles | Get directions

Swimming beaches and lake near Ann Arbor Michigan

Within three hours of Ann Arbor, Grand Haven State Park is the furthest on our list, but offers some of the best views. The 48 acre park consists entirely of sandy beach with Lake Michigan bordering on the east and Grand River bordering on the north. From the beach, you can dip your toes in the water and enjoy scenic views of Lake Michigan and the Grand Haven pier and lighthouse.


Just keep swimming!  

In the comments below, let us know where you’re headed this summer.

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