Six Ways to Celebrate Spring in Ann Arbor

Spring has finally arrived in Pure Michigan! The days are getting longer, the weather warmer and exciting events are taking place around the state. That means it’s time to celebrate spring in the Ann Arbor area! Below are six ways to experience the season in AA.

Get your geek on.
Plan your next visit to coincide with Free Comic Book Day on Saturday, May 7 hosted by Vault of Midnight. A retail event like no other, hundreds of costumed fans of all ages will line up around the block to participate in what feels like a mini-comic con in the heart of Downtown Ann Arbor. While waiting in line may seem like a drag, Vault staff entertains everyone with games, prizes, and general shenanigans. Learn more about the event, including which other downtown Ann Arbor retailers will be participating in the event.

Photo Courtesy of Visit Ann Arbor

Score in Ann Arbor
AFC Ann Arbor kicks off its first season in the National Premier Soccer League this year, joining the ranks of some incredibly competitive teams throughout the Midwest Region. Specifically, the Mighty Oaks are looking forward to hosting Grand Rapids FC over Memorial Day Weekend and Detroit City FC over Independence Day Weekend. Check out the complete schedule and to incorporate a match into your weekend.

Photo Courtesy of Visit Ann Arbor

Photograph an heirloom peony garden.
Nichols Arboretum, located on the University of Michigan campus, features a stunning spring display of historic peony varieties. When filled to capacity the garden holds nearly 800 peonies and up to 10,000 flowers at peak bloom! The best time to visit is usually Memorial Day – mid-June. Follow Visit Ann Arbor on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for bloom updates.

Photo Courtesy of Visit Ann Arbor

Tackle the Argo Cascades.
Did you know that Ann Arbor features kayaking along the Huron River? Suitable for novices but enjoyable for those more experienced, the Argo Cascades is a series of nine small rapids, rock chutes and pools. Continue down the river to Gallup Park — about a 90-minute journey — for some of the most scenic views of the area! Equipment rentals are available starting at 10am in May and 9am starting Memorial Day Weekend.

Photo Courtesy of Visit Ann Arbor

Score at the LPGA Volvik Championship.
This Memorial Day Weekend marks the inaugural year for the LPGA Volvik Championship tournament at Travis Pointe Country Club in Ann Arbor. The event will feature a full field of 144 players competing in a 72-hole showcase for a purse of $1.3 million. Join fans on Saturday for “Orange Out for ChadTough!” — a special $30 ticket package available until May 15 which includes a Saturday Grounds ticket, a t-shirt, and your choice of either a sleeve of orange golf balls, an orange Volvik baseball hat, or an orange tee-holder. $10 from each ticket package sale will go directly to The ChadTough Foundation.

Photo Courtesy of Visit Ann Arbor

Bacon! Bacon! Bacon!
June 1- June 5, join Zingerman’s in this epic tribute to cured pork. Camp Bacon® features a week’s worth of bacon-based events, from a film festival to The Main Event — a day filled with meaty speakers, lots of learning, and, of course, all the bacon you can eat! The festivities conclude on Sunday with the Camp Bacon Street Fair at Kerrytown. As always, this year’s Camp Bacon is a fundraiser for two amazing non-profit organizations: The Southern Foodways Alliance and the 4H Club of Washtenaw County.

Go to VisitAnnArbor.org for more information about all these events and more in the greater Ann Arbor area. You can also follow Visit Ann Arbor! on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. See you soon!

Pack Up Your Pets and Hit the Road with These Dog-Friendly Michigan Destinations

Going on a trip wouldn’t be the same without the entire family – especially your furry family members! In celebration of warm weather arriving for spring, we put together a list of just a few pet-friendly destinations in Michigan. So, pack up Fido and Fluffy and hit the road.

Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula

Photo courtesy of Sharon Hubbard at Porcupine Mountains

Photo courtesy of Sharon Hubbard at Porcupine Mountains

Take a weekend trip to Traverse City, where you can climb mountains of sand, play on dog-friendly beaches and spend quality time with your furry friend. Spend the day in their Victorian downtown district, home to more than 150 shops, boutiques, galleries and restaurants. Treat your furry friend to a special treat at D.O.G Bakery with a variety of treats, guaranteed to satisfy even the pickiest pooch.

A trip with your pets wouldn’t be complete without going to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Miles of sand, bluffs that tower 450’ above Lake Michigan, lush forests, clear inland lakes, and unique flora and fauna make up the natural world of Sleeping Bear Dunes. The high dunes afford spectacular views across the lake, something you and your pooch are both sure to enjoy.

Don’t want your pooch to feel left out? Grand Traverse Resort and Spa has put a new twist on accommodating the entire family. Dog Dreams Inn is located on the property and all about pampering your pooch. Access to your dog provides the ultimate in flexibility, cage-free social environment encouraging dog interaction and activity, fully trained, professional staff gives each dog the attention and assistance they need, daily exercise and fenced in outdoor play area, and separate potty/play areas to help support the overall wellness of dogs.

Heading farther north? The Upper Peninsula has a number of great dog-friendly hotels, resorts, cabins and campgrounds so you and your furry family members can get a good night’s rest before exploring the magnificent U.P. scenery.

