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The Top Five Ann Arbor Neighborhoods with the Best Walk Scores

The best neighborhoods to live in Ann Arbor walkable Walk Score

Ann Arbor is the hub of Washtenaw County and the sixth largest city in Michigan. While it’s one of the state’s bustling urban centers, the city maintains its charm and small town feel through communities of historic homes, tree-lined streets, park spaces, local businesses and so much more.

Because of that small town atmosphere, the heart of Ann Arbor is home to several neighborhoods with top-ranking walk scores. Using Walk Score, a website that can calculate walk scores, transit scores and bike scores for any address, we rounded up Ann Arbor’s most commuter-friendly neighborhoods and included a few of the must-visit attractions within walking distance!

 

1. Downtown

Walk score: 94 | Bike score: 98

Downtown Ann Arbor is the headquarters of culture, small business and local events in town, so it makes sense that it would snag the highest ranking Walk Score. And the Bike Score is even higher! Bordered by the University of Michigan campus, West Park and Kerrytown, this neighborhood isn’t just for foodies and event attendees. It’s also suited for families, shoppers, students, socialites and anyone who likes to spend time outside. There are countless destinations in the neighborhood, but we’ve rounded up a few of the must-visits below. Enjoy!

 

Eat + Drink

Grizzly Peak Brewing Company | Ann Arbor’s landmark brewpub, this downtown eatery offers craft beers made in-house alongside a seasonal menu.

Vinology | This neighborhood wine bar boasts a chic atmosphere, 150 wines and a New American menu.

Logan | Specializing in New American cuisine, Logan is an upscale dining option in Downtown with seasonally rotating menus and an exclusive wine list.

Fleetwood Diner | Open 24 hours a day, Fleetwood Diner is a retro-style venue dishing American classics including the signature hippie hash.

Comet Coffee | Located inside Nickel’s Arcade, this local favorite serves outstanding espresso beverages and locally made pastries.

Sava’s | This modern, bi-level restaurant serves eclectic, locally sourced fare and a large Sunday brunch buffet.

 

Attractions

University of Michigan | At the heart of Ann Arbor, the University of Michigan is a top-ranked public university with a tradition of excellence in research, learning and teaching, sports and the arts.

Ann Arbor Hands On Museum | Interactive, hands-on exhibits help children and adults of all ages discover their inner scientist.

University of Michigan Museum of Art | UMMA holds collections representing 150 years of art collecting and hosts frequent community events.

Michigan Theater | This historic theater shows indie films, stage productions and live concerts.

Nickel’s Arcade | This covered shopping district in downtown Ann Arbor was built in 1918 and is home to several local shops, restaurants and cafes.

Kerrytown | Kerrytown is a historic district in Ann Arbor home to distinctive, one-of-a-kind stores, stunning courtyards and a few of A2’s essential eateries.

 

2. South Main

Walk score: 76 | Bike score: 86

South Main is a neighborhood centered around South Main Street which goes from the heart of Downtown Ann Arbor all the way down to Eisenhower Pkwy and Briarwood Mall. In the center of the neighborhood, you’ll be within walking distance of Pioneer High School to the west, Michigan Stadium to the north and University of Michigan Golf Course to the east.

 

Eat + Drink

Sushi Town | This no-frills sushi house is a local fave for its varied roll selection and authentic Japanese fare.

Craft Breww City | Home to the largest beer selection in town, Craft Breww City also offers delicious pub cuisine.

Grillcheezerie | As Ann Arbor’s headquarters of gourmet grilled cheese, this casual spot serves all-natural, handcrafted, made to order sandwiches.

Baba Dari Mediterranean Grill | This casual Middle Eastern restaurant has outdoor seating, authentic foods, catering and delivery.

Mr Spots | The champion of wings and cheesesteaks in town, Mr Spots suits students, townies and locals alike.  

 

Attractions

Michigan Stadium | The Big House is the football stadium for the University of Michigan; it’s the largest stadium in the United States, the second largest stadium in the world and the 34th largest sports venue.

University of Michigan Golf Course | Designed by one of golf’s all-time great architects, this seasonal course is gorgeous.

Crisler Center | This is the indoor home arena for the University of Michigan’s men’s and women’s basketball teams as well as the women’s gymnastics team.

Yost Ice Arena | This indoor arena has served as the home of Michigan hockey since 1973.

 

3. West Park

Walk score: 73 | Bike score: 84

Just northeast of Downtown Ann Arbor, this neighborhood is centered around West Park itself. The expansive community space offers acres of greenery, family fun and some of the most beautiful oak trees in town. The park also offers a historic archway entry and a bandshell for fair weather concerts which puts residents at the heart of the local, outdoor music scene! In nearby neighborhoods, you’ll find plenty of local businesses, restaurants and attractions within walking distance as well.

 

Eat + Drink

Tasty Bakery | Tasty offers high-quality, gluten-free artisan baked goods that are indiscernible from any glutinous treat.

Heidelberg Restaurant | The Heidelberg Restaurant has been serving fine German food since 1961 and offers three floors of fun.

Mighty Good | Mighty Good roasts their own coffee and serves it up in four different Ann Arbor locations.

Big City Small World Bakery | Espresso drinks, generous slices of pie and homemade baked goods — count us in!

Ann Arbor Distilling Company | At Ann Arbor Distilling, they manage the distillation process from grain and all the way to your glass.

 

Attractions

West Park | This neighborhood park offers a bandshell for concerts, a picnic shelter and restrooms, a playground, spray fountain, softball field, basketball court, tennis courts, volleyball posts and a walking path.

Ann Arbor School of Yoga | This Iyengar yoga studio and school provides a welcoming environment for yogis of every skill level.

Ann Arbor Civic Theatre | This neighborhood performance venue presents theatrical productions, educational programs and workshops.

 

4. Lower Burns Park

Walk score: 72 | Bike score: 96

Burns Park itself used to be the County Fair Grounds and now serves as a community destination for students, kids, parents and everyone who calls Ann Arbor home. With Burns Park Elementary right next door, both the park and the neighborhood are fantastic choices for families. Lower Burns Park is situated southwest of the park between Burns Park and the expansive University of Michigan Golf Course which also puts you within walking distance of all the attractions in South Main: Michigan Stadium, Yost Ice Arena, Wilpon Baseball and Softball Complex and more!

 

Eat + Drink

Mi Compadre | Inside a bright, casual and welcoming atmosphere, you can get delicious homestyle Mexican dishes.

Black Diesel Coffee | This cozy coffee shop is a local go-to for good reason.

Toarminas Pizza | This Michigan chain is the home of the 24-inch pizza.

RoosRoast Coffee | This hyper-local Ann Arbor coffee roaster is home of the famous Lobster Butter Love.

Anthony’s Gourmet Pizza | Anthony’s Gourmet Pizza specializes in Chicago-style Deep Dish.

 

Attractions

Revel and Roll | Ann Arbor’s only bowling entertainment destination, this family-friendly spot offers 27 lanes, pool tables, video games and chef-inspired dining options.

Burns Park | This 15-acre neighborhood park is home to a shelter with restrooms, five tennis courts and a practice court, a basketball court, a sledding hill, a small parking lot and play equipment.

Frisinger Park | This small, 3.6-acre park is a favorite for families.

Rose and White Park | This unique, 1.12-acre park has a play area, swings, and landscaped islands.

 

5. Old West Side

Walk score: 71 | Bike score: 85

Most of the Old West Side is located in a historic district which serves to maintain the character and the architecture of the neighborhood. The north side of the neighborhood overlaps with Downtown Ann Arbor and the south end puts you within walking distance of Allmendinger Park and Michigan Stadium! But inside the borders of Old West Side, you’ll also find plenty of charm, gorgeous homes and tree-lined streets as well as local businesses and attractions for residents, families and children of all ages.

 

Eat + Drink

Washtenaw Dairy | This longtime favorite specializes in ice cream, homemade donuts and a family-friendly atmosphere we love.

Jefferson Market | The team behind Mighty Good opened this cafe as a food playground for chef Nic Sims.

