Welcome to Chelsea, Michigan, a charming small historic town, just 15 miles west of Ann Arbor, the home of the University of Michigan. With downtown boutiques, antiques, picnic spots and restaurants, and some of the best tours of the area available, this gem of a place is in a great location to branch out and explore this part of Michigan and the upper Midwest. Take a stroll on a historic walking tour, or visit an organic farm. Check out actor Jeff Daniels’ acclaimed Purple Rose Theatre Company, or enjoy a guided nature walk at the Eddy Discovery Center. You’ll see it all, from maple syrup processors to the beautiful sandhill crane migration tours. Spend a day, weekend, or week, and book an RV in Chelsea, MI, today.
Sites and Scenery
Chelsea is right in the middle of beautiful lake areas, offering all the recreational activities you can think of. First on most visitors’ lists is the Chelsea State Game Area, just a couple miles northeast of town. Situated around Fourmile Lake, you can camp and fish alongside bald eagles, or paddle out with a kayak or canoe. There are shower and restroom facilities, so you can really enjoy yourself here with the Chelsea rental RV.
Another local favorite is the Waterloo State Recreation Area, just a few miles northwest of Chelsea. Here you can enjoy campgrounds, pristine beaches, fishing and picnic sites, and an impressive 47 miles of multi-use trails, including some that are perfect for horseback riding. This recreation area is a great place to take your kids, even the four-legged variety, who are welcome at this park.
Within the trails at Waterloo State Recreation Area is a wonderful hiking trail, the Waterloo-Pinckney Hiking Trail. This trail connects the Waterloo park with the Pinckney Recreation Area. This is a wonderful way to spend the afternoon or early morning, exploring the great outdoors. There are pathway bridges, and interpretive signs, so you can really get to know this special place. It’s also a perfect place for a fall hike when the leaves turn to their vibrant autumn colors.
The Pinckney Recreation Area is an angler’s paradise, with several fishing lakes. Plus there are hiking and biking trails, along with campsites and lake beaches. The over 11,000-acre size means you can really get away from all, and find a “hidden” lake tucked away, deep in the woods. The trails are shared with bikes, and very popular in the fall for the beautifully colored leaves.
Twenty miles southeast, and an easy drive in your Chelsea rental camper is the shore of Lake Erie, and Pointe Mouillee State Game Area. Here you can see river bayous and wetland environments, with great hiking and hunting opportunities. This is really a hidden gem, as it also is a great place to explore the coastline via an extensive trail system.
Lake Erie itself is worth a stop. There are dozens of great places to stop and explore, with full-service marinas and harbors in and around Monroe, LaSalle, and Erie. You can either bring your own boat, or charter a boat for deep lake fishing or sailing. Kayaking is popular here, as well as stand up paddleboards. This paradise is a virtual playground for any and all water sports like water skiing and swimming. For quiet enjoyment, there are pretty beaches, nature trails and many picnic spots.
Adorable downtown Chelsea has so much to offer, and a great way to learn what is here is to take the Sculpture Walk. Here you can see 12 large works of art, meandering through and across the charming downtown area. You can pick up a map of the Sculpture Walk at various locations, and sites of sculptures are marked with a big “S.”
The walk takes you through shopping and dining districts, the Chelsea District Library (voted one of the best small library systems in the country), the Purple Rose Theatre, and the famous Jiffy Mix factory.
In nearby Ann Arbor, make sure to bring the kids to the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, which specializes in fun and interactive exhibits and displays with the goal of helping kids of all ages discover the scientist within. This colorful, four-story space invites kids to play and learn through over 250 science-focused exhibits.
The University of Michigan Museum of Art boasts one of the finest collections around, including works by Monet, Picasso and Pollock. Spacious and beautiful galleries house this collection of permanent and rotating artworks that span many centuries and cultures. Best of all free admission, but donations are always appreciated and accepted. It’s easy to find parking for your Chelsea RV rental, and there’s a small parking garage nearby, too, if you have a smaller rig.
You’ll love the Potter Park Zoo, in nearby Lansing, Michigan. The oldest public zoo in Michigan, this wonderful place is home to more than 150 species of animals and specializes in endangered or threatened species such as Amur tigers, snow leopards, red pandas, bongos and much more. The mission of the Potter Park Zoo is to inspire people to conserve the habitats of animals all over the world. Make sure to explore the Bird and Reptile House, the Discovery and Education Center, and a local favorite, Wings from Down Under.
Where to Park It
There are plenty of places to hang out in your Chelsea rental motorhome, from the state recreation and game areas, to beach parks, and RV parks that are located throughout the county. You can find primitive camping spots, or amenity-rich offerings with golf courses, lodges, restaurants and more. Walmart Supercenters are located within a 20-30 mile radius of town, offering convenient overnight parking options for the Chelsea camper rental.
In addition to great food offerings, from classic American to international flavors, this part of Michigan is also known for its growing craft beer and distillery industry. Check out any myriad of tours and tastings. The Chelsea Farmers Market is open all year round. In season, it takes place downtown on Saturday mornings, and Wednesday afternoons. In the winter, you can catch the farmers market at the Washington Street Center, on Saturday mornings. Look for locally produced maple syrup, grass-fed beef, naturally raised eggs, locally grown produce, handmade soaps and lotions, and much, much more.
You will fall in love with the beautiful part of the state of Michigan, so start planning and search for an RV rental in Chelsea, MI.
Chelsea, MI is the perfect spot to start your next road trip.
There are many popular rentals in Chelsea. Outdoorsy's Chelsea RV rental marketplace allows renters to choose from rental options from professional RV rental agencies as well as RVs for rent by owner.