Quick Search
to

The Reinhart Blog

10 Ann Arbor Area Restaurants Open on Thanksgiving Day 2018

Ann Arbor Michigan Thanksgiving Day 2018 restaurants open

Traditionally, Thanksgiving has been a time for our families to come together to share a meal inside our homes. But we don’t all have traditional families and that’s okay! If you’re on the hunt for places to dine out where you can get a turkey dinner minus the clean-up, or where you can enjoy some of Ann Arbor’s best Chinese food, then you’ve come to the right place.

If you’re looking in advance, check out Zingerman’s Roadhouse Thanksgiving To-Go where you can take home a full family feast November 20th, 21st and 23rd. Their Coffee Spiced Smoked Turkey was named “the greatest turkey recipe in the history of Thanksgiving” by Esquire.

And if you’re looking for food on Thanksgiving Day, November 22nd, keep reading! All of these restaurants have been confirmed, but we provided their phone numbers so you can double check and make your reservations. 

 

Carlyle Grill | Ann Arbor

3660 Jackson Rd | Facebook | (734) 213-9800

Carlyle Ann Arbor Michigan Thanksgiving Day 2018 restaurants open

Photo courtesy of Carlyle Grill

Ann Arbor’s Carlyle Grill is driven by comfort—from the atmosphere to the menu filled with homestyle dishes made with regional ingredients. Open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, the team is serving up hand-carved turkey, Sparrow’s Market prime rib, acorn squash stuffed with kale risotto, Faroe Island salmon, family-style sides, and a dessert of pumpkin or pecan pie. For all the details and to make your reservations, click here.

 

Gandy Dancer | Ann Arbor

401 Depot St | Facebook | (734) 769-0592

Famous for seafood, steaks and pasta dishes, Gandy Dancer is located in the beautifully restored 1886 Michigan Central Depot, making it the ideal setting for elegance, food and celebration. Doesn’t that sound like the perfect combination for Thanksgiving?

 

Haab’s | Ypsilanti

18 W Michigan Ave | Facebook | (734) 483-8200

Haab’s has been serving the Ypsilanti community since they opened their doors in 1934. When it opened way back then, The Haab Brothers’ Café was the first establishment in Washtenaw County where food was the primary draw. And today, everyone is still understandably crazy about the food. In addition to being open on Thanksgiving from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., Haab’s serves a killer Grilled Turkey Reuben throughout the year!

 

Holiday’s Restaurant | Ann Arbor

2080 W Stadium Blvd | Facebook | (734) 668-1292

In keeping with their name, Holiday’s is open 365 days a year and they’re open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on holidays. Their menus cover everything from breakfast to lunch and pancakes to ribeye, so if you’re dining out this Thanksgiving, you can come for breakfast and lunch! When you do, be sure to order something from the dessert menu (like Gourmet Carrot Cake or pumpkin pie).

 

Lucky Kitchen | Ann Arbor

1753 Plymouth Rd + 2370 S Wayne Rd | Facebook | (734) 357-8823

Consistently named as Ann Arbor’s best place for Chinese food, Lucky Kitchen has been serving our community since 1993. They also offer catering and are a University of Michigan Strategic Supplier for catering needs, and they make food for the Ann Arbor Meals on Wheels Asian Menu. You can dine in with them at both locations during the holidays, including Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.

 

Mediterrano | Ann Arbor

2900 S State St | Facebook | (734) 332-9700

Mediterrano Ann Arbor Michigan Thanksgiving Day 2018 restaurants open

Photo courtesy of Mediterrano

Mediterrano is the Carlyle Grill’s sister restaurant serving up flavors inspired by 14 different countries. Driven by the belief that the Mediterranean diet is inherently nutritious, they source their meats and produce from local farmers and purveyors as much as possible.

On Thanksgiving Day, they’re turning that local sensibility and Mediterranean inspiration into a festive family dinner. Open from 12 to 7 p.m., they’re serving Sliced Turkey Breast, Turkey Leg Confit, Scottish Salmon, Prime Rib, Vegetarian Paella and an impressive lineup of family-style sides. To see them all and get more details, click here.

 

The Original Cottage Inn | Ann Arbor

512 E William St | Facebook | (734) 663-3379

Back in 1948 when it opened, The Original Cottage Inn was Ann Arbor’s first restaurant to serve pizza. Today, they still serve some of the best pies in town as well as classic American, Italian and Greek cuisine. On Thanksgiving, you won’t find their regular menu, but you will find a restaurant filled with volunteers to continue an Ann Arbor tradition that has been going strong for more than 30 years. Each year on Thanksgiving Day, Cottage Inn opens its doors to the impoverished people and families in our community to enjoy a free meal that includes roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, veggies and seasonal fall favorites for dessert. If you’d like to volunteer, call the restaurant at (734) 663-3379.

 

The Quarter Bistro & Tavern | Ann Arbor

300 S Maple Rd | Facebook | (734) 929-9200

The Quarter is the only place in Ann Arbor where you can get European-inspired, bistro-style dining with a Creole twist. Driven by the rich heritage of New Orleans cooking, their menu of homemade dishes includes things like Bronzed Stuffed Chicken with Gumbo Sauce, Catfish and Shrimp, Cajun Crawfish Flat Bread and different specials every week.

On Thanksgiving Day, The Quarter celebrates the holiday with their special event, Thanksgiving Supper. Follow the team on Facebook for event updates.

 

Weber’s Restaurant | Ann Arbor

3050 Jackson Ave | Facebook | (734) 665-3636

Weber’s has been serving the people and families of Ann Arbor since 1937 and the restaurant has become a go-to for prime rib, live Maine lobster and house-made desserts. For Thanksgiving 2018, they’re offering four different dining options. Dinner in the dining room features a special holiday menu of individual turkey dinners, prime rib, fresh seafood, roast duck and more. You can also take complete Thanksgiving dinners to go or enjoy the family-style dinner at Weber’s, which is a complete Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings to feed parties of four or more. To see all the options and make your reservation, click here.

 

5ive Restaurant At The Inn At St. John’s | Plymouth

44045 Five Mile Road | Facebook | (734) 357-5700

Located about 30 minutes outside of Ann Arbor in Plymouth, 5ive has become a destination steakhouse that offers an impressive suite of bourbons and wines from around the world and hand-cut steaks that are chosen from the top 2% of grain- and grass-fed beef in the world. The menu covers everything from breakfast and brunch to pub grub and desserts (check out the Snickerdoodle Cheesecake). On Thanksgiving Day, they’ll be offering a special holiday menu in the dining room for anyone hoping to celebrate outside of their home kitchen. Call in advance to make reservations.

 

Want to add to the list?

If you know of a restaurant in the Ann Arbor area that will be open on Thanksgiving Day, tell us about it in the comments below.

Read More


Spending a Day in Downtown Ann Arbor, Mapped

What to do in downtown Ann Arbor Michigan

Ann Arbor’s downtown area is one of the city’s best places to explore local business, local eats, local drinks, and other locals-only attractions. Listed in our guide, The Top Five Ann Arbor Neighborhoods with the Best Walk Scores, it’s also the city’s most walkable neighborhood! So today, we’re combining all of these characteristics for a full day spent in one of our favorite places in Ann Arbor. Along the way, you’ll taste local food, local brews and local coffee, you’ll shop books and see art, and you’ll even get some bonus tips throughout the day.

For full details on the businesses in Downtown Ann Arbor as well as transportation options and events, check out Main Street Area Association.

 

 

8 a.m. | Breakfast at Afternoon Delight Café

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 of the ingredients and meats are organic!

 

9:30 a.m. | Coffee at RoosRoast

RoosRoast coffee What to do in downtown Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Kaden Brouwer via RoosRoast

Deeply local Roos Roast is the coffee headquarters for freshly roasted beans in Ann Arbor—and it’s just steps from Afternoon Delight on the way to Literati Bookstore. At their charming locale in Rosewood, they roast all their coffees in-house and offer a lively and cozy vibe. And the downtown location is everything we want in a local coffee shop. They’ve been voted the best in Washtenaw County and the best in Southeast Michigan, so it’s the perfect place to swing by for a taste of local Ann Arbor!

 

10 a.m. | Shopping at Literati Bookstore

Literati Bookstore What to do in downtown Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Literati Bookstore

When Ann Arbor’s original, local bookstore, Borders, closed its doors all over the country, Hilary and Mike Gustafson moved back to their home state and opened Literati Bookstore as a book-lovers haven in downtown Ann Arbor. On the store’s lower level, they set out an old typewriter and invited anyone and everyone to type a note on it. Over the years, they accumulated thousands of love notes, poems, sentences and salutations. Published in 2018, “Notes From A Public Typewriter” compiles some of their favorites alongside essays, photos and more. Stop by to shop local for books and make sure you type your own note on the Literati public typewriter!

Bonus tip: If you need even more coffee, head upstairs to Literati Coffee where you’ll find even more books and a full coffee and espresso bar.

