Earning the distinction "The Sizzle in Southeastern Michigan," Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti present a lifestyle all their own, where fine dining, great shows, unique offerings, endless shopping, and a Big Ten University offer a myriad of leisure choices.
The arts in Ann Arbor are inspired whether it's a quaint gallery, renowned museum, or University-sponsored event. The area's abundance of galleries clearly illustrates Washtenaw County's love affair with the arts. For instance, one of the most respected and oldest community arts organizations in Michigan, the Ann Arbor Art Center features three rotating galleries showcasing original artwork, jewelry, paintings and ceramics.
The University Gallery at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti houses works by students and faculty of the Department of Art, along with exhibitions by other artists. The University of Michigan Museum of Art Off/Site in Ann Arbor provides gallery space devoted to photography, film and video during the historic expansion and restoration of the University of Michigan Museum of Art.
Other area museums feature regional history such as the African American Cultural and Historical Museum of Washtenaw County. The museum hosts the "Journey to Freedom" tour that visits area historical stops on the Underground Railroad, including the site where one of Michigan's first abolitionist newspapers was printed.
At the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, the young and young-at-heart find their imaginations ignited inside this nine-gallery museum containing more than 250 interactive exhibits. Featuring the unusual role Ypsilanti played in the history of the automobile, the Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Collection presents vehicles of bygone eras. Visitors also enjoy solving the mystery of the world's most notorious highway map.
When in Ann Arbor
When it comes to eats in Ann Arbor, Zingerman's corner deli has spent 20 years searching out a bounty of flavorful foods. Rated "extraordinary by ZAGAT, the deli has been called "a national treasure that locals laud as the best deli in America." It has also been chosen as "One of the top 25 food markets in the world" by Food and Wine, 2004. The deli serves up thousands of made-to-order sandwiches with premium ingredients.
Visitors also find a well-stocked grocery with farmhouse cheeses, estate-bottled olive oils, varietal vinegars, salami, coffee, and much more. Zingerman's Next Door is a fun place to relax with a great cup of Joe and a homebaked dessert.
One of Ann Arbor's premier restaurants, Blue Nile Ethiopian Restaurant is a hot spot featuring 12 indigenous Ethiopian dishes and a fully stocked bar. Voted Ann Arbor's premier sports-bar, The Arena serves all-American fare, 24 draughts, four big screen televisions, and 22 satellite televisions. Visitors also found fare ranging from Thai and Vegan to Italian and German cuisine. Whatever the craving, it's likely you'll satisfy it at an Ann Arbor eatery.
Sizzle After Six
Comedy, jazz, cocktails, dancing, sports bars - a lively nightlife awaits around Ann Arbor's corners no matter where you are. Pop into Arbor Brewing Company for award-wining beer or groove to the tunes at Firefly Club, one of the area's best jazz clubs. At The Arena catch the big game on four HD big-screen and 22 satellite televisions. The well-known Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase has been called by Rolling Stone "one of the best clubs between the coasts." The club features popular local and nationally known comedians.
An exhilarating celebration of performing arts, outdoor entertainment and community spirit exudes during the Ann Arbor Summer Festival in June. The three-week event offers dozens of performances, events, activities, exhibitions, parties, and more. Attendees enjoy eclectic music, dance, theater, film, visual arts, and family fun.
Then in July, the renowned Ann Arbor Art Fairs, comprised of four award-winning and independently juried art fairs, are held simultaneously throughout the streets of Ann Arbor. The events transform the charming city into one massive outdoor art gallery featuring 1,200 artists and a half million visitors from all over the country.
Later in July, the Summer Beer Festival, hosted by the Michigan Brewers Guild attracts thousands of thirsty attendees who converge at Riverside Park to sample more than 100 beers prepared by breweries throughout the state.
Of course there are plenty of car shows and events like Ypsilanti's Orphan Car Show and Depot Town Cruise Nights, the Michigan Vintage Volkswagen Festival, and Rolling Sculpture Car Show.
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