Exploring Chelsea, Michigan is an enchanting experience fueled by small town love and a thriving arts and culture scene.
Your visit begins with a lovely drive from Ypsilanti down I-94 West. The sights and sounds on the less-than-20-minute-travel are calm and serene. Open fields and towering trees line the highway as you get closer and closer to Chelsea.
If you’re starting your exploration early in the morning – we recommend breakfast at Zou Zou’s – an adorable cafe with excellent coffee, breakfast, lunch, and snackage options. Once you settle in with your latte and/or breakfast wrap, you get the sense that you’d be a regular at this local go-to if you lived nearby. Need to satisfy your sweet-tooth in the A.M.? Go across the street to the Chelsea Bakery – nearly every Chelsea Native will tell you their apple fritters are second to none!
Now that you’re fueled with delicious grub, burn off some of that energy by strolling over to the Purple Rose Theatre – founded by Jeff Daniels. (He grew up in Chelsea, and still lives there today!) You can request a tour of the award-winning theatre by calling their box office in advance, but make sure you stick around for one of their fabulous productions. Learn more about the Purple Rose and their plays by clicking here.
After that, discover shopping in Downtown Chelsea. These stores are filled with knick-knacks and artisan gifts suited for everyone. La Maison is a new furniture and home decor boutique that has interesting and stylish pieces to make your living space “pop”! The owner keeps a heavy stock of Chalk Paint and also provides classes on how to use this unique tool. Click here to learn more.
The Mule Skinner is a unique store, with a signature smell. The scent of fresh leather seeps onto the streets, and boots, holsters, and belts line the walls as you peruse their selection. Chelsea has endless shopping experiences to be had. Make sure you budget enough time for all of the excitement.
Don’t shop-till-you-drop because you still have to take a tour of the Chelsea Mill (a.k.a. the ONLY Jiffy Factory). Don’t you just love Jiffy Cornbread? Did your mom ever surprise you with an apple cinnamon muffin in your lunchbox? Then you MUST take the Jiffy Tour. You’ll learn so much about the company’s history, but most excitingly – you get to go inside the factory and see how Jiffy Mix is made! (Everyone has to wear a hairnet, which is provided for you at the tour. And for our beardy gentlemen, expect to wear a face-hairnet!) Both the Jiffy tour and the Purple Rose Theatre tour are completely free. So what are you waiting for?
One of the best gems in Chelsea is their outdoor Sculpture Walk. These unique works of art are on nearly every corner. They make excellent Instagram pics and highlight Chelsea’s commitment to arts & culture.
Whew. Bet you’re getting hungry now! It’s lunch/dinner time. The Common Grill is a local favorite. A beautiful setting and a delicious menu make for a special evening. Across the street is Smokehouse 52 – a fairly new BBQ place that’s packed with meat and flavor! They make their own sauces and serve up your meal with a smile. Don’t count your calories at this place! Just have a good time.
And with that, we hope we’ve inspired you to visit Chelsea, Michigan. It’s about the shopping, the food, the culture…and we didn’t even mention the parks! For even more information, visit our friends at ChelseaMich.com.
Did we forget something? Leave a comment below and tell us!