7 Things to Experience at the Ann Arbor Art Fair

Spanning four exhilarating days, from Thursday, July 21 to Sunday, July 24, The Ann Arbor Art Fair is an art lover’s destination filled with original works of art, street performances, culinary treats and a variety of shops featuring sidewalk sales. Art enthusiasts by the hundreds of thousands will turn out to enhance or start their own collection — discovering a vibrant downtown full of world-class restaurants and eclectic shops.

Here are 7 things for you to experience while visiting the area during The Ann Arbor Art Fair:

1. The Art. Pure and Simple.

The Ann Arbor Art Fair features more than 1,000 competitively juried artists from all over the world, exhibiting incredible creative talents for others to appreciate and purchase. Throughout 30 city blocks, you’ll discover countless styles and materials including: painting, drawing, glass, sculpture, mixed media, jewelry, fiber and furniture.

There are many beautiful things to be discovered at the Ann Arbor Art Fair

Photo Courtesy of Visit Ann Arbor

2. The Food. Ann Arbor is a Food Town.

There are many reasons why Ann Arbor is known as one of the best food towns in the United States. Around the downtown and close to campus you will find more than 300 unique restaurants to choose from while exploring 30 blocks of the fair.

Zingerman's is as iconic as any restaurant in Ann Arbor

Photo Courtesy of Visit Ann Arbor

3. The Art Fair, After Hours.

New this year is that The Ann Arbor Art Fair will run through Sunday, so the fun continues after fair hours on Saturday. VisitAnnArbor.org invites you to stay after the fair closes on Saturday, July 23 and discover your Ann Arbor. Several local businesses will have drink and meal specials and there will be lots of music and entertainment to choose from. 

4. The Beer & Cocktails.

The Ann Arbor area is not only known for its exceptional foodie offerings, it’s a haven for wine lovers, craft beer aficionados and those who appreciate handcrafted spirits. Stick around after fair hours to appreciate the artistry of our local mixologists and brewers.

Ann Arbor has established itself as a food and beer mecca in Michigan

Photo Courtesy of Visit Ann Arbor

5. The Outdoors. 

Ann Arbor is also known as “Tree Town” for its numerous parks and verdant landscapes. In addition to enjoying the open-air Ann Arbor Art Fair, explore the urban oasis that surrounds it with a kayaking or canoe trip along the Huron River, a stroll through Nichols Arboretum, or star counting in the Big 400.

6. The Shops.

The Ann Arbor Art Fair is one of Michigan’s finest summer traditions, with infinite treasures at artist booths. You’ll also uncover great finds in Ann Arbor’s shops. From trendy boutiques to specialty bookstores — take home something from an artist and a local shop owner.

There's so much shopping to discover when visiting Ann Arbor

Photo Courtesy of Visit Ann Arbor

7. The City Itself.

Don’t just take our word for it! Ann Arbor took the #1 spot on the “Best College Cities and Towns in America” list; Esquire recently named Ann Arbor as a “U.S. Town Most Worthy of a Day Trip;” and Livability ranks Ann Arbor #8 on its “Top 100 Best Places to Live” list. Come check it out for yourself!

For more information, visit TheAnnArborArtFair.com or on Twitter @AnnArborArtFair. Start planning your trip today at VisitAnnArbor.org.

5 Michigan Sunrise to Sunset Golf Itineraries

Summer is officially here and more daylight hours means more time to enjoy golf in Michigan.

Michigan is consistently named among the best golf destinations in the country and the long summer days make Michigan perfect for teeing off to a sunrise, finding incredible twilight pricing and ending your day as the sun sets over the landscape.  Read more on five sunrise to sunset Michigan golf itineraries to take advantage of this summer:

Crystal Mountain is beautiful no matter the time of day

Photo Courtesy of Janina Parrott Jacobs

1. Southwest Michigan

Southwest Michigan, on the shores of Lake Michigan, is home to several courses that attract golfers of all skill levels.  The Benton Harbor/St. Joseph area offers courses where you can spend a sunrise to sunset golf day.

Sunrise

Start your morning with the views at Harbor Shores in Benton Harbor.  This Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course offers diverse terrain and a beautiful setting – three holes have Lake Michigan views, 11 holes border Paw Paw River, Ox Creek and its wetlands and four holes wind through rolling hills, ravines and a hardwood forest.

