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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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8 Things to Do in the Ann Arbor Area for Outdoor Enthusiasts

Disc golf courses near Ann Arbor Michigan

Home to 159 parks and located at the heart of an impressive lineup of state recreation areas and open spaces, Ann Arbor offers countless opportunities to opt outside. From hiking and fishing in town to boating through the Chain of Lakes and even kayaking down the Huron River, there are a variety of new hobbies available to every A2 local and visitor.

We rounded up our top eight activities to kick off your outdoor adventures. Mostly suited for warm weather, these are great ways to take advantage of our outdoor spaces this summer!

 

 

Hiking

Hiking trails near Ann Arbor Michigan

Wonderful nature walks and hikes can be found in every Ann Arbor area park, nature area, recreation area and open space. Just within Ann Arbor itself, you’ll find trails through Nichols Arboretum, Bluffs Nature Area, Dolph Nature Area and Bird Hills Nature Area, the largest park in Ann Arbor. And minutes from town, Pinckney Recreation Area and Waterloo Recreation Area offer a combined 31,500 acres of wilderness to explore!

 

Bird Hills Trail

Inside Ann Arbor’s largest and most forested park, the Bird Hill Trail is a serene getaway within the city limits. It traverses a quick, hilly route with plenty of magnificent views!

 

Bog Trail

Located just outside of Chelsea, Waterloo Recreation Area’s Bog Trail is a 1.5-mile trail that leads to a floating bog in Cedar Lake.

 

Waterloo-Pinckney Trail

The 36-mile Waterloo-Pinckney Trail travels from Big Portage Lake in Waterloo Recreation Area to Green Lake and into Pinckney Recreation Area.

 

 

Biking

Mountain biking trails near Ann Arbor Michigan

Whether you’re looking for road biking or mountain biking, you can find the perfect trail in and around Ann Arbor. In addition to road and dirt routes through our communities, the surrounding parks and open spaces offer countless multi-use trails suitable for rugged bicycle adventures.

 

Huron River Drive

Amongst local bikers, the classic road bike choice is the 24-mile route along Huron River Drive from Ann Arbor to Dexter and back.

 

Island Lake Recreation Area

Mountain bikers can opt for the Island Lake Recreation Area bike loops which, together, cover about 15 miles. You can travel the East Loop around the Huron River, the nine-mile West Loop, or both!

 

DTE Energy Foundation Trail

Located in Waterloo Recreation Area, the DTE Energy Foundation Trail is already an extensive trail system and is still being developed for even more mileage. As of June 2018, mountain bikers can enjoy the 4-mile Green Lake Loop and the 4.5-mile Big Kame Loop.

 

 

Kayaking

Kayaking near Ann Arbor Michigan

Ann Arbor and its surrounding communities have developed along the banks of the Huron River and amidst countless lakes and ponds suitable for paddle sports. So, whether you want a challenging route down the river or a peaceful float atop a lake, you’ll find the perfect setting right here.

 

Argo Park

Argo Park is home to the Argo Canoe Livery where you can rent kayaks and tubes, buy concessions and participate in river-themed programs. From here, you can enjoy a relaxing, 3.7-mile paddle down the Huron River to Gallup Park, a trip that typically takes 1.5 hours.

 

Gallup Park  

Another Ann Arbor park, Gallup also has its own livery — Gallup Park Canoe Livery — where you can rent materials, learn about the river and embark on river trips. Leaving from here, your trip will begin with a van ride upriver to Barton Park then continue on the water through Argo Pond, down the Argo Cascades, and back to Gallup Park. The trip is 5.7 miles and takes about 2.5 hours.

 

Waterloo Recreation Area

Inside Waterloo, paddlers will find 11 inland lakes open to kayaks, canoes and rowboats of all kinds.

 

 

Boating

Boating lakes rivers near Ann Arbor Michigan

In Michigan, you’re never more than six miles from a lake or river. And thanks to our impressive system of lakes connected by the Huron River, boating is a popular summer sport amongst the locals of Washtenaw County.

