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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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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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Spacious Farm House in Pinckney

Featured Listing

This week we are featuring Jackie Sheller’s listing —7814 Farley Road, Pinckney, MI, 48169

7814 Farley Road, Pinckney, MIQ. Can you describe the architectural style of the home?
Farmhouse with custom renovation and a red barn.

7814 Farley Road - EntryQ. What distinctive features set this home apart?
This family home has something for everyone on huge country parcel in Pinckney. Features include 16 acres, in-ground pool with heated recreation/pool house, children’s play area, 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 3 car garage and 40 X 120’ heated pole barn with bathroom. There is also room for horses or livestock.7814 Farley Road - KitchenQ. What are the advantages of the location & neighborhood?
Home is close to Farley Elementary. Large parcel allows for family recreation, possible future splits (per municipality), a gentleman’s farm and wide open spaces for relaxation.

7814 Farley Road - Master BathQ. Have there been any recent renovations or upgrades?
The home has been completely renovated in the past eight years. It has a newer roof, deck, furnace and bathrooms. Kitchen and bathrooms have beautiful granite countertops.

7814 Farley Road - WalkoutQ. Does the community have any amenities we should know about?
Home is close to the Pinckney Recreation area and the famous Chain of Lakes. Hiking and biking trail head is just down the road.

7814 Farley Road - PoolQ. What amazing views will the new homeowner be able to enjoy?
Green acres abound. Mature trees and landscaping along with some farm fields make this home a comfortable place to be away from the hustle and bustle.

7814 Farley Road - BackyardQ. What makes the price of this home so great?
This family home was renovated in keeping with a farm house style home. There is a beautiful big red barn, and an in-ground pool. There is also land for a quad/snow mobile track farm or garden and a heated pole barn for many hobbies. This property has something for every member of the family.

7814 Farley Road - SceneryQ. Can you tell us a fun fact about the home?
The parcel was a part of the original Farley Farm.

7814 Farley Road - BarnQ. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about the home?
If you are looking for space and a beautiful home look no further than 7814 Farley Rd. in Pinckney. Located just south of Swarthout Rd.

If you would like more information about 7814 Farley Road, Pinckney, MI or if you are interested in scheduling a showing, please contact Jackie Scheller at 734-707-8774.

Are you looking for homes for sale in Pinckney, MI?

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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.

Vote with check for v

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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Happy Fourth of July!

The Charles Reinhart Company, Realtors’ sales offices are closed today in honor of Independence Day.

Fourth of July

We hope you have a truly memorable and Happy Fourth of July!

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Spring is Officially Here

If you’ve been waiting to buy or sell, it’s time to set your real estate plan in motion. With snow melting and the weather improving, the spring market is underway. Activity has been a little slower than  expected this winter due to weather, but that means demand is building and we are expecting a sudden influx of sellers and buyers and a strong remainder of the year.

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Interest rates continue to favorable for buyers. Average prices are  increasing. The housing market is continuing to strengthen, and is expected to continue to do so at a steady pace for the next several years.

For sound advice and help creating your real estate plan, contact us today. 

 

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What’s Ahead: 2014 Real Estate Market

What happened in 2013 with the real estate market? What will happen in 2014? We’ve got the answers.

Increase in Prices and Sales
In 2013, home prices rose faster than they have since the housing boom. Nationwide sales were on pace to reach 435,100 new homes sold in 2013, the most since 2008.  Annual nationwide existing home sales were up with approximately 5.1 million, the highest total in seven years and 10% higher than 2012’s total of almost 4.7 million.

Financial / Banking
Nationwide bank failures dropped again dramatically to just 24 in 2013, down from peak of 157 in 2010. Refinance activity also dropped dramatically as interest rates rose. Delinquencies and foreclosures continued to fall. In addition more than 3 million homeowners returned to positive equity in 2013. Government began easing back on its bond buying and stated that its continuance will be data dependent, which could result in high mortgage rates in 2014.

Washtenaw County Improvements
Average sale prices of $249,294 – up 18% over 2012 and up 37% over the recent low in 2009. The average days on the market was 47, which is down from 69 in 2012. Countywide 43% of homes sold at or above their asking price – up from 33% in 2012.