 

11 a.m. | Head to Ann Arbor Art Center

After our typing and reading excursion to Literati, we’re headed back to Liberty Street to get a feel for local art. Acting as Ann Arbor’s art headquarters since opening in 1909, this center in Downtown A2 serves both artists and our community by hosting art exhibitions in the gallery, events and classes for all ages, and they even sell jewelry, paintings, ceramics and prints in the 117 Gallery Shop. So, spend time perusing the gallery and you can even take home a bit of Ann Arbor culture for your friends, family or home!

Bonus tip: On the way to the Ann Arbor Art Center from Literati, stop in Le Bon Macaron for a morning treat.

 

12 p.m. | Lunch at Jolly Pumpkin Cafe & Brewery

Jolly Pumpkin What to do in downtown Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Jolly Pumpkin Cafe & Brewery

Founded by Ron Jeffries in 2004, Jolly Pumpkin began in Dexter and now operates pubs and tap houses in Dexter, Ann Arbor, Detroit, Traverse City, Royal Oak, Grand Rapids and Chicago. Each location—whether full-service pub or casual hangout—offers its own character, menu and lineup of sour, aged Jolly Pumpkin beers. In Downtown Ann Arbor, you’ll find Jolly Pumpkin Cafe & Brewery, a full-service brewpub serving lunch, dinner, brunch and late-night eats. Choose the JP Burger and you’ll be in for one of Ann Arbor’s best lunches!

 

1:30 p.m. | Tea at Crazy Wisdom

Locally and independently owned since 1982, Crazy Wisdom is another great place to get a sense of Ann Arbor’s strong literary history and character. Inside the downtown shop, you’ll find books, art, crystals, jewelry and, of course, the Crazy Wisdom Tea Room! Here, they serve more than 100 varieties of tea, coffee from local roaster, Mighty Good Coffee, as well as appetizers, entrees, desserts and other treats.

Bonus tip: If you’re looking for something stronger than tea, head to Grizzly Peak Brewing Company just around the corner on W Washington Street.

 

3 p.m. | Movie at the Michigan Theater

The Michigan Theater Foundation was founded in 1979 to save the Michigan Theater from the wrecking ball—and we’re so glad it was. Today, this historic theater and its neighbor, the State Theater, offer regular showings of indie movies, limited releases, special screenings and more. Matinee movies typically start between 3 and 4 o’clock.

Bonus tip: Traveling from Jolly Pumpkin to the theater, you can slip into Kilwin’s Chocolates or Cupcake Station.

 

5 p.m | Dinner at Isalita

Isalita What to do in downtown Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Isalita

Between the Michigan Theater and our evening activities, we’ll travel right past Downtown Ann Arbor’s MANI Osteria and its sister restaurant, Isalita. MANI is a local restaurant modeled after the classic Italian osteria, but Isalita takes the team’s focus on local ingredients, small production and hospitality to the streets of Mexico. Isalita is our little city’s very own cantina. The menu is inspired by the street stall food found in open-air markets throughout Mexico and the hospitality is designed in true mi casa es su casa spirit.

 

7 p.m. | Dessert at Blank Slate Creamery  

After dinner, keep heading down Liberty Street for dessert. The ice cream at locally-owned and operated Blank Slate Creamery is homemade using fresh, all-natural ingredients which has resulted in numerous rankings as the top ice cream in Ann Arbor and even throughout the entire state of Michigan! You can see a list of several of their locally-sourced ingredients on their website which includes milk and cream from Guernsey Farms Dairy in Northville.

 

7:30 p.m. | Live music at The Blind Pig  

The Blind Pig live music date Ann Arbor, Michigan

Photo courtesy of TSLC Productions via The Blind Pig

Just a few steps north on 1st Street from Blank Slate, The Blind Pig is the locals’ choice for live music almost every night of the week. This quirky bar and music venue hosts everything from punk and folk to comedy and karaoke. Check out the calendar online and you can buy your tickets in advance if needed.  

Bonus tip: The doors typically open between 7 and 9 p.m. so if you have some time to kill, head to Bill’s Beer Garden which is open seasonally or Ann Arbor Beer Grotto. They’re both just steps from Blank Slate Creamery and The Blind Pig!

 

11 p.m. | Cocktails at The Last Word

Repeatedly named as Ann Arbor’s best cocktail bar, The Last Word is a hidden gem, literally. It’s located underground just up the street from The Blind Pig. With no exterior signage, dim lighting and an outstanding bar program, it’s a bar designed in true speakeasy fashion. The drink menu includes high-quality wines and craft beers alongside cocktails prepared with fresh ingredients as well as house-made syrups and bitters.

Bonus tip: If you need post-cocktail, late-night eats, check out The 13 Best Places to Eat After Midnight in Ann Arbor.

 

Do you have a local tip?

In the comments below, let us know which downtown business is on your one-day itinerary.

Read More


The 17 Best Bakeries in the Ann Arbor Area

best bakeries in Ann Arbor Michigan

It’s not every day you get a craving for freshly baked bread, a warm jelly donut, a fluffy soft pretzel, a scratch-made scone or a decadent macaron. If that list made your craving hit right now, then we have just the round-up for you, because our Ann Arbor area communities are home to some of the best makers and bakers around and they’re providing fresh baked goods that satisfy all those cravings and more.

Keep reading to learn where you can track down the best in local baked goods, including everything from downtown storefronts to online shops and businesses that can only be found at area farmers’ markets. Enjoy!

 

Avalon Cafe and Kitchen | Ann Arbor

120 E Liberty St | Facebook

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 total. Their first and only location outside of Detroit is located right here in Ann Arbor where they serve outstanding menus for breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner alongside their breads, seasonal pies, cakes, cookies, scones, granola bars and more.

 

Benny’s Bakery | Saline

111 W Michigan Ave | Facebook

If you’ve ever felt a craving for seasonal donuts, fresh soft pretzels, warm cookies or chocolate éclairs filled with homemade vanilla custard, head to Benny’s. This Saline original churns out some of the best baked goods in Southeast Michigan and it’s all made fresh.

 

Big City Small World Bakery | Ann Arbor

500 Miller Ave | Facebook

Whether you’re in search of a custom cake, a holiday pie, a morning cinnamon roll, or just a sweet treat for yourself, Big City Small World should be at the top of your list. This hometown bakery makes everything in-house, from scratch and fresh every day; they even candy their own ginger for their orange-ginger scone and the apples in their apple pies come from local orchards!

 

Czechbox Bakery | Ypsilanti

Found at local farmers’ markets | Facebook

Regularly available at the Ypsilanti Farmers’ Market and Milan Third Thursdays, Czechbox Bakery is the only bakery of its kind in the Ann Arbor area. As a Michigan Cottage Food business providing heritage eastern European baked goods, founder and baker Gretchen Kopmanis creates authentic treats and breads seasonally based on Michigan produce. Check out the website to see what she bakes or to place an order and follow Czechbox on Facebook to track it all down.

 

Cupcake Station | Ann Arbor

116 E Liberty St | Facebook

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.

 

The Dexter Bakery | Dexter

8101 Main St | Facebook

The Dexter Bakery best bakeries in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of The Dexter Bakery

The home of mouth-watering jelly donuts, Instagram-worthy cupcakes, towering cakes, fluffy soft pretzels and freshly baked breads, The Dexter Bakery is a must-visit near Ann Arbor. In 2018, they were even named the Sweetest Bakery in Michigan through the Sweetest Bakery in America Contest! And they’ve been serving their treats in Downtown Dexter for more than 100 years.

 

Ed’s Bread | Saline

201 W Michigan Ave | Facebook

A local, family run and oriented business, Ed’s Bread is a staple of the Saline community and also happens to produce some of the tastiest baked goods in the area. Baked fresh from scratch, their lineup frequently includes muffins, huge cookies, fresh bread, bagels, and some of the best homemade granola in town.

 

Le Bon Macaron | Ann Arbor

209 S 4th Ave | Facebook

Le Bon Macaron best bakeries in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Le Bon Macaron

Born from a love of French culture, Le Bon Macaron is a local, family business that offers two of the most charming cafés in Michigan: one in Grand Rapids and one in Downtown Ann Arbor. On the menu, you’ll find French press coffee and espresso from Rowster Coffee, fresh scones made daily, ice cream sundaes with Cone Appetit craft ice cream, French and Italian sodas made with handcrafted fruit puree and, of course, the macarons that have made them famous.

 

The Lunch Room Bakery & Cafe | Ann Arbor

2200 Fuller Ct #8B | Facebook

The Lunch Room best bakeries in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of The Lunch Room

The Lunch Room Bakery & Cafe is the second location of the beloved, plant-based eatery The Lunch Room. As the headquarters of The Lunch Room Bakery, it’s where they make all their breads in-house from scratch. On any given day, the lineup of baked goods available to purchase includes breads, cinnamon rolls, cupcakes, cakes, donuts and more. And they’re all vegan!

