Tuesday, November 5, 2019

4 PLACES TO FIND PUMPKIN SPICE LATTES IN ANN ARBOR

Autumn is officially here, and with it, all the beautiful sights smell, and, of course, tastes. Since 2003, pumpkin spice has been perhaps the favorite flavor of fall, combining the rich spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and a little bit of pumpkin puree. And while you can find pumpkin spice in almost anything now, the most popular option remains the pumpkin spice latte. Is your mouth watering yet? Here’s where you can find pumpkin spice lattes in Ann Arbor:

Literati Coffee

You may recognize the name Literati from the well-loved local independent bookstore, Literati Bookstore. When you make your way through the bookstore — undoubtedly with arms full of books, you’ll find Literati coffee, a fully-fledged coffee shop that has a delicious seasonal menu. Among that menu is their *Literally* Pumpkin Spice Latte, made with their own house-made pumpkin syrup. Not only will you find pumpkin spice here, but you’ll find a pumpkin spice latte that can’t be found anywhere else — and you might even find the perfect read while you drink it.

The Common Cup

Come autumn, The Common Cup is filled with the tempting scents of hot apple cider, chai, cinnamon apple donuts, and pumpkin spice lattes. But The Common Cup is more than just a coffee shop. It’s an extension of the University Lutheran Chapel and committed to serving the community both in providing a space to meet and being environmentally responsible. They even offer 5% off when you bring your own coffee mug. This is a popular spot for college students to meet, given the convenient location. The walls are adorned with art from local artists.

Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea

Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea is a Ypsilanti coffee shop that has already become a franchise. They have a wide range of coffee, tea, espresso, and more options. That variety expands when autumn comes around and they start to offer their own pumpkin spice syrup. Blogger Cecilia Irene of A Large Cup of Tea and a Long Book declared Sweetwaters’ pumpkin spice latte to be her favorite, calling it “the perfect mix of sweet and savory.”

Bearclaw Coffee

Bearclaw Coffee is one of our personal favorites, our neighbors as well as a delicious place to enjoy a cup of coffee. They have a warm, rustic sort of ambiance as well as the “nation’s largest fleet of mobile coffee trucks,” so you may have seen them at local events. Bearclaw Coffee also offers a delicious autumn menu every fall, including pumpkin spice lattes and authentic Bearclaw Chai.
Starbucks may have created the pumpkin spice latte and popularized it, but they’re not the only place to go for your pumpkin spice fix in Ann Arbor. Don’t neglect the local coffee shops with their own unique takes on this delicious fall drink. Need a place to stay while exploring all the pumpkin spice goodness that Ann Arbor has to offer? Contact University Inn Ann Arbor today to book your stay or for more information.

4 HAUNTED HOUSES IN ANN ARBOR

With Halloween around the corner, even visitors of Ann Arbor may be looking for haunted houses to get their October spook fix. In Ann Arbor, you’ll find vibrant excitement for Halloween, including haunted house attractions both in the city and in the general area. New in town or just staying for a short time? Here are a few haunted houses in or near Ann Arbor that are worth the visit.
Strictly speaking, Brandywine Cemetery is not a haunted house. It’s an outdoor attraction, but it’s just as spooky and thrilling as any haunted house you might check out. The theme is a haunted graveyard, and there are more than just ghosts to be found. Here you’ll cross gargoyles, animatronics, and plenty of scary props. However, if you need to go a little light on the more horrific elements, this is an excellent choice for you. This haunted house leaves out the blood and guts, graphic depictions of murder, and anything else that might make you too squeamish. Instead, it focuses on the spookiness of the storytelling and chilling the senses.
Night Terrors has a number of haunted attractions: the asylum, the haunted barn, hay rides, the mineshaft, and even zombie paintball. It’s a full haunted thrill park located at Wiard’s Orchards in Ypsilanti. Night Terrors is so notoriously spooky that it’s been ranked in the top 31 haunted attractions throughout the whole of the United States. It’s an opportunity to get into the spooky season as well as a chance to just have fun. After all, how often do you get to shoot zombies with a paintball gun?
Located in nearby Pontiac, Erebus is a four-story haunted house themed as the lab of a mad scientist — but be careful, word has it he’s searching for more subjects to achieve his goal of making time travel a reality. Move through eerie portals and face the horrifying fates of subjects that came before. With terrifying screams as well as laughs, Erebus is well worth the half-hour drive for those in the mood for a haunted house.
In nearby Westland, you can find not just one but three haunted houses in one haunted attraction. The themes are vastly different to fit your tastes. There’s Descent, which features mines and caverns; The Coven, transporting you to an old New Orleans cemetery; and Rosecliff Hall, set in an old family manor. Each offers a different story, but all equally chilling and filled with monsters. Hush is known for its state of the art sets and their excellent actors, so you know you’re in for an experience.
Need somewhere to stay while checking out all these haunted attractions? Try University Inn of Ann Arbor. You may not find any ghosts here, but you will find us conveniently located near the university as well as several shops, restaurants, and hospitals. Contact us today to book your stay and get ready to check out the haunted houses nearby.

