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Chelsea (Michigan)

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Chelsea (Michigan)

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Chelsea [2] is a city of 4,398 people (as of 2000) in Washtenaw County.

Chelsea's big claim to fame is local-boy-turned-famous-actor/writer/director Jeff Daniels, a proud Michigander who still lives in town between engagements, and who tends to showcase Michigan in his films (Escanaba in da Moonlight is set in the UP, and Super Sucker in the fictional town of Johnson City). Daniels is also a strong supporter of local arts, and founded the Purple Rose Theatre Company [3] as a way to feature Midwestern actors, directors, designers and playwrights. The other big name in town is the Chelsea Milling Company, home of Jiffy Mix, one of the first instant baking mixes and still a popular brand nationwide.

If you're not thrilled by movie actors or fluffy biscuits, then you can always stroll around the charming downtown area, with its quaint homes, fun shopping, and locally-famous restaurant The Common Grill, which has published two cookbooks that you'll be able to find in local bookstores.

Get in[edit]

Chelsea is located in southeastern Michigan, between Ann Arbor and Jackson.

Get around[edit]

  • Western-Washtenaw Area Value Express (WAVE), +1 734 475-9494. Door-to-door rides within Chelsea, Dexter, and the north side of Ann Arbor (connecting with the #9 AATA bus). $3 - $4.

See[edit][add listing]

  • The Clocktower, 310 North Main Street. The oldest and most visible landmark in Chelsea, the four-faced brick clocktower was built in 1906 as a water tower for the Glazier Stove Company. After a second fire at the factory, it was converted into a clocktower; recently, the building was renovated to house office and retail space. The clock chimes every quarter-hour.
  • Chelsea Milling Company, 201 W North Street, +1 734 475-1361, [4]. Tours scheduled 9AM-1:30PM Monday through Friday. Manufacturers of "Jiffy" Mix instant baking mixes.
  • The Purple Rose Theatre Company, 137 Park Street, +1 734 433-ROSE (7673), [5]. Box office open 10AM-6PM Monday through Friday; on show nights, box office open 10AM-9PM Monday through Friday, 12PM-9PM on Saturday, and 12PM-3PM on Sunday. 4 plays per season, produced by emerging playwrights and cast with regional talent. Local not-for-profit professional theatre dedicated to making the theatre available for everyone, and providing opportunities for Midwestern plays, playwrights, actors, designers, directors and administrators. Also offers intensive skill-building acting and directing classes. $12.50 - $35.
  • Waterloo Farm Museum, 9998 Waterloo-Munith Road, +1 517 596-2254, [6]. Tours scheduled from early June to early September. Features exhibits on 19th-century farm life. Special events include Pioneer Day in mid-October and Christmas on the Farm in early December. On-site gift shop. Admission $3.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Arctic Coliseum, 501 Coliseum Drive, +1 734 433-4444, [7]. Open skate and drop-in hockey hours vary by day. 78,000-square-foot 2-ice-surface facility. 8 oversized locker rooms, hockey skill development program, hockey pro shop, pizza restaurant. Open skating $4, skate rental $3.
  • Chelsea Center for the Arts, 400 Congdon Street, +1 734 433-2787, [8]. Office hours 9AM-5PM Monday through Thursday, 9AM-12PM on Friday, and by appointment Saturday and Sunday. Offers classes in music and visual arts, as well as art shows, brown bags and other events.
  • Chelsea Lanes, 1180 S Main Street, +1 734 475-8141, [9]. Open 12PM-10PM Monday and Wednesday, 3PM-10PM on Tuesday, 3PM-11PM Thursday and Friday, and 10AM-12AM on Saturday; closed Sundays. Laser glo bowling on Saturdays. $2.50 - $3.25 per game, shoe rental $2.
  • Tree of Life Studio, 6065 Sibley Road suite 1, +1 734 433-0697,[10]. Drumming and dance classes, therapeutic massage center, tearoom and rotating artisans' market. Massage $65 - 240.
  • TreeHouse, 320 N. Main St., +1 734 475-1555, [11]. Indoor playground for kids of all ages, with a 1,200 square foot climbing structure, toddler area, and family-friendly menu choices. 9AM-8PM all week.