 

Mitten Made Cheesecakes | Ypsilanti

Found at Cream & Crumb | Facebook

As lovers and crafters of impeccable cheesecakes, this local business produces some of the best cakes in the region. Though you won’t find them in a brick-and-mortar store yet, you can find their cheesecakes at Cream & Crumb in Ypsi and follow the team on Facebook.

 

Pastry Peddler | Ann Arbor

619 Packard St | Facebook

This Ann Arbor shop is a small, locally-owned bakery that offers fresh baked goods with a focus on breakfast pastries. That means they’re the place to go to satisfy every croissant, danish, pillow puff, sticky bun or pasty craving.

 

Simple Pleasures | Ann Arbor

Found at local farmers’ markets + Earthen Jar | Facebook

The Simple Pleasures story began when Jasmine wanted her brother to enjoy the same pastries and sweet treats everyone else loved without straying from his strict vegetarian and eggless diet. Today, the venture has turned into a full-fledged baked goods business that caters to special diets, including gluten-free, vegan, eggless and sugar-free. You can find these sweets and breads sold at Earthen Jar in Ann Arbor and several farmers’ markets throughout the area.

 

Sweet Heather Anne | Ann Arbor

Online shop | Facebook

Sweet Heather Anne best bakeries in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Cat Carty Buswell via Sweet Heather Anne

Sweet Heather Anne is perhaps the most photographed bakery in Ann Arbor thanks to the team’s jaw-dropping special occasion cakes, macarons and other special order treats. Though they ran their public dessert counter for six years, they recently had to reduce the hours to holidays and events. You can still shop their famous macarons and sea salt chocolate chip cookies online, order for your own special occasion treats, and swing by the dessert counter during holiday hours.

 

Tasty Bakery | Ann Arbor

416 W Huron St #24 | Facebook

A must-visit no matter what your diet, Tasty Bakery offers high-quality, gluten-free artisan baked goods that are indiscernible from any glutinous treat. Additionally, many of their cakes, cookies, bars, brownies, scones and breads are also soy free, organic, vegan and naturally sweetened. Swing by their bakery or find them at the year-round Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market to taste the difference for yourself!

 

White Lotus Farms | Ann Arbor

Found at local farmers’ markets | Facebook

White Lotus Farms is an Ann Arbor institution specializing in organic produce, homemade breads, artisan goat and cow’s milk cheeses and soothing botanicals. Showcasing the same passion for local, sustainable and handcrafted in every facet of the farm, the bakery produces some of the best breads in Michigan. While the bread is not certified organic, it is made with 100% organic grains and can be found at markets throughout the area, including Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market, Argus Farm Stop, and Eastern Market in Detroit.

 

Yoon’s Bakery | Ann Arbor

2775 Plymouth Rd | Facebook

Housed in a charming storefront no Plymouth Road, Yoon’s Bakery is a Korean bakery based on the French style of baking. The team serves a unique selection of fresh baked goods that includes sweetbreads, savory breads, cakes and fluffy buns stuffed with things like homemade strawberry cream cheese. Yum!

 

Zingerman’s Bakehouse | Ann Arbor

3711 Plaza Dr | Facebook

Zingerman's Bakehouse best bakeries in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Zingerman’s Bakehouse

After running Zingerman’s Delicatessen for ten years, owners Paul Saginaw and Ari Weinzweig wanted to improve the flavors by baking their own breads. So, in September of 1992, they teamed up with Frank Carollo and just five other staff members to open the beloved Zingerman’s Bakehouse. Today, 130 staff members and partners make pastries, breads and other treats from scratch daily.

 

Do you have a favorite?

Let us know in the comments below!

Read More


10 Reasons Ann Arbor is the Best College Town in America

Murals in Ann Arbor 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 Best College Towns, puts us in the top ten, and Ann Arbor regularly ranks in the top five of Livability’s Top 100 Best Places to Live (it snagged the number one spot in 2018!).  

We could go on and on listing awards, accolades and honors our little city has won (like 5 Great College Towns to Settle In Post-Graduation), but now, we’re going to let the community speak for itself. Keep reading to find out exactly what makes Ann Arbor the best college town in America.

 

1. The school

University of Michigan Law School Ann Arbor Michigan

This one is kind of a no-brainer, but we can’t talk about our perfect college town without bragging about the university that makes it what it is. The University of Michigan is continually ranked amongst the best universities in the nation, and in the US News & World Report 2019 ranking of the best national universities, it makes the top 30. Boasting a total undergraduate enrollment of just under 30,000, UM offers students more than 1,500 organizations, more than 60 Greek chapters, and an impressive lineup of athletics for both athletes and fans.

 

2. The food

Where to eat in Ann Arbor Michigan

Late night food, date night food, patio dining — you name it and Ann Arbor has it. Our humble foodie city offers local eats you won’t find anywhere else, covering just about every cuisine, every craving and every occasion. To get a sampling of some of Ann Arbor’s best, check out The 13 Best Places to Eat After Midnight in Ann Arbor, The 13 Best Places to Get a Burger in Ann Arbor, The 15 Best Date Night Restaurants in Ann Arbor and The 16 Essential Brunch Spots in Ann Arbor.

 

3. The events

Whether you’re looking for events hosted by the university or outside of the university, our local calendar is packed. On campus, you’ll find regular events through the University Musical Society at Hill Auditorium, theater performances with the School of Music, Theatre & Dance at the Power Center for the Performing Arts, as well as annual student celebrations like Winterfest, Friday Flicks, UMix Late Night, UM Slam Poetry and more.

Outside of the university, our community calendar is filled with events for foodies, musicians, artists, outdoor enthusiasts—events like Cinetopia Film Festival, Taste of Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor Summer Festival, FestiFools and FoolMoon, Kerrytown BookFest, Huron River Day, and so many more. To stay up-to-date on the essential events each month, follow along on the Reinhart blog where we post monthly event guides for Ann Arbor and our surrounding communities.

 

4. The outdoor recreation

Where to hike in Ann Arbor Michigan

Is there any activity more stereotypically college than disc golf? We don’t think so, and Ann Arbor is home to two public courses maintained by the city, as well as a FootGolf course! In fact, our city boasts nearly 2,100 acres of parkland and 14 recreation facilities where visitors can hike, bike, picnic, swim, cross-country ski—you name it.

For ideas on where to go and what to do, check out 8 Things to Do in the Ann Arbor Area for Outdoor Enthusiasts.

 

5. The Main Street 

Every college town needs a hub for local food, local events and local character. Not only is this the place you’ll spend most of your free time, it’s also the place you’ll take your parents, your friends and your family every time they visit. Here in Ann Arbor, that place is Main Street, the heart of downtown, located less than half a mile from the UM campus.

The downtown area is home to some of the city’s best local restaurants (try Aventura, The Pretzel Bell and Spencer for starters) and local events like Taste of Ann Arbor, Rolling Sculpture Car Show and Midnight Madness. To stay up-to-date on the happenings around the area, check out the Main Street Area Association.

 

6. The football   

Things to do in Ann Arbor this September 2018

You’re going to spend a lot of time in The Big House. But UM athletic events will also make you well acquainted with the Crisler Center and Yost Ice Arena because our university is home to one of the best football programs, one of the best basketball programs, and one of the best ice hockey programs in the country. Needless to say, you’ll have a way to show off your Michigan pride all year long! #GoBlue

For more information on all Wolverine athletics, check out the University of Michigan Athletics website.

 

7. The museums

Operated both through the university and through community organizations, Ann Arbor is packed with museums and educational opportunities. The long list of options includes University of Michigan Museum of Art which is one of the largest and oldest university art museums in the country, the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology which presents research on Classical, Egyptian, and Near Eastern archaeology, and the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History which displays four billion years of natural history.

 

8. The live music

Live music is one of the best ways to spend an evening whether you’re a student, a graduate or a regular townie. The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance puts together more than 900 performances every year. And outside of the university, you’ll find impressive and diverse event calendars at The Ark, The Blind Pig, Kerrytown Concert House and even Michigan Theater.

 

9. The local art

Murals in Ann Arbor Michigan

Ann Arbor’s local and public art provides a way for you to practice your own creativity, a way to admire the work of your peers and your community, and an opportunity to get some iconic Instagram photos. Yes, we’re talking about The Michigan Wings, the perfect spot for your first day of school photo and your graduation photo. You can find this blue and maize mural at the corner of East William and Maynard streets at Tower Plaza.

Other landmark murals include The Bookstore Mural which depicts the colorful heads of Woody Allen, Edgar Allan Poe, Hermann Hesse, Franz Kafka and Anaïs Nin. And you have to snap a photo at the Singing in the Rain mural located on the 5th Ave. entrance to the Library Lane Parking Structure!

To start your official exploration of Ann Arbor art, visit Ann Arbor Art Center, a nonprofit arts center that hosts rotating exhibits, classes, events and a supply shop.