Monday, November 4, 2019

FOOTBALL SEASON IN ANN ARBOR

Home to the University of Michigan, Michigan Stadium, and nearby Eastern Michigan University, college sports have always been a point of excitement in Ann Arbor. As the air turns crisp and the green grass is trimmed, football season comes into view, and with its fans from all over the country. No college sport is more beloved in Ann Arbor, and for good reason. So if you’re planning to visit, either to support a student-athlete or just to see a great game, here’s our guide to football season in Ann Arbor:
The Teams
If you’re watching a game at Michigan Stadium, there’s a good chance you’re here to cheer on the Michigan Wolverines. The Wolverines are the home team of the University of Michigan, playing in the East Division of the Big Ten Conference. Their season began on August 31, with a game against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders which they won. A preseason poll by Cleveland.com slated the Wolverines to win the Big Ten Championship game for the current season.
If, however, you’re visiting Rynearson Stadium, you’ll find the Eastern Michigan Eagles, who compete in the Division I Football Superbowl Subdivision, as well as the Mid-American Conference. Their season also started August 31 when they won a game against the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers.
The Stadiums
Michigan Stadium is often called “The Big House” for good reason. With an official capacity of 107,601, it’s the largest football stadium in the United States and the second-largest in the world — with the largest being Rungrado 1st of May Stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea. Despite the official capacity, the Big House has in fact hosted crowds of more than 115,000 at points. In addition to hosting football games, The Big House is used to host the University of Michigan graduations. Rynearson Stadium in Ypsilanti holds crowds of about 30,200 and has hosted games since 1969. It’s named for a decorated former coach at Eastern Michigan University, Elton J. Rynearson, who coached for 26 seasons.
The Etiquette
“Etiquette” and “football” aren’t often used in the same sentence. After all, a football game is a rowdy occasion, with screaming, exuberant fans and emotions running high. But if you haven’t attended a game before, there are a few things you want to keep in mind. While it’s great and encouraged to jump out of your seat and cheer at the big moments like an epic touchdown, or even the disappointments, you do want to make sure to sit back down. No one wants to sit behind a fan who stands for most of the game. Check the weather to dress appropriately for the game — you’ll probably be outside for a while. Drink responsibly and don’t chest bump strangers whose boundaries you don’t know. Finally, if yelling at the ref is something you need to do for your own sake, it’s up to you but keep in mind — the refs don’t care, and shouting at them won’t change their decision.
Looking for a place to stay as a college football fan? University Inn of Ann Arbor offers discounts for team sports parents of both the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University as well as a 10% discount to college-bound students and parents visiting the University of Michigan when you book ahead of time. Contact us today for more information.

3 TIPS FOR PARENTS OF STUDENT ATHLETES

Most parents feel pride in their children, no matter what their talents. But there’s a special brand of parental pride when your child is a college athlete — the kind that you often share with hundreds or even thousands of fans. Parents of student-athletes are spirited, enthusiastic, and want to support their child in the game they love as much as possible. In fact, it’s fun to do so. But if this is a new experience for you, you may find yourself wondering how to navigate that world. Here are a few tips for parents of student-athletes potentially being recruited by colleges to consider.

Coaches Watch Parents As Well As Athletes

Are you excited for your kid to be recruited by their dream college? A big game is coming up: you know scouts will be there, and you just want everything to go well. IT’s an understandable feeling, but keep in mind that scouts won’t just be watching your child. They’ll also be watching you. If you’re constantly shouting at the refs, booing, or heckling, it can make a bad impression and it could be your child who suffers the consequences. Be on your best behavior — don’t be afraid to cheer for your kid, but keep good sportsmanship in mind.

