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The Top Residential Architecture and Design Firms in the Ann Arbor Area

Ann Arbor Architecture and Design Firms

For decades, Ann Arbor has been defined by its artists, creators and innovators—from the artwork they create to the green practices they put to work and everything in between. Through the work of our residential designers and architects, this passion for aesthetic and creativity can be brought to life inside our most precious spaces: our homes. 

And in this guide, we’re writing about our favorite local designers and artists who are doing just that. Get ready for a healthy dose of home inspiration!

 

Angelini & Associates Architects 

Based in Ann Arbor | Houzz | Facebook 

Ann Arbor Architecture and Design Firms

Photo courtesy of Jeff Garland of Jeff Garland Photography via Angelini & Associates Architects

Established in 1989 by Bradford and Theresa Angelini, Angelini & Associates Architects has been Ann Arbor’s high-quality, innovative and award-winning architecture firm for three decades. Through those decades, the team has produced designs for more than 500 projects, including additions, renovations and new constructions in the Ann Arbor area and throughout Michigan. To view their online portfolio, click here

 

Architectural Resource 

Based in Ann Arbor | Houzz | Facebook 

The team behind Architectural Resource knows how important our living spaces are, and they have since they first came together in 1991. From the beginning, they decided to focus exclusively on residential architecture so they would continuously get the opportunity to work closely and intimately with clients and create those essential spaces. This has resulted in some of the region’s most beautiful homes featuring everything from historic Victorian remodels to brand new, sustainable and modern farmhouses. 

 

Damian Farrell Design Group 

Based in Ann Arbor | Houzz | Facebook 

Ann Arbor Architecture and Design Firms

Photo courtesy of Kate Benjamin Photography via Damian Farrell Design Group

At Damian Farrell Design Group, they have expertise and experience in nearly every field from residential and commercial to niche industries like resorts and healthcare facilities. In the commercial space, they’ve been responsible for bright, modern and innovative Ann Arbor spaces like Baba Dari Mediterranean Grill and Ann Arbor Arms. And this translates to their residential projects, too, which show off their diversity of skills and styles; you can see that portfolio here

 

Hobbs+Black Architects

Based in Ann Arbor | Facebook

The team behind Hobbs+Black believes in showcasing the identity of each individual client, not the identity of their designers. As a result, they don’t have a defined style, but rather use more than 50 years of experience to dabble in every style and create truly one-of-a-kind spaces each client is happy to live, work and play in. And that experience has covered nearly every industry, from the Westgate Branch of Ann Arbor District Library to unique residential projects throughout the region.

 

Lewis Greenspoon Architects

Based in Ann Arbor | Houzz | Facebook 

At LGA, the team specializes in both residential and commercial building types, including single-family and multi-family housing, community and civic buildings as well as professional and medical office spaces. Through these diverse experiences, they’ve created award-winning projects, including their winning design for the Michigan Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Lansing. The team’s residential portfolio also showcases diverse styles in new construction, full remodels, kitchen and bath remodels, and even stylish outdoor living spaces. To view some of these projects online, click here

 

Meadowlark Design + Build 

Based in Ann Arbor | Houzz | Facebook 

Ann Arbor Architecture and Design Firms

Photo courtesy of Sean Carter Photography via Meadowlark Design + Build 

Shown in each of their buildings and mentioned in nearly every review, Meadowlark homes are truly one of a kind and easy to spot for their craft, unique character, innovation and warmth. And that makes sense coming from a team dedicated not only to building our most intimate spaces but also to improving their clients’ lives. The best part is Meadowlark is also one of the nation’s leading green builders, and they hold more LEED Platinum custom home certifications than any other builder in the region! 

 

Meier Group Architects

Based in Ann Arbor and Adrian | Houzz

In 2000, William Meier AIA founded Meier Group Architects with the goal of creating a firm where he and his team could provide excellent architectural design service for a variety of project types. Today, they’ve become one of the best in the region thanks to their beautiful structures that are functional, aesthetic, affective, enduring and efficient all at once. To view their residential portfolio, click here.

 

Molly Bachelor Architect

Based in Ann Arbor | Houzz

Based in the Water Hill neighborhood of Ann Arbor, Molly Bachelor is an Ann Arbor native and a graduate of the University of Michigan. Her services include full-service architectural design, residential energy consulting and interiors, which has allowed her to create high-performance renovations and additions as well as stunning custom homes throughout the area. To preview some of that work online, click here

 

OX Studio

Based in Ann Arbor | Facebook 

When you look through this firm’s online portfolio, you’ll probably recognize some of Ann Arbor’s most beloved spaces, including Black Diesel Coffee and Tomukun Korean BBQ. Rooted in the true integration of architecture, design and game-changing technologies, these spaces—and every other residential and commercial project they touch—are collaborative, innovative, cost-efficient and high-tech. To see that applied to residential projects, view their portfolio here

 

Quinn Evans Architects

Based in Ann Arbor + other locations | Facebook

An authority in preservation and sustainable stewardship, QEA was founded as a two-man studio in 1984. Over the years, it has grown into a thriving, multi-faceted firm with four full-service offices in Washington, DC, Baltimore, Ann Arbor, Detroit, and Richmond, Virginia, as well as a studio in Madison, Wisconsin. Here in Ann Arbor, their specialty in preservation has made them especially noted for work with historic homes.