 

10. The craft beer

Craft beer culture seems to especially boom around major colleges and universities — and we don’t think that’s a coincidence. Here in Ann Arbor, we’ve experienced the craft beer boom as much as any other college town (and maybe even more than most). To get the lowdown on the city’s best, check out Your Ultimate Guide to 20 Craft Breweries in the Ann Arbor Area. It even has an interactive map so you can track down the one closest to you right now!

 

Are you a University of Michigan alumnus?  

Let us know why you think Ann Arbor is the best college town in the comments below!

Read More


The 15 Best Vegan + Vegetarian-friendly Restaurants in Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor vegan vegetarian restaurants

Through the years, Ann Arbor has cemented itself as one of Michigan’s foodie capitals. Whether you’re craving burgers, ice cream or plant-based cuisine, you’ll find a local spot for it. And very often, you’ll find they make it by hand with local ingredients from scratch.

If you’re struggling to track down the vegan and vegetarian-friendly places amongst all the options, don’t worry. We rounded up the best of the best. Our guide includes plant-based eats in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Saline with restaurants that are all-vegan, all-vegetarian, and others that offer meat-free options alongside meat-filled options so everyone in your group can find a dish to enjoy.

 

The Lunch Room Diner & Canteen | Ann Arbor

407 N 5th Ave | Facebook | Vegan

The Lunch Room Ann Arbor vegan restaurant

Photo courtesy of Juan Moncayo via The Lunch Room Diner & Canteen

Often referred to simply as The Lunch Room, The Lunch Room Diner & Canteen is the team’s original location in Ann Arbor’s Kerrytown. Because only plant-based foods are served here, you never have to worry about the presence of meat, dairy, eggs, honey or anything processed with animal products. Additionally, many of the kitchen’s ingredients are organic and non-GMO, and most items can be made gluten-free.

The Lunch Room Bakery & Cafe is the team’s second location and the headquarters of The Lunch Room Bakery, where they make all their breads in-house from scratch.

 

Veg-O-Rama | Ypsilanti

533 W Cross St | Facebook | Vegan + vegetarian

Veg-o-rama Ann Arbor vegan restaurant

Photo courtesy of Atharva Kharkar via Veg-O-Rama

This fast casual, vegetarian restaurant is Ypsi’s headquarters for vegan and vegetarian fare. Veg-O-Rama is dedicated to serving delicious plant-based fare that will impress both vegans and meat eaters alike. Their menu features innovative creations like the Peanut Crusted Cajun Black Bean Burger, Mean Green Protein Pea Burger, Tamarind BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich, and other burgers, sub sandwiches, bowls, wraps, pizzas and breakfast items.

 

Seva | Ann Arbor

2541 Jackson Ave | Facebook | Vegetarian

Seva has been serving outstanding plant-based cuisine in Ann Arbor since 1973. Now located in Westgate on the town’s west side, Seva offers an impressive craft beer list, all housemade desserts, gluten-free options and dishes that will make even carnivores love vegetarian food.

If you find yourself in Detroit, swing by Seva’s second location which opened in 2011!

 

Detroit Street Filling Station | Ann Arbor  

300 Detroit St | Facebook | Vegan

Detroit Street Filling Station Ann Arbor vegan restaurant

Photo courtesy of Detroit Street Filling Station

Owned and operated by the same team behind The Lunch Room, Detroit Street Filling Station is housed in the historic building that was once The Staebler Family Oil Company. Their menu features the high-quality, vegan eats that we’ve come to expect from The Lunch Room — but includes its own innovative items like the Detroit Street Burrito, Apple Fritters and the Central American Platter made with seitan steak, fried plantains, pureed black beans, tofu scramble, cashew sour cream, cabbage slaw and corn tortillas.

 

Vedge Cafe | Ann Arbor

205 N Main St | Facebook | Vegan 

Owned and operated by Amanda, a Registered Dietitian and a plant-based eater since 2005, Vedge Cafe is where she gets to combine her love for cooking with her passion for educating and sharing diet alternatives. Amanda and her team offer a menu of scratch-made vegan food like Korean BBQ Jackfruit Tacos, The Vedge Stromboli with house-made dough and pepperoni seitan, Reubens and more.

 

Earthen Jar | Ann Arbor  

311 S 5th Ave | Facebook | Vegetarian

Earthen Jar is a vegetarian and mostly vegan Indian buffet, as well as the first and only kosher restaurant in Ann Arbor. Everything at the hot buffet, the cold buffet and the dessert buffet is vegetarian and the majority are also vegan. Because everything is clearly marked—whether it’s vegan or gluten-free—anyone can eat here without worry.

 

What’s in Your Cup? | Ypsilanti

1816 Whittaker Rd | Facebook | Vegan + vegetarian

What's in Your Cup Ypsilanti vegan restaurant

Photo courtesy of What’s in Your Cup? 

Popularized for their juices, smoothies and vegan milkshakes, What’s in Your Cup? also offers an impressive menu of flavor-packed wraps, chili, sandwiches, sweet treats, guacamole and salsas. Whether you just need a fruit-filled smoothie to power your morning or you’re looking for a complete, plant-based meal, we recommend stopping by this Ypsi favorite.

 

Salt Springs Brewery | Saline

117 S Ann Arbor St | Facebook | Options

Named for Saline’s ancient, historic salt springs, this hometown brewery is housed in a beautiful, 116-year-old former church. Undoubtedly one of the most impressive settings in Southeast Michigan, you can enjoy true-to-style ales, wine and cider alongside locally-sourced food with stunning stained glass as the backdrop. Their menu includes various vegetarian options that can also be made vegan like the Tempeh Reuben, The Incredibly Tasty Tofu Sandwich and Roasted Vegetable Pizza.

Swing by on Wednesday when the Salt Springs team hosts Vegan Wednesdays! Starting at 5 p.m. every week all the featured dishes are vegetarian and/or vegan.

 

Ollie Food + Drink | Ypsilanti

42 E Cross St | Facebook | Options

This Ypsilanti original offers a seasonally rotating menu, using high-quality, locally sourced ingredients alongside a lineup of artisan cocktails, craft beer and wine. That impressively fresh menu includes clearly marked vegan and gluten-free options like the Vegan Burrito, seasonal tartines, house-made chorizo tempeh, salads, chilaquiles and more.

 

Arbor Brewing Company | Ann Arbor + Ypsilanti

114 E Washington St | Facebook | Options

When the Greffs opened the doors to Arbor Brewing Company in 1995, it was the first brewpub to open in Ann Arbor and only the fifth brewpub to open in the entire state of Michigan. Today, it has become one of Ann Arbor’s and Ypsilanti’s favorite destinations for craft beer and inspired food. The food menus at each location also feature an impressive lineup of clearly marked vegetarian and vegan items like the Crispy Quinoa Cake Sandwich, the Vegan Burger and Vegan Chili.

 

Juicy Kitchen | Ann Arbor  

1506 N Maple Rd | Facebook | Options

Juicy Kitchen Ann Arbor vegan restaurant

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. While this Ann Arbor spot is an excellent option for anyone searching for healthy food, they also cater to specific allergies, gluten-free diets, and vegans and vegetarians during both breakfast and lunch. Peruse the clearly marked menus to see just how many plant-based meals they can create!

 

El Harissa Market Cafe | Ann Arbor

1516 N Maple Rd | Facebook | Options

The name El Harissa comes from Harissa, a spicy and flavorful chili pepper paste that has injected its explosive flavor into dishes from throughout the Mediterranean region. Using this inspiration, the team at this Ann Arbor café produces unique North African and Mediterranean cuisine that includes plenty of gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, vegetarian and vegan options.

 

Chela’s Restaurant and Taqueria | Ann Arbor  

693 S Maple Rd | Facebook | Options

Chela’s already offers some of the region’s best Mexican food, but they also offer some of the best vegetarian and vegan-friendly options in town. Clearly marked vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free, anyone can enjoy vegetarian tortas, vegan tacos, burritos and a huge lineup of all vegan side dishes. Their black beans are even Michigan-grown!

 

Cantina Taqueria + Bar | Ann Arbor

1140 S University Ave | Facebook | Options

From their casual space perched above South University, Cantina serves bold tacos made from quality ingredients alongside tequilas, whiskeys and craft margaritas. Because meat lovers and plant eaters can all agree tacos make for an incredible meal, it’s the perfect location for everyone to come together and enjoy carnitas tacos, potato tacos, black bean tacos and more! Additionally, all their sides—including rice and beans—are vegan.

 

Elevation Burger | Ann Arbor

529 E Liberty St + 3365 Washtenaw Ave | Facebook | Options

This chain restaurant has two Ann Arbor locations and is dedicated to the fine art of the burger. Their meat options feature 100% organic, grass-fed and free-range beef, and you can choose from five delicious signature burgers, vegetarian and vegan options, or build your own. The Veggie Burger is a savory blend of veggies and cheese while the vegan option is packed with whole grains and veggies. Feel free to order a side of fries, too — they’re cooked in heart-healthy Bertolli olive oil!