Work With Them on Applications

One trap that promising student-athletes often fall into is waiting too long to apply or not thoroughly looking into the recruitment process. This is the part where parents can be most helpful. Start talking to your students about where they’d like to go to school and start looking into athletic scholarships. Not everyone can get an athletic scholarship, so parents should start looking into the cost of tuition and how to make it workable in the meantime. Schedule visits with the college campus and gets your students into researching the recruitment process. What divisions do their dream schools compete in and what are the opportunities within that division? What do recruiters look for? What kind of behavior is expected from your student during that process? Do the homework with them and encourage them to look into it themselves.

Let Your Student Take the Lead

The parental nature is to be protective. It can be hard to let go of the reins and tell your child to take the lead. But keep in mind it’s your child the school is trying to recruit, not their parents. Blurring the lines between parent and agent can reflect badly on the student and give off the impression that the parent wants this more than the child. Instead, talk to your child about taking initiative and having confidence when talking to recruiters. You can even go over a practice interview at home to prep them. Just make sure their words are their own.
Planning to visit the University of Michigan with your student-athlete to learn if it’s the right school for you? University Inn of Ann Arbor offers a 10% discount to parents and students visiting the university. We also offer discounts to parents of college athletes. Contact us today for more information or to book your stay.

Monday, September 23, 2019

HOW TO SPEND AUTUMN IN ANN ARBOR

There’s something magical about autumn. The leaves turn vibrant colors, the wind picks up around your legs, and the weather is just cool enough to give your cheeks a pleasant nip. And Ann Arbor is a magical place to be in autumn. You may be visiting as the University of Michigan school year starts, or you may just want to explore the city in the crisp fall weather. Whatever the reason, here are a few of our suggestions for autumn activities in Ann Arbor.

Sip Some Cider

Apple cider is the trademark taste of fall, but Dexter Cider Mill offers far more than just cider. In fact, here you can find all kinds of apple treats that are perfect for fall: caramel apples, apple turnovers, and of course, delicious apple cider. They even have doughnuts that come in plain or the delicious autumnal flavor of cinnamon sugar. On Saturday and Sunday, you can enjoy apple fritters. And if you’re looking for something a little more adult, consider their hard cider.

Hike or Bike or Walk

Ann Arbor is beautiful in autumn, and you may want to get outside to simply soak in those stunning sights of bright reds and yellows. Fortunately, it’s also an excellent place to hike or bike. Consider taking a bike on your trip to Dexter Cider Mill, biking along Huron River Drive to Dexter, surrounded by gorgeous autumn trees. The Old West Side Historic District, with its historic homes, also encourages passersby to slow their steps and enjoy the beauty. Bird Hills Nature Area is a great place to go hiking and lose yourself in nature.

Catch a Football Game

Autumn means the start of football season, and you’ll find that Ann Arbor residents can be quite passionate about their favorite sport. It’s not for nothing that the University of Michigan is home to the “Big House,” the largest football stadium in the United States. By now, the season has already started so if you plan your trip with football in mind, you should easily be able to catch a game at Michigan Stadium.

Grab a Brew

A cool beer is also a perfect way to really put you in the mood for fall, and Ann Arbor is proud of its brew scene. You can start with the Jolly Pumpkin, with a name that just screams autumn. The Jolly Pumpkin is a cafe as well as a brewery, where you can find a sandwich, salad, or even a pizza to go along with your brews. When it comes to the drinks themselves, the taps even have the faces of white jack-o-lanterns, adding to the autumn atmosphere. Be sure to try their truffle fries while you’re here, too. The Session Room is also a great option, including an outdoor beer garden and a lounge for live music.
Looking for a place to stay for your autumn trip to Ann Arbor? Consider University Inn, conveniently located near the college campus. And don’t forget, we offer a 10% discount to students or families visiting the University of Michigan college campus as well as families of student-athletes. Contact us today for more information.

