Ann Arbor and its surrounding areas are known as inclusive and celebratory when it comes to the LGBTQ community. With a long and storied history in regards to LGBTQ issues, the Ann Arbor area is full of great things to do for a day trip, weekend getaway or week-long vacation. We’ve compiled a summary of just a few of these events and attractions that may be of interest to LGBTQ travelers, and others.
Events geared toward the LGBTQ community are plentiful in the Ann Arbor area. Love film? The Ann Arbor Film Festival features Out Night - with LGBTQ short films featuring documentary, experimental, and narrative works. This annual program within the Film Festival is geared toward the exploration of LGBTQ issues and interests. OUTFest, held at hotspot Braun Court, is a weekend festival in the Kerrytown District of Ann Arbor to celebrate community, allyship and pride. Presented by the Jim Toy Community Center, this is a fun-filled Tree Town weekend of food, entertainment, vendors, and historically beautiful weather. In conjunction with OUTFest, a Pride Picnic is held at a local park, with family-friendly food, games, and music. Also, the artistic, bohemian community of Ypsilanti, just outside Ann Arbor, hosts Ypsi Pride, a celebration of LGBTQ culture.
Whenever you visit Ann Arbor, you’ll want to spend some time in the beautiful Braun Court area. Home to \aut\ BAR (known for its incredible brunch), Braun Court is a beloved area of Ann Arbor for the LGBTQ community. The Bar at 327 Braun Court is a neighborhood bar specializing in fabulous cocktails such as the Absinthe Frappe; Common Language Bookstore has served the LGBTQ community for over two decades; and the Jim Toy Community Center is a prominent resource for the LGBTQ community in Washtenaw County. Other notable hotspots include Arbor Brewing Company (the first microbrewery in Ann Arbor), Zingerman’s Deli (for renowned sandwiches) and Tio’s (a great Mexican eatery). In Ypsilanti, you’ll find delicious internationally-inspired cuisine at Bona Sera (they also host many special events of interest to the LGBTQ community), and tasty breakfasts and coffee at Beezy’s. Also in Ypsilanti, Drag Queen Bingo is a regular event at the Tap Room, a neighborhood bar with fantastic drink specials.
Ann Arbor is home to TAG Approved hotels (as well as many other lovely hotels and bed & breakfasts), LGBTQ nights on Thursdays at LIVE Nightclub and Fridays at Necto Nightclub, and a thriving LGBTQ local community. Sports fans are sure to enjoy U-M athletics (Go Blue!), and thespians will find plenty of professional and amateur theatrical productions year-round. The next time you’re planning a getaway, we hope you’ll consider the colorful and beautiful Ann Arbor area! For more information, visit www.visitannarbor.org/play and click on ‘LGBTQ’.
Upcoming events of particular interest to the LGBTQ community include:
Out Night at Ann Arbor Film Festival – March 17, 2016
“SPIN” at Theatre Nova - “SPIN” by Emilio Rodriguez – a fast-paced and funny play marrying spoken-word poetry and romantic hip-hop, set in a homeless shelter for LGBTQ teens – June 17 – July 10, 2016
Ypsi Pride – June 18, 2016 (Location TBD)
Day of Decision Celebration at Braun Court – June 26, 2016
Equality on Tap at Bill’s Beer Garden – June 2016 (Date TBD)
OUTFest at Braun Court – August 5-7, 2016
Pride Picnic – August 7, 2016 (Location TBD)