 

Share your favorites

If you have a favorite spot for plant-based eats in the Ann Arbor area, give them a shout-out in the comments below!

Read More


The 11 Best Places to See Michigan’s Fall Colors Near Ann Arbor

Michigan Fall Color Tour Ann Arbor

Michigan is famous for its fall foliage thanks to the kaleidoscope of color found in our state’s open spaces, along the shores of our lakes and rivers, across rolling hillsides, and even in our tree-filled cities. And no other city could be more tree-filled than Tree Town.

Though the state’s Gold Coast rates as one of America’s Best Color Drives, according to Travel and Leisure magazine (and we definitely recommend doing it at least once), you don’t have to travel outside of Ann Arbor for a Michigan fall color tour of equally epic proportions.

Right in the city, you can meander the sidewalks and parks of the Old West Side, Huron Parkway or the University of Michigan campus. But if you have a little extra time and a stronger craving for brilliant reds, oranges and golds, we recommend hitting up these regional parks, recreation areas, and even one railroad!

 

Gallup Park | Ann Arbor

One of the best ways to see Michigan’s changing leaves is to hop on a canoe and cruise down the Huron River. Ann Arbor’s canoe liveries—located in Gallup Park and Argo Park—are open through the end of October so you don’t even need to buy your own canoe or kayak! While you’re in Gallup Park, you’ll get the opportunity to explore the 69 acres that make up the town’s most popular recreation area. Amidst the trees, you can enjoy scenic walkways that traverse small islands and pedestrian bridges as well as more than three miles of asphalt trails available for biking, rollerblading, walking and running.

 

Nichols Arboretum | Ann Arbor

Michigan Fall Color Tour Ann Arbor

Photo courtesy of Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum

The University of Michigan Nichols Arboretum began in 1907 and has developed into miles of trails and land home to collections of both native and exotic trees and shrubs. These plants transform during the fall to showcase some of the best colors in Southeast Michigan, including golds, reds and even inky purples.

 

Furstenberg Nature Area | Ann Arbor

Furstenberg Nature Area is a 38-acre park containing wetlands, woodlands, prairie and oak savannah just west of Gallup Park. Owned and maintained by the city since 1971, the open space offers a half-mile paved trail that loops through the park and a granular trail that goes through the prairie and woods then connects to a quarter mile of wetland boardwalk. The heavily wooded lands boast a huge variety of oaks, maples and other types of colorful trees.

 

Riverside Park | Ypsilanti

Michigan Fall Color Tour Ann Arbor

Located on the Huron River in the center of Ypsilanti, Riverside Park consists of 13.8 acres and connects downtown Ypsi with Depot Town. Whether you’re fishing on the river, riding your bike, or walking along the trail during the fall, you’re guaranteed a glimpse of our state’s famous seasonal foliage.

 

Delhi Metropark | Ann Arbor

Located just five miles northwest of Ann Arbor, Delhi Metropark offers 52 acres of mature oak trees, open, grassy lawns, playgrounds, softball diamonds and more. Because the park is nestled against a bend in the Huron River, it has become a popular fishing and canoeing destination—both great activities during the fall! While you’re there, you may even spot a great blue heron, turtles or a white-tailed deer.

 

Southern Michigan Railroad | Tecumseh

Michigan Fall Color Tour Ann Arbor

Photo courtesy of Southern Michigan Railroad

Each year, the Southern Michigan Railroad hosts Fall Color Tours, seasonal events that explore the area’s changing foliage from the comfort of a train car. Because the rides sell out every single year, the railroad is offering even more seating options now, including the open-air car for fair weather, the historic interurban coach and the entire Memorial Caboose available to rent. Rides depart on October 6th and 7th, 13th and 14th during the Appleumpkin Festival, 20th and 21st, and 27th and 28th. You can get more details on the website here.

 

Pinckney State Recreation Area | Pinckney

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.

 

Waterloo Recreation Area | Chelsea

Michigan Fall Color Tour Ann Arbor

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. While exploring these grounds during the fall, keep your eyes peeled for russet red and blazing oranges.

 

Brighton Recreation Area | Howell

Covering 4,947 acres, Brighton Recreation Area is a hilly, outdoor paradise interspersed with a number of picturesque lakes, 19 miles of trails and a full-service riding stable open through early December. When you reserve a trail ride with Brighton Recreation Riding Stable, you can explore Michigan foliage on horseback!

 

Hudson Mills Metropark | Dexter

Combing serene woods with the calm waters of the Huron River, Hudson Mills Metropark offers 1,536 acres of land home to an 18-hole golf course, two 24-hole disc golf courses, a three-mile, paved hike and bike loop, and the nearly five-mile West River Trail which connects to the Hudson Mills loop and takes hikers and bikers on a journey that ends in downtown Dexter.

 

Independence Lake County Park | Whitmore Lake

Independence Lake County Park is one of Washtenaw County’s favorite open spaces thanks to 360 acres, 3.5 miles of hiking and biking trails, two miles of paved trails and, of course, fishing, boating and swimming in Independence Lake. Stroll along the lakeshore to get accustomed to the bright, changing colors then head to the edges of the Indy and Woodcock prairies to see the best color in the park!

 

Do you have a go-to fall foliage destination?

Tell us about it in the comments below!

Read More


19 Pumpkin Patches, Apple Orchards and Cider Mills You Can Visit Near Ann Arbor

pumpkin patches apple orchards near Ann Arbor Michigan

Southeast Michigan and our Ann Arbor area communities have been built on a strong agriculture history. As a result, we’re blessed with year-round farmers markets, local agriculture experiences, and plenty of places to pick a pumpkin and sip fresh apple cider every fall.

To prove it, we rounded up 19 local spots where you can pick your own pumpkin, pick your own apples, watch your cider being pressed, eat a pumpkin donut, an apple donut and a cinnamon sugar donut, then enjoy festive, farm activities. This fall, make a trip to one (or more!) of these family farms and you’ll want to come back every year.

 

 

Alber Orchard & Cider Mill | Manchester

Get directions | Facebook | Apples, cider + pumpkins

Alber Orchard & Cider Mill is located just 30 minutes west of Ann Arbor in Manchester. Over the years, their tractor-drawn hayrides, 7-acre corn maze, you-pick pumpkin patch, kids play area, free straw maze and animal area have become family favorites. While visiting, you can also enjoy tours of the vintage cider press, fresh pressed and specially blended apple cider, and delicious, crisp heirloom and family favorite apples. There is no admission charge to enter Alber Orchard, but there are fees for some activities.

 

Blast Corn Maze | Dexter

Get directions | Facebook | Pumpkins

Blast Corn Maze is a famous seasonal destination in the Ann Arbor area. The huge, 10-acre corn field contains 3.5 miles of corn maze trails with three exits available for a short, medium or long journey. After you successfully traverse the maze, the whole family can pick a pumpkin from the you-pick pumpkin patch, take photos with farm props, test out the corn cannon, drive pedal cars and more.

 

Coleman’s Corn Maze | Saline

Get directions | Facebook | Apples, cider + pumpkins

Coleman's Corn Maze pumpkin patches apple orchards near Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Coleman’s Corn Maze

A trip to this family-owned and operated farm includes three professionally designed corn mazes with five miles of challenging trails, hayrides, some of the best seasonal donuts in the region, a pick-your-own pumpkin patch, you pick apples, a petting barn and more. Though these mazes aren’t haunted, you do have the opportunity to find your way through after dark—just bring a flashlight!

 

DeBuck’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch | Belleville

Get directions | Facebook | Cider + pumpkins

DeBuck's Corn Maze pumpkin patches apple orchards near Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of DeBuck’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch

Open to the public every fall, DeBuck’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch offers more than 15 acres of winding corn maze trails, a 20-acre pick-your-own pumpkin patch, family-oriented fall attractions and hands-on field trips. During your visit, be sure to order up a delectable festival treat from Linda’s Country Kitchen; the menu includes homemade cinnamon sugar donuts, pulled-pork sandwiches, apple cider, nachos and more.   

 

Dexter Cider Mill | Dexter

Get directions | Facebook | Apples + cider

Just 20 minutes northwest of Ann Arbor, Dexter Cider Mill is the oldest continuously operating cider mill in the entire state. Today, the team makes cider the same way it was made 120 years ago: using locally grown, hand picked apples on an oak rack press. Even their equipment is over 100-years-old! In addition to natural cider, fresh apples, doughnuts, apple nut bread, made-from-scratch apple pies, apple strudel, apple turnovers and hand rolled gingersnaps, you can also purchase homemade hard ciders made on-site.

 

Donahee Farms | Plymouth

Get directions | Facebook | Cider + pumpkins

This working farm in Plymouth has more than 80 acres of pumpkins! During the fall, families can also enjoy hay rides, fresh apple cider, seasonal donuts, a hay maze and other activities. And when you’re not visiting during the fall season, you can find their produce, flowers and pumpkins at the Ann Arbor and Northville farmers’ markets.

