Ann Arbor

Every year, new and distinctive attractions pop up in the Ann Arbor area. In 2017, even more artistic, theatrical, and expressive attractions and events await visitors and  locals alike.

St. Patrick’s Day Dining

The Ann Arbor area is a mouthwatering destination and foodies frequently flock to the area for some of the best dining options in the Midwest. Try one of the following places to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the Ann Arbor area:

Arbor Brewing, Ypsilanti – Play a board game, use the free Wi-Fi and enjoy the ‘Michael Faricy’s Irish Stout’. This Irish stout won Gold in 1998 at the World Beer Championships and is a favorite among the patrons. The beer is full-flavored with a dark coffee-like appearance, yet is highly drinkable without being too dry or thick. Arbor Brewing is located one block north of historic Depot Town in Ypsilanti.

The Blue Leprechaun, Ann Arbor – This Irish pub features daily drink specials on top of great Happy Hour deals. The ‘Lep’, as locals call the pub, is a great place to cheer the Wolverines on while watching one of 28 TV’s. With delicious Irish-themed menu items like ‘The Blue Leprechaun Hat Trick’, ‘Irish Country Chicken Sandwich’, ‘The Dublin Club’, ‘Shamrock Burger’, ‘Irish Boiled Dinner’, you’re certain to find something you love. The Blue Leprechaun is located at the heart of the University of Michigan’s campus just a short distance from the Big House.

Cleary’s Pub, ChelseaCleary’s is a traditional neighborhood pub featuring a turn-of-the-century original tin ceiling and exposed brick walls. The pub offers great food and great service. Try the ‘Fish and Chips’ which includes three pieces of lightly dusted pollock fried to a golden brown. The entrée is served with fries and homemade coleslaw. Also consider the delicious ‘Corned Beef and Cheddar’ sandwich with grilled house-made corned beef topped with melted cheddar cheese and wasabi sauce on a grilled pretzel roll with a layer of coleslaw.

Conor O’Neill’s Irish Pub & Restaurant, Ann Arbor – Did you know Conor O’Neill’s was built with imported wood and stone imported from Ireland? Conor O’Neills is located in downtown Ann Arbor on Main Street. The pub serves authentic Irish food and has a vast selection of imported beers and spirits. One of their house specials is the ‘Irish Boxty’, a traditional potato pancake cooked on the griddle and stuffed with sautéed vegetables and a hint of basil, drizzled with pesto mayo and served with a side house salad. Every Sunday at 7:30 the pub has live music featuring a traditional Irish session.

Sidetrack Bar & Grill, YpsilantiSidetrack Bar & Grill is a lively railroad-themed bar and grill with an award-winning burger and a wide variety of local and imported craft beer. Try the ‘Irish Pub Egg Rolls’, ‘Shepherds Pie’ or ‘Fish and Chips’. For something a bit more non-traditional, try the ‘Guiness Float’ featuring a fresh pint of Guiness with Guernsey vanilla ice cream.

Other Places to Visit:

The Ann Arbor Art Center will again partner with Two James (a craft spirits distilling company in Detroit) for Artini, one of the winter’s most anticipated events for cocktail lovers. Art enthusiasts interested in creating their own masterpieces can choose from many classes in 2017 at the Ann Arbor Art Center, including clay tile-making, digital illustration, jewelry design, and more.

The second annual Let’s Chill Winter Fest features activities Feb. 3-5 for individuals of all ages. The winter festival will span the downtown shopping area of Milan, Wilson Park and Edgetown. Activities include a chili cook-off, the area’s only Wine Walk, indoor and outdoor winter games, ice carving, an Artisan tent, food, and much more! Start out right from 6-11 p.m. Friday at “THE BIG FREEZE,” inside a heated tent while enjoying live music by Brad McNett and his quartet, great food and drinks from JR’s Hometown Grill and Pub . Free shuttle service will run between all major event areas and parking lots, making it easily accessible for everyone. Warming stations will be set up in the downtown area and a large bonfire in Wilson Park >MORE

UMS will continue its season of unique and acclaimed musical performances into 2017, with an evening of Johann Sebastian Bach on Saturday, April 22 performed by prestigious cellist Yo-Yo Ma, accompanied by bassist Edgar Meyer and mandolinist Chris Thile. Later in April, lauded mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato will perform in John Fridiric Handel’s Ariodante, an opera from the same composer as the famous Messiah, a holiday classic. This production will take place at just three venues in the country this year — Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor.

The Encore Musical Theatre Company in Dexter will premiere a brand-new musical in the spring — “Into the Wild”, based upon the wildly successful book of the same name (the book is also the subject of the 2007 film written and directed by Sean Penn and starting Emile Hirsch and Kristen Stewart). This is a rare opportunity to see a new musical in its early production stages, possibly on its way to Broadway!

The State Theatre will reopen in the summer of 2017, with a revamped art deco design that hearkens back to the theater’s glory days of the 1940s through 1960s. Other improvements will include an elevator, updated projection and sounds systems, and ADA-compliant features. The State Theatre is a beloved Ann Arbor jewel, showing classic, independent, popular, and niche films — the perfect destination for a “dinner & a movie” night out.

Foundation Trail is well underway; fat tire bikers and cross country skiers rejoice! This is the first winter season the Green Lake 5-mile loop will be open for explorers of Washtenaw County. This trail is well suited for beginners and advanced riders. If you’re looking for a challenge, stay tuned for the next loop, Big Kame, expected to open this spring. The 4.5-mile loop will have a unique set of characteristics and terrain catered to outdoor enthusiasts who are looking for a more challenging route. The accessible trail, Green Lake, will be groomed regularly as Washtenaw County endures another Michigan winter. By 2020, the total trail mileage will be 25 miles. >MORE