 

Rochman Design Build

Based in Ann Arbor | Houzz | Facebook 

Ann Arbor Architecture and Design Firms

Photo courtesy of Rochman Design Build

This nationally recognized, award-winning design-build firm, has been delivering innovative remodeling solutions since 1989. Through their specialization in mid to large residential remodeling and home additions, they’ve created truly transformative spaces (and amazing before and after photos!) that reflect each individual client’s lifestyle without sacrificing function or aesthetic. And it helps that this team—including founding partner Gary Rochman—is driven by the relationships developed with each and every client, so the journey is as enjoyable as the finished product. 

 

Studio Z Architecture

Based in Plymouth | Houzz | Facebook 

The team at Studio Z is driven by their commitment to designing and building one-of-a-kind homes that match each client’s personality, lifestyle and functional needs. In addition to a huge catalog of happy clients, they also won awards and national recognition for these builds here in Southeast Michigan and beyond. To view some of those online, check out their portfolio here

 

Synecdoche Design Studio 

Based in Ann Arbor | Facebook 

Ann Arbor Architecture and Design Firms

Photo courtesy of Synecdoche Design Studio

Synecdoche is a small, start-up-style design/make architecture studio and the team uses this to their advantage to create quickly, nimbly and efficiently. This has also resulted in a unique style that can be spotted at places around town like Bløm Meadworks, Thrive Juicery, Spencer and Ann Arbor Pharmacy. In the residential space, you’ll find a similar playfulness and a modern aesthetic that includes individual furniture and designs created right in their studio. Click here to see some of those pieces—from pivot doors to rolling counters and everything in between. 

 

Wright Street Design Group Inc.

Based in Ann Arbor | Houzz 

One of the area’s most recognized firms, Wright Street Design does absolutely everything in the residential design space: new, custom homes, full renovations, additions, kitchen and bath remodels, home theaters, outdoor living spaces, custom furniture, and even green architecture. And they’ve been doing it since Stanley Monroe founded Wright Street Design Group in 1986. To view their online portfolio, click here

 

Do you have a favorite?

Whether they’re on this list or not, tell us about your experience in the comments below!  

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Your Ultimate Guide to Milan, Michigan

Things to do in Milan, Michigan

A growing city of just over 5,000, Milan, Michigan straddles the Washtenaw and Monroe County line, providing its residents with quick access to Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Monroe, Detroit and Toledo, Ohio. While the town was founded in 1831 as an agricultural community, it has grown into a community of small business owners and professionals. And with nearly 200 acres of parkland in the city, recreational opportunities abound!

Whether you’re new to Milan or you’re just visiting for the day, keep reading to learn more about some of the best local restaurants, the most fun activities, the coolest places to go and the biggest annual events.

 

Jump ahead:

The Essential Eateries | Things to Do | Outdoor Recreation | Annual Events

White space 

White space

The Essential Eateries

 

JR’s Hometown Grill and Pub

1000 Dexter St | Facebook

JR’s Hometown Grill and Pub originally opened in 2009 in Adrian and has since grown to include five hometown restaurants. At the Milan location, you can get the same amazing menu, including the team’s famous steaks, ribs and delicious burgers. Also at the Milan location, you can eat breakfast seven days a week!

 

Zilke Farm Kitchen

1115 Dexter St | Facebook

Run by locals Tom and Vicki right here in Milan, Zilke Farm Kitchen branched out from Zilke Vegetable Farm and the team’s summer farmstand. Though this is not a sit-down restaurant, they sell a great selection of healthy, local, tasty ingredients as well as take-home freshly prepared meal kits, ready-to-heat single serving meals, salads and more. And it’s all available in a comfortable store that’s designed to feel like a home kitchen and pantry.

 

Milan Dairy Barn

805 Dexter St | Facebook

Open seasonally, Milan Dairy Barn has been a tradition for generations of Milan families. Though they’re famous for soft serve and hard serve ice cream treats like sundaes, shakes, flurries and banana splits, they also offer a huge menu of hot dogs, hamburgers and cheeseburgers, chili cheese fries and more.

 

Famous Milan Coney Island

1152 Dexter St | Facebook

A staple in the Milan food scene, Milan Coney Island has been owned and operated by the same family since 1999. The welcoming, family atmosphere comes free with their huge breakfast, lunch and dinner menus of American classics, including steaks, corned beef sandwiches, burgers and more.

 

Roy’s BBQ N Burgers

25 Wabash St | Facebook

A beloved local business, the most frequent review you’ll hear about Roy’s is that they have the best burgers in Michigan. In an all-American diner setting, they also serve up BBQ sandwiches, cheese steak hoagies, baby back ribs, hot dogs and the Bubba Burger, which is two half-pound patties stacked on three pieces of Texas toast.

 

Papa G’s BBQ

14177 Plank Rd | Facebook

Open seasonally at DR Trailer, Papa G’s serves some of the best BBQ in the area. Their menu can include things like homemade brisket chili, smoked sausage, ribs and more. To stay up-to-date on their operating hours and menu, follow the team on Facebook here.

 

 

Things to Do

 

Original Gravity Brewing Company

440 County St | Facebook

Things to do in Milan, Michigan

Photo courtesy of Original Gravity Brewing Company

Original Gravity is Milan’s original brewery. Though Brad Sancho just opened this microbrewery in 2008, it’s still 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.

 

Milan Coffee Works

508 County St | Facebook

Featured in The Best Coffee Roasters Around Ann Arbor, Milan Coffee Works has been an area favorite for years. At their headquarters—a charming, bright and welcoming coffee shop in the heart of Milan—they roast coffees in small batches. While you’re hanging out in the cozy, neighborhood cafe, we also recommend tasting the homemade chai! For information on events and pop-ups, follow the team on Facebook here.

