Nestled in the heart of Michigan, Ann Arbor is a vibrant city known for its unique blend of academic excellence, cultural richness, and a thriving arts scene. Whether you’re a local resident or a visitor, Ann Arbor offers an array of activities that cater to diverse interests. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the best things to do in Ann Arbor, Michigan, ensuring you make the most of your time in this charming city.
Things To Do In Ann Arbor Michigan
- Visit the University of Michigan Campus:
Ann Arbor is home to the prestigious University of Michigan, and a visit to its sprawling campus is a must. Wander through the historic buildings, lush green spaces, and iconic landmarks such as the Law Quadrangle and the Michigan Stadium. The university also hosts various events, lectures, and performances throughout the year.
- Stroll Down Main Street:
Ann Arbor’s Main Street is a bustling hub of activity, lined with an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, and galleries. Spend an afternoon exploring the unique boutiques, grabbing a cup of coffee at a local cafe, or admiring the street art that adds character to this charming area.
- Experience the Kerrytown District:
Known for its farmers’ market, artisan shops, and culinary delights, Kerrytown is a cultural haven in Ann Arbor. Indulge in fresh, local produce at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market, browse through antique stores, and treat your taste buds to a diverse range of flavors at Kerrytown’s renowned eateries.
- Discover the Nichols Arboretum:
For nature enthusiasts, the Nichols Arboretum, also known as the Arb, is a serene escape within the city. Explore walking trails, admire the beautiful gardens, and take in panoramic views of the Huron River. It’s an ideal spot for a peaceful retreat or a leisurely picnic.
- Attend a Performance at The Ark:
Ann Arbor has a thriving arts and music scene, and The Ark is a testament to this. This intimate venue hosts live performances, including folk, blues, and acoustic music. Check the schedule and treat yourself to a night of soulful melodies in a cozy setting.
- Art and Science at the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) and the Museum of Natural History:
Immerse yourself in art and science at the University of Michigan Museum of Art and the Museum of Natural History, both located on campus. UMMA showcases an impressive collection of art spanning different periods and cultures, while the Museum of Natural History offers interactive exhibits on paleontology, anthropology, and more.
- Explore Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum:
Nature lovers will appreciate the beauty of Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum. With a diverse range of plants, flowers, and themed gardens, these locations provide a tranquil setting for a leisurely stroll or educational exploration.
- Culinary Adventures:
Ann Arbor’s culinary scene is a delightful mix of flavors. From farm-to-table restaurants to international cuisine, the city caters to every palate. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor local favorites and discover hidden gems in the culinary landscape.
- Hike or Bike the Border-to-Border Trail:
Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the Border-to-Border Trail, a scenic pathway that runs along the Huron River. Whether you prefer hiking or biking, this trail offers a picturesque route through parks, nature reserves, and urban areas, providing a refreshing perspective of Ann Arbor.
- Attend a Festival or Event:
Ann Arbor hosts a variety of festivals and events throughout the year, celebrating everything from art and film to food and music. Check the local calendar to see if your visit coincides with events like the Ann Arbor Film Festival, the Summer Art Fair, or the Kerrytown BookFest.
- Visit the Creature Conservancy:
Animal lovers will enjoy a visit to the Creature Conservancy, a nonprofit wildlife education center. Home to a diverse array of rescued and rehabilitated animals, this facility provides an educational and interactive experience for visitors of all ages.
- Explore Zingerman’s Delicatessen:
A visit to Ann Arbor wouldn’t be complete without stopping by Zingerman’s Delicatessen. This iconic eatery is renowned for its artisanal sandwiches, gourmet food products, and a commitment to quality. Indulge in a delectable meal and explore the adjoining Zingerman’s community of businesses.
- Take a Riverboat Cruise:
Discover Ann Arbor from a different perspective by embarking on a riverboat cruise along the Huron River. Enjoy a leisurely ride, take in the scenic views, and learn about the history of the area from knowledgeable guides.
- Experience the Michigan Theater:
Movie buffs and fans of the performing arts will appreciate the Michigan Theater. This historic venue hosts a variety of events, including film screenings, live performances, and concerts. Check the schedule for upcoming shows and immerse yourself in the local arts scene.