 

The Portage Lake Chain of Lakes

By far the most popular boating route in the Ann Arbor area, the Chain of Lakes is located in Washtenaw and Livingston Counties and is comprised of seven lakes connected by the Huron River. The trip begins at Little Portage Lake and Big Portage Lake in Waterloo Recreation Area, travels through Base Line Lake, Whitewood Lakes, Gallagher Lakes and Strawberry Lake, then ends at Zukey Lake in Hamburg Township.

 

Seven Lakes State Park  

About an hour north of Ann Arbor, Seven Lakes State Park offers 230 acres of water for swimmers, paddlers, fishermen and, of course, boaters!

 

 

Swimming

Swimming beaches and lake near Ann Arbor Michigan

The Great Lakes State contains more than 11,000 inland lakes with plenty of shoreline for swimmers. Some of these beachside waters even boast man-made water parks! 

 

Independence Lake Park

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. Just off the beach, you can also enjoy water-themed fun at Blue Heron Bay Spray Park.

 

Island Lake Recreation Area

You’ll find two beaches available for swimming in Island Lake Recreation Area. There’s one at Kent Lake and one at Spring Mill Pond, a spring fed pond that offers more than 100 feet of sandy beach!

 

Rolling Hills Park  

Anyone looking for swimming adventures and water-themed fun near Ypsilanti can enjoy a splash in the waves, a float on the lazy river, or a ride down the slides of the Water Park.

 

 

Fishing

Fishing lakes rivers near Ann Arbor Michigan

With a license, fishing is available in many of our area lakes and recreation areas. For those just starting out, we’ve rounded up a few of the region’s great options.

 

Argo Park  

The Huron River offers fishing opportunities up and down its banks. At Argo Park, you can fish for carp along the embankment that forms part of the Argo Dam. Just a ten-minute walk from Downtown Ann Arbor, this is the closest fishing to the heart of town!

 

Lillie Park

Lillie Park in Pittsfield Township offers shore fishing in multiple locations on Haven Lake.

 

Lake Erie

Second best to deep sea fishing, Lake Erie offers boat angling opportunities to catch walleye, crappie, bluegill and more.

 

 

Disc Golf

Disc golf courses near Ann Arbor Michigan

Played much like regular golf, disc golf is played with a frisbee instead of a ball. Many Ann Arbor area parks offer courses complete with metal baskets to use as landmarks.

 

Rolling Hills Park

The same Ypsilanti park that offers swimming and a water park offers an 18-hole disc golf course!

 

Bandemer Park

One of two disc golf courses in Ann Arbor city parks, the course at Bandemer Park winds through a wooded area along the Huron River. It is a nine-hole course, and each hole has three tee pads.

 

Waterloo Recreation Area

The disc golf course at Waterloo Recreation Area is an 18-hole course at the Portage Lake Unit.

 

 

Horseback Riding

Equestrain horse back riding trails near Ann Arbor Michigan

In Ann Arbor area parks, horseback riding trails are nearly as prominent as mountain biking trails!

 

Pinckney Recreation Area

Across more than 11,000 acres of open space, Pinckney Recreation Area offers 13 miles of equestrian trails, a staging area and a stable

 

Waterloo Recreation Area

Waterloo Recreation Area offers 18 miles of horseback riding trails accessible from a staging area off Loveland Road. And, Horse ‘N Around Stables inside the park offers horse rentals, boarding, lessons and more.

 

Brighton Recreation Area

Home to a full-service riding stable and an equine experience suited for all riding levels, Brighton Recreation Area offers 19 miles of trails, a riding stable, rustic equestrian camping and a staging area. For more information on rentals and programs, check out Brighton Recreation Riding Stable.

 

 

How do you #OptOutside?  

If you have a favorite park or activity in the Ann Arbor area, let us know in the comments below!

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13 Unique Wedding Venues in the Ann Arbor Area

Unique unconventional best wedding venues in Ann Arbor Michigan

Ann Arbor is characterized by its individuality, its history and its quirky character. Lucky for all our area couples, that translates into more than a few jaw-dropping wedding venues. We looked into some of the most popular options and chose the ones that stood out to us as the most beautiful and the most unconventional.