 

Milan Dragway

10860 Plank Rd | Facebook

Things to do in Milan, Michigan

Photo courtesy of Milan Dragway

Milan Dragway is a quarter-mile, NHRA-sanctioned drag strip that hosts events throughout the spring, summer and fall. Their race schedule includes Test & Tune events where you can test your car, plus spectator events like Bike Night, Aeroquip Heads Up and Kickin’ It Old School. And kids 12-years-old and younger are always admitted for free! To see the race schedule, click here.

 

The Owl

9 W Main St | Facebook

The Owl is an all-day hangout that offers exclusively organic, shade grown, carbon-free and fair trade coffee. By night, they also offer Michigan’s finest craft beers and ciders for an atmosphere that anyone can enjoy. As a community hangout, The Owl offers weekly events, like beer yoga, trivia night, live music and more. To stay up-to-date on events, follow the team on Facebook here.

 

Adventure, Ink

1 W Main St #2 | Facebook

Things to do in Milan, Michigan

Photo courtesy of Adventure, Ink

This small, locally owned comic, book and gaming store is the headquarters of fun and gaming in Milan. As a neighborhood shop, they’ve built a community where everyone is welcome to play, teach and learn about role-playing games, board games, card games and more. To stay up-to-date on fun events and workshops, follow the team on Facebook here.

 

Northern Chicks

32 E Main St | Facebook

Downtown Milan is one of the best places to shop local in town, and Northern Chicks is a beloved shop located at the heart of Main Street. Their cozy, down-home boutique offers a curated collection of vintage home decor, including old and new, as well as Michigan-made artisan gifts and boutique clothing.

 

Wasem Fruit Farm

6580 Judd Rd | Facebook

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! And during a fall visit, guests 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 also venture to Talladay Farms for a trip through one of the Midwest’s largest corn mazes. It covers 27 acres!

 

 

Outdoor Recreation

 

Wilson Park

Get directions

The headquarters of outdoor recreation, community events and family-friendly fun in Milan, Wilson Park cover 35 acres in Downtown Milan. Here, you’ll find charcoal grills, playground equipment, basketball courts, a sand volleyball court, walking and biking paths, as well as softball and baseball fields.

 

Gump Lake Park

Get directions

This 9-acre park is home to an adult softball league as well as a variety of local youth baseball teams. Located just south of Main Street, the park features two baseball/softball diamonds and is connected to Wilson Park by a paved multi-use path that runs along the scenic Saline River.

 

Draper-Houston Meadows Preserve

Get directions

Located just west of Milan, this preserve protects 113 acres and more than one-half mile of Saline River shoreline. Explorers can enjoy 2.25 miles of trail and high-quality floodplain forest habitat with oak, walnut, butternut, and sycamore trees.

 

 

Annual Events

 

Bloom

May

Things to do in Milan, Michigan

Photo courtesy of Mary Kerkes Photography via Milan Main Street

Organized by Milan Main Street, Bloom is an annual celebration of spring complete with free activities for the entire family, like field day games, scavenger hunts, a flower mart, an artisan market, a bike parade, live music and more.

 

Milan Fair

May  

The annual Milan Fair is a favorite regional event for good reason! Each year, highlights include a carnival, a parade, an artisan market, fireworks, kids’ activities, and an entertainment tent with things like karaoke and live music. For information on this year’s event, click here.

 

3rd Thursdays

June – October

Things to do in Milan, Michigan

Photo courtesy of Lori Nemeth Photography via Milan Main Street

On the third Thursday of each month from June through October in downtown Milan, 3rd Thursdays turns the neighborhood into a free, family-friendly festival. Attractions include local food and beer, live music, activities for both kids and adults, and shopping with vendors offering handmade, handcrafted and homegrown goods.

 

Route 23 Arts & Music Festival

August

An annual event hosted by Milan Main Street, Route 23 Arts & Music Festival is a three-day celebration complete with live music, street performers, plays, a street art fair, food trucks, a craft beer festival and a beer garden. For information on this year’s event, click here.

 

Pop On Main Street

November

In celebration of Small Business Saturday, Pop On Main Street brings together the Milan small business community for a full day of special deals and promotions, pop-up markets, food trucks, artisans and vendors. For information on this year’s event, click here.

 

Let’s Chill Winter Fest

February

Centered around Milan’s downtown shopping area, Wilson Park and Edgetown, this annual event is one of our favorite winter happenings in Southeast Michigan. Activities include a chili cook-off, the Let’s Chill Winter Fest Wine Walk, indoor and outdoor winter games, ice carving, an artisan tent, local food, The Big Freeze and more. For full details on the next event, check out the website here.

 

 

What do you love about Milan?

If we missed your favorite local business, attraction or event, tell us about it in the comments below!

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The Best Coffee Roasters Around Ann Arbor

coffee roasters in Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Michigan

If you’re not from Ann Arbor, you may be wondering how our hometown consistently lands on coffee rankings with famous coffee cities like Portland, San Francisco and Berkeley. In Apartment Guide’s 2019 ranking, The 10 Best Cities for Coffee Lovers in America, they measured the number of coffee businesses per resident, from the coffee shops to the roasteries themselves. And Ann Arbor ranks on the list with much larger cities all over the country.

If you’ve spent any time in Ann Arbor, you’ve probably sampled some of those roasteries and shops yourself. So we’re guessing you get it. Our city loves coffee.

