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 Upper Peninsula (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 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.
- 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.
- 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; the building has been renovated to house office and retail space. The clock chimes every quarter-hour.
- Chelsea Milling Company, 201 W North Street, ☏ . Tours scheduled M-F 9AM-1:30PM. Manufacturers of "Jiffy Mix" instant baking mixes.
- The Purple Rose Theatre Company, 137 Park Street, ☏ . Box office open M-F 10AM-6PM; on show nights, box office open M-F 10AM-9PM, Sa noon1-9PM, Su noon-3PM. 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, ☏ . Tours scheduled from early June to early September. Features exhibits on 19th-century farm life. Special events include Log Cabin Day in late-June, Pioneer Day in mid-October, and Christmas on the Farm in early December. On-site gift shop. Admission $3.
- Arctic Coliseum, 501 Coliseum Drive, ☏ . 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, ☏ . Office hours M-Th 9AM-5PM, F 9AM-noon, 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, ☏ . M W noon-10PM, Tu 3PM-10PM, The F 3PM-11PM, Sa 10AM-midnight. Laser glo bowling on Saturdays. $2.50 - $3.25 per game, shoe rental $2.
- Tree of Life Studio, 6065 Sibley Road, ☏ . Suite 1. Drumming and dance classes, therapeutic massage center, tearoom and rotating artisans' market. Massage $65 - 240.
- TreeHouse, 320 N. Main St, ☏ . Daily 9AM-8PM. Indoor playground for kids of all ages, with a 1,200 square foot climbing structure, toddler area, and family-friendly menu choices.
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  website. The major annual events include:
- Sounds and Sights on Thursday Nights, Main Street, +1 734 475-1145, . 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,  [dead link]. 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, . 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, . 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.
- Chelsea Farmer's Market, Park Street. May-Oct: Sa 8AM-noon. 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, ☏ , toll-free: . M-Sa 10AM-6PM, Su noon-5PM. Public tours given Sa at 11AM, 1PM and 3PM. Manufacturer of plush teddy bears; a 10-foot-tall "World's Largest Teddy Bear" is on-site.
- Cranesbill Books, 108 E Middle Street, ☏ . M Tu 10AM-7PM, W Th 10AM-8PM, F Sa 10AM-9PM, Su 10AM-6PM. Independent local book seller and toy store.
- The Garden Mill, 110 S Main St, ☏ . 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, 1/2 W Middle Street, ☏ . Tu 1PM-5PM, W-Sa 11AM-5PM, Su 1PM-4PM. 105. Antiques, vintage linens, antique furnishings, garden ware, birdhouses, handmade bath and body items, and handcrafted herbal wreaths.
- Rockefellers, 12290 Jackson Road, ☏ . Tu-Sa 10AM-5:30PM. Rocks, crystals, fossils, beads and tools.
- Serendipity Paperback Books, 113 W Middle Street, ☏ . M W-Sa, call for hours. Over 16,000 paperbacks and used books.
- Uptown Antiques & Little Wares, 114 N Main Street, ☏ . M-Sa. Holiday ornaments, handbags, books, depression glass, costume jewelry, quilts, linens and tableware.
- The Village Shoppe, 104 N Main Street, ☏ . M Tu 9:30AM-5:30PM, W Th 9:30AM-7PM, F Sa 9:30AM-5:30PM. Country and folk art, home decor and furnishings from local and nationally known artisans.
- Vogel's & Foster's, 107 S Main Street, ☏ , toll-free: . M-W 10AM-6PM, Th-Sa 10AM-8PM, Su noon-4PM. Old-time department retail clothing store, serving Chelsea since 1910.
- Mule Skinner Boots & Western, 118 S. Main St., ☏ . Tu-Sa noon-8PM. 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.
- Darwin's Stained Glass Studio, 9080 Beeman Road, ☏ , toll-free: . Open by appointment only; please call ahead. Stained glass doors and windows, lampshades and restored slot machines.
- [dead link] DeTroyer Iron Art. Unique handcrafted architectural, commercial and decorative metal work.
- River Gallery, 120 S Main Street, ☏ . Tu-Th 11AM-5PM, F Sa 11AM-8PM, Su noon-4PM. 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, ☏ . Amber, opal, garnet, amethyst and sterling silver jewelry.
- LaJolla Fine Jewelry, 111 S Main Street, ☏ . Specializing in Old World quality and contemporary custom designs.
- Middle Bead, 115 W Middle Street, ☏ . Beads and glass gifts. Beadwork and crafts classes available.
- Winans Jewelry, 108 S Main Street, ☏ . Diamond engagement rings, solid-gold jewelry, watches.
Eat and drink
- The Common Grill, 112 S Main Street, +1 734 475-0470. Tu-Th 11AM-10PM, F Sa 11AM-11PM, Su 11AM-9PM. 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. M-Sa 10AM-7PM, Su 11AM-3PM. Deli sandwiches on Zingerman's bread, sides and salads. $2.95 - $8.45.
- 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. M-Sa 11AM-11PM, Su 3:30PM-9PM. 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. M-Sa 7AM-1AM. Old-fashioned tavern.
Coffee, tea and chocolate
- Café Touba, 6065 Sibley Road, +1 734 433-0697. Moroccan gypsy-style café serving fruit smoothies, fresh juices, energy power drinks, coffee, herbal tea and special healing drinks.
- Gourmet Chocolate Café, 312 N Main Street, +1 734 475-1071. Gourmet-quality chocolate, coffee, pastries and baked goods.
- Pierce's Pastries Plus, 103 W Middle Street, +1 734 475-6081. M-Sa 5:30AM-2PM, Su 7AM-1PM. Gourmet coffees, pastries, pies, soups and sandwiches.
- Zou Zou's, 101 N Main Street, +1 734 433-4226. M-Th 7AM-7PM, F 7AM-10PM, Sa 8AM-10PM, Su 8AM-6PM. Coffee, coffee drinks, sandwiches, soups, salads, pastries.
- Chelsea House Victorian Inn, 118 E Middle Street, toll-free: . 4 guest rooms. Full breakfast (fruit crèpes plus a hot entrée). $115 - 195.
- Waterloo Gardens Bed & Breakfast, 7600 Werkner Road, toll-free: . 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.
- Ann Arbor is about 20 minutes east on I-94.
- The other towns and villages of Washtenaw County are a short drive away.
|Routes through Chelsea|
|Kalamazoo ← Jackson ←||W E||→ Dexter → Ann Arbor|