Chelsea is a charming small town in Washtenaw County, Michigan, famous for its Jiffy Mix made by the biggest local employer Chelsea Milling Company. Chelsea District Library was named Best Small Library in America and the local Purple Rose Theatre offers great theatre productions and education and opportunities to the young theatre professionals and enthusiasts. Waterloo State Recreation Area protects 21,000 square miles of forests, lakes and swamps and is popular with hikers, horseback riders and cross-country skiers. Chelsea Historical Museum is located in the beautifully restored 1853 Boyd House and is great spot to start exploring the history of Chelsea. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Hours/availability may have changed.

1.Purple Rose Theatre Co.

Purple Rose Theatre Co.
© Purple Rose Theatre Co.

Purple Rose Theatre is an award-winning small theatre in Chelsea, Michigan, founded in 1991 by actor and Chelsea native Jeff Daniels. The Theatre is dedicated to producing modern American plays and creating creative opportunities for the theater professionals in Midwest. The theatre also provides important educational opportunities for young artists. Their apprenticeship program offers practical professional experience to many college graduates. They also offer a range of performance classes, readings and lectures through the partnership with Chelsea District Library. Tours for groups of all ages and student matinees add to the educational impact. The consistently high quality production and affordable tickets has earned the loyal following within the local community, but also a respect of national theater communities.

137 Park St, Chelsea, MI 48118, Phone: 734-433-7673

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2.Jiffy Mix, Chelsea, Michigan

Jiffy Mix, Chelsea, Michigan
© Jiffy Mix

JIFFY Mix, officially called Chelsea Milling Company, is family-owned business that has been milling flour in Chelsea, Michigan for more than one hundred years. Providing jobs for more than 500 workers, Jiffy is an important employer in Chelsea. Their products are sold in all 50 states, and even in some foreign countries. Jiffy brand of baking mixes is recognizable by small blue box with the brand's logo. Jiffy was the first prepared baking mix in the United States. The historic production facility offers tours to interested visitors, which includes a video presentation, refreshments and a walk through the “JIFFY” packaging plant. Tours last about hour and half.

201 W North St, Chelsea, MI 48118, Phone: 734-475-1361

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3.Waterloo State Recreation Area, Chelsea, Michigan

Waterloo State Recreation Area, Chelsea, Michigan
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Waterloo State Recreation Area is a 21,000-acre park in northeast Jackson County near Chelsea, Michigan. It is one of the largest Michigan parks and it includes dense forest, wetlands, four campgrounds, eleven lakes, a nature center, and more than 50 miles of hiking, horseback and cross-country skiing trails. Waterloo park includes the Black Spruce Bog Natural Area, a National Natural Landmark, and is bordered by the 11,000-acre Pinckney Recreation Area and the 950-acre Phyllis Haehnle Memorial Audubon Sanctuary. The park land is not contiguous and is intersected by numerous roads and private landholdings. Besides attracting avid hikers, equestrians and campers, Waterloo park is popular with fishermen as its numerous lakes are full of many fish species including Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, Bluegill, Sunfish, Northern Pike and others.

16345 McClure Rd, Chelsea, MI 48118, Phone: 734-475-8307

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4.The Common Grill, Chelsea, MI

The Common Grill, Chelsea, MI
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The Common Grill is a contemporary American bistro located in the heart of Chelsea, Michigan. Spacious and timeless, the Grill is decorated with gleaming wood, exposed-brick walls and oversized original paintings of local artists. Founded by Executive Chef Craig Common in 1991, the Common Grill offers upscale American cuisine, with the menu that changes seasonally and features delectable appetizers, salads, entrees and desserts. There is something for everyone, from fresh fish, seafood and Angus steak to goat cheese ravioli and wonderful soups. Before ordering, check the daily specials, the chef always has delicious surprises. The Common Grill is considered one of the top 10 restaurants in the Detroit area, according to Gourmet, Bon Appetit, and other magazines and newspapers.

112 S Main St, Chelsea, MI 48118, Phone: 734-475-0470

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5.Smokehouse 52 BBQ, Chelsea, MI

Smokehouse 52 BBQ, Chelsea, MI
© Smokehouse 52 BBQ

Phil and Jenn Tolliver opened Smokehouse 52 BBQ on the Chelsea Main Street, MI in February of 2013, offering real pit barbecue and Southern hospitality. The Smokehouse quickly became one of the most popular eateries in town. The dining room is spacious and rustic, with exposed brick walls, recycled wood and metal, pressed zinc ceiling and community tables. The smell of authentic wood smoker and grilled meats greet guests long before they sit at the table. While the menu has salads and soups, it is all about their superb meats. They use their signature sauces and rubs, which can be purchased before leaving. The star of the menu, which lets you try a bit of everything, is The Enthusiast, with a mix of pulled pork, beef brisket, smoked chicken, and ribs. If you are having a party, just ask for one of their Bulk-to-go, which comes in packages that include everything. The Smokehouse serves great local wines as well as wines from all over the world, draft beers, beers in cans and bottles and great cocktails.

125 S Main St, Chelsea, MI 48118, Phone: 734-562-2565

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6.DTE Energy Foundation Trail

DTE Energy Foundation Trail
© DTE Energy Foundation Trail

If you’re a mountain biking enthusiast, be sure to stop by the DTE Energy Foundation Trail. The trail, nestled within the Waterloo Recreation Area, was created by the International Mountain Biking Association in partnership with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Taking years to plan and develop, the mountain biking trail system includes four trail loops built consecutively from 2016 to 2019 with a possible fifth loop to be added in the future. Bikers will enjoy an exciting ride through the different trail loops which collectively run for more than 20 miles. The dense forest views and fresh air make for a great bonus as well!

16345 McClure Road, Chelsea, Michigan 48118, Phone: 734-475-8307

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7.Barn Sanctuary

Barn Sanctuary
© Barn Sanctuary

The Barn Sanctuary is the perfect spot for families and animal lovers. Operating since 2016, the sanctuary cares for more than 100 farm animal rescues including ducks, sheep, goats, cows, and more. Each animal was rescued from situations of abuse or neglect, and are now living safely under the care of the Barn Sanctuary’s kind and passionate staff. Other than being able to tour the farm and view animals, visitors will also learn more about the humane treatment of animals and what goes into a plant-based lifestyle. The Barn Sanctuary is open to visitors with reservations every weekend during spring, summer, and fall. 20179 McKernan Drive, Chelsea, MI 48118, Phone: 734-270-6845

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8.Pierce Lake Golf Course

Pierce Lake Golf Course
© Pierce Lake Golf Course

From its beautiful surroundings to its exceptional golfing facilities, the Pierce Lake Golf Course is a must-visit for golfers of every skill level. The 18-hole championship course was designed by renowned course architect Harry Bowers, featuring scenic rolling terrains, wooded areas, and wetlands. Both beginner and advanced golfers can expect a great experience with the course’s front nine holes catering to all skill levels, while the back nine offers more of a challenge. After enjoying the course and its high-quality amenities, players can unwind at the air-conditioned snack bar which serves various snacks, sandwiches, beer, and cold beverages. Located north of the course is also a 26-acre park filled with scenic boardwalks and trails.

1175 South Main Street, Chelsea, MI 48118, Phone: 734-475-5858

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8 Best Things to Do in Chelsea, Michigan

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