Today, we’re rounding up the roasters that have put our region on the map. They’re roasting in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Milan, and many are selling online, too, so you can get your favorite coffees delivered right to your door.

 

Coffee Express Roasting Company

Based in Plymouth | Facebook  

Coffee Express was one of the first businesses outside of New York and San Francisco to focus on craft coffee. In 1982, founder Tom Isaia and his team started what is now an impressive roast-to-order system. They select the most distinctive Arabica coffees from around the world, then roast them fresh and distribute to food markets, specialty shops and coffee houses throughout the region. You can’t order online, but keep an eye out for Coffee Express while you’re shopping at your favorite grocery stores! 

 

Cross Street Coffee

Based in Ypsilanti | Facebook

Cross Street Coffee coffee roasters in Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Michigan

Photo courtesy of Cross Street Coffee

In early 2017, Ypsilanti’s Ugly Mug Coffee changed its name to Cross Street Coffee and upgraded their building, but they’re still roasting and serving the coffee we’ve come to love. Inside the full-service shop and roastery, you can get those coffees brewed fresh and you can purchase bags of beans to take home. Each one is filled with freshly roasted coffee made in small batches.

 

Cultivate Coffee & Tap House

Based in Ypsilanti | Facebook | Shop online

Coffee Roasters in Ypsilanti Michigan

Photo courtesy of Cultivate Coffee & Tap House

This coffee bar and tap house is a favorite in Ypsilanti for coffee, craft beer and community events. Built around the mantra, “craft, community and cause,” their motto matches their atmosphere. And their team is committed to investment in causes they believe in! Since 2015, they’ve volunteered thousands of hours, donated hundreds of pounds of produce and given more than $100,000 to local organizations. Stop in at Cultivate to meet the team and taste coffees roasted by their thoughtful and creative roaster, Jess Harmon.

 

Hyperion Coffee Co.

Based in Ypsilanti | Facebook | Shop online

Hyperion Coffee Co coffee roasters in Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Michigan

Photo courtesy of Dakota Smith via Hyperion Coffee Co.

Hyperion Coffee can be found freshly brewed in many of our favorite coffee shops in Ann Arbor and around the state, but they’re headquartered right here in Ypsi. When you visit the shop and roastery, you can taste this craft coffee right where it was roasted, and you’ll have the opportunity to learn everything from espresso extraction to cupping. Check out the educational Hyperion Labs here.

 

Mighty Good Coffee

Based in Ann Arbor | Facebook | Shop online

Every Mighty Good coffee starts with beans from select farms, mills and co-ops. Then, the beans are roasted in small batches and packaged to preserve freshness. Whether you’re picking up a bag from the grocery store or stopping in at the coffee shops downtown, near campus, in Arbor Hills or inside The Jefferson Market, you’re guaranteed a fresh cup of coffee that is both sustainable and empowering (for you and for the community!). Check out the team’s philosophy, mission and story here.

 

Milan Coffee Works

Based in Milan | Facebook | Shop online

Milan Coffee Works has been an area favorite for years and is still considered one of the best local roasters in the region. At their headquarters—a charming, bright and welcoming coffee shop in Milan—they roast coffees in small batches from light roast to dark roast and everything in between. While you’re there, we also recommend tasting their homemade chai!

 

RoosRoast Coffee

Based in Ann Arbor | Facebook | Shop online

RoosRoast coffee roasters in Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Michigan

Photo courtesy of RoosRoast Coffee

RoosRoast is hands down one of the best coffee roasters in Michigan and word of this has reached as far as Portland, San Francisco and Manhattan. With their Loring Smart Roaster, they use 80% less energy than similar roasters and still create outstanding coffees (have you tasted Lobster Butter Love?) that have led to titles including the best coffee shop in Washtenaw County, the number one coffee shop in Southeast Michigan and more.

 

Stovetop Roasters

Based in Ann Arbor | Facebook | Shop online

Stovetop coffee roasters in Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Michigan

Photo courtesy of Stovetop Roasters

From the charming doodles that adorn both their bags and their shops to their award-winning (and locally famous) baristas, you can always tell just how much love goes into the coffee and the atmosphere at Stovetop Roasters. Theirs is a team of friendly locals who don’t take themselves too seriously. And that results in some outstanding coffee. You can taste it for yourself in the Stovetop Coffee Roasters Lab & Roastery in Ann Arbor, or swing by Stovetop Coffee Roasters Cafe in Grand Rapids.

 

Zingerman’s Coffee Company

Based in Ann Arbor | Facebook | Shop online

Zingerman’s Coffee Co. is a wholesale roaster supplying cafes, restaurants and businesses all over the region, but they also offer their own coffees at the Zingerman’s Coffee Bar at Zingerman’s Southside Producers row. Located alongside Zingerman’s Creamery, Zingerman’s Bakehouse and Zingerman’s Candy Factory, you can get all the best in one convenient spot. And if you’re not in town, you can still shop Zingerman’s Coffee Company online through Zingerman’s Mail Order.

 

Need more coffee?  

Check out The 16 Best Coffee Shops in the Ann Arbor Area to track down your new favorite.

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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!

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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!