Afternoon

Over at Berrien Hills Golf Club, also in Benton Harbor, holes 6, 16, and 17 are adjacent to the scenic, tree-lined St. Joseph River. When you reach Berrien’s “19th hole,” it’s time to relax in the clubhouse with your favorite beverage and something delicious to snack on at Ray’s on the Green while appreciating your picturesque vantage point overlooking the course and river.

Berrien Hills is a beautiful rolling course

Photo Courtesy of the Southwest Michigan Tourist Council

Sunset

Lake Michigan Hills is always rated at the top of the Southwest Michigan public golf courses, and when  you can end your day enjoying a beautiful sunset, it’s a day well spent.

Lake Michigan Hills is one of many pristine Michigan courses

Photo Courtesy of Lake Michigan Hills

2. Northern Michigan

America’s Summer Golf Capital

Home to America’s Summer Golf Capital, this region has lured the world’s finest golf architects in search of the perfect setting to create 29 championship golf courses.

America’s Summer Golf Capital offers eight tours that are already assembled, so you can enjoy your golf vacation without the tedious planning.  For a premier sunrise-to-sunset experience, try the ‘Northern Gems’ and ‘Prestige & Awe’ tours.

Northern Gems

Start at Crystal Mountain at sunrise, choosing from the Mountain Ridge course, with fairways winding through stately forests and ascending to high elevations, or Betsie Valley, a course that will challenge the ability of any golfer with its protected greens, tree lined fairways and challenging bunkers.

Spend your afternoon at one of three courses at Grand Traverse Resort:  The Bear, ranked the 18th toughest course in America according to Golf Digest; The Wolverine, Gary Player’s first signature course in Michigan; or Spruce Run, the resort’s original course that is both fun and challenging to play.

End your day taking in the scenic views and incredible sunsets over Grand Traverse Bay at LochenHeath -  a private course that offer limited outside play. LochenHeath is a Scottish links-style golf course meticulously carved from a 300-acre cherry orchard.

3. Shanty Creek, Bellaire

Part of America’s Summer Golf Capital, Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire has four full-length courses that feature a variety of challenges for the bucket list golfer to the beginner, where you can easily spend an entire day golfing.

The Summit course offers beginners several PGA-led initiatives to ease players into the game including forward par-three tees on every hole and big 18” cups on every green (in addition to standard cups).

Sunrise

Start your day at Cedar River Golf Club.  Cut through the hardwoods of Antrim County, the early morning light casts incredible shadows while wildlife of all kinds wakes up. The playability and design of this Tom Weiskopf course deserves every accolade it has received including “Top 10 Michigan Public Courses” (Golf Magazine) and “Top 1,000 Golf Courses in the World” (Rolex Timepieces).

Enjoy twilight golf at Shanty Creek Resorts

Photo Courtesy of Shanty Creek Resorts

Afternoon and twilight rates

Schuss Mountain Golf Club is an often-overlooked northern Michigan gem that plays like two distinct nine-hole courses: the front nine weaves through pine dotted forests while the back nine ascends and descends over the rolling hills of Antrim County. And with twilight rates beginning at 1 p.m., it’s worth putting on your short-list of courses to play.

All four of Shanty Creek Resort’s courses offer twilight rates with cart:

  • $20 Summit GC after 1pm;
  • $30 Schuss Mtn GC after 1pm;
  • $40 The Legend GC after 3pm;
  • $40 Cedar River GC after 3pm;

Sunset

The Legend by Arnold Palmer has incredible sunset views over Lake Bellaire, and with twilight rates at $40 after 3pm, it’s a steal too. If your round ends before the sun goes down, directly across the parking lot from the Pro Shop is The Lakeview Restaurant and Lounge with its wall of windows with a panoramic westward view of Lake Bellaire and the setting sun.

4. Mid-Michigan

Mt. Pleasant’s Michigan Central Swing, courses and 12 retreats and offers golfers and travelers a reservation service that makes booking your trip easy.

Morning

Pine River Country Club is a private course in Mid-Michigan, where the grounds are mature and every hole offers a different challenge.  Fair for all levels of golfers, the course is cut out of a variety of terrain including trees, hills and the Pine River.  The length of the course is 6615 yards.  It will challenge you at every turn.  You will never tire of playing Pine River.