Blank Slate Creamery | This hip, snug shop features clever flavors of gourmet ice cream served in homemade waffle cones.

Frita Batidos | Inside a bright space with picnic table seating, this eatery serves fast casual, colorful Cuban street food and tropical cocktails.

Jolly Pumpkin Café & Brewery | The Ann Arbor brewpub of this Michigan brewery is known for truffle fries, upscale pub fare and pints of rustic craft beer.

Black Pearl Ann Arbor | This sleek seafood restaurant offers a unique lounge atmosphere with cocktails, music and mouth-watering cuisine.

 

Attractions

Waterworks Park | This 1.48-acre park has picnic tables, a small play area, benches and an asphalt walking path.

Argus Museum | Located on the second floor of 525 West William, this museum features products manufactured by the Argus camera company.

Wurster Park | At over 5.5 acres, this park offers an asphalt path, play equipment, an open field, a sledding hill, horseshoes, a picnic grill and tables, benches and an oak tree that’s on the natural registry of historic trees!

Sweet Gem Confections | Starting with the best cacao, this local shop offers premium hand-crafted chocolates and confections.

 

Want to see where your neighborhood ranks?

Check out Walk Score here!

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The 13 Essential Ann Arbor Area Events to Attend May 2018

Huron River Day May 2018 events in Ann Arbor, Michigan things to do

April showers bring May flowers  — and festivals! Though summer doesn’t officially start until June, our neighboring towns are already celebrating the warmer weather with outdoor events including car shows, art walks, fairs, 5Ks and river days.

We rounded up the can’t-miss events happening in May 2018 so you don’t miss a thing. Read more about them below, find links to tickets and registration, and get ready for an unforgettable spring!

 

 

Arts + Culture

 

Show & Shine Car Show | Ypsilanti

May 6, 9 a.m. | Riverside Park

vintage car show Ypsilanti May 2018 events in Ann Arbor, Michigan things to do

This car show brings an eclectic mix of unrestored, restored, and modified cars and trucks to Ypsilanti. For spectators, the gates open at 9 a.m. and admission is just a $2 donation!

 

Ann Arbor Jewish Film Festival | Ann Arbor

May 10 – 16, various times | Michigan Theater

Now in its 17th year, the Ann Arbor Jewish Film Festival explores the global Jewish experience through the art of filmmaking. Though originally a satellite of the Lenore Marwil Film Festival in metro Detroit, this Ann Arbor event is now an independent festival run by a committee of volunteers. Each year, they present discussions, film screenings and other fascinating programs for film and art lovers of all kinds.

 

Michigan Vintage Volkswagen Festival | Ypsilanti

May 19 – 20, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. | Riverside Park

Now in its 31st year, this car show celebrates all variations of Volkswagens. If you have a vehicle to display, you can pay $15 at the gate, but spectators can enter for just $5 on the day of the festival. Don’t miss the Slow Slalom Course on Saturday!

 

Westside Art Hop | Ann Arbor

May 19, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Old West Side

Westside Art Hop is presented as Michigan’s quirkiest Art Walk. The twice-yearly event showcases high-quality arts and crafts for sale to the public in a festive atmosphere. While exploring the West Side, you can peruse artworks, meet the artists and perhaps find a piece for your home!

 

Cinetopia Film Festival | Ann Arbor

May 31 – June 10, various times | Various locations

Specially curated for the community of Southeast Michigan, Cinetopia features the best feature-length dramas, comedies and documentaries shown at the world’s best film festivals, including SXSW, Sundance and more. Outside of screenings, special pre- and post-film events include presentations, discussion panels, and Q&A sessions with directors, writers and stars.

 

 

Community Celebrations

 

Ypsilanti Proud | Ypsilanti

May 19, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. | Various locations

Ypsilanti Proud began as a class project by the 1995 graduating class of Leadership Ypsilanti. Now celebrating its 23rd year, the event fosters community pride and encourages local business growth through simple beautification projects. Join more than 500 volunteers on May 19th and help clean up litter, paint and plant flowers!

 

Huron River Day | Ann Arbor

May 20, 1 – 5 p.m. | Gallup Park

Huron River Day May 2018 events in Ann Arbor, Michigan things to do

Huron River Day is an afternoon full of free, family-friendly river activities at Gallup Park. Attractions will include live music, a butterfly house from the Michigan Native Butterfly Farm, a Classic Small Boat Show, a performance by the Aviary Circus, live animals from the Leslie Science & Nature Center, and so much more!

 

Milan Fair | Milan

May 31 – June 2, various times | Wilson Park  

In 2018, Milan Fair highlights include a carnival, a parade, an artisan market, fireworks, kids’ activities, and an entertainment tent that will feature karaoke and live music. Entry to the Fair is free, but you will need to purchase $1 tickets for rides. Or, opt for an unlimited pass available each day for $20 – 22.

 

 

Sports

 

Ann Arbor Goddess 5K and Mile Fun Run | Ann Arbor

May 13, 8 – 11 a.m. | 200 East Liberty Street

This Mother’s Day event includes pre-race yoga with Breathe Yoga, pre-race Zumba with Bodies by Wade, a Kids’ Dash, a 5K race, and a one-mile fun run. As a celebration of all the women in our community, you can run individually or run as a couple in the Mother-Daughter category, or invite your grandma to run in the Three Generations of Women category! Get all the details and registration info here.

 

Walk & Wag 2018 | Ypsilanti

May 19, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. | Rolling Hills County Park

Wag and Walk 5K race May 2018 events in Ann Arbor, Michigan things to do

Hosted by Humane Society of Huron Valley, this fundraising event assists in the rescue and care of the most vulnerable animals in our community. Bring your family and your pup on race day to enjoy a 5K run or a one-mile walk, as well as games and fun for everyone!

 

The Probility Ann Arbor Marathon | Ann Arbor

May 20, 7:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. | The Big House

Whether you’re walking your first 5K or running your tenth marathon, this Epic Races event offers something for everyone. Beginning just outside the University of Michigan Stadium, each course winds through downtown Ann Arbor and through the University of Michigan campus. Longer races will also traverse stretches of the Huron River, Gallup Park and Nichols Arboretum before returning to downtown. Get all the details and choose your distance here.

 

 

Food + Drink

 

UMS Ovation | Ann Arbor

May 5, 5:30 p.m. | Taubman Biomedical Science Research Building

In celebration of the Kentucky Derby, this annual event invites people of the community to enjoy mint juleps and craft cocktails, a strolling dinner, artistic displays and auction items — all benefitting UMS Education and Community Engagement programs! Tickets are $250 per person with additional sponsorship opportunities available as well.

 

Camp Bacon | Ann Arbor

May 30 – June 3, various times | Various locations

Camp Bacon Zingerman's May 2018 events in Ann Arbor, Michigan things to do

Photo courtesy of Jen Prouty Photography via Zingerman’s Camp Bacon

As one of Southeast Michigan’s favorite annual events, Camp Bacon brings together food lovers, historians and community members for five days of fun. While tasting plenty of bacon and bacon-inspired foods, you’ll learn the story behind that bacon from guest speakers and chefs.

The main event is set for Saturday, June 2nd at Zingerman’s Cornman Farms, but several other festive events will take place throughout the week, including the Camp Bacon Film Festival, The 9th Annual Bacon Ball, and the Camp Bacon Street Fair! You can view all the events and buy tickets here.

 

 

Happy May!  

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21 Summer Fairs and Festivals in the Ann Arbor Area You Don’t Want to Miss

YpsiFest Michigan 2018 Ypsilanti

Festival season is no joke in Southeast Michigan. Ann Arbor and its surrounding communities have been celebrating the summer with live music, fine art, cinema, community celebrations and food for decades. And 2018 will be no different!

To ensure you don’t miss a thing, we rounded up more than 20 of the region’s can’t-miss festivals and fairs. So whether you prefer a live show or a livestock show, you’ll find something on our guide to enjoy.