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The 15 Essential Ann Arbor Area Events to Attend August 2018

Ann Arbor Michigan events summer August 2018

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

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

 

 

Arts + Culture

Ann Arbor Michigan events summer August 2018

 

Milan Bluegrass Festival | Milan

August 1 – 4 | KC Campground

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

 

Sonic Lunch | Ann Arbor

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

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

 

Ton-Up | Ypsilanti

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

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

 

Paint Dexter Plein Air Festival | Dexter

August 13 – 18 | Monument Park

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

 

Ann Arbor Blues Festival | Ann Arbor

August 17 – 18 | Washtenaw Farm Council Fairgrounds

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

 

DIYpsi | Ypsilanti

August 18 – 19 | Arbor Brewing Company Microbrewery

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

 

 

Community Celebrations

Ann Arbor Michigan events summer August 2018

 

Ann Arbor Pride | Ann Arbor

August 3 – 5 | Kerrytown  

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

 

Dexter Daze | Dexter

August 10 – 11 | Various locations

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

 

Saline’s Summerfest | Saline

August 10 – 11 | Various locations

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

 

Chelsea Community Fair | Chelsea

August 21 – 25 | Chelsea Community Fairgrounds

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

 

YpsiFest | Ypsilanti

August 24 – 26 | Riverside Park

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

 

Thunder Over Michigan Air Show | Ypsilanti

August 25 – 26 | Willow Run Airport

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

 

Saline Community Fair | Saline

August 29 – September 3 | Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds

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

 

 

Sports

Ann Arbor Michigan events summer August 2018

 

Ann Arbor Triathlon | Ann Arbor

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

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

 

Run Manchester | Manchester

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

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

 

 

Happy August!

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

Swimming beaches and lake near Ann Arbor Michigan

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

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

 

Independence Lake Park | Whitmore Lake

Distance from Ann Arbor: 12 miles | Get directions

Swimming beaches and lake near Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission

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

 

Rolling Hills Park | Ypsilanti

Distance from Ann Arbor: 14 miles | Get directions

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

 

Van Buren Park | Belleville

Distance from Ann Arbor: 16 miles | Get directions

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

 

Pinckney State Recreation Area | Pinckney

Distance from Ann Arbor: 20 miles | Get directions

Swimming beaches and lake near Ann Arbor Michigan

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

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

 

Brighton Recreation Area | Howell

Distance from Ann Arbor: 19 miles | Get directions

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

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

 

Waterloo Recreation Area | Chelsea

Distance from Ann Arbor: 22 miles | Get directions

Swimming beaches and lake near Ann Arbor Michigan

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

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

 

Island Lake Recreation Area | Brighton

Distance from Ann Arbor: 22 miles | Get directions

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

 

Kensington Metropark | Milford

Distance from Ann Arbor: 25 miles | Get directions

Swimming beaches and lake near Ann Arbor Michigan

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

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

 

Highland Recreation Area | White Lake

Distance from Ann Arbor: 37 miles | Get directions

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

 

Seven Lakes State Park | Holly

Distance from Ann Arbor: 43 miles | Get directions

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

 

South Beach Park | South Haven

Distance from Ann Arbor: 140 miles | Get directions

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

 

Grand Haven State Park | Grand Haven

Distance from Ann Arbor: 165 miles | Get directions

Swimming beaches and lake near Ann Arbor Michigan

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

 

Just keep swimming!  

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

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Jumpin’ July Events

July in Ann Arbor is more than just fireworks. People near and far flock to the area for the amazing fairs, food, festivals and fun.


Sonic LunchJune – August

Bank of Ann Arbor’s Sonic Lunch is a free outdoor concert series. Every Thursday from noon to 1:30 pm June 1 to August 31, Sonic Lunch features a live band at the corner of Liberty and Division in downtown Ann Arbor. Each week a different area restaurant is on-site selling a Sonic Lunch for concert-goers to purchase.

The concerts are free and suitable for all ages. Some seating is available but lawn chairs are welcome. This is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a revitalizing mid-day break. As a result, Sonic Lunch has become one of the coolest summer events in Ann Arbor. For the full artist line-up visit www.soniclunch.com


Summer Concert Series June 16 – August 25

Spend the evening enjoying music in downtown Dexter’s Monument Park each Friday throughout the summer.


Camaro Superfest June 30 – July 2

Camaro Superfest 2017 will be held at last year’s show site – Riverside Park in Depot Town – Ypsilanti, Michigan, which is located only 1.5 miles from the Marriott at Eagle Crest. They will still have food vendors and lots of room for trucks and trailers.  Bring your chairs and blankets and relax at this year’s event.


Manchester Fireworks July 3

Watch fireworks with family and friends at Carr Park on Monday, July 3, 2017. The beer tent opens at 8 p.m. with live music from local bands at 9 p.m. Fireworks start at dark, usually around 10:15 p.m.


Ann Arbor 4th of July ParadeJuly 4

The 28th Annual Ann Arbor Fourth of July Parade will be held on Tuesday, July 4 at 10 am. The parade, featuring floats, music groups, and walking groups, will travel through downtown Ann Arbor. Children 12 and under are invited to be a part of the Bike Decorating Contest between 8 – 9 am and then ride their decorated bikes in the parade. Leading the parade will be this year’s parade Grand Marshal, long-time LGBT pioneer, icon and advocate extraordinaire, Jim Toy.


Ypsilanti Independence Day ParadeJuly 4

The 88th Annual Ypsilanti Independence Parade” will be held in Depot Town on Tuesday, July 4th, 2017 at 11 a.m. The parade begins on the corner of Oakwood and Cross Streets and ends at Rice Street in Ypsilanti’s Historic Depot Town. There are over 50 participants in this year’s parade including veterans, marching bands, Elvisfest, local businesses, church groups, live bands, and classic cars.


