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.

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!

Fall in Love with Ann Arbor this Valentine’s Day

We love Valentine’s Day here in the Ann Arbor area. Whether you’re single, in a relationship, married or anywhere in-between, there’s a surplus of unique and fun things to do in mid-February.

Single and ready to mingle? Join the party at Necto’s second annual University of Michigan Top DJ Competition on Feb. 11, and vote for your favorite guest DJ, or head out for a show at The Ark. On Feb. 11 The Ark will host My Folky Valentine, a collaboration of sweethearts making lovely music together and on Feb. 12, Christine Lavin and Don White will be there to entertain you. On Valentine’s Day itself, Caravan of Thieves will play the Ark and perform their new release, “Kiss Kiss.” Perhaps you’re more interested in a pampering experience? Treat yourself to a relaxing treatment at Jessica’s Apothecary or Balance Massage Therapy. And, you can always celebrate your true love for Michigan sports by cheering on the Wolverine Men’s Basketball Team at the Crisler Center when they take on Purdue on Saturday, Feb. 13!

The Ark in Downtown Ann Arbor

Photo Courtesy of Visit Ann Arbor

Looking for a unique experience for you and your sweetie? Take him or her out for an evening of opera and spectacular food on Feb. 12 at Gratzi! The Bellini Opera Theatre will be there to perform selections from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera, and Gratzi’s Chef John Fischer will create a beautiful three-course dinner. The Kempf House Museum will host “Victorian Valentine Teas” on both Feb.13 and 14, featuring beautiful music played on Ann Arbor’s first concert grand piano and scrumptious sweets, savories and teas, all in an intimate and historic setting. If choral music is your thing, you should definitely mark your calendar for Feb. 14 to see the UMS Choral Union, as they present Love is Strong as Death at the iconic Hill Auditorium (and use promo code PUREMI to get $10 off on tickets!).

Photo Courtesy of Visit Ann Arbor

For a more traditional dinner-and-a-movie date night, consider Romeo+Juliet (yes, the 1996 Baz Lurhmann classic!) at the Michigan Theater following a delectable dinner at one of the Ann Arbor area’s fine dining establishments. You can’t beat Terry B’s in Dexter, the Common Grill in Chelsea, or Aventura in Ann Arbor (among many others)! Finish off the evening with a kiss under the Engineering Arch (legend has it that imminent nuptials will ensue!), a sweet baked treat at the Cupcake Station, and/or drinks and dessert in a romantic setting at La Dolce Vita. If you really want to go the extra mile, you can hire The Huron Valley Harmonizers to serenade your sweetie with love songs.

Photo Courtesy of Visit Ann Arbor

What are your favorite Valentine’s Day traditions in the Ann Arbor area? Are there romantic upcoming events in mid-February that get your heart racing?  GuestBloggersMargaret Wyzlic is the Communications Manager at the Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and enjoys telling the world about the Ann Arbor area and all of the exciting things happening in our beautiful city. Recently married, she and her husband enjoy all that Ann Arbor has to offer when it comes to romantic restaurants and attractions, and hopes that you’ll come to visit our area as well to ‘”feel the love.”