Jump ahead:

May | June | July | August

 

 

May

 

Ann Arbor Jewish Film Festival | Ann Arbor

May 10 – 16, 2018

Now in its 17th year, the Ann Arbor Jewish Film Festival explores the global Jewish experience through the art of filmmaking. This independent festival is run by a committee of volunteers to present discussions, film screenings and other fascinating programs.

 

Cinetopia Film Festival | Ann Arbor

May 31 – June 10, 2018

Specially curated for the community of Southeast Michigan, Cinetopia features the best feature-length dramas, comedies and documentaries shown at the world’s best film festivals, including SXSW, Sundance and more. Follow the team on Facebook for event updates.

 

Milan Fair | Milan

May 31 – June 2, 2018

Milan Community Fair Michigan 2018

Image courtesy of Milan Fair

The annual Milan Fair is a favorite regional event for good reason! In 2018, highlights include a carnival, a parade, an artisan market, fireworks, kids’ activities, and an entertainment tent that will feature karaoke and live music.

 

June

 

African American Downtown Festival | Ann Arbor

June 2, 2018

Entertainment at this annual festival is suitable for all ages. Whether you’re perusing local food vendors, playing carnival games or dancing to live tunes on the main stage, you’ll want to come back year after year!

 

Taste of Ann Arbor | Ann Arbor

June 3, 2018

Taste of Ann Arbor Michigan 2018

Photo courtesy of Ryan Halsey Photography via Main Street Ann Arbor

This beloved annual event brings together local restaurants in booths throughout downtown Ann Arbor. Each one offers bite-sized foods to showcase what they do best and ensure you can taste more than one! Tickets for food can be purchased at the event for $1 each. Follow the team on Facebook for event updates.

 

Ya’ssoo Greek Festival of Ann Arbor | Ann Arbor

June 8 – 10, 2018

Hosted by St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, this annual event has become a local favorite thanks to the authentic Greek foods, live entertainment, Greek dance performances and more. Admission ranges from free during the day up to $3 for evening admission, but children 12 years and younger are always admitted for free!

 

Ann Arbor Summer Festival | Ann Arbor

June 8 – July 1, 2018

Ann Arbor Summer Festival 2018 Michigan Festivals

Ann Arbor Summer Festival © Myra Klarman Photography.com

As the can’t-miss, arts-centered event of the summer, the 2018 Ann Arbor Summer Festival will include world-class entertainment in comedy, cinema, food, jazz, pop and rock, acoustic, spoken word, public radio, and so much more.

 

Chelsea Painters Art Fair | Chelsea

June 9 – 10, 2018

For a full weekend, the Chelsea Community Fairgrounds will be taken over by jaw-dropping fine arts. Now in its 45th year, the Chelsea Painters Art Fair draws collectors and art connoisseurs from all over Michigan and even from neighboring states!

 

July

 

Michigan Elvisfest | Ypsilanti

July 6 – 7, 2018

Showcasing some of the best professional Elvis tribute artists in North America, Elvisfest offers fun for fans and music lovers of all ages. With the purchase of your ticket (ranging in price from $20 to $60) you can enjoy kids activities, a classic car show, local food vendors, an adult beer tent, raffles and more.

 

Saline Celtic Festival | Saline

July 13 – 14, 2018

Saline Celtic Michigan Festival 2018

Photo courtesy of Saline Celtic Festival

The Saline Celtic Festival originally began as a one-day festival but has grown in popularity and fun to include a full weekend of entertainment. Today, the event includes highland dance competitions, ancient Celtic athletic competitions, kids activities at Wee Folks Island, living history, jousting, sheep herding dog demonstrations, and so much more!

 

Manchester Chicken Broil | Manchester

July 19, 2018

Each year on the third Thursday of July in Manchester, the largest chicken broil of its kind comes to town! Benefiting local public schools, community parks, libraries and civic causes, your $9 – 10 ticket includes a dinner of chicken, locally famous coleslaw, a roll with butter, potato chips, radishes and a beverage, as well as live music entertainment and a classic car show.

 

Ann Arbor Street Art Fair | Ann Arbor

July 19 – 22, 2018

Ann Arbor Street Art Festival 2018

Photo courtesy of Ann Arbor Street Art Fair

Kicked off by Townie Street Party and hosted in conjunction with the State Street Art Fair, Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair and Ann Arbor’s South University Art Fair, the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair has grown into quite the event. All about town, you’ll find stage performances, street performers and street painting, an art activity zone, a youth art fair, and more.

 

Sounds & Sights Festival | Chelsea

July 26 – 28, 2018

Presented by our very own Rick Taylor, this weekend festival began over three decades ago and has grown to be one of the best summer events in the region. Over two days and three nights, you can experience live music, an indie art market, kids’ entertainment, a classic car show and more in historic Downtown Chelsea.

 

Michigan Summer Beer Festival | Ann Arbor

July 27 – 28, 2018

The oldest of the Michigan Brewers Guild’s four annual festivals, the 21st Annual Summer Beer Festival will host more than 100 local breweries sampling more than 1,000 different craft beers. Guests can also enjoy live music from Michigan bands and food available for purchase!

 

August

 

Milan Bluegrass | Milan

August 1 – 4, 2018

Featuring both well-known bluegrass bands and up-and-coming acts, Milan Bluegrass is a can’t-miss music festival in Southeast Michigan. For the full concert experience, we recommend camping on-site with KC Campground!

 

Ann Arbor Pride | Ann Arbor

August 3 – 5, 2018

Gay pride parade Ann Arbor, Michigan 2018 OUTFest

Originally called OUTFest, Ann Arbor Pride has been showcasing equality and LGBTQ support for decades. Throughout the Kerrytown District, 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, 2018

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 Summerfest | Saline

August 10 – 11, 2018

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

 

Paint Dexter Plein Air Festival | Dexter

August 13 – 18, 2018  

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!

 

Chelsea Community Fair | Chelsea

August 21 – 25, 2018

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, 2018

YpsiFest Michigan 2018 Ypsilanti

Photo courtesy of YpsiFest

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.

 

 

Where will you be?  

In the comments below, let us know which festivals and fairs you’ll be attending this summer — even if it’s not on our list!

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The 14 Essential Wineries to Visit Near Ann Arbor

Southeast Michigan tasting rooms and wineries Ann Arbor

You’ve heard of California wine country, but have you heard of Michigan wine country? We assure you, it exists and it is flourishing! In fact, different regions of the 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.

We’re adding a few stops to the local winery itinerary by showcasing our favorite vineyards and tasting rooms near Ann Arbor. Each one is worth the sip — or bottle.

 

Black Fire Winery | Tecumseh

1261 E Munger Rd | Facebook

Black Fire Winery Southeast Michigan tasting rooms and wineries

Photos courtesy of Black Fire Winery

Owner Michael Wells went from a Fire Department Lieutenant with a dream to an outstanding grape grower and winemaker. Today, his picturesque vineyard offers a cozy tasting room and a covered deck with a lineup of handcrafted wines, a menu of mouth-watering appetizers, and live entertainment on Fridays and Saturdays!

 

Chateau Aeronautique Winery | Jackson + Onsted

Jackson + Onsted | Facebook

Chateau Aeronautique has two venues to taste their wines and attend special events. The original Airpark Tasting Room in Jackson features airplane decor, including paintings of vintage airplanes and a grass runway. The Irish Hills in Onsted sits on 26-acres of vineyard landscape and has a 1976 German glider wing for a bar top, vintage destination posters and airliner seats for seating. Both locations host private events, wine tastings and public celebrations! See the upcoming events here.

 

Burgdorf’s Winery | Haslett

5635 Shoeman Rd | Facebook

Burgdorf's Winery Southeast Michigan tasting rooms and wineries

Photo courtesy of Burgdorf’s Winery

Deb and Dave Burgdorf have been making wine for over 30 years. Combined, they boast a Master of Science degree in Microbiology, a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture, over 15 years of experience in fermentation, and 30 years of experience working with plants and conservation planning. This all results in award-winning fruit and grape wines which you can taste on-site at the gift shop and tasting room nestled on a 5-acre countryside estate.