 

Erwin Orchards | South Lyon

Get directions | Facebook | Apples, cider + pumpkins

pumpkin patches apple orchards near Ann Arbor Michigan

A famously fun destination in South Lyon, Erwin Orchards offers a you-pick raspberry patch, you-pick sweet cherries, a huge you-pick pumpkin patch and you-pick apples with 15 different varieties. Available seasonally, you can also enjoy award-winning, fresh pressed, unpasteurized apple cider or raspberry cider paired with apple spice and pumpkin donuts!

 

Jenny’s Farm Market and Cider Mill | Dexter

Get directions | Facebook | Apples, cider + pumpkins

Jenny’s Farm Stand is a 200-year-old working farm in Dexter. Available year-round, you can shop seasonal produce, Jenny’s Hot ‘n Sweet Pickles, local products, baked goods, pie filling and more. During the fall, the family fun increases with a free straw maze, horse-drawn hay rides through the pumpkin patch, pony rides, hot and fresh pumpkin donuts, fresh apple cider and, more.

 

Lesser Farms and Orchard | Dexter

Get directions | Facebook | Apples, cider + pumpkins

Lesser Farms and Orchard is a family-owned and operated farm. Though you can’t pick your own here, you can find some of the region’s best plums, apples, fresh pressed cider, homemade jams and jellies, beeswax candles, raw, local honey and pumpkins!

 

Lutz Orchard | Saline

Get directions | Apples + pumpkins

Located on 12 acres in Saline, this real, working farm offers fresh picked apples available seasonally, squash and pumpkins. During the fall, you’re invited to pick your own apples and meet the farm animals!

 

Maybury Farm | Northville

Get directions | Facebook | Cider

Maybury Farm pumpkin patches apple orchards near Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Maybury Farm

Situated on 85 acres, this Northville farm has been a landmark in the community for more than 100 years. Here, children and families can experience the joy of animals, agriculture, farmland and forests year-round. During the fall, the farm fun gets festive with the Great Pumpkin Festival—a two-day family festival in October—and the corn maze, a festive adventure that continues through October before the farm closes up to prepare for Santa. Because they partner with Parmenter’s Northville Cider Mill & Winery, you can also enjoy homemade donuts and fresh apple cider during your visit!

 

Obstbaum Orchards | Northville

Get directions | Facebook | Apples + cider

Famous for their cherry juice concentrate, Obstbaum Orchards is a 40-year-old apple orchard and cider mill nestled in Salem on the outskirts of Northville. On autumn weekends, everyone is invited to taste fresh apple cider, seasonal donuts, homemade apple pies, hay rides and more.

 

Parmenter’s Northville Cider Mill & Winery | Northville

Get directions | Facebook | Cider

Parmenter's Cider Mill pumpkin patches apple orchards near Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Parmenter’s Northville Cider Mill & Winery

With no admission fee and free parking, Parmenter’s in Northville is a great fall destination near Ann Arbor because they offer their own treats and they partner with neighboring places like Maybury Farm and Northville Winery and Brewing Co. for even more fun. Located within the historic homes of Cabbagetown, the urban cider mill offers year-round cider and you can watch it being pressed on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. During weekends through September and October, you can also step inside the Nut Hut where they make candied almonds, the Fudge Hut where they make fresh fudge, and the Chow Mill where they serve hot dogs and kielbasa.

 

Plymouth Orchards and Cider Mill | Plymouth

Get directions | Facebook | Apples, cider + pumpkins

Since 1977, Plymouth Orchards and Cider Mill has been the local destination where families can enjoy fresh-pressed, award-winning apple cider, fresh-made donuts, crispy caramel apples, icy apple cider slushies, fresh baked pies and a fun farm experience that includes wagon rides, a children’s animal park, a cider mill garden and October pumpkin picking.

 

The Pumpkin Factory | Belleville

Get directions | Facebook | Pumpkins

Located just 30 minutes from Ann Arbor, The Pumpkin Factory is a family-friendly Halloween farm complete with a corn maze, a pumpkin patch and haunted hayrides through the fall season.

 

Three Cedars Farm | Northville

Get directions | Facebook | Cider + pumpkins

Three Cedars Farm pumpkin patches apple orchards near Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Three Cedars Farm

Beginning Labor Day weekend each year, Three Cedars Farm offers old-fashioned fun for all ages. Farm activities include a you-pick pumpkin patch, a seven-acre corn maze, a barn yard play land with live animals, hay rides, train rides and reservable bonfire sites. Inside the Donut Hut, you can taste fresh, homemade donuts, freshly pasteurized cold apple cider, hot cider, coffee and icy apple cider slushes.

 

Wasem Fruit Farm | Milan

Get directions | Facebook | Apples, cider + pumpkins

During the fall season, Wasem Fruit Farm offers more than a dozen varieties of apples you can pick yourself, you-pick raspberries available in September and early October, you-pick pumpkins in October, and pears! During your fall visit, you’ll get the chance to taste plain, apple, blueberry and pumpkin donuts paired with some of the best, fresh cider in the region!

Just next door, you can venture to Talladay Farms, where you can challenge your family on a trip through one of the Midwest’s largest corn mazes. It covers 27 acres!

 

Wiard’s Orchard & Country Fair | Ypsilanti

Get directions | Facebook | Apples, cider + pumpkins

Wiard's Apple Orchard pumpkin patches apple orchards near Ann Arbor Michigan

Wiard’s Cider Mill and Apple Orchard was founded in Michigan by George Wiard in 1837 and has become one of the region’s most beloved fall destinations. Covering nearly 100 acres and located just minutes from Ann Arbor, attractions include the seasonal Wiard’s Country Fair, an agri-entertainment park that offers orchards, a cider mill, you-pick apples, a corn maze, a you-pick pumpkin patch, an apple cannon, giant inflatables, pony rides, hayrides, a petting farm, miniature golf, a haunted barn, children’s play areas and even more. Step inside the Country Store and Bakery to taste fresh cider, seasonal donuts, fresh baked pies, jams, jellies, honey and apple salsas.

 

Wing Farms | Ann Arbor

Get directions | Facebook | Cider + pumpkins

Founded in 1852 by James Wing, Wing Farms has lasted through more than 150 years and five generations and is still going strong today. Comprised of 205 acres, including the homestead, the family produces primarily corn, soybeans and rye as well as giant pumpkins available to pick every Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the fall season. To get to the pumpkin patch, you’ll hop on a free hayride and you can enjoy fresh apple cider, too!

As an added bonus, Wing Farms raises their own turkeys and every bird is all-natural, non-GMO, antibiotic free and hormone free.

 

Do you have a favorite fall destination?  

Tell us all about them in the comments below!

Read More


9 Guinness World Records Held in Michigan

Guinness World Records Held in Michigan

Home to 11,000 inland lakes and bordering four of the Great Lakes, we think Michigan could claim a couple unofficial records all on its own. And thanks to the residents of our beautiful state, we do have a handful of official Guinness World Records to call our own, too. And we’ve held others throughout the decades which have unfortunately been broken, including the world’s tallest dog and the largest rubber chicken toss.

To celebrate everything from the cool and empowering to the strange and quirky, we rounded up Michigan’s world records as of 2018. Do you think you can break one?

 

Largest attendance at an ice hockey match

It’s no surprise to hear Ann Arbor holds a hockey-related record. On December 11, 2010, The Big Chill at the Big House between the University of Michigan and Michigan State University hosted an audience of 104,173 people. Though that is the official number recorded by Guinness, the stadium estimated 113,411 people inside the stadium for the match.

 

Longest tail on a domestic cat and tallest domestic cat

Both Cygnus and Arcturus passed away in a tragic house fire in 2017 and, therefore, no longer hold their world records. However, their story is one to be celebrated. Farmington Hills residents, Lauren and Will Powers, adopted Cygnus and Arcturus in 2015 and were shocked to find they had two record-breaking pets. Cygnus’ tail measured 17.58 inches and Arcturus, a Savannah cat, stood 19.05 inches tall with a weight of about 30 pounds. Lauren and Will originally applied for the records to raise awareness for the Ferndale Cat Shelter which they still help to run today.

You can learn more about Ferndale Cat Shelter and their Catfé Lounge on the website here.

 

Largest gathering of people dressed as Rosie the Riveter

Guinness World Records Held in Michigan

In Ypsilanti in 2017, 3,755 people gathered at the Eastern Michigan University Convocation Center to beat the record of 2,229 Rosies previously set in Richmond, California. These two gatherings — in Ypsi and in Richmond — have been battling for the record for several years going back and forth nearly every year. When they took the crown in 2017, the Ypsi gathering had 58 original Rosies who worked in factories during WWII.

And the reason this group gathered to set a new record was to support the Yankee Air Museum’s effort to save, preserve and renovate Rosie’s historic World War II-era factory: the Willow Run Bomber Plant. You can learn more about the record and the Bomber Plant here.