Check out our top choices, peruse a few stunning photos from local photographers, and start planning your dream wedding today. Enjoy!

 

University of Michigan | Ann Arbor

Get directions | Venue info

Michigan League wedding Abby Rose Photography

Photos courtesy of Abby Rose Photo

Located right on the University of Michigan campus, the Michigan League and the Michigan Union are available for event rentals. Both venues are perfect locations for ceremonies and receptions as they each offer various spaces for seated events, dinners, dancing and more. Good luck choosing which one to rent for your wedding! Personally, we can’t get enough of the League’s ballroom and courtyard garden.

 

The Rust Belt Market | Ferndale

Get directions | Venue info

The Rust Belt wedding Erin Hannum Photography

Photo courtesy of Erin Hannum Photography

The Rust Belt Market is a marketplace, venue and bar in downtown Ferndale. The dreamy event space is chic and rustic thanks to a chevron wood wall, wooden archway and twinkling string lights. And you’ll also have the opportunity to rent the Revel Bar, a 1000-square-foot, full-service bar adjacent to main room.

 

 

University of Michigan Museum of Art | Ann Arbor

Get directions | Venue info

UMMA University of Michigan Museum of Art wedding Abby Rose Photography

Photo courtesy of Abby Rose Photo

UMMA hosts nearly 20 weddings a year in their 93,000-square-foot facility located at the center of the University of Michigan campus. For larger events, we love the elegance of the Apse which boasts marble floors, a 40-foot skylight and works of art from the UMMA permanent collection. Additionally, galleries may be open for your event for a private viewing experience!

 

 

Frutig Farms: Misty Farm | Ann Arbor

Get directions | Venue info

Frutig Farms Misty Farms wedding Meg Darket Photography

Photo courtesy of Meg Darket Photography

At Misty Farm, a part of Frutig Farms, you can have the backyard barn wedding of your dreams without sacrificing your own backyard or buying a barn. Located just six miles from downtown on sixteen beautiful acres, you’ll find an outdoor ceremony area, space for a tent and a historic, restored barn with room for a band, dancing and eating.

 

 

Kerrytown Concert House | Ann Arbor

Get directions | Venue info

Kerrytown Concert House wedding Ester Cobe Photography

Photos courtesy of Ester Cobe Photography

A popular venue for Ann Arbor wedding ceremonies, Kerrytown Concert House is a unique venue set in a restored Victorian house in the historic Kerrytown area of downtown Ann Arbor. That puts it within walking distance of other Downtown reception venues! The space has a capacity of just over 100 guests and the elegant Steinway model C piano and professional sound system are also available.

 

 

Sunset Cove Bed & Breakfast | Pinckney

Get directions | Venue info

Sunset Cove Bed and Breakfast wedding Abby Rose Photography

Photo courtesy of Abby Rose Photo

For intimate weddings, Sunset Cove is the perfect garden setting. With a maximum capacity of 100 guests, you’ll have a lake view to one side and a stunning lodge on the other. Some of our favorite photos from Sunset Cove weddings are taken during an outdoor, tented reception which allows for more guests and more garden views!

 

The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation | Dearborn

Get directions | Venue info

The Henry Ford Museum wedding Jillian Bowes Photography

Photo courtesy of Jillian Bowes

The Henry Ford offers three different event and wedding venues, but by far, the most unique is the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation. The venue has four different areas available including the historic theater and a classic garden courtyard. Inside, an event in the Museum Plaza will be set amongst highlights of the museum’s collection including a jaw-dropping airplane!

 

Matthaei Botanical Gardens | Ann Arbor

Get directions | Venue info

Matthaei Botanical Gardens wedding Nicole Haley Photography

Photo courtesy of Nicole Haley Photography

As one of the region’s most iconic gardens, Matthaei Botanical Gardens is a gorgeous natural setting for any event. Both outdoors and indoors, there are seven distinct options which include the lush, tropical setting of the Conservatory. Possibly our favorite space, the indoor, greenhouse-style space can hold up to 100 guests for an intimate occasion any time of year.