 

Cherry Creek Winery | Brooklyn

11500 Silver Lake Hwy | Facebook

Nestled in the Irish Hills, this family-owned winery celebrates over 100 years of winemaking knowledge passed down through four generations. Inside the historic 1870 schoolhouse tasting room and seasonal café, you can sip award-winning grape wines, fruit wines and ciders, sample freshly made butter fudge, taste their Michigan Cherry Preserves, and more! Bring the whole family along for events, including holiday celebrations, dinners and pairings.

 

DeAngelis Cantina del Vino Winery | Ann Arbor

7879 Jackson Rd D | Facebook

Made right in the heart of Ann Arbor, De Angelis wines contain no added sulfites or preservatives — only grapes. Inside the Jackson Road winery, you can enjoy tastings and frequent live music shows. Follow the team on Facebook for updates on events and tastings.

 

Flying Otter Vineyard & Winery | Adrian

3402 Chase Rd | Facebook

Flying Otter Winery Southeast Michigan tasting rooms and wineries

Photo courtesy of Flying Otter Vineyard & Winery

Though the work never stops inside the winery, the Flying Otter outdoor tasting room is only open seasonally. However, their charming atmosphere, live music events and award-winning wines have landed them multiple honors in the Daily Telegram’s Best of Lenawee competition: first place in the Best Winery category and second in Best Wine for 2017! They use cold climate hybrid wine grapes grown on the estate to create each of their must-try wines.

 

J. Trees Cellars Cidery & Winery | Tecumseh

703 E Chicago Blvd | Facebook

Located in the Historic Hayden-Ford Mill, J. Trees Cellars has created a cozy environment for tastings where they’ve paired their handcrafted beverages with a menu of cheese and meat platters and delicious sandwiches. Open for visits Friday through Sunday, you can stop in to sample their wines and ciders made from both estate-grown fruits and other fruits sourced from around the state.

 

Lone Oak Vineyard Estate | Grass Lake

8400 Ann Arbor Rd | Facebook

Southeast Michigan tasting rooms and wineries Ann Arbor

Lone Oak is Southeast Michigan’s oldest and largest commercial vineyard. Over the years, they’ve developed 12 world-class European grape varieties which cover their picturesque 25-acre vineyard. Using these grapes, they craft Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling and other outstanding European varietals — from dry to semi-dry and even dessert wines! In addition to chef’s wine dinners, special occasion concerts and annual celebrations, they host live music on the deck every Saturday from 2 – 5 p.m. with fresh baked bread, cheeses and other appetizers available for purchase.

 

Northville Winery and Brewing Company | Northville

630 Baseline Rd | Facebook

Thirty minutes outside of Ann Arbor in Northville, this winery and brewery experience is a must! The family-run business is a taphouse for their own wines, ciders and beers. And it functions as a music venue with shows from both local bands and solo musicians. Stop by on a Thursday evening to hear Dead at the Winery, a Grateful Dead Tribute Band, accompanied by some of the region’s best beverages.

 

Pentamere Winery | Tecumseh

131 E Chicago Blvd | Facebook

Pentamere Winery Southeast Michigan tasting rooms and wineries Ann Arbor

Photo courtesy of Pentamere Winery

This family-owned and operated winery is nestled in Downtown Tecumseh. They use grapes sourced from Michigan and the Great Lakes region to create wines in-house which means you can take a peek into the winemaking process and witness the beautiful transformation from grape to wine right in the tasting room. You can preview the wines and order online here, but we definitely recommend stopping in to visit this hyper-local spot!

 

Sandhill Crane Vineyards | Jackson + Dexter

Jackson + Dexter | Facebook

Sandhill Crane operates a year-round tasting room in Jackson and the Cider Mill Tasting Room in Dexter during apple season. Made in small batches right on the premises, the tasting lineup includes well-balanced acidic white wines, rich reds, flavorful fruit wines and delicious dessert wines. Upon visiting, you’ll soon find a second home at this casual, welcoming, family-friendly wine destination.

 

Sleeping Bear Winery at Grand River Brewery | Jackson

117 W Louis Glick Hwy | Facebook

This drinking destination and eatery is a must-visit in Jackson. Operating under the name Grand River Brewery, they feature a brewery, Sleeping Bear Winery, a craft distillery and a farm-to-table restaurant. There’s something for everyone to enjoy! In the brewery, they create beverages using only Michigan hops and Midwestern malted barley. In the winery, they showcase the same love for local by using locally grown grapes, as well as apples in their hard ciders.

 

Villa Del Vino Winery | Napoleon

10175 Austin Rd | Facebook

Southeast Michigan tasting rooms and wineries Ann Arbor

Owners and wine lovers Hermin Rahimi and Dan Harris have always dreamed of opening their own winery. Due to its rustic nature and proximity to the vineyards of Southwest Michigan, they chose Napoleon as the home of Villa Del Vino and have been building that home for years. Today, they have a developing vineyard of their own and also work with domestic wines out of California. Stop in the tasting room on Saturday and Sunday afternoons to taste the blends for yourself and learn more!

 

Vine2Wine Custom Winery | Northville

446 S Main St | Facebook

Owners and winemakers Mark and Sherrie Zucker found their passion for winemaking after they received a homemade bottle of wine as a gift. And today, Vine2Wine has been open for nearly two decades! Through the years, they’ve been crafting small batch wines made in the heart of Northville with the best juices sourced from around the world. 

 

Enjoy!

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Great Family Home, Moments From Town

FeaturedFriListing_2016

This week we are featuring Jean Wedemeyer’s listing – 2344 Tessmer Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48103
2344 Tessmer Road - Ann ArborQ.Can you describe the architectural style of the home?
This 2 story home combines traditional living and dining rooms with a more contemporary open feel as the eat-in kitchen opens to the great room; and both areas open onto the deck. Upstairs you’ll find the master suite, 3 additional bedrooms and a full bath, along with a versatile 798 sq. ft. loft that overlooks the great room below.

2344 Tessmer Road - DenQ. What distinctive features set this home apart?
2344 Tessmer Road has terrific family spaces indoors and out. Inside, the gathering place is the great room, with high ceilings, large windows and fireplace. Moving outside, a large cedar deck and a large lot mean plenty of space for family and friends.
2344 Tessmer Road - Kitchen Q. What are the advantages of the location & neighborhood?
This Lodi Township location easily accommodates the 3,402 SF house on its 2 acre lot. Outdoors, there is something for everyone. The yard is big, and flat enough for a soccer field, and the wooded area in the back has its own walking paths and an area for a fire pit. The three car garage has room for cars, toys and hobbies. Plenty of room and privacy, just minutes from town. Low Lodi Township taxes and Ann Arbor Schools.

2344 Tessmer Road - Living roomQ. Have there been any recent renovations or upgrades?
The maintenance-free exterior has cement plank siding and new Jeld Wen windows. A new cedar front porch with recessed lighting and landscaping create a gracious entrance for guests. The interior has been spiffed up with new paint and new carpeting, and the large 1st floor laundry room is indispensable. Great space, great price, great family home!

2344 Tessmer Road - BedroomIf you would like more information about 2344 Tessmer Road, Ann Arbor, MI or if you are interested in scheduling a showing, please contact Jean Wedemeyer at 734-604-2523.
2344 Tessmer Road - Deck

 

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The 16 Essential Brunch Spots in Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor brunch

If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, brunch has to be the most important meal of the week, right? It has, at least, become the most trendy meal and we’re okay with that. Anything that includes a late-morning mimosa and a plate of farm-fresh eggs is okay by us.

Today, we’re celebrating our love for this weekend tradition by rounding up Ann Arbor’s best brunches. Complete with innovative plates, brunch classics and plenty of cocktails, these local spots should all be on your brunch bucket list. Enjoy!

