Ann Arbor, Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan is a perfect blend of big-city options for arts, culture, dining, and shopping combined with extensive opportunities for outdoor recreation and immersion in nature—all in what is commonly described as the quintessential college town. Convenient, frequent, and free public transportation provides students with easy access to campus, downtown, dining, shopping, and recreation venues. Discover your Ann Arbor—the lists below include just some of the ways you can complement your academic journey with enriching, fun, entertaining experiences.
By the Numbers
- #2 Overall Best College Towns & Cities in America 2021
- #1 Best Small City 2021
- 5/5 Stars 2022 National Listing of LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges & Universities
(Campus Pride Index)
- 2022-2023 #6 on The 50 Best Places to Live in the U.S.
- #4 2023 Colleges with the Best Student Life in America
Ann Arbor is wonderfully walkable, with several distinct areas for dining, shopping, entertainment, and people watching. And while there are many familiar national favorites throughout the city, Ann Arbor is rich with unique, local offerings, including restaurants, book stores, ice creameries, and more. Main Street has a wide variety of fine dining options, performance venues, and an eclectic mix of shops, while South University offers that campus vibe with businesses that cater to students. State Street is a blend of offerings that draw both local residents and students, including two movie theatres. Kerrytown is a charming cluster of shops and eateries, and it is also home to our Farmers Market and Sunday Artisans Market. Rounding out the options for dining and shopping in Ann Arbor are several shopping centers and a mall.
- Kerrytown Market & Shops / Farmers Market / The Sunday Artisans Market
- Main Street
- State Street District
- South University Area
With a nickname like “Tree City,” it’s no surprise that Ann Arbor has so many options for outdoor recreation. And the glaciers that moved across the area 14,000 years ago created a varied topography that ranges from flat and even in some areas to steep and hilly in others. Nichols Arboretum offers challenging, hilly trails, as well gardens on more even land, while Gallup Park has paved paths for running, walking, biking, and roller blading. The Huron River runs through many parks and there are opportunities to canoe and kayak. Farther afield, the Huron-Clinton system of metroparks expands your recreational options. The Border to Border Trail is opportunity to explore Ann Arbor and surrounding areas.
- Nichols Arboretum (“the Arb”)
- Matthaei Botanical Gardens
- Gallup Park
- Huron-Clinton Metroparks
- Border to Border Trail
Wander through UMMA’s collections of art from Asia, Africa, and the West, or dive into photography. Explore for billion years of life on earth at the Museum of Natural History, now housed in the U-M’s stunning new Biological Sciences Building. The male and female mastodon skeletons standing side by side are hard to miss! The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology offers another chance to step back in time with its rich collection of Classical, Egyptian, and Middle Eastern artifacts.
We hope your next step is a visit to Ann Arbor to see all it has to offer. These resources can help you take that trip – whether you come in person or visit virtually.
- Plan your campus visit or schedule a tour.
- Explore travel and lodging options.
- Take a virtual tour of SMTD’s spaces.
- Visit Destination Ann Arbor to learn more about life in our city.
Ann Arbor Art Fair, credit ShootzA2
Literati Book Store, credit Destination Ann Arbor
Nichols Arboretum peony garden, credit Michele Yanga
University of Michigan Museum of Art, credit Destination Ann Arbor