What’s ahead in 2014?

  • New Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen and Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer are excellent replacements and are likely to be dovish.
  • Tapering continues and is scheduled to end by 01/01/2015
  • Short-term rates remain at zero until 01/010/15 or as long as unemployment is “elevated” and inflation is “low”. Thus, low but rising interest rates with end of year 30-ryear rates at 5% to 5.25%
  • Trillions in household net  worth recovering and now at a new  record level means more income to spend elsewhere
  • Consumer confidence, while historically low, is up
  • No recession is in the card- Leading Economic Indicators for the USA at the highest level since Great Recession
  • Household formation for first-time home buyer in the 25-34 age group is rising
  • Residential housing permits are expected to continue their climb
  • FHA lowered state-wide maximum loan limit to $271,050.

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Embrace the Winter Weather without Getting Frostbite

Winter weather is upon us.  With subzero wind chill and snow in the forecast it is important to prepare both yourself and your home.

Dress for Success
Whether you want to build a snow man, go skiing, or shovel the driveway, wearing appropriate clothing in the winter is important. Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm.  Having good thick socks will make a huge difference. When going outside remember to wear gloves, hats, and scarves to retain body heat.

 

Shovel Your Neighbor’s Driveway
Despite the fun winter activities that come with snow, snow removal can be a nuisance. For those who rent or own a home removing the snow is essential. While there are many methods of snow removal shoveling is still incredibly popular. If you are shoveling it is important be careful. It is physically strenuous work, so it is important to stay hydrated and take breaks when necessary. In addition to your own driveway and sidewalk, consider helping your out of town or elderly neighbors by shoveling their walk also.

Set Aside the Salt
With the cold and slippery roads there has been a lot of talk about salt use on roads and sidewalks. Salt works best when the outside temperature is above 20 degrees Fahrenheit. If it is colder than that, sand is a better option.

When it is the proper temperature be careful about how you distribute your salt. Salt will corrode metal when it gets wet, and can kill grass.  After applying salt thinner ice will melt, but thicker patches should be brushed or shoveled away.

 

Northern Exposure
In the winter exposure to cold can lead to hypothermia or frostbite. Symptoms of frostbite include numbness, flushed gray, white, blue, or yellow skin, discoloration, or waxy feeling skin.

Symptoms of hypothermia, including confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering require immediate medical attention.

Pets and Pipes
Both your pets and pipes need to be kept at an appropriate temperature in the winter. For pets this means bringing them indoors with access to water.

Avoid bursting your pipes by keeping your house the same temperature day and night. We recommend at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Have your kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors open to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Keep the garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage.

 

How are you protecting yourself from the elements this winter?

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The New Year is Here

What will you do this year to increase your business and improve your life? January is the time to re-focus on your business and make the changes needed. Here are a few easy ways to make this your best year ever.

Plan and Track Your Strategy
Spend time every day planning your strategy to keep you on track. Implement a way to measure your goal. This will ensure you are meeting your goals and following through with your plans.


Identify Your Target Market
Choose your comfort zone in the market and be the expert in that area. Finding your niche will help you focus your market plan.

Break Free from Your Comfort Zone
Do one marketing strategy outside your comfort zone. This is the only way you will grow.

Start a New Hobby
Find something that you like and do it. Doing something you enjoy will give you the opportunity to create relationships with new people. New friends are a great way to continue to grow your personal network.

Get Moving
Join a gym, a workout group, or take a class. Spending just a few hours a week on yourself will improve your outlook. You’ll feel better and be more confident, which makes meeting new people easier. You never know where your next customer will come from.

Keep a Positive Outlook
Happy people are much more desirable to do business with. Happiness spread so if you are happy it is more likely your customers and co-workers will be.

Stop Making Excuses
If you don’t make the phone call, you won’t get the business. Don’t let fear stop you from moving forward. You have nothing to lose. Make the call!

Best of luck to all of you for a happy, healthy, and prosperous year.

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Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving!


 

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