Art Fair Insider Tips

Jul 10, 2017

Don’t let the fear of traffic congestion and parking challenges deter you from experiencing the Ann Arbor Art Fair, one of Michigan’s finest summer traditions. Here are six “getting here and around” tips that are sure to make the experience a work of art!

  1. Summer is Construction Season
    Because its summer in Michigan, visitors driving into town are likely to hit some construction. While there are fewer orange barrels and detours compared to previous years, avoid unplanned delays by planning ahead. Here are two of the more significant projects currently in progress.
    • Stadium Boulevard near Michigan Stadium and Pioneer High School is closed for the duration of the project, the good news is that Main Street lane reductions will be lifted for Art Fair.
    • Work continues on US-23 as MDOT makes significant improvements to address commuter congestion.
  2. Park and Ride
    Eliminate the guess work when it comes to finding parking in the midst of the Art Fair and navigate directly to one of three shuttle hubs located just outside the downtown area. Parking is free, the shuttles are air conditioned, and the shuttle fares are fabulously budget friendly which means you can spend more on art than parking! Shuttle hubs and downtown stops.
  3. Downtown Structure and Lot Parking
    For those who simply prefer to park downtown, here are some details to help ease the experience. If you arrive before 5 p.m., parking will cost $15 regardless of how long you plan to be downtown, so make the most of it! After 5 p.m., the fee drops to $7. Also, a lot of parking is reserved for individuals who work downtown which means available spots will increase after quitting time. You can also scout ahead to see which structures will give you the best shot at finding a place! This online, interactive map tracks available spaces at most downtown parking lots and structures. Just select one to get a report.
  4. Approach it like a Game Day
    Similar to Michigan home football games, different organizations and residents will convert private lots and front yards into parking sanctuaries which may provide easy access to your car during a long day of shopping. Bring cash — probably around $40 — and keep your eyes open in the residential areas on the outskirts of downtown.
  5. Think Alternative
    Why not leave the car behind and ride your bike into the downtown area? While this option is more accessible for locals, it’s still possible if you already have the equipment to travel with your two-wheeled friend. There are numerous “Park and Walk” locations designated on the map.

    Another option is to use Boober Tours, the local pedicab company that does more than just give your feet a break from walking. Boober Tours works on donations and provides second chance jobs for people in recovery. All donations go to grow and expand the business which now supports 14 cabs. Look for them on the streets bordering the Ann Arbor Art Fair.
  6. Art-Go-Round
    Now that you’ve done your research and you know exactly how you’re going to get to the Fair, plan for how you’re going to experience all 1,000 artists across 30 city blocks! The Fair is great for ‘getting your steps in’ since the most popular form of transportation is on two feet. Of course, if the heat index and humidity see a typical “Art Fair” bump, a ride on the Art-Go-Round is an excellent reprieve. These air-conditioned, handicapped-accessible mini buses make eight stops throughout the Fair, run every 15 minutes, and are entirely free.

2017 Ann Arbor Art Fair Map

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