Ann Arbor Farmers Market Food Truck RallyJuly 5

Get outside for dinner this summer. Ann Arbor Farmers Market Food Truck Rallies take place on the first Wednesday evening of each month, beginning in May. Trucks, carts and other local vendors will be on site from 5-8 pm. Bring a chair, a friend, and get ready for some tasty eats and live music.


Michigan ElvisFest July 7 – July 8

Named “One of the best music festivals in the Mid-west” by Chicago Tribune, the Michigan ElvisFest returns July 7-8. This two day concert has spectacular performances by the best professional Elvis Tribute Artists in North America, as well as other amazing tribute entertainers, including: Tom Jones, The Blues Brothers, and James Brown. Don’t miss your chance to pay homage to the king of rock and roll in Ypsilanti’s beautiful Riverside Park.


Huron River DayJuly 9

Come celebrate the wonderful Huron River at Gallup Park. Fun festival activities include $5 canoe/kayak rentals, children’s activities, live animal programs, river exhibits, live music, food, fishing, stand-up paddle boarding and much more. Ride your bike and receive a coupon for a free boat rental.


Manchester Community Fair July 7 – July 15

There’s nothing like the Manchester Community Fair to help kick-off the summer. This year’s 73rd annual fair includes a carnival with rides, animals and exhibits, a rodeo, tractor pulls and nightly entertainment. It’s fun for the whole family.


2017 Rolling Sculpture Car ShowJuly 14

Bill Crispin Chevrolet and the Main Street Area Association present the 23rd Annual Rolling Sculpture Car Show on July 14 from 2-10 pm. Taking place in the heart of downtown Ann Arbor, the Rolling Sculpture Car Show is a one of kind experience for the car enthusiast. All cars are welcome to exhibit at the Show.

The event itself is free and open to the public. Spectators enjoy the energy of more than 300 exotic, antique, classic, and one of a kind cars on Main, Liberty, and Washington streets in downtown Ann Arbor. Plenty of public parking is available in all structures and surface lots.


Saline Celtic Festival July 13 – July 15

The Saline Celtic Festival is famous for its rich blend of Celtic music and dance. There’s plenty to see and do at the festival, including jousting, Irish Football, ancient athletics and sheepherding. This is the place to go for a fun-filled day of crafts, ducky river races, story-telling and more. Celtic Festival festivities kick off on Thursday, July 13th at Saline’s downtown Summer Music Series, where you can get a sneak peek of the music and events the festival has to offer. Gates open at Millpond Park in Saline on Friday, July 14 at 5:30 pm and Saturday, July 15 at 10 am.


Ann Arbor Art Fair July 13 – July 15

The Ann Arbor Art Fair is a collective of four award-winning art fairs that takes place every July in downtown Ann Arbor, Michigan. The event attracts over 500,000 visitors annually. In addition to art exhibits, the fair also features music performances and Art Activity Zones, which are family-oriented stops offering special projects designed to engage and challenge even the youngest of fairgoers. Ann Arbor’s downtown restaurants and retailers add to the festivities by tempting sidewalk sales and outdoor dining.


Townie Street PartyTownie Street PartyJuly 20

The Townie Street Party, now in its 13th year, is a kick-off to Art Fair week in Ann Arbor. It will be held Thursday, July 17, from 5:00 pm until 9:30 pm at North University and Ingalls Mall in Downtown Ann Arbor. The Townie Party celebrates all things local and is our way of thanking Ann Arbor residents for so graciously hosting the Ann Arbor Art Fair each year. The Townie Party offers a fun-filled evening for the whole family where visitors can enjoy terrific music by some of the area’s most well-known bands; grab a bite of Townie grub; enjoy a brew at the Townie Pub; or take a stroll through the Kids’ Art Fair, which showcases the work of young Washtenaw County artists in grades 4 – 12.


Manchester Chicken BroilJuly 20

The annual Manchester Chicken Broil will be held Thursday, July 20, 2017, from 4:00 pm until 8:00 pm at the Alumni Memorial Field in beautiful Manchester, Michigan, just 15 miles southwest of Ann Arbor. This long-time civic event is considered the largest of its kind, serving approximately 10,000 meals in a four-hour period. Net proceeds are used to benefit a variety of causes in the Manchester area, including the public schools, community parks, library and local civic organizations.


2017 Summer Beer Festival July 21 – July 22

The 20th Annual Summer Beer Festival will host more than 100 Michigan breweries sampling around 1,000 different craft beers. Food will be available for purchase inside the festival, and guests will enjoy live music from a variety of Michigan bands. The oldest of the Michigan Brewers Guild’s four annual festivals, the Summer Beer Festival takes place rain or shine in the lovely outdoor setting of Ypsilanti’s Riverside Park in historic Depot Town.


Chelsea Sounds and Sights FestivalJuly 27 – July 29

Sounds & Sights Festival, presented by Golling Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Chelsea, is an annual summer weekend event in historic Chelsea, Michigan. The event started over three decades ago and is a highlight of summer that draws visitors from all over the state and beyond.

The two-day, three-night festival features live music and social tent, indie art market, kids’ entertainment and activities, a classic car show, and much more. Each year features exciting changes and annual favorites that keep people coming back again and again. All performances and activities are held in downtown Chelsea, Michigan.


Milan Summer Fest July 28 – July 29

Milan Summer Fest is an annual community-wide event that celebrates summer with tons of family-oriented fun. Events include live music, a beer garden, food and much more.


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Fireworks, Festivals, and Fun in the Ann Arbor Area

July is known for freedom, food and fireworks. Whether you are visiting the Ann Arbor area to celebrate Independence Day or a townie enjoying the Ann Arbor Art Fairs there are loads of thrilling events and mainstay attractions throughout Washtenaw County this July.