Limited play makes for a very accessible course.  Tee times are the exception rather than the rule and league play never dominates the course.

Afternoon and twilight rates

Head to Bucks Run Golf Club, where a Jerry Matthews’ designed course hosts 18 challenging, yet playable holes, artfully sculpted fairways and tee boxes, soft sand bunkers, and more. The course also features river frontage, picturesque lakes, and natural wetlands coming into play on numerous holes.

Mt. Pleasant's Bucks Run is a challenging course in the heart of Michigan's Lower Peninsula

Bucks Run, Photo Courtesy of the Mt. Pleasant Area Convention and Visitors Bureau

Every day after 3:00 p.m., Bucks Run offers a twilight rate of $23 off (Monday – Thursday) or $33 off (Friday – Sunday).

Want a later tee time?  After 4:30 p.m. the rate drops $20 from the 3:00 p.m. rate.

Sunset

If you are planning to take advantage of the twilight rates at Bucks Run, you’ll have ample time to play great championship golf before the sun sets around 10 p.m.   After, take in the views and grab a bite to eat on the outdoor patio

{Picture:  18th hole at Bucks Run}

5. Calhoun County

Home to Battle Creek, Marshall and Albion, it’s easy to spend a few days exploring some of the area’s 11 golf courses.

Morning

Start off at Riverside Golf Club in Battle Creek, where you will see the sunrise over the Battle Creek skyline.  Known for its excellent greens and great location, Riverside is an 18-hole, par 72 course designed by W. Bruce Matthews and Jerry Matthews.

Afternoon

Gull Lake View courses in August offers five gorgeous and challenging courses: Gull Lake View East, Gull Lake View West, Bedford Valley, Stonehedge South, and Stonehedge North.  At Gull Lake View you can play a round in the morning and then play a different course in the evening at a discounted price.

Gull Lake's greens are perfect for any skill level

Gull Lake, Photo Courtesy of the Calhoun County Visitors Bureau

Sunset

End your day at the Medalist Golf Club in Marshall, a championship golf course that has hosted multiple statewide championships and U.S. Amateur qualifiers, where the landscape and scenery is reminiscent of Northern Michigan and you’ll enjoy the sights and sounds of a peaceful summer evening.

What is your favorite Pure Michigan golf course? Share with us by commenting below!

Celebrate July with These Pure Michigan Events

It’s almost July and summer will be in full swing! While the weather is warm, it’s time to discover something new in Pure Michigan. From the Cherry Festival in Traverse City to the Idlewild Festival, there are a ton of unique events happening around the state.

Below is a roundup of July events to help you plan the upcoming month. Visit our events page to see everything going on all month long.

July 1-7

Legends of saginaw sail

 

Legends of the Saginaw Sail
July 1-2, Bay City

Learn the fascinating history of the Saginaw River as the Appledore sails from Downtown Bay City to the Saginaw Bay. Once out on the open water, help the crew set the sails or relax and enjoy the view. A light lunch of a sub sandwich, chips, cookie and soda/water is served onboard.

MI Big Green Gym: Beach Yoga
July 2, Mears

Beach Yoga will be offered on the first Saturday of July, August and September at Silver Lake State Park from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Kalon Arts and Yoga Company offers Vinyasa Flow Beach Yoga, linking breath with movement. Practice begins with a gentle flexibility opening and breath work, moving from the floor into seated /kneeling poses and building into strength/balancing sequences before closing in a guided relaxation. Yoga is both a physical exercise as well as an internal practice of reflection and awareness. This is the perfect opportunity to get fit and have fun.

Antiques at the Fairgrounds – JulyAntiques at fairgrounds
July 2-3, Petoskey

This popular show will feature over 170 dealers from around the country. There will be a huge array of high quality antique merchandise from the smallest collectibles (jewelry), to a wide range of antique furniture, pottery, china, textiles, prints and more.

International Food Festival
July 2-4, Marquette

The Marquette County Exchange Club will be hosting its annual International Food Festival in Mattson Lower Harbor Park. There will be food and refreshments, live entertainment and a fireworks display at dusk on Monday, July 4.

National Cherry Festival
cherry festivalJuly 2-9, Traverse City

The National Cherry Festival is the oldest and biggest festival in the Traverse City area. Featuring over 150 activities including air shows, fireworks, pie eating contests, concerts and lots of cherries!

