Five Tips for Attending Ann Arbor’s Art Fair

The Ann Arbor Art Fair hits downtown Ann Arbor this July 16th-19th. With the work of 1,000 artists on display, there is a lot of ground to cover if you want to see it all! Today, Maricat Eggenberger provides some helpful tips for navigating the fair. 

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Photo courtesy of Visit Ann Arbor

This July 16-19, the Ann Arbor downtown will be transformed with over 1,000 juried artists featuring their artwork from all over the country. If you have ever attended the Ann Arbor Fair, you understand the diversity of art work represented and the lively atmosphere of Ann Arbor’s downtown and campus streets.  If you haven’t attended before, we hope you’ll make a trip to see what the Ann Arbor Art Fair is all about. We’ve crafted a list of our top 5 insider tips for before and during your visit to the Ann Arbor Art Fair, one of the largest outdoor art fairs in the United States.

Getting to the Fair & Parking: Parking for the Art Fair is very easy and inexpensive if you choose to use the Park and Ride Options available. Simply park at Huron High School, Maple Village Shopping Center, Pioneer High School or Briarwood Mall.  There are shuttles that will take you right downtown to the fair! For more information on the pick-up locations and ticket costs, check out the Art Fair Parking and Shuttle page.  Getting to Ann Arbor during the next few months may be met with navigational challenges if you don’t plan ahead. Orange construction barrels can be seen along most area roads indicating lane closures, and in some cases complex detours. Our local news outlet, the Ann Arbor News, has been doing an excellent job of keeping us up-to-date, but you can also check out Michigan’s Department of Transportation site for a detailed map including current and future construction plans.

Photo courtesy of Visit Ann Arbor

Photo courtesy of Visit Ann Arbor

Navigating the Fair: The best way to navigate the fair is to make sure you are armed with an Art Fair map.  Maps can be found on the Art Fair website. In addition, Art Fair guides are available at all welcome booths found throughout the fair.

Engage with the Fair: This year you have the opportunity to engage with the fair through Social Media!  Follow the Fair on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and then through your engagement you could be the winner of some great Art Fair throwback gear! Use the hashtag #ArtFairTBT when sharing your old photos from your trips to the Art Fair to enter. During your visit be sure to share your photos of your awesome art finds, delicious dining excursions and fun adventures using the hashtags #AnnArborArtFair and #VisitAnnArbor!

Ann Arbor Art Fair - Social MediaExperience the Art Fair Entertainment: In addition to the streets of booths to enjoy, the Art Fair also has live entertainment scheduled for during and after fair hours! Also, don’t forget to check out the Cooling Misting Station and the Art Activity Zones!  For more details on the musical performances and fun activities, check out the full schedule.

Plan Ahead: July in Ann Arbor can reach high temperatures, plan ahead with water bottles, cool and light clothing and watch the forecast for chances of rain.

Maricat EggenbergerMaricat Eggenberger is the Communications Manager for the Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. She’s a proud Michigander that loves traveling, anything eco-friendly and the little adventures in life.

Fifteen Photos That Will Get You Dreaming of a Perfect Pure Michigan Beach Day

Our 10-Day Pure Michigan Instagram #BeachChallenge has come to a close. We had a blast admiring all of your wonderful submissions  - nearly 2,000 of them! Since there were so many photos that truly captured the beauty and unique character of Michigan’s beaches, we put together this roundup of our daily challenge winners and a few other honorable mentions.

See the full gallery of submissions at michigan.org/beachchallenge. 

Congratulations to our grand prize winner, Gina Ferwerda! We love this spectacular shot captured at Silver Lake Sand Dunes. Read about Gina’s winning entry here.ginaferwerda Silver Lake Sand Dunes

A crowd gathers on the pier at Grand Haven State Park Beach to enjoy a colorful sunset in Pure Michigan. Photo by Day 1 challenge winner Bob Peskorse Jr.Bob Peskorse Jr Grand Haven

This pup is all tired out after a long day of playing on Empire Beach! Photo by Day 2 Beach Challenge winner Sarah Hunt.oni_one_ empire beach

A picture perfect day at Orchard Beach State Park near Manistee, MI. Photo by Day 3 challenge winner Deb Nerkeen.tototoophoto Orchard Beach State Park

Clear skies and sandy shores near Manistique make for some great kite-flying conditions. Photo by Day 4 challenge winner Carrie Shea.Carrie Shea Thompson MI west of Manistique

What a cool view captured during a paddle trip at Stoney Creek Metropark! Photo by Day 5 challenge winner Rainie Mills.RainieMills Stoney Creek Metropark

A blazing sunrise and some early morning fishing start the day in Copper Harbor. Photo by Day 6 challenge winner Matthew Winn.splashofsunset Copper Harbor

Pristine sparkling waters roll into shore along Lake Huron in Rogers City, MI. Photo by Day 7 challenge winner Rachel Welch.rachel_welch93 Rogers City

Sand and surf as far as the eye can see at Sleeping Bear Dunes. Phot by Day 8 challenge winner Steve Keighly.Steve Keighley Sleeping Bear Dunes