West Michigan

Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Peterson

Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Peterson

Well-known for its strong Dutch history, Holland is historic yet hip and the perfect place to take your furry companion. Browse downtown’s trendy boutiques or stroll the tree-shaded campus of Hope College. Hike Holland’s soaring Lake Michigan sand dunes or simply relax on our soft sandy beach at Kirk Park. Urban excitement and homespun simplicity. A sophisticated city wrapped up in small-town charm. Do ALL of this with your furry family member by your side. Here’s a list of pet-friendly places in Holland. 

If a stop at a Michigan winery is on your summer to-do list, bring your pup to Round Barn Winery in Baroda. In addition to a variety of hand-crafted wines, this brewery and distillery also produces microbrews, vodka, and fruit brandies. Dogs are allowed on the grounds to explore with you, though they are not allowed in the buildings.

Take your dog for a walk on over 1,000 acres of beautiful undeveloped woods and sand dunes at Grand Mere State Park. With 985 acres of hiking trails, over 1 mile of Lake Michigan beach for sunbathing and swimming. Your pup can enjoy the day with you while on a leash within the beach and swimming area. Norman F. Kruse State Park in Muskegon is another option for a day at the beach with your furry best friend.

Metro Detroit

Start the morning with a walk along the scenic Detroit Riverfront, which is a beautiful place to walk dogs and meet with other dog owners. Stop in at a local bakery so Fido can fuel up with some homemade tasty treats. For example, the Bow Wow Bake Shoppe in Grosse Pointe Woods offers healthy and scrumptious cupcakes, biscuits, cakes and more all freshly baked daily just for dogs.

Photo courtesy of Anton Ochss

Head up the pet-friendly Dequindre Cut toward Eastern Market to shop around for the latest and greatest in pet supplies at Detroit’s newest urban pet supply store, 3 Dogs 1 Cat 4 Detroit. The store offers trendy, stylish and quality merchandise, from food and treats to popular accessories.

Several Detroit-area hotels and motels welcome pets including the Holiday Inn Express Detroit, the Westin Southfield and the Quality Inn – Troy. Click for a full list of pet-friendly hotels in metro Detroit.

These are just a few places that cater to pampered pets on vacation. Use the list to find more dog-friendly attractions and accommodations in Michigan.

Do you know any other pet-friendly attractions in Michigan? Tell us! 

9 Michigan Outdoor Items to Have this Spring/Summer

As the weather starts to warm up, we’re thinking ahead to spring and summer.  Most Michiganders will be spending more and more time outside. Whether playing sports, grilling, tailgating or fishing, there are so many options to enjoy the outdoors in the Great Lakes state. Many also start to think about decorating outside their homes with items they put away for the wintertime. With that in mind, we rounded up a few outdoor Michigan-themed items for you to demonstrate your Michigan pride.

DoormatMichigan Doormat
Welcome your guests with this one-of-a-kind doormat with the silhouette of the state of Michigan. Each one is handmade and made-to-order with quality products. You can even customize to your liking with different size and color options making it a unique accent to your doorstep.

Chair1

 

Michigan Adirondack Chair
The Michigan-based store Art Van sells these spectacular Adirondack chairs perfect for your backyard or porch. Be sure to check out the footstools that are sold separately so you can mix and match colors! These will be sure to wow your guests.

 

 

 

MichiganFlag

State of Michigan Flag
Let your Michigan pride fly with this State of Michigan flag that can be used for both indoor and outdoor use. Made out of good quality nylon in the United States, this flag will last!. You can also add a pole hem or fringe if needed.

Grillmat

 

Mr. Bar-B-Q – NCAA – Protective Grill Mat, MSU
Show off your team spirit with this cool grill mat. It is made out of high-quality padded vinyl that soaks up any spills or splatters so that you can keep your deck clean. Check out the grill covers to match the mat. And if you’re not a State fan, don’t worry. There’s a Wolverines version too.

Cooler

 

 

Pure Michigan Iceberg Cooler
Keep all of your drinks or food cold while also making your friends and family envious with this awesome cooler perfect for camping or trips to the beach. The sides feature custom Pure Michigan artwork perfect for showing off the beauty of our state.

MichiganGnome

 

Michigan Wolverines Gnome Garden Bobblehead
Decorate your lawn with this sports-team themed gnome. Show everyone who drives by which team you root for. This officially licensed product is hand-painted and made of durable resin. There’s even a zombie version! Check out the site for more cool items and other team options.

CornholeBoards

 

Michigan Cornhole Board Set with Bags
Cornhole is a fun Michigan pastime that everyone loves to play when the weather warms up. These custom cornhole boards are sure to be a fun addition to parties or get-togethers. To make it even more special, you can order addons such as LED hole lights, rope handles, drink holders and more!

PistonsBirdfeederDetroit Pistons License Plate Bird Feeder
This item is for all you bird lovers out there. This cool addition to your yard will have birds flocking. This bird feeder is made of cedar and stainless steel so it will not rust. Of course, you can also order another favorite Michigan team for more personalization. Deeetroit Basketballlll!

SteppingStones

 

 

Michigan Stepping Stones with Petosky Stone
These stepping stones are sold by Sturgeon River Pottery, based in Wolverine, Michigan. They are made out of Petosky Stone and include both the Upper and Lower peninsulas. These stones would make the perfect addition to your yard, being both stylish and functional.

 

 

What are your favorite Michigan outdoor items? Let us know in the comments below!