 

Largest commercially available hamburger

Though this record is frequently combatted by chefs and culinary teams all over the world, the most recent record breaker was Mallie’s Sports Grill & Bar in Southgate, Michigan in April 2018. Steve Mallie and his team have held the record multiple times and their most recent winner weighed a whopping 164.5 pounds. The Absolutely Ridiculous Burger is available with 24-hours notice for $350 but you can get less expensive 6- and 12-pound hamburgers, too.

 

World’s largest cherry pie pan

Guinness World Records Held in Michigan

For over a decade, Charlevoix, Michigan claimed the record for the world’s largest cherry pie weighing in at 17,420 pounds. But, in 1987, Traverse City — a town also in cherry farm country and just 50 miles from Charlevoix — took the crown with a 28,350-pound cherry pie and a Guinness Book of World Records certification. Though this record was broken in 1992 by the small town of Oliver, British Columbia, the bakers in Oliver failed to keep their pie pan. That makes Traverse City the home of the world’s largest cherry pie pan and you can see both this pan and the Charlevoix pan on display in each city.

 

Youngest professional drummer

Julian Pavone was born on May 14, 2004 in a Detroit suburb and was just 4 years 10 months and 15 days old when he performed in his 20th concert on March 29, 2009. That makes him the youngest professional drummer on the globe! You can learn more about him, his talents, his albums and his inventions on his website.

 

Largest snowball

Guinness World Records Held in Michigan

Rolled by students attending ASME Michigan Technological University in Houghton, the largest snowball in the world measured 10.04 meters in circumference — that’s 32.94 feet! On March 29, 2013, this ice cold ball of snow measured 10.45 feet wide and 9.28 feet tall. Think you can beat it?

 

Longest fingernails on a pair of hands (male) ever

On May 30, 2009, Melvin Boothe had his record-breaking fingernails measured in Troy, Michigan for a combined length of 32 feet and 3.8 inches. Though Melvin passed away in December 2009, he still holds the record for the longest fingernails on a pair of male hands.

 

Do you know a record-breaker?

Tell us about them in the comments below!

Read More


14 Things to Do in Ann Arbor Under $20

things to do in Ann Arbor Michigan budget-friendly under $20 free

The Ann Arbor area is a community packed with activity, opportunity and adventure, from the outdoor vistas in Pinckney Recreation Area to the heart of bustling downtown Ann Arbor. And if you know where to go, many of these activities don’t cost much at all.

It’s always nice to save a few bucks, so next time you’re looking for something fun to do under $20, consult our list that includes free experiences and budget-friendly adventures. Enjoy!

 

Visit the University of Michigan Museum of Art

Free

things to do in Ann Arbor Michigan budget-friendly under $20 free

Photo courtesy of Leisa Thompson via University of Michigan Museum of Art

Admission to UMMA is always free, but if you’re able, a $10 suggested donation is appreciated. Inside, you’ll get to view and learn about more than 20,000 artworks. This collection represents more than 150 years of art collecting and is one of the oldest in the country!

 

Tour Chelsea Milling Company

Free

The home of JIFFY Mix and the industrial heart of Chelsea, Michigan, tours of the Chelsea Milling Company are free and open to the public with a reservation. Your one-hour journey through the factory includes an inside look at the packaging plant, a video presentation, refreshments and a product sample. Yes, that means you get to enjoy a free muffin, too!

 

Learn at Leslie Science & Nature Center

Free

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.

 

Play disc golf at a local park

Free

Disc golf courses near Ann Arbor Michigan

With the exception of buying a frisbee or two, this outing is completely free and can be enjoyed over and over again! Bandemer Park and Mary Beth Doyle in Ann Arbor both offer disc golf courses and Rolling Hills Park in Ypsilanti has an 18-hole course.

For more outdoor options, check out our blog post 8 Things to Do in the Ann Arbor Area for Outdoor Enthusiasts.

 

Explore Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum

Free

Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum are two educational and environmental spaces on the UM campus. The botanical gardens include eleven outdoor areas full of bonsai, native and medicinal plants, perennials and more. And during colder months, you can enjoy the year-round indoor conservatory filled with plants from around the world. The arboretum spans miles of trails and land with impressive collections of both native and exotic trees and shrubs.

Both the gardens and the arboretum are admission-free, but if you decide to drive, you’ll have to pay $1.70 per hour for parking at Matthaei with a $5 daily maximum charge.

 

Skate at Yost Ice Arena

$3+

The University of Michigan ice arena, Yost Ice Arena, offers programs like Public Skate, Noon Skate and Sticks-n-Pucks. All three allow you to skate at one of the most recognized and iconic rinks in college hockey! Public Skate admission is $6 for adults and $4 for students, kids and U-M faculty. For $3 more dollars, you can rent skates, too! And Noon Skate prices are even lower. Get all the pricing details here and be sure to check the arena schedule before you go.

 

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

$6+

things to do in Ann Arbor Michigan budget-friendly under $20 free

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!

General admission is $6 with discounts for seniors and children under 23 months. You can also get bags of animal feed for $2 and ride a tractor for $2!

 

See a movie at Michigan Theater or State Theater

$7+

The Michigan Theater Foundation was founded in 1979 to save the Michigan Theater from the wrecking ball — and we’re so glad it was. Today, this historic theater and the State Theater offer regular showings of indie movies, limited releases, special screenings and more. Matinee tickets are $7 and regular ticket prices start at $8. To see the calendar for both theaters, click here.

 

Opt outside at a nearby recreation area

$9+

Boasting some of the most impressive outdoor recreation areas in the state (like Pinckney and Waterloo just outside of Chelsea), Southeast Michigan is filled with opportunities to explore the great outdoors. Non-residents can purchase a day-use pass at the entrance to the park for just $9. But Michigan residents have the opportunity to purchase the Recreation Passport for just $11 when bought with your annual license plate renewal. This lasts all year long and comes down to just 3 cents a day! For more information on admission, click here.

And, for ideas on what to do once you get to the park, check out our blog post 8 Things to Do in the Ann Arbor Area for Outdoor Enthusiasts.

 

Get hands-on at Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum

$12.50

The Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum specializes in interactive exhibits with the goal of helping both children and adults discover the scientist within. 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.

General admission is just $12.50, members are admitted for free, and admission is just $5 after 5 p.m. on Thursdays!

 

Paddle on Gallup Pond

$12+

Gallup Park Canoe Livery in Ann Arbor’s Gallup Park offers canoe, two-person kayak, one-person kayak, kid kayak, paddle boat, and rowboat rentals plus concessions, merchandise and river-themed programs. Though some of these programs and rentals exceed $20, you can rent a one-person kayak for two hours for just $15, two-person kayaks and canoes for two hours for $20, and a paddle boat for one hour for $12. All of these will allow you to get on the waters of the 2.5-mile Gallup Pond!

 

Paddle on Argo Pond

$15+

Argo Park canoe and kayak date Ann Arbor, Michigan

Up the river from Gallup Park, you’ll find Argo Park and the Argo Canoe Livery which offers similar programs and rentals. Here, you have the opportunity to explore the waters of the two-mile Argo Pond in rented one-person kayak, two-person kayak, canoe or stand up paddleboard. For full pricing details, click here.

 

Laugh at Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase

$14+

Originally opened in 1984, this comedy favorite offers a lineup of up-and-coming stand-up stars as well as nationally touring acts. The 18+ venue has hosted Tim Allen, Drew Carey and Ellen DeGeneres in the past, and has a calendar full of events every single weekend!

Purchasing tickets online in advance is the best price option, offering tickets for just $14. If you purchase tickets at the door, you’ll pay $16. And unlike many comedy venues, there’s no drink minimum at Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase so you won’t need to spend more once you’re inside!

 

Play laser tag at Zap Zone

$8 – 18

Zap Zone is an Ann Arbor destination for play, including laser tag, bumper cars, arcade games and a virtual reality zone. Prices for each activity begin under $20 and three laser tag games costs just $18 per person!

 

Do you have local tips?

Tell us all about your favorite budget-friendly activities in the comments below!

Read More


Your Ultimate Guide to 20 Craft Breweries in the Ann Arbor Area [Interactive Map]

The best craft breweries in Ann Arbor

Since exploding in the 1990s, the Michigan craft beer scene has been enjoying a resurgence in craft, style and sheer number of breweries available. And beer lovers around the entire state have been enjoying it, too!

In Ann Arbor, we celebrate the industry with some of the state’s best breweries, with several hidden gems and with local, neighborhood spots we come back to again and again. To show off our community’s love for drinking local, we rounded up the must-try spots in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Saline, Chelsea and even Milan. Enjoy!

734 Brewing Company | Ypsilanti

15 E Cross St | Facebook

Ypsi born and Ypsi brewed, 734 Brewing Company is a new Depot Town staple. Home to a spectacular patio and even more spectacular beers, it’s a must-visit on every craft beer tour.