 

 

Café Zola

112 W Washington St | Facebook

Cafe Zola Ann Arbor brunch

Photo courtesy of Café Zola

Café Zola opened in 1996 and is still independently owned and operated. The original breakfast and lunch menu was largely influenced by French cuisine and today, you’ll also find influences from Mediterranean and Turkish tradition. Our favorite thing about the brunch menu is that it’s available daily from 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. — and the fact that it has more than ten different crepe dishes! For more Zola brunch flavor, you can stop by their sister restaurant, Zola Bistro.

 

Gratzi

326 S Main St | Facebook

Housed inside what was once the historic Orpheum Theater, this elegant Italian restaurant opened its doors in downtown Ann Arbor in December 1987. A popular destination for upscale dinners, Gratzi also offers delicious brunch every Saturday and Sunday until 3 p.m. The chef-inspired menu includes Bread Pudding French Toast, Braised Pork Belly served with a soft-fried egg, Fried Polenta topped with basil hollandaise and more.

 

Ollie Food + Spirits

42 E Cross St, Ypsilanti | Facebook 

This Ypsilanti favorite offers a seasonally rotating menu using high-quality, locally sourced ingredients alongside a lineup of artisan cocktails, craft beer and wine that pair perfectly. On Sundays from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., you can get all that flavorful perfection in the form of brunch. But don’t expect a run-of-the-mill menu! The team at Ollie presents a brand new menu and a new theme every Sunday. In the past, they’ve celebrated Red Carpet Brunch on Oscar Sunday, Swayze Brunch and even charity brunches which benefit local organizations. Follow them on Facebook for weekly updates on the Sunday Secret Brunch.

 

Zingerman’s Roadhouse

2501 Jackson Ave | Facebook

Zingerman's Roadhouse Ann Arbor brunch

Photo courtesy of Zingerman’s Roadhouse

At this all-day restaurant, Zingerman’s showcases their favorite things about American food — both locally and nationally. The menu includes grits inspired by South Carolina, Maryland-inspired crab cakes, local meat from Washtenaw County, micro-brewed beers and fine wines from all over the US. Though you can get breakfast any day of the week, the weekend brunch menu is an Ann Arbor favorite. It features tasty innovations like Biscuits & Chocolate-Bacon Gravy and the Georgia Grits ‘N’ Bits Waffle which are waffles filled with bits of Anson Mill’s organic grits, Cabot cheddar and a mix of applewood-smoked and peppered bacon!

 

Aut Bar

315 Braun Ct | Facebook

Aut Bar is one of the town’s most welcoming food and entertainment establishments. Famous for their classic bar atmosphere which includes trivia nights, drag shows and holiday-themed events, you’ll also find one of A2’s best brunches served every Sunday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. The menu is filled with fresh omelets, Mexican-inspired eats and frequent specials like Salmon Eggs Benedict!

 

The Lunch Room

407 N 5th Ave | Facebook

The Lunch Room Ann Arbor brunch

Photo courtesy of The Lunch Room

As one of Ann Arbor’s favorite eateries, The Lunch Room story has become a local legend. Friends and neighbors Phillis Engelbert and Joel Panozzo started out serving plant-based dinner parties and brunches, then they moved on to pop-up events al local businesses and eventually operated a food cart. Today, they have a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Kerrytown, a second location called The Lunch Room Bakery & Cafe and a third, Detroit Street Filling Station. Both The Lunch Room and Detroit Street offer a killer Sunday brunch!

 

Afternoon Delight

251 E Liberty St | Facebook

Locals line up for this Ann Arbor staple — and it’s easy to see (and taste!) why. Serving brunch for over 30 years, the Afternoon Delight breakfast menu includes pan-grilled pancakes, homemade bran muffins, customized three-egg omelets, fresh poached salmon on the weekends and more. The eggs are always cage-free, the bread comes gluten-free and most ingredients and meats are organic!

 

Sava’s

216 S State St | Facebook

Sava's Ann Arbor best brunch spots

Photo courtesy of Sava’s

At Savas, they offer breakfast every day of the week and come Sunday morning, you’ll find one of the neighborhood’s favorite brunch buffets! From 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., your $20 per person meal includes a petite bloody mary, petite mimosa, juice or coffee and kids 12 years and under eat for just $12!

 

Grange Kitchen & Bar

118 W Liberty St | Facebook

This farm-to-table restaurant offers seasonally and daily rotating menus that are filled with farm fresh ingredients and local, sustainable products. Because the menu can change daily, you’ll get something new and innovative everytime you stop by. But you can rest assured these flavorful dishes will satisfy your Sunday brunch craving — whether you’re looking for savory or sweet. And the brunch cocktail list is one of the best in town!

 

Spencer

113 E Liberty St | Facebook

Spencer perfectly balances the feel of a casual wine bar with craveable fare made with local ingredients. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, that craveable fare comes in the form of outstanding brunch creations including a rye waffle served with whipped ricotta, grapefruit and honey or the mouth-watering fried egg meatloaf sammie.

 

Aventura

216 E Washington St | Facebook

Aventura Ann Arbor brunch

Photo courtesy of Emily Berger at EE Berger via Aventura

Aventura is a charming spot that offers authentic Spanish cuisine and culture including tapas, paella, vino and delicious, artisan cocktails. Inspired by the old-world atmosphere and the historical nature of the building itself, the eatery merges Ann Arbor history with modern Spanish influence. On Saturday and Sunday, they offer the El Almuerzo menu. Beginning at noon, you can order dishes like Torrijas con Miel which is Spanish french toast made with Zingerman’s Bakehouse bread, cinnamon-sugar, honey, roasted pistachios and caramel sauce.

 

MANI Osteria & Bar

341 E Liberty St | Facebook

This downtown restaurant is named for two things: the word “mani”, which means “hands” or “handmade” in Italian, and the classic Italian osteria, an eatery that emphasizes local ingredients, small production wines and hospitality. Their impressive, seasonal weekend brunch menu features a line-up of MANI’s famous wood-fired pizzas, trendy avocado toast, craveable Benedicts and a huge list of morning cocktails.

 

Jolly Pumpkin Cafe & Brewery

311 S Main St | Facebook

Founded in 2004, Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales is a brewery located in Dexter, Michigan. Today, they operate three pubs including this Ann Arbor cafe and brewery which offers a small and delicious brunch menu every Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. During Brunch Happy Hour from 10 a.m. until noon, you can enjoy $2 off brunch items like avocado toast, the market omelette made with seasonal ingredients or the mouth-watering Braised Bacon Sandwich.

 

Avalon Cafe & Kitchen

120 E Liberty St | Facebook

Avalon International Breads Cafe and Kitchen Ann Arbor brunch

Photo courtesy of Bekah Galang via Avalon Cafe & Kitchen

Avalon International Breads originally opened their humble Detroit storefront in 1997 striving to offer artisan baked goods made with 100% organic flour. Today, they’ve developed the building blocks of the region’s Agri-Urban economy and operate five storefronts and restaurants. Their first and only location outside of Detroit is located right here in Ann Arbor and they serve one of our favorite brunches in town! You can get items like avocado toast, a Trout Reuben and the Blueberry Quinoa Pancake, all of which showcase their local flare and sustainable ingredients.

 

Bigalora Wood Fired Cucina

3050 Washtenaw Ave | Facebook

Bigalora is famous in the region as the only place for biga-fermented pizza dough. Each Neapolitan pie starts with a natural, 72-hour fermentation without the use of commercial yeast or added sugar then is cooked in just 90 seconds at 900 degrees. That same artistry is applied to the weekend brunch menu which features dishes like the house-made Bigalora waffle, Polenta Gorgonzola and an outstanding brunch cocktail list.

 

Juicy Kitchen

1506 N Maple Rd | Facebook

Juicy Kitchen Ann Arbor brunch

Photo courtesy of Juicy Kitchen

Using locally sourced produce, hormone-free chicken and organic vegetables and grains as much as possible, Juicy Kitchen crafts meals from scratch in healthy, sustainable ways. Offering breakfast daily until 3 p.m., you can get all that freshness in morning dishes like french toast made with raisin bread, the Quinoa Power Bowl, a weekly changing quiche, or the JK Benedict which is poached eggs served over veggie cakes with sauteed greens, roasted tomato and Chef’s Whim Sauce.