July 8-14

DSO at the Ford House
July 8-9, Grosse Pointe Shores

Join the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for an evening of music in the magical setting of the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House. Each evening the concerts will be followed by fireworks over the lake.

On Friday, July 8, Teddy Abrams conducts and vocalists Will and Anthony Nunziata perform hits from your favorite Broadway shows! On Saturday, July 9, the DSO will perform music inspired by the beauty and wonder of America. Enjoy works from Bernstein, John Williams, Dvorak, and more.

Rolling Sculpture Car Showrolling car show
July 8, Ann Arbor

Bill Crispin Chevrolet and the Main Street Area Association present the 21st Annual Rolling Sculpture Car Show, a one of a kind experience for the car enthusiast taking place in the heart of downtown Ann Arbor. More than 300 exotic, antique, classic, and concept cars will be displayed on Main, Liberty and Washington Streets.

Idlewild Music Festival
July 9-10, Idlewild

The 2015 Idlewild Music Festival (IMF) brought national attention to the Nationally Registered Historic Landmark of Idlewild. T. ROSE Entertainments’ efforts to bring forth greater awareness of Idlewild were a success. The IMF is held to commemorate and celebrate the history of well-known African-American entertainers and professionals who owned property and performed at the Historic Resort prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Known as the “Black Eden”, this location was one of the few resorts in the United States where African-Americans could vacation and purchase property. It is historically, the largest land-based African American resort ever assembled in the USA.

59th Annual Coca Cola International Frisbee Tournament
July 9-10, Calumet

Come out and watch the intensity of the first Frisbee sport of Guts, the one that paved the way for the rest. Players from around the world will be in attendance. The best Guts tourney on the circuit and the Julius T. Nachezel Cup is still the one to win.

Blue Water Sand Fest
July 8-10, Port Huron

Voted one of the top 10 Sand Sculpturing Competitions in the country by USA Today, the Blue Water SandFest will host Michigan’s first and only Master Sand Sculpting and Advanced Amateur competition and festival. This three day event, which starts on Friday, July 8th and runs through Sunday, July 10th, is held on the park grounds of the Fort Gratiot Light Station, along the beautiful Lake Huron.

July 15-21

Tall Ship Celebration: Bay Citybay city tall ships
July 14-17, Bay City

The award winning maritime festival returns to Bay City – July 14th-17th – featuring an international fleet of tall ships, maritime musicians and fun for the whole family!

Beaver Island Music Festival
July 14-16, Beaver Island

Beaver Island Music Festival has been creating Music in the Woods since 2003, a 3-day outdoor event combining nature, renewable energies, music and artwork, song and dance, on a small remote island in Lake Michigan. BIMF has proud history of combining a wide range of musical genera and musicians from Michigan to nationally performing acts all having their own creative style into a single event. Plan to enjoy one of Michigan’s most unique and growing festivals, with wide varieties of music, art and activities for all ages. There is food, camping and plenty of time to enjoy a tour of this historical island or spend a day on one of the beautiful Lake Michigan beaches.

48th Annual Cadillac Festival of Arts
July 15-16, Cadillac

Annual Festival of the Arts & Phyllis Olson Art Fair (juried) is held annually in the Cadillac City Park, on the shoreline of Lake Cadillac. Starts Friday with the exhibit opening mid-day, the Taste of Cadillac’ kicks off the evening with live music playing in the Park Pavilion. Saturday’s events include Kids crafts and the String Petting Zoo, where kids can try out various stringed instruments. The Park Pavilion hosts live entertainment and the art exhibits continue throughout the weekend.

Hot Air Jubileehot air jubilee
July 15-17, Jackson

Have you ever gazed up at a blue sky filled with hot air balloons of every shape and size and every color of the rainbow? It’s a sight many people only dream of, and one you will never forget. Jackson’s Hot Air Jubilee each July will dazzle you and your family while offering plenty of fun-filled activities on the ground. An arts and crafts show, live entertainment, Kid’s Kingdom and much more add up to three days of amazement.