 

Arbor Brewing Company | Ann Arbor + Ypsilanti

114 E Washington St, Ann Arbor + 720 Norris St, Ypsilanti | Facebook

When the Greffs opened the doors to Arbor Brewing Company in 1995, it was the first brewpub to open in Ann Arbor and only the fifth brewpub to open in the entire state of Michigan. On a trip to Belgium, the couple was further inspired to innovate and they brought the first sour program of its kind to the state of Michigan. Today, you can stop in the original Ann Arbor brewpub or swing by the Ypsilanti brewery.

 

Biercamp | Ann Arbor

1643 S State St | Facebook

Biercamp Ann Arbor craft breweries

Photo courtesy of Biercamp

Biercamp has been one of Ann Arbor’s unique and best little shops since they opened in 2011. That’s when the meat shop showed us what good, natural meat is all about. Everything is made by hand in small batches using unique ingredients and family recipes. And all the meats come from farms where animals are raised humanely with no antibiotics, hormones, growth promoting drugs or artificial ingredients. The same care and attention is applied to their beer program. In the combination shop, taproom and beer garden, you can taste their small-batch craft beers which are also made in-house and by hand.

 

Bløm Meadworks | Ann Arbor

100 S 4th Ave #110 | Facebook

Blom Meadworks Ann Arbor craft breweries

Photo courtesy of Synecdoche Design via Bløm Meadworks

Bløm (pronounced bloom) is a hyper-local meadery right in the heart of Ann Arbor. Their session meads and ciders are light, dry, carbonated and sessionable. Unlike many other meaderies and cideries, every ingredient is sourced from Michigan and their mead is fermented like a dry craft cider so it’s not as thick or as sweet as other meads you may have tried.

 

Blue Tractor BBQ & Brewery | Ann Arbor

207 E Washington St | Facebook

BBQ and beer is a winning combination that has been tried and tested over the centuries and the Blue Tractor team is just about as knowledgeable as you can get in both categories. On the food menu, you’ll find classic smoked meats and barbecue dishes alongside unique, world-influenced meals. On tap, you’ll find six rotating selections every day, including award-winners which have snagged numerous gold, silver and bronze medals at competitions across the nation.  

 

Chelsea Alehouse Brewery | Chelsea

115 S Main St | Facebook

Originally located in Chelsea’s historic Clocktower Complex, Chelsea Alehouse Brewery opened in 2012 and relocated to downtown Chelsea in 2018. Their new interior features red brick walls and cozy booths, their food menu includes tacos, burgers, mac & cheese and fresh salads, and the beer list focuses on American and English style ales made for every beer drinker.

 

Cultivate Coffee & TapHouse | Ypsilanti

307 N River St | Facebook

This coffee bar and tap house is a Ypsilanti favorite. Built around the mantra, “craft, community and cause,” you’ll find some of the best craft coffee and craft beer, regular community events, and support of worthy causes. They’ve been featured on guides like The 16 Best Outdoor Patios in Ann Arbor and The 16 Best Coffee Shops in the Ann Arbor Area so you know you’re in for a treat.

 

Edelbrau Brewing Company | Ann Arbor

719 W Ellsworth Rd #2 | Facebook

Edelbrau is a term that has been used for hundreds of years to describe high-quality beer and this Ann Arbor team brews bold beers in homage to that tradition. Their beverages are served unfiltered without pasteurization or synthetic additives and each one is produced sustainably in a way that enhances the craft, the community and the industry. Stop in the brewery and taproom to learn what mindful brewing tastes like.

 

Grizzly Peak Brewing Co. | Ann Arbor  

120 W Washington St | Facebook

Grizzly Peak Brewing Co Ann Arbor craft breweries

Photo courtesy of Irene Tomoko Sugiura via Grizzly Peak Brewing Co.

A landmark in downtown Ann Arbor, Grizzly Peak began serving craft beer in August of 1995 from their century-old building with wood floors, tin ceilings and exposed brick walls. The kitchen produces scratch-made pub eats and the brewhouse produces classic beers in a wide range of styles. To see what’s on tap right now, click here.

 

HOMES Brewery | Ann Arbor

2321 Jackson Ave | Facebook

At HOMES, they take the brewery experience to a whole new level because they pair their brews with a food menu full of modern and inventive Korean food. Perfect for sharing, we recommend an order of Kimchi Fries, Pork Belly Bao Buns and maybe even a flavor-packed rice bowl. And, of course, don’t skip a flight of HOMES original brews.

 

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales | Ann Arbor + Dexter

311 S Main St, Ann Arbor + 2319 Bishop Cir E, Dexter | Ann Arbor Facebook + Dexter Facebook

Founded by Ron Jeffries in 2004, Jolly Pumpkin began in Dexter and now operates pubs and tap houses in Dexter, Ann Arbor, Detroit, Traverse City, Royal Oak, Grand Rapids and Chicago. Each location — whether full-service pub or casual hangout — offers its own character, menu and lineup of sour, aged Jolly Pumpkin beers.

 

Original Gravity Brewing Co. | Milan

440 County St | Facebook

Original Gravity is Milan’s original brewery. Though Brad Sancho just opened this microbrewery in 2008, it’s the town’s only craft brewery and serves as the local destination for beer, community and fun. Focused on creating an outstanding taproom experience, their space has old-school arcade games, board games, televisions and delicious deli sandwiches.

 

Pileated Brewing Company | Ann Arbor  

2290 S Industrial Hwy | Facebook

Since their beginning, the brewing team at Pileated Brewing Company has been driven by experimental brewing. As a result, they produce beers inspired by traditional style but which have been innovated through ingredients, additions and more. So when you stop in, don’t expect to find a typical beer but do expect to find a new favorite! Because everything here is hand-stirred, hand-bottled, naturally unfiltered and bottle conditioned.

 

Pointless Brewery & Theatre | Ann Arbor

3014 Packard St | Facebook

If you like your craft beer served with improv comedy, then Pointless Brewery & Theatre is the perfect place to be. And if you’ve never had craft beer served with improv comedy, move this Ann Arbor original to the top of your to-do list. The taproom where you can try beers brewed on-site and enjoy frequent events is open Wednesday through Sunday. To see the theatre and improv show schedule, click here.

 

Salt Springs Brewery | Saline  

117 S Ann Arbor St | Facebook

Salt Springs Brewery Saline, Michigan restaurants

Photo courtesy of Salt Springs Brewery

Named for Saline’s ancient, historic salt springs, this hometown brewery is housed in a beautiful, 116-year-old former church. Undoubtedly one of the most impressive settings in Southeast Michigan, you can enjoy true-to-style ales, wine and cider alongside locally-sourced food with stunning stained glass as the backdrop.

 

Stony Lake Brewing Co. | Saline

447 E Michigan Ave | Facebook

Husband and wife team Jerry and Heidi founded Stony Lake Brewing Company in 2014. Named after their favorite place on earth and inspired by their favorite microbreweries, they offer big beers with an emphasis on American Ales and fresh clean flavors, as well as hard ciders, wines and select sodas.

 

Townies Brewery | Ann Arbor  

2350 W Liberty Rd | Facebook

Located on Ann Arbor’s west side, Townies Brewery opened in 2018 in the old home of Glasshouse Brewing. New owners Dan and Patty Arban have completely reimagined the space and the building with new additions to the decor and to the patio. Swing by for a beer flight and enjoy our city’s newest brewery alongside frequent live music and a community atmosphere.

 

Unity Vibration | Ypsilanti

93 Ecorse Rd | Facebook

Dedicated to health, unity and community, this Ypsi favorite serves up kombucha tea and kombucha beer. Similar to a Lambic fermented in oak-barrels with hops and whole fruits, Unity kombucha beers are gluten-free, vegan, organic, bottle conditioned and raw. So whether you’re craving a belly-friendly tea or a unique craft beer, visit the taproom to try a small-batch and handmade beverage.

 

Wolverine State Brewing Co. | Ann Arbor  

2019 W Stadium Blvd | Facebook

Wolverine Brewing Co Ann Arbor craft breweries

Photo courtesy of Brit Hueter via Wolverine State Brewing Co.

Wolverine State Brewing’s flagship beer, Wolverine Premium Lager, was born out of a desire for an outstanding, approachable beer that was true to Michigan character. Today, this Ann Arbor craft brewery is still operating as the first and only all-lager microbrewery in the state of Michigan. That means, when you stop in, you’ll get the opportunity to explore absolutely everything a lager can do — from the solid, approachable flagship to innovative, ingredient-driven and aged creations.

 

Ypsi Alehouse | Ypsilanti

124 Pearl St #100 | Facebook

Located in the historic Centennial Center Building, Ypsi Alehouse serves a seasonally rotating menu of pub-inspired eats, craft beers brewed to highlight the finest locally sourced ingredients, and ciders and wines made on-site. As the headquarters of Mishigama Craft Brewing, you’re sure to find something to love here.

 

Do you have a favorite?

Do you have a go-to brewery further outside the Ann Arbor area? Or is there one in town that we missed? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Read More

1 of 34