COLLEGE SPORTS IN ANN ARBOR

Ann Arbor is not only home to the University of Michigan and the Wolverines but is right next door to Ypsilanti and Eastern Michigan University’s Swoops. The combination makes Ann Arbor a popular destination for fans of college sports. Whether you’re an avid fan traveling to support your team or you have a student-athlete interested in attending one of the two universities, make sure to visit University Inn in Ann Arbor, conveniently located near University of Michigan, to start your sports-themed Ann Arbor trip.
What You’ll Find
The University of Michigan Athletic program plays in the NCAA Division I as well as the Big Ten conference, making the Wolverines a formidable bunch. There are 27 varsity sports, ranging from football to water polo, basketball to gymnastics. But here are some of the sports you’ll most commonly see.
  • The U-M Wolverines are best known for their football team, and for good reason. With 929 wins and 11 national championships, the Wolverines have the highest winning percentage of any college football team in history.
  • U-M has both men’s and women’s basketball teams. The men’s team has appeared in the NCAA Playoffs Final Four as many as 8 times.
  • Some of your favorite major league baseball players may have started with the Wolverines. As many as 138 players have gone on to the major leagues. Just this year, the baseball team made it to the College World Series.
  • If you’re visiting in the summer, men’s and women’s soccer is another popular Wolverines sport, both for spectators and potential future athletes.
  • Ice Hockey. The ice hockey team is a member of the Big Ten conference, and they’ve won nine NCAA championships.
  • Women’s rowing is a more recent varsity sport in U-M’s athletic program. It started as a club sport in 1991 and became a varsity sport in 1996.
In neighboring Ypsilanti, you can also enjoy sports from the Eastern Michigan University Eagles, including football, baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, cross country, track and field, and wrestling. The Eagles also play in Division I so you may catch a game of the Wolverines vs. Eagles while you’re here.
Where to Watch
Are you a spectator or a student-athlete hoping to check out the field where you might play in the coming year? Here are some of the facilities you’ll find at the University of Michigan:
At Eastern Michigan University, there’s also:
  • Rynearson Stadium
  • Convocation Center
  • Oestrike Stadium
  • Jones Natatorium
  • Scicluna Field
  • Joe’s Sports Dome
  • Wasik Tennis Center
  • Eaglecrest Golf Club

Where to Stay

The University Inn in Ann Arbor is located near the University of Michigan campus, making it the perfect place to stay for Wolverines fans. We also offer a 10% discount if student-athletes or families of athletes with either U-M or Eastern Michigan University book their stay with us directly. Contact us today for more information.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

6 FUN FACTS ABOUT ANN ARBOR

Ann Arbor is a college city full of character. It’s the kind of city that’s best “kept weird.” From the quirky, vast food chain Zingerman’s to multiple music venues and even local lore, you’re sure to find things that set Ann Arbor apart from anywhere you’ve ever been. Need more incentive to visit? Here are a few fun facts about Ann Arbor:

Argus Camera Company

Argus Camera Company was founded in Ann Arbor in 1936 and sold off until about 1969. Its cameras, however, remain part of popular culture, particularly the popular C3. You may have seen one in several famous movies, including Abbott and Costello’s In the NavyThe Philadelphia Story, and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. In Harry Potter, muggle-born Colin Creevey carries with him a beloved C3 to eagerly take wizard photos.

Ann Arbor

An arbor is defined as a garden grove shaded by trees, and it’s a fitting name for Ann Arbor, home to 158 parks and 14.5 million trees. In a world where deforestation is a massive environmental issue, it’s reassuring to know that Tree Town is still going strong.

“Recycling Pioneer”

These days, going green is an important issue in many cities, but Ann Arbor is a little ahead of the game. It was named a “Recycling Pioneer” by the EPA as early as 1998. In fact, it’s known to be one of the top 20 cities when it comes to waste reduction in the United States.

Path to the Academy Awards

The Ann Arbor Film Festival is not just a place to catch a cool new film. It’s also one of the only Academy Award qualifying festivals in the United States. It’s been host to a number of famous guests over the years, including Andy Warhol, Gus Van Sant, Yoko Ono, and George Lucas.

Fairy Doors

One of the most whimsical things about Ann Arbor is the series of fairy doors you may find throughout the city. These tiny doors are built into walls both inside and out throughout the city. You may even find a goblin door. Fortunately, you can make a scavenger hunt out of it by checking out the tour map provided by self-proclaimed “virologist,” Jonathan B. Wright.

Fragel

Until a year ago, Ann Arbor was home to something of a local delicacy: the fragile. It started with with a mere raisin bagel. From there, MD Bagel Fragel deep-friend the dough and rolled it in cinnamon and sugar. The end result was perhaps an acquired taste but certainly fun and distinctly Ann Arbor. Unfortunately, MD Bagel Fragel closed last fall after 25 years, but many locals still look fondly on the fragile.
These are only a few of the characteristics that make Ann Arbor as funky and fun as it is. The best way to learn more is to visit and experience it for yourself. Looking for accommodations? University Inn of Ann Arbor offers a 10% discount to students and families visiting the University of Michigan, as well as U-M or Eastern Michigan University student-athletes and families of student-athletes. Contact us today to book directly.