 

 

Enjoy!

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Must See Ann Arbor Home for Sale

FeaturedFriListing_2016

This week we are featuring Marjorie Bolgos’ listing – 5179 Christine Court, Ann Arbor, MI, 48103

5179 Chrstine Court - Ann ArborQ. Can you describe the architectural style of the home?
Updated contemporary bi-level. This is a Mark Solent built twin-home.

5179 Chrstine Court - DenQ. What distinctive features set this home apart?
Spacious, airy kitchen with eating area, living room with fireplace. The master bedroom is stylishly updated and includes a master bath and a custom walk-in closet.

5179 Chrstine Court - Eat in KitchenQ. What are the advantages of the location & neighborhood?
Located less than 8-minutes from downtown Ann Arbor, the new owners will enjoy low Scio Township taxes with easy access to all of the entertainment, restaurants, and events of Ann Arbor.

5179 Chrstine Court - KitchenQ. Have there been any recent renovations or upgrades?
Newer roof and mechanicals.5179 Chrstine Court - BedroomQ. What amazing views will the new homeowner be able to enjoy?
In this park-like setting, enjoy views of green space and your the pond from the balcony, which runs the entire length of the house.

5179 Chrstine Court - Lower LevelQ. What makes the price of this home so great?
With over 2500 sq ft. of livable space this home is well priced at $365,000.

5179 Chrstine Court - BackyardQ. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about the home?
The lower level has a walkout, doorwall to a patio, an additional full kitchen, 2 bedrooms, a full bath, and laundry area.

If you would like more information about 5179 Christine Court, Ann Arbor, MI or if you are interested in scheduling a showing, please contact Marjorie Bolgos at 734-645-5590.

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The 12 Essential Ann Arbor Area Events to Attend April 2018

Things to do in Ann Arbor, Michigan in April 2018 Zingerman's Creamery wine and cheese pairing

With the arrival of April, Ann Arbor finally gets to see beautiful springy and summery days that mark the end of winter and the beginning of festival season. And according to this month’s event lineup, we’re certainly excited about it. Events in art, sports, food and fun get the whole community outside to create, celebrate and shop local.

Be sure to mark these events on your calendar so you don’t miss markets, festivals, fundraisers and, most importantly, FestiFools! Happy April!

 

 

Arts + Culture

 

Spring Fiber Expo | Ann Arbor

April 14 + 15, various times | Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds

Fiber Expo Things to do in Ann Arbor, Michigan in April 2018

Once during the spring and once during the fall, the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds are filled with fiber products of all kinds. Come by to shop, learn and meet makers of wool, linen and cotton crafts, real alpacas and more! Children 10 years and under are admitted for free, while adults pay just $4 for one day or $6 for two.

 

Ann Arbor Antiques Market | Ann Arbor  

April 21 + 22, various times | Saline Antiques Market

Established in 1968, this historic antique market has been fueling our love of home decor and vintage finds for decades. Admission is $6 with free parking and kids are admitted for free! Come by in April to peruse antiques, jewelry, paintings, mid-century and Industrial design, folk art, repurposed furniture and more.

 

Ypsilanti Comic Con | Ypsilanti

April 21, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. | St Matthew’s United Methodist

This fun, family-friendly event costs just $3 per person and will feature custom crafts, products, collectibles, comic books and appearances by comic authors, creators and even the Detroit Ghostbusters!

 

 

Community Celebrations

 

FoolMoon | Ann Arbor

April 6, sunset – 12 a.m. | Downtown Ann Arbor

FoolMoon and FestiFools Things to do in Ann Arbor, Michigan in April 2018

Photo courtesy of Ryan Stanton via WonderFool Productions

One of the community’s favorite annual events, FoolMoon is the nighttime kick-off event to our very foolish weekend. In celebration of the coming spring, we’ll dance, laugh and party amongst lights, interactive installations, laser shows, live dance performances, and DJs. Adults, don’t miss the beer tent sponsored by Grizzly Peak!

 

FestiFools | Ann Arbor

April 8, 4 – 5 p.m. | Downtown Ann Arbor

FestiFools is the daytime event of foolishness and art. The enormous public art spectacular showcases creations made by members of the community and U of M students. Come down to watch the procession of colorful, bizarre, human-powered papier-mâché puppets for an entire hour of neighborhood fun!

 

Spring Downtown Divas at Dusk | Tecumseh

April 19, 5 – 9 p.m. | Downtown Tecumseh

This bi-annual shopping event invites all divas of the community to join the fun downtown. Shops, galleries and restaurants will open their doors and offer special promotions, refreshments and more. Keep an eye out for selfie stations with Bruno Mars, Adam Levine, George Clooney and Prince Harry! In addition to the revelry, you can bring donations to benefit local women in need at the Catherine Cobb Domestic Violence Center.

 

47th Annual Earth Day Festival | Ann Arbor

April 22, 12 – 4 p.m. | Leslie Science & Nature Center

Coordinated by the Ann Arbor Earth Day Festival Planning Committee in partnership with local environmental nonprofits and agencies, this free Earth Day Festival is a celebration of our beautiful, sustainable community. Bring your animal costumes for the All Species Parade then stick around to see displays from 40 local environmental, nonprofit and governmental organizations, watch live animal demonstrations, participate in hands-on activities, enjoy live entertainment, eat foods from local vendors and so much more!

 

Annual Fairy Festival | Jackson

April 28 + 29, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Jackson School of the Arts

This magical, two-day event results in one of the region’s most magical weekends of the year! Admission is free and includes arts and crafts, local vendors, the Cupcake Cafe, a fairy garden contest, tea with Miss Jackson Crossroads, stories in the fairy forest, carriage rides, performances by the Fairy Festival Players and more. You and your family will get the chance to explore the fairy kingdom and the dark mountain, meet a knight and join Captain Hook on his ship!

 

 

Sports

 

Pitch Hit & Run | Ypsilanti

April 28, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. | Ball Field #1 at Montibeller Park

Softball and baseball Ypsilanti Things to do in Ann Arbor, Michigan in April 2018

This athletic competition is in honor of the return of baseball season! Join the fun and compete in the Baseball Division or Softball Division to have the opportunity to advance through four levels: Locals, Sectionals, Team Championships and the National Finals scheduled during MLB All-Star Week in July. Each segment of the contest will test your ability to throw a strike, your ability to hit from a stationary batting tee and, finally, your speed! Registration is free and there are 95 spots so be sure to register online in advance.

 

9th Annual Ride for Recovery | Ypsilanti

April 29, 7 a.m. – 2 p.m. | 6633 Stony Creek Rd

This family-oriented fitness event is an annual fundraiser for local organization Dawn Farm. Community members at any fitness level are invited to register for one of four bike rides: a 5K/10K, a 25-mile, a 40-mile and a 58-mile. A celebratory lunch will be provided after the race and family members not participating are asked to register for the $5 Lunch Only option so there is enough food for everyone. RSVP on Facebook for event updates and register online here.

 

 

Food + Drink

 

Wine & Cheese Pairing – Michigan Edition | Ann Arbor  

April 13, 6 – 8 p.m. | Zingerman’s Creamery

Zingerman's Creamery Beer and Cheese pairing March 2018

Photo courtesy of Emma Boonstra via Zingerman’s Creamery

This April edition of the Zingerman’s Creamery Wine & Cheese Pairing is staying close to home. In celebration of Michigan Wine Month, you’ll learn and taste an impressive lineup of local Michigan wines paired with artisan cheeses, bread and additional accompaniments from the Cream Top Shop. Reserve a seat today before this event sells out!

 

Mug Club Homebrew Competition | Ann Arbor

April 23, 4 – 7 p.m. | Grizzly Peak Brewing Company

Whether you’re participating or simply spectating, every beer-lover is invited to this fun event at Grizzly Peak! Open until April 16, Mug Club members can enter a homebrewed beer that follows competition guidelines (found here) and the winner will be announced April 23 in the taproom! First place gets to work with the Grizzly Peak Head Brewer to create a special rotating tap.