Camaro SuperFest

Camaro SuperFest
June 30 – July 3

Camaro SuperFest is the longest running annual all Camaro event in the USA. It is held at Riverside Park in Depot Town Ypsilanti, Michigan. The event is open to ALL Camaros, from stock to highly modified, trailered or driven.


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Summer Concert Series
July 1, July 8, July 15, July 22 & July 29

Dexter’s Summer Concert Series runs on Fridays throughout July and August. Spend the evening enjoying music in the park each weekend throughout the Summer. Concerts begin at 6:30pm.

July 1:    The Invasion – British Invasion
July 8:    All Directions – Motown / R & B
July 15:  S – Monster – Funk / Dance
July 22:  Randy Brock – Blues / Rock
July 29:  Flying Latini Bros. – Americana / Blues

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Ann Arbor Civic Band Concerts
July 1, July 8, July 15 & July 22

The Ann Arbor Civic Band, founded in 1935 as an extension of the University of Michigan’s School of Music, is in its 81st year of providing residents of Ann Arbor with a wonderful musical experience over the summer. All performances are held at the West Park Band Shell in West Park, on 7th Steet in Ann Arbor, beginning at 8pm. Admission is free and the park is big – bring a friend or two.

July 1:    Fourth of July Celebration
July 8:    Children’s Concert
July 15:  Great Composers of Broadway
July 22:  At the Movies

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Saline’s Wayne Clements Independence Day Event
July 2

Join us in celebrating our 2nd Annual Independence Day event. When the first train arrived in Saline on July 4, 1870, it was a big day with a great celebration. Tour the Depot exhibits and caboose, walk through the antique tractor display, take a ride on a one horse buggy or a vintage velocipede on the tracks, participate in an archeological dig and enjoy kids’ games and an inflatable bouncy house. Saturday, July 2 from 11am to 3pm


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Manchester 4th of July Fireworks
July 3

Watch the fireworks with family and friends at Carr Park on Sunday July 3, 2016. The beer tent opens at 8pm with live music from local bands, including Star 69, at 9pm. Fireworks start at dark, usually around 10:15pm.


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AFC Ann Arbor
July 3, July 8, July 10, July 15 & July 19

AFC Ann Arbor was founded in 2014 to bring minor league soccer to Ann Arbor and the surrounding community. The club is be made up of amateur players from the area and recruited from top college programs across the state and the country. The season runs through late July. See the schedule of remaining games below. Home matches are bolded.

July 3:     Detroit City FC @ AFC Ann Arbor – 1:00pm
July 8:      AFC Ann Arbor @ Grand Rapids FC – 7:45pm
July 10:    AFC Ann Arbor @ Kalamazoo FC – 6:05pm
July 15:  Columbus Crew CP @ AFC Ann Arbor – 7:00pm
July 19:  San Marino AFC Ann Arbor – 7:00pm

Ypsilanti 4th of July Parade

Ypsilanti Independence Day Parade
July 4

The 87th Annual Ypsilanti Independence Day Parade, presented by the American Legion – Post 282, with assistance by the Ypsilanti Area Jaycees. The parade will be held in Depot Town on Monday, July 4th at 11am. The parade will include veterans, marching bands, ElvisFest, local businesses, church groups, live bands and classic cars.


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Firecracker 5K and Kids’ Dash
July 4

America turns 240 this Independence Day. Commemorate this monumental occasion by running in downtown Ann Arbor on Monday, July 4 for the 2016 Firecracker 5K and Kids’ Dash! Help paint the town red, white, and blue and exercise your right to the pursuit of happiness by pursuing better health, fitness and fun. Run or walk the 5K course as it winds through the heart of Tree Town USA, then stick around for the 26th Annual Ann Arbor Jaycees Fourth of July Parade.


4th of July Parade

26th Annual Ann Arbor Fourth of July Parade
July 4

If parades suit your tastes, have no fear. The Ann Arbor Fourth of July Parade is back July 4th at 10am. Themed as “We the People”, it begins on the corner of South State and East William. The parade, featuring floats, music groups and walking groups, will travel through downtown Ann Arbor. Children 12 and under are invited to be a part of the Bike Decorating Contest between 8am and 9am and then ride their decorated bikes in the parade.


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Washtenaw Community Concert Band
July 7 & July 28

The Washtenaw Community Concert Band (WCCB) provides a welcoming environment where musicians of varying skill levels can develop, broaden and express their musical abilities through rehearsal and performance. WCCB strives to provide its members, its concert audiences and the communities it serves with quality musical experiences that inspire a greater appreciation for concert band music.

July 7:   Something For Everyone – WCC Morris Lawrence Atrium – 7:30pm
July 28:  Hollywood Blockbusters – WCC Towsley Auditorium – 7:30pm

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2016 Rolling Sculpture Car Show
July 8

Bill Crispin Chevrolet and the Main Street Area Association present the 22nd Annual Rolling Sculpture Car Show on July 8 from 2-10pm. Taking place in the heart of downtown Ann Arbor, the Rolling Sculpture Car Show is a one of kind experience for the car enthusiast. All cars are welcome to exhibit at the Show. Show cars enter on Washington at Fifth. The event itself is free and open to the public. Spectators enjoy the energy of more than 300 exotic, antique, classic, and one-of-a-kind cars on Main, Liberty and Washington streets in downtown Ann Arbor. Plenty of public parking is available in all structures and surface lots.