Chelsea offers residents and visitors many local events and activities to choose from on any given day. These events are listed on the Things To Do In Chelsea [12] website. The major annual events include:

  • Sounds and Sights on Thursday Nights, Main Street, +1 734 475-1145, [13]. Held for 11 weeks from late June through late August, on Thursday nights from 6:30PM-8:30PM. Local musicians, street performers, food vendors, downtown shops open late.
  • Chelsea SummerFest, Main Street, +1 734 475-1145, [14]. Held during two days in late July. Artisans and craftspeople, live entertainment, children's activities, merchant booths, special guest appearances, specialty foods, classic cars and more.
  • Chelsea Community Fair, 20501 Old US-12 Hwy and Old Manchester Road, +1 734 475-1270, [15]. Held during one week in late August. Fairground rides, juried exhibits, contests, demolition derby, horse shows, wheel drive pulling.
  • Hometown Holiday, Main Street, +1 734 475-1145, [16]. Held the first weekend in December. Tree lighting ceremony, visits with Santa, storytelling, live nativity scene, live entertainment and sing-a-longs, concerts, luminaries, light parade, crafts workshops and more.

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Chelsea Farmer's Market, Park Street, [17]. Open 8AM-12PM on Saturdays from May through October. Organic produce, handmade crafts, cut flowers, beefalo and poultry, baked goods, jam and honey, perennials and annuals, and specialty items.
  • Chelsea Teddy Bear Company, 400 N Main Street, +1 734 433-5499 or +1 800 303-7255, [18]. Open 10AM-6PM Monday through Saturday, and 12PM-5PM on Sunday. Public tours given at 11AM, 1PM and 3PM on Saturday. Manufacturer of plush teddy bears; a 10-foot-tall "World's Largest Teddy Bear" is on-site.
  • Cranesbill Books, 108 E Middle Street, +1 734 433-2665, [19]. Open 10AM-7PM Monday and Tuesday, 10AM-8PM Wednesday and Thursday, 10AM-9PM Friday and Saturday, and 10AM-6PM on Sunday. Independent local book seller and toy store.
  • Dayspring Gifts, [20]1170 S Main Street, +1 734 475-7501. Hallmark Gold Crown gifts, Yankee Candles, Webkinz, Cat's Meow and Chelsea gifts.
  • The Garden Mill, 110 S Main St. +1 734 475-3539, [21]. Practical and whimsical gifts and supplies for both home and garden.
  • Kern Road Farm and Kitchen, 13877 E Old US-12, +1 734 433-0738. Pre-Civil War farm selling jams, jellies, herbs, herbal jams, flavored vinegar, fruit vinaigrettes, chutneys and syrups.
  • The Potting Shed, 105 1/2 W Middle Street, +1 734 475-8086. Open 1PM-5PM on Tuesday, 11AM-5PM Wednesday through Saturday, and 1PM-4PM on Sunday; closed Mondays. Antiques, vintage linens, antique furnishings, garden ware, birdhouses, handmade bath and body items, and handcrafted herbal wreaths.
  • Rockefellers, 12290 Jackson Road, +1 734 475-0101. Open 10AM-5:30PM Tuesday through Saturday. Rocks, crystals, fossils, beads and tools.
  • Serendipity Paperback Books, 113 W Middle Street, +1 734 475-7148. Closed Sundays and Tuesdays; call for hours. Over 16,000 paperbacks and used books.
  • Uptown Antiques & Little Wares, 114 N Main Street, +1 734 475-6940. Open Monday through Saturday; closed Sundays. Holiday ornaments, handbags, books, depression glass, costume jewelry, quilts, linens and tableware.
  • The Village Shoppe, 104 N Main Street, +1 734 475-6933. Open 9:30AM-5:30PM Monday and Tuesday, 9:30AM-7PM Wednesday and Thursday, and 9:30AM-5:30PM Friday and Saturday; closed Sundays. Country and folk art, home decor and furnishings from local and nationally known artisans.
  • Vogel's & Foster's, 107 S Main Street, +1 734 475-1606 or +1 877 815-0641, [22]. Open 10AM-6PM Monday through Wednesday, 10AM-8PM Thursday through Saturday, and 12PM-4PM on Sunday. Old-time department retail clothing store, serving Chelsea since 1910.

  • Mule Skinner Boots & Western, 118 S. Main St., 1-734-475-0342, [1]. 12:00 - 8:00 pm Tuesday thru Saturday Closed Sunday & Monday.. Cowboy and Cowgirl boots , by Lucchese, Tony Lama, Nocona. Workboots and motorcycle boots by H + H, Justin and Chippewa. Handmade belts and holsters. Est. 1973.  edit

Art and Art Galleries[edit]

  • Darwin's Stained Glass Studio, 9080 Beeman Road, +1 734 475-9730 or +1 800 589-4737, [23]. Open by appointment only; please call ahead. Stained glass doors and windows, lampshades and restored slot machines.
  • DeTroyer Iron Art, [24]. Unique handcrafted architectural, commercial and decorative metal work.
  • River Gallery, 120 S Main Street, +1 734 433-0826, [25]. Open 11AM-5PM Tuesday through Thursday, 11AM-8PM Friday and Saturday, and 12PM-4PM on Sunday; closed Mondays. Fine art gallery that showcases regional and national talent in paintings, sculptures, photography, ceramics, textiles and prints. 6 major exhibitions yearly on the first level and featured artist shows on the second level.