- Tour the Kerrytown Market and Shops:
Kerrytown Market and Shops offer a unique shopping experience with a focus on locally sourced products. From specialty foods and handcrafted goods to vintage finds, this market is a treasure trove for those seeking distinctive and authentic items.
- Enjoy Outdoor Recreation at Gallup Park:
Gallup Park is a recreational haven featuring walking trails, picnic areas, and a serene pond. Rent a canoe or kayak to explore the waterways, or simply relax in this expansive park that offers a perfect blend of nature and leisure.
- Take a Day Trip to Dexter Cider Mill:
Just a short drive from Ann Arbor, the Dexter Cider Mill is the oldest continuously operating cider mill in Michigan. Enjoy freshly pressed cider, indulge in delicious apple treats, and experience the charm of this historic establishment during the fall season.
- Participate in a DIY Craft Workshop:
Unleash your creativity by participating in a do-it-yourself (DIY) craft workshop. Several venues in Ann Arbor offer workshops where you can create your own art, pottery, or other crafts, providing a fun and hands-on experience.
- Attend a Performance at Hill Auditorium:
Hill Auditorium, located on the University of Michigan campus, is a historic venue that hosts a variety of performances, including concerts, lectures, and theatrical productions. Check the schedule to catch a captivating show in this iconic setting.
- Explore the Leslie Science & Nature Center:
Ideal for families and nature enthusiasts, the Leslie Science & Nature Center offers hands-on educational experiences. Encounter live animals, explore nature trails, and participate in interactive exhibits that highlight the wonders of the natural world.
- Visit the Yankee Air Museum:
Aviation enthusiasts will enjoy a trip to the Yankee Air Museum, where you can explore a collection of historic aircraft and learn about the role Michigan played in aviation history. The museum offers guided tours and exhibits that showcase the evolution of flight.
- Discover the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum:
Perfect for families and curious minds of all ages, the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum provides interactive exhibits that make learning about science, technology, and art engaging and fun. It’s a hands-on experience that encourages exploration and creativity.
- Savor Local Brews on a Brewery Tour:
Ann Arbor has a thriving craft beer scene, and a brewery tour is an excellent way to experience it. Visit local breweries, sample a variety of craft beers, and learn about the beer-making process from knowledgeable brewers.
- Take a Historical Walking Tour:
Immerse yourself in Ann Arbor’s rich history by taking a guided walking tour. Explore historic neighborhoods, learn about architectural landmarks, and gain insights into the city’s evolution from its early days to the present.
- Attend a University of Michigan Sporting Event:
Experience the excitement of collegiate sports by attending a University of Michigan Wolverines game. Whether it’s football at the Big House, basketball at the Crisler Center, or another sporting event, cheering for the home team is a quintessential Ann Arbor experience.
- Indulge in Culinary Delights at the Kerrytown District:
Kerrytown isn’t just for shopping; it’s also a food lover’s paradise. Explore the Kerrytown Market & Shops for gourmet foods, artisanal cheeses, and fresh produce. Don’t forget to try the delectable offerings at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market.
- Enjoy Outdoor Recreation at Nichols Arboretum:
Nichols Arboretum, part of the University of Michigan, is a haven for nature enthusiasts. In addition to its serene walking trails, the arboretum hosts events like Shakespeare in the Arb, providing a unique blend of nature and culture.
- Participate in a Food Tour:
Ann Arbor’s culinary scene is diverse, and a guided food tour is an excellent way to explore it. Discover hidden gems, sample local specialties, and gain insights into the city’s food culture with the guidance of a knowledgeable tour leader.
- Visit the Matthaei Botanical Gardens Conservatory:
Experience the beauty of plant life from around the world at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens Conservatory. The conservatory features diverse ecosystems, including tropical, arid, and temperate climates, providing a fascinating botanical journey.
- Take a Self-Guided Public Art Tour:
Ann Arbor is adorned with an impressive collection of public art. Grab a map from the visitor’s center and embark on a self-guided tour to discover murals, sculptures, and other artistic installations scattered throughout the city.
Ann Arbor, Michigan, is a city that seamlessly blends academic brilliance with cultural richness, making it a destination worth exploring. Whether you’re drawn to the historic university campus, the vibrant downtown scene, or the natural beauty that surrounds the city, Ann Arbor offers a diverse range of activities for residents and visitors alike. Embrace the charm of this Midwestern gem and create lasting memories through these enriching experiences.