Michigan ElvisFest 2016
July 8 & 9

Named “One of the best music festivals in the Mid-west” by Chicago Tribune the Michigan ElvisFest returns July 8-9. This two day concert has spectacular performances by the best professional Elvis Tribute Artists in North America, as well as other amazing tribute entertainers, including: Tom Jones, The Blues Brothers, and James Brown. Don’t miss your chance to pay homage to the king of rock and roll in Ypsilanti’s beautiful Riverside Park.


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Saline Celtic Festival 2016
July 8 – July 9

The Saline Celtic Festival is famous for its rich blend of Celtic music and dance. We have something for everyone! There’s plenty to see and do at the Festival, including jousting, Irish Football, ancient athletics and sheepherding. This is the place to go for a fun-filled day of crafts, ducky river races, story-telling and more.


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Disney’s The Little Mermaid performed by Dexter Community Players
July 8, July 9, July 10, July 15, July 16 & July 17

Dexter Community Players is a non-profit, community based theater group that strives to present an authentic theater experience to actors, productions staff, members, and audiences. This July they will be performing Disney’s The Little Mermaid in Dexter at the Copeland Auditorium.

   July 8 at 7:30pm
   July 9 at 7:30pm
   July 10 at 3:00pm
   July 15 at 7:30pm
   July 16 at 7:30pm
   July 17 at 3:00pm

Rowing in the Huron River

Huron River Day
July 10

Enjoy the beautiful Huron River with free family-friendly river activities during the Huron River Day celebration at Gallup Park, 3000 Fuller Road in Ann Arbor, on Sunday, July 10, noon-4pm. Come out and experience everything the Huron River has to offer!


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Arbor Brewing Company’s 21st Birthday
July 15

Flash back to 1995: gas was $1.09, ER was the #1 show, the Frappuccino was released, match.com revolutionized dating, and we were all living in Coolio’s Gangster’s Paradise. But best of all, ABC opened their doors, just in time for the 36th annual Art Fair. Fast Forward to 2016 and we are taking the training wheels off and officially turning 21! The festival will feature two bars pouring pub classics and fan favorites brews along with a special release Party Like it’s 1995, Prince wheat wine and a signature 21st birthday cocktail. There will also be some games, great street food and live music from Halcyon Sound and Dragon Wagon. Come join in the fun July 15 starting at 5pm.


Dart for Art

Dart for Art
July 18

The Dart for Art – Ann Arbor Mile kicks off the 2016 Townie Street Party, which supports the Ann Arbor Street Fair. The Art Fair draws hundreds of artists and thousands of visitors from all across America to Ann Arbor each July. The Dart for Art is an all-inclusive 1-mile race, with divisions for elite athletes, local runners, families, kids, and anyone who wishes to enjoy a 1-mile run, jog or stroll in downtown Ann Arbor. To celebrate the terrific team spirit in our community, the race also includes a corporate challenge to see who has the fastest company in Michigan.


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Ann Arbor Art Fairs
July 21 – 24

The Ann Arbor Art Fair is a collective of four award-winning art fairs that take place every July in downtown Ann Arbor, Michigan. The event attracts over 500,000 visitors annually. In addition to art exhibits, the fair also features music performances and Art Activity Zones, which are family-oriented stops offering special projects designed to engage and challenge even the youngest of fairgoers. Ann Arbor’s downtown restaurants and retailers add to the festivities by tempting sidewalk sales and outdoor dining.


Chicken Broil

Manchester Chicken Broil
July 21

The annual Manchester Chicken Broil will be held Thursday, July 21, 2016 from 4:00pm until 8:00pm at the Alumni Memorial Field in beautiful Manchester, Michigan, just 15 miles southwest of Ann Arbor. This long-time civic event is considered the largest event of its kind, serving approximately 10,000 meals in a four-hour period. Net proceeds from this event are used to benefit a variety of causes in the Manchester area, including the public schools, community parks, library and local civic organizations.


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Michigan Summer Beer FestivalJuly 22 – July 23

Soak up some sun and suds at the Michigan Summer Beer Festival on Friday, July 22 and Saturday, July 23. This event is the oldest of the Guild’s four annual festivals. Located along the banks of the Huron River in picturesque Riverside Park, this festival will feature more than 100 different Michigan breweries and 900+ beers! A variety of tasty food items are available for purchase from independent food vendors inside the festival accompanied by a diverse selection of live music from local bands.


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International Champions Cup
July 30

Ann Arbor will be the host city for an International Champions Cup game between England’s Chelsea FC and Spain’s Real Madrid. Real Madrid features international soccer talents Christiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez and Sergio Ramos. Chelsea’s roster includes Diego Costa, Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas, Pedro and Oscar.


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Turtle Run
July 30

Run along the Huron River and Geddes Pond with scenic walkways that traverse small islands with bucolic pedestrian bridges. Proceeds promote efforts to protect the threatened and endangered turtles throughout Michigan, such as the Eastern box turtle, the Spotted turtle, Blanding’s turtle, and the Wood turtle.

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Vote Today in Michigan’s Statewide Primary

Today, voters across Michigan will decide who will go to the general election in November. Today’s primary offers both Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti voters have the chance to decide between different mayoral candidates. In Washtenaw, there are also two countywide judge races, a congressional race, and a statewide ballot proposal to consider.

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Haven’t been able to decide who to vote for? Visit www.vote411.org for information about candidates and proposal on your ballot. Vote411 is prepared by the League of Women Voters, which is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that never supports or opposes any candidates. Polls are open until 8pm.

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