 

Ann Arbor Art Center | Ann Arbor

Get directions | Venue info

Ann Arbor Art Center Wedding Chelsea Brown Photography

Photo courtesy of Chelsea Brown Photography

Located in the historic Walker Building in the heart of downtown Ann Arbor, this beloved museum offers spaces for both intimate gatherings and mid-size celebrations. On the second floor, you’ll find the 117 Gallery which features eight art exhibitions annually, exposed brick walls, wood floors and high ceilings. In summary, it’s stunning!

 

 

Michigan Theater | Ann Arbor

Get directions | Venue info

Michigan Theater wedding Chelsea Brown Photography

Photo courtesy of Chelsea Brown Photography

You may know the Michigan Theater as an Ann Arbor landmark for film screenings, concerts and other live performances, but did you know you can rent the space for your wedding? Whether it’s set in the historic main auditorium, the screening room or the new 60-seat Annex Cinema, a wedding here will transform your big day into a jaw-dropping production.

 

 

Vinology | Ann Arbor

Get directions | Venue info

Vinology Ann Arbor Michigan wedding Jennifer Boris Photography

Photos courtesy of Jennifer Boris Photography

Vinology Wine Bar and Restaurant is always a cozy dining option in Downtown Ann Arbor, but it gets even better when it’s decked out for your wedding! There are three event rooms total and all three can be rented together to accommodate up to 100 guests. Perfectly suited for an intimate ceremony, dinner, reception and dance floor, we love this A2 option!

 

 

The Inn at St. John’s Atrium | Plymouth

Get directions | Venue info

Inn at St. John's wedding Allie and Co. Photography

Photo courtesy of Allie & Co. Photography

The Inn at St. John’s offers three distinct event spaces, but for the most unconventional and memorable occasions, we recommend the Atrium. Set beneath a towering sky-light ceiling, the decor is a perfect blend of rustic and industrial with plenty of natural light.

 

 

Café Cortina | Farmington Hills

Get directions | Venue info

Cafe Cortina Wedding Amber Marie Photography

Photo courtesy of Amber Marie Photography

This Italian countryside setting is ideal for intimate, outdoor and indoor events. Amidst the warmth of the courtyard fireplace and surrounded by gardens, you and up to 185 guests can dance in the outdoor space or relax inside in front of another fireplace and a cozy interior.

 

 

Where did you get married?

If you fell in love with your Ann Arbor wedding venue, give it a shout-out in the comments below!

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The 16 Best Coffee Shops in the Ann Arbor Area [Interactive Map]

Ann Arbor Plymouth Michigan coffee shops roasters

Coffee fuels our spirit almost as much as supporting other local businesses does. And as a hip, college town (and the best place to live in the whole country, according to Livability) it’s only natural that Ann Arbor and its surrounding communities have plenty of amazing coffee shops brewing some of the best caffeinated beverages in town.

Sip like a local and try one of these top Ann Arbor area coffee shops for yourself. You can also use our interactive map to find a coffee shop conveniently located near you!

 

 

Literati Coffee | Ann Arbor

204 S 4th Ave | Facebook

Literati Coffee Ann Arbor Plymouth Michigan coffee shops roasters

Photo courtesy of Literati BookstoreLiterati Coffee and Michael Gustafson

In 2011, 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. Literati Coffee is the full-service espresso and coffee bar located above the bookstore. There, you can grab a mug, grab a book, and enjoy events, book clubs, author readings and other community-oriented gatherings.

 

Roos Roast | Ann Arbor

Three locations | Facebook

Deeply local Roos Roast is the coffee headquarters for freshly roasted beans in Ann Arbor. At their charming locale in Rosewood, they roast all their coffees in house and offer a lively and cozy vibe. The new downtown location is everything we want in a local coffee shop, but you can also find them year-round at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market! They’ve been voted the best in Washtenaw Country and the best in Southeast Michigan, so we suggesting stopping by to experience Roos for yourself.

