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!

Four Types of Detroit Tours You’ll Want to Experience

Today, guest blogger Dan Fuoco of Visit Detroit gives us some tips for exploring the city with these four types of Detroit tours.

Photo courtesy of Instagram user @phillyd1834 | Detroit Tours

Photo courtesy of Instagram user @phillyd1834

Detroit tours are not cookie-cutter or identical – they are custom, one-of-a-kind, jam-packed journeys that will transform your notion of Detroit and leave your thirsting for more knowledge and curious enough to explore on your own.

The right tour can be found based on these four types of Detroit tour experiences:

Historical Tours

The American Revolution. The Underground Railroad. Birthplace of the automobile. The Civil Rights movement. If you didn’t already realize it, these Detroit tours are a goldmine for history geeks.

Historians adore The Henry Ford Museum mainly because of its popular artifacts which include Abraham Lincoln’s rocking chair (from the night of his assassination) and the bus where Detroiter Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white passenger, sparking the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Photo courtesy of the Detroit Historical Society | Detroit Tours

Photo courtesy of the Detroit Historical Society

Also a must-stop location on your Detroit tour itinerary, the Detroit Historical Museum is one of the oldest and largest museums dedicated to metropolitan history in the U.S., encompassing more than three centuries of metro Detroit history. A self-guided Detroit tour is the best way to soak up just the right amount of history without a factual overload.

Musical Tours

Every Detroit tour must include a visit to Motown Museum where you will literally walk the hallways once frequented by Motown legends Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, The Temptations and The Supremes, to name a few. Enter Studio A and relive the humming, snapping, and foot-tapping that swept the nation.

FREE Tours

Detroit Riverfront and GM Renaissance Center | Detroit Tours

Detroit Riverfront and GM Renaissance Center

Did You Know? The “Mo” in Motown was derived from “Motor City” which pays homage to the ultra-obvious notion that Detroit is the car capital of the world! Detroit and its metro area are world headquarters to all three major US automakers: Ford, Chrysler, and GM. Every tour of Detroit should stop at the world headquarters and the iconic building in Detroit’s skyline, the General Motors Renaissance Center. Free tours of the GM Renaissance Center take visitors through the automaker’s showroom, highlighting vintage, new and concept vehicles. The grand finale is a glass elevator ride to the 72nd floor of the Detroit Marriott Hotel and tallest hotel in the Western Hemisphere.

Keeping on the architecture trail, Detroit Experience Factory offers a free weekly Art & Architecture Walking Tour on Fridays from 12:00-1:00 P.M.. On the tour, you’ll discover the city’s rich history, grand buildings and vibrant art in public places. Stand on Detroit’s Point of Origin in Campus Martius, pose with the Spirit of Detroit and adore the art deco in the ceiling of the majestic Guardian Building, a National Historic Landmark.

Outdoor Tours

Detroit has been called the Paris of the Midwest because of its attention to fine architecture; it is one of the only cities in the country so faithfully emblematic of this architectural style. A Detroit tour focused on architecture should include visiting works from Albert Kahn, George D. Mason and Wirt C. Rowland. Minoru Yamasaki, who later designed the World Trade Center, also got his start in Detroit, where he designed buildings including One Woodward Avenue.

Must-sees should include the historic Westin Book Cadillac Detroit hotel, built in the 1900s; the Chicago style-influenced Penobscot Building, designed by Rowland and Detroit sculptor Corrado Parducci; the art deco Guardian Building; and the Fisher and General Motors Building (Cadillac Place), both designed by Kahn and located in Detroit’s New Center area.

Have you gotten the opportunity to tour Detroit? Let us know what you saw during your visit!

Dan Fuoco_2014_portraitDan Fuoco is the Interactive Marketing Manager for the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (VisitDetroit) and is responsible for building and engaging with VisitDetroit’s social media and blog communities.  You can find him geeking out over: social media infographics, muscle cars and Detroit. Follow him on TwitterInstagram and periodically on Pinterest.

Fall Fun in Lenawee County

Southeast Michigan is beautiful in the fall months as the weather grows cooler and the leaves change colors. Catrina Ossmann of Clever Ideas Marketing teamed up with the Lenawee County Convention and Visitors Bureau to share just some of what makes autumn in Lenawee a destination to remember.

Join us for a fall festival, bring your bike and take a ride around the lakes for the Fall Color Tour. Stay for a show or concert at the Croswell Opera House in Adrian, Tecumseh Center for the Arts in Tecumseh or the Adrian Symphony Orchestra!

Enjoy a relaxing ride on The Southern Michigan Railroad that offers fall color tours with a train ride between Clinton and Tecumseh. Carpenter Farms in Adrian has hayrides, corn maze and pumpkins.

Festivals

Art-a-Licious, September 18-19, Downtown Adrian
Art-A-Licious is a perfect mix of fine art, food, and entertainment. Featuring more than 80 talented local and regional artists, you are sure to find something that speaks to you. Many of our artists provide demonstrations of their craft. As you shop, your experience is complemented by ongoing live musical performances at the main stage.

Carpenter Farms. Photo courtesy of  Lenawee CVB.

Photo courtesy of Lenawee CVB.

Clinton Fall Festival, September 25-27, Village of Clinton
Large areas of the village are filled with creative works of arts and crafts vendors, tempting aromas from food vendors, new ideas and products displayed by a variety of merchants, opportunities to learn from non-profit groups, and exciting entertainment on two stages. Children will love the petting zoo, camel rides, mini-tractor pull, and the inflatables. A highlight of Sunday’s activities is the hour-long parade with over 100 units.

Blues-n-Brews Festival, October 3, Downtown Adrian
The annual festival features beer, wine and hard cider from more than 30 Michigan breweries and wineries and live blues music from Michigan’s own Kevin Nichols and Blue Tuesday and Broken Arrow Blues Band. Tickets and VIP packages are available.

Explore Hidden Lake Gardens. Photo courtesy of Russ Millett III.

Explore Hidden Lake Gardens. Photo courtesy of Russ Millett III.

Fall Foliage Festival, October 3, Hidden Lake Gardens
Visitors will find local crafts vendors, artisan demonstrations, food, pumpkin painting, scarecrow displays, scavenger hunt, wagon rides and live animals. Those attending are welcome to bring a picnic lunch or purchase something from one of the vendors. Admission is $5 per person (free for members) with a limit of $20 per vehicle. Proceeds go towards the support the gardens.

Appleumpkin Festival. Photo courtesy of Sarah D Carter.

Appleumpkin Festival. Photo courtesy of Sarah D Carter.

Appleumpkin Festival, October 10-11, Downtown Tecumseh
You’ll want to bring the whole gang to town for this one. The kids will enjoy the midway rides, carnival games, inflatables and make-it-take-it crafts, straw maze and corn box. The Antique Street Fair and Flea Market will keep you captivated for hours. The Arts & Crafts Show brings wonderfully handcrafted creations into Tecumseh. Stop by the Appleumpkin stage area and take in the live performances. Kapnick Orchards in nearby Britton hosts an Apple Festival the same weekend. There is something for everyone to enjoy throughout the weekend.

Catrina OssmannCatrina Ossmann is the Owner of Clever Ideas Marketing and works with the Lenawee County CVB. Find her on Twitter @CleverIdeasCO or the Lenawee County CVB at @VisitLenawee.