Lake Advice from Our Fans: What to Do in West Michigan

For the last month or so, our Facebook fans have been giving us great advice on their favorite things to do all around Pure Michigan. First up on our list is West Michigan, home to fantastic destinations like Traverse City, Ludington and Kalamazoo. Here is a round-up of what to do in the western part of the Great Lakes state.

Find your lake this summer by visiting michigan.org/lakeeffect

Grand Haven, Ludington, Traverse City, Holland, Manistee, Sleeping Bear Dunes all are such wonderful locations to visit. We love the west coast of Michigan most of all. We Buckeyes cannot wait to return.  In any season!” – Sondra Snyder

“Don’t miss Grand Haven! Love the beaches, lighthouses, boardwalk, Musical Fountain, trolley and sunsets!” – Stefanie Herder

Photo Courtesy of Trevor Billinghurst

Grand Haven, Photo Courtesy of Trevor Billinghurst

South Haven anytime of the year; sand dunes, lighthouses and magnificent sunsets.” – Amanda McGauley

“Benzie County in the north and the wineries in the south.” – Steven Lynn

Allegan is a super charming small town in West MI on the Kalamazoo river with a beautiful boardwalk.” – Peg Eileen

Empire Bluff Trail has the most incredible view of Sleeping Bear Dunes.” – Gregg Burian

Photo Courtesy of Tamie Pietrantonio

Empire Bluff Trail, Photo Courtesy of Tamie Pietrantonio

Kalamazoo Air Zoo. Holland and Windmill Island. South Haven Lighthouse. St. Joseph Silver Beach.” – Marvin Darling

“Leelanau Peninsula! Sleeping Bear Dunes!” – Kerri Tang

Leland (fishtown) and Traverse City area and wineries!” – Trudy McLeod

Photo Courtesy of S. Young

Carlson’s Fisheries in Leland, Photo Courtesy of S. Young

“Walking and riding on the Silver Lake Sand Dunes! And laying on anything that floats on Silver Lake.” – The Sand Box

“Go to a concert or performance at Interlochen Center for the Arts!” – Valerie Beth Gilbert

Is there anything we missed? Let us know what you love to do in West Michigan by commenting below!

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.

Detroit: Seeing is Believing

Detroit is a city on the comeback. Everywhere you look, there’s signs of revitalization and a new energy in the city that has the nation taking notice. Recently, Bedrock teamed up with local artist Big Sean to produce a video honoring the Motor City. Read more on a few other things you might not have known are happening in downtown Detroit, via Dan Mullen, EVP of Bedrock.

“Always make the next day better than the day before.” Those are the words delivered around the 30-second mark of Bedrock’s short film “Anthem of Us” narrated by Detroit native Sean Anderson, better known by his stage name, Big Sean. Anderson describes that lesson as something the city of Detroit instilled in him, and something that has stuck with him his entire life. But that mantra is not limited to Big Sean alone. If you take a look at downtown Detroit today, you will see a city living in the present, and building for the future. Next time you are in the city, focus on what is right in front of you, and take note of the exciting direction in which the city is headed.

The Detroit Riverfront is bustling with activity

Photo Courtesy of Bedrock

There are plenty of great reasons to visit Detroit, one of them being the thriving restaurant scene. Whether you’re looking to enjoy superior dishes in small-plate form in the beautifully designed Wright & Co., or want to experience exceptional mixology crafted with precise detail at Standby, Detroit’s restaurant and bar selection is a treasure the city takes the utmost pride in. In addition to an already impressive list of eateries, downtown will welcome New York-based restaurant, Calexico, and popular burger chain, Shake Shack, to its lineup this summer. The retail selection on Woodward Avenue continues to grow as well. Many of the companies opening downtown have a vested interest not only being a part of the excitement of downtown Detroit, but also a dedication to the community around them.  Stores like Nike, who recently opened a community store on Woodward Avenue, aims to offer grants to local non-profit groups as well as other community initiatives. Also, John Varvatos, the popular designer who is originally from the city, opened the company’s flagship location in the heart of the Central Business District.

Detroit's expansive restaurant scene is quickly becoming known on a national scale

Photo Courtesy of Bedrock

While dinner and shopping in the city may be the reason you come down to Detroit, there are plenty of reasons to stick around and explore. There is something for everyone here. It is where history and innovation blend together in harmony as 100-year-old buildings house one-year-old technology start-ups. It’s where everyday, seemingly routine areas such as parking garages and back alleys turn into captivating galleries featuring artists’ work from all over the world. Major corporations live amongst mom-and-pop shops while Wayne State students, street performers, and business executives alike all do their part to contribute to the city’s economy. Development of the new “Arena District,” scheduled for completion in 2017, will place three major professional sports teams within walking distance of each other, creating even more retail and entertainment growth in the downtown and surrounding areas.

Detroit's amazing architecture can be seen throughout the city

Photo Courtesy of Bedrock

The Central Business District of downtown Detroit has become the core of innovation and development for the city. The downtown area is now an expansive source for business development, venture capital, and boasts a rising art scene that is attracting artists and visitors from all over the world. Areas such as Corktown, Midtown, New Center, and Woodbridge are all experiencing the positive effects of a surging downtown area. New restaurants, housing, and retail continue to pop up and garner success due to the ever-growing excitement of the downtown area.

There's many positive things happening in Detroit's unique districts

Photo Courtesy of Bedrock

This is just some of what Detroit has to offer today. The residents, businesses, entrepreneurs, and leaders of the city know that opportunities for innovation exist around every corner of downtown and the connecting areas. The job is never complete, and we will continue its commitment toward the present while steadily building for tomorrow. I strongly encourage you, if you are looking for an experience that is unique and stimulating, to come visit the great city of Detroit. You may just discover something in the city that inspires you to “make the next day better than the day before.”

What is your favorite thing to do in the Motor City? Share with us by commenting below!