 

The Common Cup | Ann Arbor

1511 Washtenaw Ave | Facebook

The Common Cup Ann Arbor Plymouth Michigan coffee shops roasters

Photo courtesy of The Common Cup

The Common Cup is a gathering place for students, community members and visitors alike. As a true A2 café, they source dairy products from Michigan’s own Guernsey Farms, tea from Ann Arbor’s TeaHaus, and coffee beans from Ypsilanti’s Hyperion Coffee Co. (also on our list!). In addition to designing a warm, cozy space for local art and great coffee, The Common Cup is a non-profit coffeehouse run through University Lutheran Chapel.

 

Zingerman’s Coffee Company | Ann Arbor

3723 Plaza Dr | Facebook

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.

 

Mighty Good Coffee | Ann Arbor

Four locations | Facebook

Every Mighty Good coffee beverage starts with beans from select farms, mills and co-ops. Then they’re 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.

 

Comet Coffee | Ann Arbor

16 Nickels Arcade | Facebook

Comet Coffee Ann Arbor Michigan coffee shops roasters

Photo courtesy of Comet Coffee and Joseph Saborío

Located inside Ann Arbor’s historic Nickels Arcade, Comet Coffee has been serving delicious beverages since 2009. Amidst the bright, covered shopping district, you can settle down with a mug in a shop that is welcoming, fun and cozy shop — a true hallmark of the arcade and the city!

 

Electric Eye Cafe | Ann Arbor

811 N Main St | Facebook

The team at Electric Eye Cafe turned one of Ann Arbor’s cutest Kerrytown houses into an actual coffee house. Stop in for a cup of your favorite caffeinated beverage, a locally sourced snack, goods and apparel sold through local businesses, and an entire library of free books to read while you’re there. To showcase various flavors and styles, Electric Eye rotates between small roasters on a monthly basis so you may find new coffees each time you stop by!

 

Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea | Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti + Canton  

Six Michigan locations | Facebook

Sweetwaters is well-known throughout Michigan and Ohio (and even as far as Walnut Creek, California!), but the humble coffeehouse began right here in Ann Arbor. Alumni of the University of Michigan, Wei and Lisa Bee founded the first Sweetwaters in 1993 in Downtown A2. Now you can grab a globally-inspired beverage or snack Downtown, in Kerrytown, on the UM campus, at Westgate Library, in Canton and in Ypsi.

 

Black Diesel Coffee | Ann Arbor

1423 E Stadium Blvd | Facebook

Black Diesel Coffee Ann Arbor Plymouth Michigan coffee shops roasters

Photo courtesy of Black Diesel Coffee

Black Diesel is a picturesque little cafe that brews coffees worthy of your Instagram feed. Sourcing single origin beans from right down the street and across the state, you’ll soon find your new favorite espresso beverage or pour over coffee — all offered alongside snacks, paninis, gelato, cookies and more!

 

Cultivate | Ypsilanti

307 N River St | Facebook

This coffee bar and tap house is an Ypsi favorite. Built around the mantra, “craft, community and cause,” you’ll find the best craft coffee and beer, regular community events, and support of worthy causes. The space itself is bright, open and ready to become your second Ypsilanti living room.

 

Hyperion Coffee Co. | Ypsilanti

306 N River St | Facebook

The source of many of our favorite coffee shops in Ann Arbor and around the state, Hyperion is an outstanding roaster right here in Ypsi. Featured in Phaidon’s Where to Drink Coffee as one of the best of the midwest, we definitely recommend stepping through that giant green door and into your new coffee paradise.

 

Cross Street Coffee | Ypsilanti

317 W Cross St | Facebook

Cross Street Coffee Ann Arbor Plymouth Michigan coffee shops roasters

Photo courtesy of Cross Street Coffee

In early 2017, Ypsilanti’s beloved Ugly Mug Coffee changed its name to Cross Street Coffee and upgraded the interior — but they’re still serving some of the region’s favorite caffeinated bevvies. The business has been family-owned and operated for over a decade, but the building itself has a long history. The historic building once housed one of the first gas stations in the county, then a Greyhound, and then a coffee shop. It’s worth a stop if you love coffee, local art and friendly faces!