  • The Golden Apple, 105 S Main Street, +1 734 475-6001. Amber, opal, garnet, amethyst and sterling silver jewelry.
  • LaJolla Fine Jewelry, 111 S Main Street, +1 734 475-0717. Specializing in Old World quality and contemporary custom designs.
  • Middle Bead, 115 W Middle Street, +1 734 433-0400. Beads and glass gifts. Beadwork and crafts classes available.
  • Winans Jewelry, 108 S Main Street, +1 734 475-2622. Diamond engagement rings, solid-gold jewelry, watches.

Eat and Drink[edit]

  • The Common Grill, 112 S Main Street, +1 734 475-0470, [26]. Open 11AM-10PM Tuesday through Thursday, 11AM-11PM Friday and Saturday, and 11AM-9PM on Sunday; closed Mondays. Appetizers, salads, sandwiches, pizza, and entrées. Specialties include their delicious homemade rolls, seafood chowder, grilled Black Angus sirloin steak, oven-roasted chicken breast, and grilled ahi tuna salad niçoise. $10 - $30.
  • Mike's Deli, 114 W Middle Street, +1 734 475-5980, [27]. Open 10AM-7PM Monday through Saturday, and 11AM-3PM on Sunday. Deli sandwiches on Zingerman's bread, sides and salads. $2.95 - $8.45.
  • Ollie's Main Street Pizza, 503 Coliseum Drive, +1 734 433-6543, [28]. Open 1PM-10PM on Sunday, 4PM-10PM Monday through Thursday, 4PM-11PM on Friday, and 11AM-11PM on Saturday. Pizzas, subs, hoagies, dinners, salads, appetizers and breadsticks. Pizza $6 - $15.50
  • Scooples Cafe, 114 N Main Street, +1 734 433-0655. Open seasonally; call for hours. Old-fashioned ice cream parlor.
  • Cleary's Pub, 113 S Main Street, +1 734 475-1922, [29]. Open 11AM-11PM Monday through Saturday, and 3:30PM-9PM on Sunday. 12 draft beers, appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, burgers, pizza, pasta, chicken, meat, seafood and Southwestern entrees. Live music Friday and Saturday nights. $6 - $19.
  • Seitz's Tavern, 110 W Middle Street, +1 734 475-7475. Open 7AM-1AM Monday through Saturday; closed Sundays. Old-fashioned tavern.

Coffee, Tea and Chocolate[edit]

  • Café Touba, 6065 Sibley Road, +1 734 433-0697, [30]. Moroccan gypsy-style café serving fruit smoothies, fresh juices, energy power drinks, coffee, herbal tea and special healing drinks.
  • Gourmet Chocolate Cafe, 312 N Main Street, +1 734 475-1071, [31]. Gourmet-quality chocolate, coffee, pastries and baked goods.
  • Pierce's Pastries Plus, 103 W Middle Street, +1 734 475-6081. Open 5:30AM-2PM Monday through Saturday, and 7AM-1PM on Sunday. Gourmet coffees, pastries, pies, soups and sandwiches.
  • Zou Zou's, 101 N Main Street, +1 734 433-4226. Open 7AM-7PM Monday through Thursday, 7AM-10PM on Friday, 8AM-10PM on Saturday, and 8AM-6PM on Sunday. Coffee, coffee drinks, sandwiches, soups, salads, pastries.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Chelsea House Victorian Inn, 118 E Middle Street, +1 877 618-4935, [32]. 4 guest rooms. Full breakfast (fruit crèpes plus a hot entrée). $115 - 195.
  • Waterloo Gardens Bed & Breakfast, 7600 Werkner Road, +1 877 433-1612, [33]. 2 guest rooms. Spa and solarium, exercises, complimentary snacks and soft drinks, outdoor flowers and shrubs, two host Golden Retrievers, full hot breakfast. $90 - $140.

Get out[edit]

Routes through Chelsea
KalamazooJackson  W noframe E  DexterAnn Arbor

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