Michigan Lavender Festival
July 15-17, Armada

The Michigan Lavender Festival offers a true “Symphony for the Senses”! Relax and rejuvenate to the essence of fragrant lavender swaying in the breeze. Enjoy a gourmet lunch in the shade while sipping on a glass of ice cold lavender lemonade. With just a short drive from the hustle and bustle of city life, the Lavender Festival is a perfect mid-summer getaway. Not only is this event a celebration of all the wonders of L

avender, but also an event that knits together local, talented artisans of one-of-a-kind hand-made goods, featuring over 100 Michigan artists, craftspeople and local area farms. Festival highlights include lavende

r workshops, wellness classes, U-pick orchard fruit and wagon rides to tour the farm & orchards.

Leelanau Peninsula Wine on the Water Festivalleelaunau peninsula wine
July 16, Suttons Bay

This festival will feature tastes from not only different local wineries, distilleries and breweries, but also local food, art and live music from some of Leelanau and Michigan’s top talents.

July 22-28

Colon Magic Festivalcolon magic
July 20-23, Colon

Magic takes center stage here in the Magic Capital of the world with Magic Camp, Evening Shows, Arts & Crafts Fair, Strolling Magicians and live music! This event is fun for the entire family. Have fun being fooled!

Michigan Summer Beer Festival
July 22-23, Ypsilanti

The 19th Annual Summer Beer Festival will host more than 100 Michigan breweries sampling almost 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.

Michigan Historical Museum – Speak Out! Saturday
July 23, Lansing

Look for our special Speak Out! stations in our museum galleries. Take advantage of the opportunity to “talk” with us and other visitors about current events, museum exhibitions or topics in history. Stop by and find out what the conversation is about today!

A Paranormal Event
July 23, Garden

Have you ever wondered what a ghost hunter does? Does the thought of apparitions give you a chill or a sense of wonder? Join us at Fayette Historic State Park for a full day and night of unearthly surprises and learning… if you dare!

Indian Lake Honey Bees
July 28, Manistique

Join us at our campground host site for a taste of Indian Lake Honey. Local beekeepers, Jan and Ed Wright, will educate us on honey bees and will bring a hive for a demonstration on how honey bees construct their hives and deposit honey. They will also have honey for tasting and products available for sale.

July 29-31

Port Sanilac Summer Festival
July 29-31, Port Sanilac

The charming lakeshore town of Port Sanilac invites you to a weekend of fun for the whole family. Featuring watermelon eating contests, inflatables and rock walls for the kids to climb and bounce, craft shows, live music and much more- the Village Weekend will give summer memories that will last a lifetime.

Blueberry Festival
July 29, Marquette

The 15th annual Blueberry Festival is a fantastic family-friendly event. In downtown Marquette, Washington and Front streets will be bustling with sidewalk sales, food vendors, artists, demonstrations, pony rides, inflatable arcade games and activities for children and families. Downtown restaurants will satisfy your cravings for blueberry fare, from blueberry pizza to blueberry beer, while many downtown shops offer will offer “blue” specials. Local farmers will be on-hand throughout the day selling fresh produce, including mounds of plump blueberries and music fills the streets as live musicians perform throughout the day.

Annual Connor Gorsuch Kid’s Fishing Daykids fishing day
July 30, Sault Sainte Marie

Soo Area Sportsmen’s Club presents the Connor Gorsuch Kid’s Fishing Day the last Saturday in July. Kids 16 and under can enjoy a free day of fishing at the kids fishing pond at Rotary Park. The community has donated food, refreshments, and prizes for the event. All registered kids can catch three fish and register two. Wilderness Treasures is providing the bait. Some fishing equipment will be available, but you are encouraged to bring your own.

Leilapalooza
July 30, Battle Creek

Voted one of Michigan’s best live music venues, Leilapalooza is fast becoming one of the most anticipated music events of the summer. This free event features a variety of musical acts on several stages throughout the day!

How Bazaar Jacksonbazaar jackson
July 30-31, Jackson

How Bazaar Jackson is a two-day street festival in downtown Jackson including a juried Art Show, live entertainment, food and a beer/wine tasting tent. Top-level artists from all over the country will be showing off their wares and competing for $10,000 in prize money.Incredibly talented musical performers will be on stage throughout the event including a headliner act on Saturday evening. Food vendors from Jackson and beyond will tantalize your taste buds. And you can wash it all down with refreshing beers, wines and ciders from local vendors.

Did we miss your favorite July event? Name it below!