 

 

Happy April!  

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The 6 Essential Weekend Getaways Near Ann Arbor

Weekend trips from Ann Arbor Michigan

Ann Arbor is our favorite place in the entire country and we’re definitely not shy about sharing that, but we all need a little vacation now and again. We think our region’s proximity to some of the country’s and the continent’s most famous landmarks and attractions makes it even better.

Today, we’re helping you nail down your weekend getaway itinerary by sharing the best restaurants, cafés, breweries, museums, hotels, experiences and landmarks in the top six road trip destinations near Ann Arbor. Hop in the car and get ready for a quick trip you’ll never forget!

 

 

Detroit, Michigan

Drive time: 50 minutes | Visit Detroit

Weekend vacation to Detroit, Michigan

Rusted Crow

Where to stay

Detroit Foundation Hotel | Showcasing true Detroit character, this hotel features local collaborations in art, design, food, drink and experiences.

The Inn On Ferry Street | Get the hotel experience in this historic inn featuring four restored Victorian mansions and two carriage houses.

What to eat

Sister Pie | Nontraditional flavor combinations, rustic preparations, local ingredients — you’re going to want one of these pies.

Rose’s Fine Food | As Detroit’s ultimate diner, Rose’s offers made-from-scratch food prepared with top-quality, local Michigan ingredients.

La Feria | This must-try Spanish tapas spot brings a taste of authentic Spain right here to Michigan.

Wright and Company | This dinner destination is run by cocktail expert Dave Kwiatkowski and James Beard award-winning chef Marc Djozlija.

Rusted Crow | This downtown gastro-lounge offers menus of artisan craft cocktails, local beer and American bar eats in a rustic space accented with steampunk decor.

What to do

Baker’s Keyboard Lounge | It has a piano key bar and is the world’s oldest jazz club — you need to go.

Batch Brewing Company | One of Detroit’s best breweries, Batch offers a Feelgood Tap which goes to help Michigan-based nonprofits.

Detroit Institute of Arts | DIA exhibits 65,000 works of art, one of the largest and most significant art collections in the entire country.

Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory | This 982-acre island park located in the Detroit River is the oldest continually-running conservatory in the United States.

Automotive Hall of Fame | Founded in 1939 this museum and hall of fame showcases over 800 worldwide honorees.

 

 

Kalamazoo, Michigan

Drive time: 1.5 hours | Discover Kalamazoo

Weekend vacation to Kalamazoo Michigan

Photo courtesy of Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

Where to stay

The Henderson Castle Inn | This picturesque bed and breakfast is worth the trip on its own!

What to eat

Old Dog Tavern | Offering brunch, lunch, dinner, late night food, free ping-pong and pinball, live music and a neighborhood vibe, this is a must.

Fuze Kitchen & Bar | This downtown dining experience is about art, people and local, seasonal food.

Crow’s Nest | A cornerstone of Kalamazoo culture, you’ll find this eatery in the heart of the historic Vine Street Neighborhood. There’s a reason it’s always busy!

Olde Peninsula Brewpub & Restaurant | Featuring food, cocktails and in-house brewed beers, this was Kalamazoo’s first ever brewpub!

What to do

Black Owl Cafe | This downtown café is home to Kalamazoo Coffee Company and was named Michigan’s best coffee shop by MLive! It’s worth a stop.

Rupert’s Brew House | Located in the historic Oakland Pharmacy building, this bring-your-own-food brewery features handcrafted beers and entertainment five nights a week!

Kalamazoo State Theatre | Originally opened in 1927, this historic theater is Southwest Michigan’s best venue for concerts, shows and entertainment.

Kalamazoo Valley Museum | Offering free general admission, this family-focused museum has exhibits in science, technology and history.

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts | This stunning, nonprofit art museum and school has been exhibiting artworks since 1924. With more than 4,700 fine artworks in its permanent collection, you’ll have plenty to see and plenty to love! 

 

 

Cleveland, Ohio

Drive time: 2 hours, 45 minutes | Destination Cleveland

Weekend vacation to Cleveland, Ohio

West Side Market

Where to stay

The Kimpton Schofield Hotel | This landmark hotel in downtown Cleveland is a great option for a luxurious stay.

Glidden House | Boasting historic charm and luxury boutique style, this is one of Cleveland’s best.

What to eat

Mabel’s BBQ | Renowned chef Michael Symon has developed a BBQ Cleveland can finally call its own.

The Greenhouse Tavern | When Chef Jonathon Sawyer came home to open The Greenhouse Tavern, he brought a local sensibility; he uses only local produce, protein and grains.

SeeSaw Pretzel Shoppe | This casual stop offers just Sawyer’s Signature Bretzels, Sawyer’s Signature Rolls, Sawyer’s Signature Sausage and plenty of craft beer!

Cowell & Hubbard | Zack Bruell reinvented Cleveland’s historic jewelry store and now offers outstanding, upscale food in the turn-of-the-century space.

What to do

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame | Located on the shore of Lake Erie, this national landmark is perfect for music lovers.

Playhouse Square | This downtown theater district is the largest performing arts center in the United States outside of New York.

The Cleveland Museum of Art | Internationally renowned for its substantial holdings of Asian and Egyptian art, this museum, this museum offers free admission to everyone!

A Christmas Story House | If you’ve seen the movie, you need to see the house. You can even stay overnight!

West Side Market | This jaw-dropping market is the oldest operating indoor/outdoor market space in Cleveland and features over 100 vendors.

The Cleveland Orchestra | This 100-year-old venue is one of the five American orchestras informally referred to as the “Big Five”.

 

 

Chicago, Illinois

Drive time: 4 hours | Choose Chicago

Weekend vacation to Chicago, Illinois

Navy Pier

Where to stay

Freehand Chicago | This hostel-style hotel is housed in a historic 1927 building in Chicago’s River North neighborhood.

The Kimpton Hotel Allegro | This boutique hotel shows off the glamour and pageantry of America’s Golden Era in downtown Chicago.

What to eat

Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder | You have to have deep dish pizza in Chicago and this is one of the city’s best!

Topolobampo | This gourmet spot won the James Beard Outstanding Restaurant award in 2017.

Mortar and Pestle | At Mortar & Pestle, every globally-inspired meal is made by hand with the best ingredients available.

Band of Bohemia | This gypsy-inspired Chicago landmark is the first Michelin-rated brewpub!

The Original Rainbow Cone | This summer destination is home to the layered cone that features orange sherbet, pistachio, Palmer House, strawberry and chocolate ice creams!

What to do

The Art Institute of Chicago | Founded in 1879, this is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States.

Navy Pier | This famous landmark is a 3300-foot-long pier on the Chicago shoreline of Lake Michigan.

Millennium Park | You have to snap a photo and prove you were at The Bean!

Chicago Greeter | This free experience pairs you with an enthusiastic and knowledgeable resident for a walking tour of the city!

The Field Museum | One of the largest biological and anthropological museums in the world, this is a great destination for education and for families.

Wrigleyville | Wrigley Field is the centerpiece of this neighborhood. Come through for a taste of Chicago nightlife!

 

 

Mackinac Island, Michigan

Drive time: 4 hours + Shepler’s Ferry | Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau

Weekend vacation to Mackinac Island Michigan

Photo courtesy of Grand Hotel

Where to stay

Grand Hotel | The island’s destination hotel houses eight eateries, including an ice cream parlor, sushi restaurant and tea room.

What to eat

The Pink Pony | Thrillist called this pink-accented, nautical-themed restaurant Michigan’s most iconic bar and grill.

The Chuckwagon | This diner is the locals’ favorite and offers breakfast and lunch in cowboy-inspired diner decor.

Seabiscuit Café | This year-round eatery features an appropriate horse theme from the 1938 true life story of the famous horse, Seabiscuit.

Millie’s on Main | The island’s favorite homestyle pub, Millie’s serves comfort food and cocktails for lunch and dinner.   