 

Plymouth Coffee Bean Co. | Plymouth

884 Penniman Ave | Facebook

The Plymouth Coffee Bean is the longest running independent coffee shop in the entire state of Michigan. With a focus on coffee, music, art and poetry, it has served as the community’s second home and headquarters for community art since 1993. And you can get professionally-prepared crépes at the beloved Crépe Counter!

 

Espresso Elevado | Plymouth

606 S Main St | Facebook

Inside what is quite possibly the most charming building in Plymouth, you’ll find this roaster and coffee bar full of experts in beans, flavor and latte art. The team’s mission is to craft and share coffee in a way that elevates the entire experience, so it makes sense that you’ll find one of the region’s best right here.

 

The Peaberry Bean & Beats | Whitmore Lake

152 Barker Rd | Facebook

The Peaberry Bean and Beats Ann Arbor Plymouth Michigan coffee shops roasters

Photo courtesy of The Peaberry Bean & Beats

Where do homemade foods, craft coffees, music, book signings and poetry slams come together? The Peaberry Bean & Beats, of course! By day this café is the perfect place to work, study or catch up with friends. During evenings and weekends, it’s the community’s favorite spot for local musicians, artists, comics and poets to show off their talents.

 

Carrigan Cafe | Saline

101 S Ann Arbor St | Facebook

At Saline’s Carrigan Cafe, it’s all about local. The beans are sourced from Coffee Express in Plymouth and the treats are sourced from places like Ed’s Bread, Guernsey Dairy and Rumi’s Passion Bakery. Stop by to say hello to Tobin the teddy bear, warm up with a mug of coffee, and you’ll soon learn why this is a neighborhood favorite!

 

Share your favorites

Let us know which local coffee shops you love in the comments below!

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The 13 Best Sports Bars in the Ann Arbor Area

Best Sports Bars in Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Plymouth Michigan

The Super Bowl is right around the corner, but here in Ann Arbor, we’re always looking for an opportunity to cheer on our favorite team — whether it’s our favorite NFL team or the Wolverines in our own backyard. To make sure you’re prepared for both (and for every other sporting event under the sun), we rounded up the area’s best sports bars.

But it’s not all about who has the biggest TV (although that is an important factor!). These local spots offer the region’s best bar food, the best game day atmospheres as well as the brews and the cocktails that stand out from the crowd. And, of course, each one has a few flat screens, TVs and projectors thrown in for good measure. Go Blue!

 

1. Haymaker Public House | Ann Arbor

203 E Washington St | Facebook

Haymaker Public House Ann Arbor Sports Bars

Photo courtesy of Haymaker Public House

Located in Downtown Ann Arbor, Haymaker is a favorite sports bar amongst locals, students, visitors and people around the whole state of Michigan. Offering board games, trivia, handcrafted beverages, 24 different draft beers and classic comfort food (including Brisket & Waffle Poutine!), there’s something for everyone whether you’re watching the game or playing Scrabble.

 

2. Fraser’s Pub | Ann Arbor

2045 Packard St | Facebook

Fraser's Pub Ann Arbor Sports Bars

Photo courtesy of Fraser’s Pub

Jimmy and Red Fraser first opened this neighborhood bar in 1962 and it’s been the A2 go-to ever since. The taps feature multiple Michigan beers, the menu includes all the bar favorites cooked up with style, and the TVs fill the whole place so you’ll never miss the action. Be sure to wear your blue and maize or you may feel left out. Go Blue!

 

3. The Brown Jug | Ann Arbor

1204 S University Ave | Facebook

The Brown Jug has been a University of Michigan tradition since it opened its doors in 1936. Named after the Michigan vs. Minnesota football trophy, the oldest in college football, you’ll never find a place more passionate for the Wolverines or more ready to watch the game.

 

4. Good Time Charley’s | Ann Arbor

1140 S University Ave | Facebook

Good Time Charley's Ann Arbor Sports Bars

Photo courtesy of Good Time Charley’s and Bruno Postigo

Good Time Charley’s opened its doors in 1979, the first U of M student walked in, and the rest was history. It’s located right across the street from the university and offers a parking structure, making it one of the easiest places to get to before the game starts. We recommend ordering a plate of Pepperoni Styx, hand-twisted breadsticks stuffed with mozzarella and pepperoni and topped with garlic and parmesan. Then get ready to cheer on your favorite team!