There’s nothing quite like enjoying a perfect Pure Michigan sunset after a day at the beach with family and friends! Photo by Day 9 challenge winner Jason McIver at Tiscornia Beach in St. Joseph.Jason McIver Photography Tiscornia Beach St. Joseph

Colorful, crackling fireworks explode over the glowing Mighty Mac near St. Ignace. Photo by Day 10 challenge winner Shawn Kellogg.Shawnkkellogg St.Ignace

Smooth aquamarine waters are wonderful for watersports at Weko Beach near Bridgman. Photo by Melissa Cieniuch (Honorable Mention).misscieniuchscience Weko Beach Bridgman, MI

A tranquil scene along 5th Street Beach in Manistee. Photo by Instagram user @michigram55 (Honorable Mention).michigram55 5th Street Beach Manistee

The sandy shores of Lake Michigan are just right for building a sand castle. Photo by Robert Jacobs (Honorable Mention).Sunset on Grand Traverse Bay - Grand Haven

A picture perfect day at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Photo by  Kaci Babineau (Honorable Mention).kacibabs pictured rocks

How do you like to spend a day at the beach in Pure Michigan? 

Five Things to Keep in Mind on a Lake Michigan Lighthouse Tour

Michigan has more lighthouses than any other state and all of them have a unique look and story, making it the perfect place for a summer lighthouse tour. Today, guest blogger Kendra Higgins from Spring Lake gives us five helpful tips to keep in mind on a Lake Michigan lighthouse tour.

Grand Haven Lighthouse by Missy Mayer

Grand Haven Lighthouse by Missy Mayer

As the name implies the Great Lakes Circle Tour follows state highways around Lake Michigan, through Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan creating one of the most memorable road trips where you can see over 80 of the iconic lighthouses that lace the Lake Michigan shoreline. The trip was inspired by our annual Glowing for Grand Haven event that takes place in July to help raise funds to restore and maintain the Grand Haven Lighthouse. We wanted to explore, learn more maritime history, and further cultivate the meaning behind our event. What better way to do so than to hit the road and learn firsthand along the Lake Michigan Circle Tour. So what does it take to accomplish such a road trip? Well you’re just in luck, we’ve narrowed down the top 5 Michigan musts!

North Pier Lighthouse in St. Joseph by Jerry Joanis

North Pier Lighthouse in St. Joseph by Jerry Joanis

1. Patience. If you set out with a plan for your road trip, you better pack a lot of patience. Let us just remind you the joys of traffic and road construction as they are a usual hurdle in everyday life, let alone a week’s voyage. Your phone doesn’t always get a signal, your GPS will take you on some strange path because you mistyped one number when typing in the coordinates, and heaven forbid you have car trouble! So, whether the trip is to see lighthouses, national monuments, explore state parks, or just go off the beaten path, just remember, it’s supposed to be fun. Be patient and enjoy the ride!

2. Plan for more time than you anticipated. While it correlates with being patient, we also suggest if you’re in it for the adventure, to plan for a couple extra days. Not all small lakeshore towns are tourist traps. Some are rich with locals that have lived in the same town for generations who can’t wait to hold the door open for you to explore the best local breakfast joint, or the long dirt road that opens up to unsurpassed views of Lake Michigan. Their shared secrets just may become a tradition in your family.

Little Sable Point by Kristina Austin Scarcelli

Little Sable Point by Kristina Austin Scarcelli

3. Michigan Weather. While Michigan weather is unpredictable, make sure you enjoy the season(s) you set off in. We had the luxury of starting out and ending in the warmer spring climate along the Southwest Michigan coastline; an intense 50 degrees. Yet in the U.P. we personally witnessed the feet (yes, feet) of snow and ice caves left as reminders from the polar vortex. Whether you enjoy 70° and sunny sun bathing on the beach, or snowmobiling across miles of trails, pick your season…or in Michigan’s case you may just experience all four!

4. Avoid Being Hangry. We get that when traveling with kids they’re hungry, bored, have to pee, dropped their snacks, and then starts the screaming. However, don’t doubt that the same can’t and won’t happen with grown adults who begin to experience the symptoms of being “Hangry” (anger caused by hunger). We recommend throwing out the rules of the new trendy diet you’re on, and load up on the snacks, and then get a few more “just in case”. There’s nothing like driving along the circle tour curves, with the sun roof open (or gloves on, depending on your season), jamming to the greatest hits of all time sharing a bag of Better Made chips.

Charlevoix Lighthouse by Brian Hudson

Charlevoix Lighthouse by Brian Hudson

5. Collect. Take in everything you see and share it! We’re not suggesting you continuously post on Facebook or Twitter every second something happens, but share the newest hotspot you found to grab dinner or share about the fabulous staff you encountered at one of your overnight stays. Travelers today are more prone to go off the beaten path and take suggestions from family and friends on what direction to head. When you begin to share, you’ll start to realize the things that are most important to you, bettering your vacation or overnight staycation experiences.

Kendra Higgins, Director of Marketing and Social Media for Holiday Inn Spring Lake. Sprouting from Mid-Michigan farm country, Kendra has a new found love and appreciation for Michigan’s golden coast as an active community member and newly fashioned lighthouse enthusiast.  She encourages you to visit the Grand Haven area and follow the hotel on Facebook, Instagram, and Blog to learn more about their lighthouse tour!