Ann Arbor

 About Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, Whether you’re looking to cheer on the Michigan Wolverines at a college football game or kayak down the tranquil Huron River Water Trail, Ann Arbor has something for you. Museum lovers will have plenty of options thanks to the University of Michigan’s 16-plus museums, ranging from the Museum of Natural History to the Museum of Art. Or, if you’d rather enjoy a more natural form of beauty, head to the university-affiliated Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum, which feature photo-worthy forest views and rugged trails. Outside campus, the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum is a hit among families with young kids, and Kerrytown is worth visiting for its farmers market, boutiques and tasty dining options. You can also get tickets to see a black-and-white movie at the retro Michigan Theater or stroll down Nickels Arcade, a historic shopping area dating back to 1918.

Top Attractions Around Ann Arbor …

Arguably the most prestigious institution of higher education in Michigan, UM-Ann Arbor is the University of Michigan’s flagship campus. It consistently appears in lists of so-called “public Ivies” and enjoys a reputation as a research institution of the same caliber as the University of California-Berkeley, the University of Virginia, the College of William and Mary and the University of Texas-Austin.

Founded in 1817, in June 2015 it was estimated to have a total endowment of $10.26 billion. UM-Ann Arbor has multiple libraries on its campus, among which the Hatcher Graduate Library, Shapiro Undergraduate Library and the Duderstadt Library are most familiar to students. As of 2012, UM-Ann Arbor had 500,000 living alumni. 26 Rhodes Scholars, including former U.S. President Gerald R. Ford, graduated from the university.

UM-Ann Arbor serves as the nucleus of the city of Ann Arbor, and the public has easy access to areas of campus like the “Diag,” the large, grassy square formed by the Hatcher Graduate Library, Angell Hall, and the Dana building, which houses the School of Natural Resources.

Address: 500 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI

No doubt one of the most visually striking elements of UM-Ann Arbor’s campus, the Law Quadrangle is located on S. State St., across the street from the Michigan Union. Architects Edward York and Philip Sawyer used Massachusetts granite and Indiana limestone to construct the Legal Research Library, the Lawyers’ Club, the John P. Cook Dormitory, and other structures on the law campus between 1924 and 1933. European architectural styles from the 14th to the 17th centuries inspired the Quad’s look.

Address: 625 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI

This interactive space allows children to get a firsthand appreciation of the science of everyday life. Exhibits include a real ambulance which kids can enter, a station where they can listen to their own heartbeat, an area where they can observe species of trout native to Michigan, a “legacy gallery” which explains how things like the Internet and traffic lights work, and many more. The goal is to give children an opportunity to get interested in science.

Address: 220 E. Ann Street, Ann Arbor, MI

This is the most exclusive zone of downtown Ann Arbor, and a perfect place to celebrate a birthday or anniversary. Main Street features some of Ann Arbor’s finest restaurants, including the Melange Bistro Wine Bar, the Black Pearl (steak and seafood), Shalimar (Indo-Chinese cuisine), the Heidelberg, the Jolly Pumpkin Café and Brewery, and others. Main St. is minutes away from other excellent restaurants on Washington St., like Amadeus and Aventura, which serve Central European and Spanish fare, respectively.

One popular feature of this part of town is its annual “Main Street Restaurant Week.” This event allows diners to try three-course dinners at local restaurants for a fixed price during one week.

Address: Main St., Ann Arbor, MI

This impressive space, designed by architectural firm Albert Kahn and Associates, opened in 1913. Arthur Hill, a former regent of the university, left the university a sum of money to construct a large venue for “lectures, musical performances and other large productions.” The auditorium can hold 3,500 people and frequently hosts performances by the university’s various ensembles. The University Musical Society also frequently brings internationally renowned musicians to perform at the auditorium.

Address: 825 N. University Ave., Ann Arbor, MI

“Kerrytown” refers to a vibrant, artistic neighborhood on the north side of downtown Ann Arbor. Popular attractions in Kerrytown include The People’s Food Co-op (an organic and locally sourced cooperative), the renowned Zingerman’s Delicatessen, Braun Court (with the Aut Bar), Sparrow Market (butcher shop and grocery store), The Lunch Room, Monahan’s Seafood Market, Kaleidoscope Books and Collectibles, the Kerrytown Concert House, Treasure Mart (vintage and antique furnishings) and others. It is about a seven minute walk from Kerrytown to UM’s campus.

Address: Intersection of N. Division and Huron Street, Ann Arbor, MI

The Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum seek to increase the “U-M student, faculty, and public understanding of plants and ecology,” and to serve as centers for “field study, conservation and ecological restoration, and for respite and well-being.” Students and Ann Arbor residents cherish these two parks for their tranquil, refreshing atmosphere.

Nichols Arboretum (123 acres) is on Central Campus, immediately next to the university’s hospital complex. Since 1907, it has served as an ecological lab and place of quiet recreation for residents and students, and the “Arb” features native and exotic plant species on land carved by glaciers thousands of years ago.

Address: 1610 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI

Matthaei Botanical Gardens (300 acres) is about 13 minutes northeast of downtown Ann Arbor. It features a visitor center, hiking trails, and a variety of special gardens, including the Bonsai Garden, the Medicinal Garden, and the Gateway Garden of New World Plants. Matthaei is also home to the Campus Farm, run by UM students.

Address: 1800 N. Dixboro Road, Ann Arbor, MI

Major Events

Every year the Summer Festival offers a rich variety of multi-media entertainment and fun, including live music, yoga and pilates classes, outdoor films, beer tasting, food and more. The events take place at a few different locations in downtown Ann Arbor and UM’s Central Campus. The Summer Festival creates a happy, dynamic atmosphere in Ann Arbor.

Address: 1610 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI

Since 1960, the Ann Arbor Art Fair has attracted tens of thousands of visitors to the streets of downtown Ann Arbor and UM’s campus. The Art Fair seeks “to increase public knowledge and appreciation for contemporary fine arts and fine crafts by creating opportunities that connect artists, the Ann Arbor community, and the general public to their mutual benefit.” Aside from all types of art, visitors enjoy traditional summer fair food and special sales tables from Ann Arbor businesses.

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