 

5. The Session Room | Ann Arbor

3685 Jackson Rd | Facebook

A beer garden, 70 taps and live music make this a favorite hang out any time of year. But during football season, you’ll find the impressive lineup of TVs tuned to national teams and the Wolverines depending on which day you stop by. Next time you’re in Ann Arbor’s Westside, come for the game and stay for the craft burgers.

 

6. The Pretzel Bell | Ann Arbor

226 S Main St | Facebook

The Pretzel Bell Michigan Ann Arbor Sports Bars

Photo courtesy of The Pretzel Bell

After The Pretzel Bell opened in 1934, it became the campus watering hole for more than 50 years, feeding and hydrating students, townies and visitors alike. After a brief closing, the doors reopened as one of A2’s warmest and coziest spots — complete with gourmet pub food, craft beer and cocktails, and dozens of TVs tuned into your favorite team.

 

7. HopCat | Ann Arbor

311 Maynard St | Facebook

HopCat began back in 2008 in Grand Rapids and later opened the Ann Arbor location which has now been serving beer, food and fun for three years. Through those years, they’ve been offering 100 craft beers on tap in a semi-psychedelic setting that perfectly fits the atmosphere of A2. In fact, the atmosphere, the beer and the food menu have landed them countless awards as the best beer bar in the country and in the world.

 

8. Wolverine State Brewing Co. | Ann Arbor

2019 W Stadium Blvd | Facebook

You might say Wolverine State Brewing Co. has a little Wolverine pride. They also make some of the best beer in town, offer a huge menu of comfort food and outstanding in-house smoked meats, and they have multiple flat screens around the taproom so you can catch every minute of the game.  

 

9. The Wurst Bar | Ypsilanti

705 W Cross St | Facebook

The Wurst Bar is one of the best bars in Ypsilanti. Their enormous lineup of local, national and imported beers is offered alongside artisan pub food selections like Pulled Pork Eggrolls, Bavarian Pretzels, Lobster Rolls and creative burgers — and they have whole menu sections dedicated to tots and to bratwursts! One of our favorites is the Wild Game Cudighi Wurst which is made with rotating game meat, pork, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg and wine.

 

10. Arbor Brewing Company | Ann Arbor + Ypsilanti

114 E Washington St + 720 Norris St | Facebook

Whether you’re at the ABC Brewpub in Ann Arbor or the ABC Microbrewery in Ypsilanti, you’ll find handcrafted beer, bar games, outstanding food and projector screens to watch the big game in style. The Ann Arbor Brewpub operates as a full restaurant and offers a few more televisions, while the Ypsilanti spot offers bar service and a cozy atmosphere.  

 

11. Scorekeepers | Ann Arbor

310 Maynard St | Facebook

With more than 30 beers on tap, 17 flat screens, and a food lineup of bratwursts, nachos, sliders, burgers and waffle fries — say no more! Scorekeepers has been around for decades and has always been a go-to game day spot, for obvious reasons.

 

12. Oscar’s Sports Bar and Grill | Saline

6877 S State Rd D | Facebook

Oscar’s is a place for locals and for sports fanatics to come together in one of the area’s friendliest and coziest bars. The food is prepared fresh, the hi-def TVs are always on, and the staff is ready to welcome you as a regular!

 

13. Ironwood Grill | Plymouth

840 W Ann Arbor Trail | Facebook

The game is always on at Ironwood Grill, whether you’re cheering on the Wolverines, the Lions, the Pistons, your favorite Nascar racer — you name it! Inside a bright, welcoming setting you’ll find an entire wall of TVs above the bar, with others scattered throughout the dining area, artisan pub food and smokehouse entrées that are slow smoked up to 14 hours with apple, cherry and hickory wood.

 

Where are you going on game day?  

In the Facebook comments, let us know where you go on game day, even if it’s not on our list!

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