What to do

Original Murdick’s Fudge | The home of Mackinac’s famous fudge, you can shop 23 flavors in this charming store.

Fort Mackinac | This namesake fort was built by the British Army during the Revolutionary War.

Mackinac Island Bike Shop | Here, you can rent bicycles to tour the island like a local!

Jack’s Livery Stable | Take a carriage ride through town or learn how to drive the carriage yourself!

Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry Cruise | Offering a few of the island’s best lighthouse and night sky views, these trips are an essential excursion.

 

 

Toronto, Ontario  

Drive time: 4.5 hours | Visit Toronto

Weekend vacation to Toronto Ontario Canada

Nathan Phillips Square

Where to stay

The Drake Hotel | This boutique hotel is the city’s epicenter of cool, offering one of the best rooftop terraces in Toronto along with funky dining and cocktail spaces.

Gladstone Hotel | This boutique art hotel 37 unique rooms — each one designed by a different artist!

What to eat

Antler | This hyper-local and hyper-Canadian restaurant offers cocktails and meals, both created using local, seasonal and wild, foraged ingredients.

Rose & Sons | You can come for lunch or dinner any day, but you need to come for weekend brunch.

Patria | This stylish eatery offers authentic Spanish tapas that are as Insta-worthy as the decor.

The Hot House Restaurant & Bar | Since opening in 1994, this has been one of the city’s favorite places for comfort food and live jazz.

What to do

Amsterdam Brewhouse | Though they have three different Toronto locations, the 14,000-square-foot lakeside brewhouse is the best place for patio beverages!

The Distillery District | This historic pedestrian-only neighborhood draws crowds of art lovers, boutique shoppers and foodies.

Massey Hall | This internationally famous venue holds 2,765 guests and hosts the best shows and acts in the country!

Art Gallery of Toronto | With a collection of more than 90,000 works of art, this museum is among the most distinguished art museums in North America.

Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada | One of three Ripley-owned aquariums, Canada’s location houses 16,000 aquatic animals!

Casa Loma | This historic, Gothic Revival home offers decorated suites, secret passages, an 800-foot tunnel, towers, stables and beautiful five-acre estate gardens to explore.

 

 

Safe travels!

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10 Reasons We’re Lucky to Live in Ann Arbor

Literati Bookstore Ann Arbor Michigan

Ann Arbor is both a hip college town and a thriving community of makers, doers, artists and entrepreneurs. While in the thick of our day to day lives, it might be easy to take for granted this amazing community we’ve come to call home. But we’re here to pause and to remind you why Ann Arbor is truly the best place to be.

So sit back, relax and let’s all remember just how much we love A2.

 

1. It’s actually the best place to live in the country.

Ann Arbor is consistently ranked on research and data-based lists of the best places to live in the United States. In 2017, our city ranked third on the Livability Top 100 Best Places to Live. Then on the 2018 Livability Top 100 Best Places To Live, A2 jumped to the number one spot! This particular Livability ranking started with a nationwide poll to find out what matters most to Americans. Then, nearly 2,300 cities were ranked on data points that cover economics, housing, amenities, infrastructure, demographics, social and civic capital, education and healthcare.

Ann Arbor has also been ranked on the 2018 National Geographic list, The Best Cities in the United States which ranked the best small cities to visit this year. And A2 snagged the number one spot in the Midwest on RewardExpert’s Best Mid-Sized Cities to Visit in 2017.

 

2. We love to learn.

Best Sports Bars in Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Plymouth Michigan

Ann Arbor is home to the world-renowned University of Michigan. On its own, our hometown university has consistently ranked on National University Rankings amongst other ivy league superstars like Yale and Harvard. But the university paired with our outstanding community has landed Ann Arbor on lists of the country’s best college towns. This Livability list, 2017 10 Best College Towns, puts us in the top ten!

Through the university, our town has been blessed with community and kid-friendly educational centers like the University of Michigan Museum of Art, Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum, the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, the Stearns Collection of Musical Instruments, the Exhibit Museum of Natural History and so many more. Many of these are also recognized as the largest and/or most significant university collections in the country!

 

3. Ann Arbor loves local.

We’ll get into the specific venue, business and restaurant details later on, but the short story is: Ann Arbor loves local. Whether you’re an up and coming musician, you have a new beer recipe to try or you just want to share your passions, there’s a spot in our business community for you — and plenty of people who will gladly test it out. Livability even ranked A2 one of the best cities for entrepreneurs in 2017!

 

4. Especially local books.  

Literati Bookstore Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Literati Bookstore

There’s no hiding the bibliophile culture of Ann Arbor. Since the Ann Arbor founding and the nationwide expansion of Borders, our book-loving community has gotten plenty of attention — but our book-loving nature has been with us for much longer. Today, our town is home to local legends like Literati Bookstore, Bookbound, Nicola’s Books and Aunt Agatha’s alongside beloved places like Common Language Book Bar and Crazy Wisdom Bookstore & Tearoom.

For used and antiquarian books, you can go to our other favorite A2 shops Dawn Treader Book Shop, Friends of the Ann Arbor District Library Book Shop, Motte & Bailey Booksellers and West Side Book Shop.

For more on our local bibliophile culture, check out Kerrytown Bookfest and the Jewish Book & Arts Festival!

 

5. And food.

If you’ve eaten in Ann Arbor — as a student, a local or a visitor — you have a favorite food spot (or ten) that you would come back to again and again. And if you live here, you get to live right in the middle of all the abundance whether that’s pub food, global flavors, American classics or casual eateries. We obviously don’t have room to list all of them here, but you can read The 15 Best Date Night Restaurants in Ann Arbor, The 16 Best Coffee Shops in the Ann Arbor Area and Your Guide to 14 Zingerman’s Businesses in Ann Arbor which highlights a business that has revolutionized local eats.

 

6. It’s easy to spend time outside.

Kerrytown Market and Shops Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Kerrytown Market & Shops

Whether you’re perusing downtown districts like Main Street, The State Street District and Kerrytown Market and Shops or exploring one of 159 parks throughout Ann Arbor, there are plenty of excuses to get outside. In those 159 parks, you’ll find basketball and tennis courts, softball and soccer fields, a skatepark, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, boat launches, ice rinks, dog parks, disc golf and dirt bike courses and a course to play bocce ball.

 

7. And even easier to find a festival.

Are you a fan of film? Try the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Cinetopia Film Festival or the Jewish Film Festival. How about music? Don’t miss the Ann Arbor Folk Festival or Edgefest. How about music, cinema, comedy and culinary arts all rolled into one? Then you need to attend the Ann Arbor Summer Festival! Our town celebrates with festivals and events year-round whether it’s the 47th Annual Earth Day Festival or the free, annual community celebrations FoolMoon and FestiFools.

 

8. We’re a local hub for art and culture.

Ann Arbor Art Center culture

Photo courtesy of Ann Arbor Art Center

We already mentioned the noteworthy festivals above, but A2 is also the home of Shakespeare in the Arb each summer, Kerrytown Concert House, The Michigan Theater, The State Theater and the Ann Arbor Art Center, a nonprofit exhibition, gallery and retail space. Through these venues, we get to enjoy local and touring dance performances, art exhibitions, cinema, concerts and more. And have you heard about our fairy doors?

 

9. It’s an affordable place to live.

You would think all the amazing things about Ann Arbor would come at a lofty price, but in reality, it’s a fairly affordable one. Penny Hoarder conducted a ranking, 25 U.S. Cities That Millennials Can Afford — and Actually Want to Live In, which rounded up the most livable cities ranked for their price, their fun and everything in between. And of course, Ann Arbor made the list.

 

10. Two words: The people.

Why we love to live in Ann Arbor Michigan

It’s no secret we love Ann Arbor, but we firmly believe we wouldn’t be one of the country’s best places to live without the best locals, residents and visitors. Amongst all the rankings and awards Ann Arbor has been honored with, our favorite is the National Geographic ranking of the happiest cities in the United States which puts Ann Arbor in the top 20. We couldn’t do it without you, A2.

 

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