Ann Arbor, Michigan is a vibrant and charming city that offers a plethora of reasons why you should consider moving here. From its lively atmosphere to its cultural diversity, Ann Arbor has something to offer everyone.
One of the main draws of Ann Arbor is its vibrant arts and entertainment scene. The city is renowned for its world-class theaters, including the historic Michigan Theater and the University of Michigan’s Power Center for the Performing Arts, where you can enjoy a variety of shows ranging from Broadway productions to live music concerts. The city also hosts several festivals throughout the year, such as the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, which showcases an array of performances, outdoor movies, and delicious food.
Ann Arbor is often described as a “town-gown” community, as it is home to the University of Michigan. This brings a youthful energy to the city and fosters a strong sense of community spirit. The university also provides access to numerous educational and cultural opportunities, including museums, art galleries, and lectures by renowned scholars.
Ann Arbor Area Communities
Downtown Ann Arbor
The heart of the city, Downtown Ann Arbor is a bustling and vibrant area known for its eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. It offers a lively urban atmosphere with a mix of historic homes, apartments, and condominiums.
Adjacent to Downtown, Kerrytown is a charming neighborhood known for its historic houses, the Ann Arbor Farmers Market, and the Kerrytown Market and Shops. It offers a blend of residential areas, local businesses, and a strong sense of community.
If you love spending time in lush parks, Midtown is the town for you. This green heart of Savannah is home to some of the city’s most iconic parks and its sublime heritage oaks.
Old West Side
Located just west of Downtown, the Old West Side is a historic neighborhood known for its beautiful Victorian and Craftsman-style homes. It has a warm and welcoming atmosphere and is popular among families and young professionals.
This neighborhood is named after the popular Burns Park, a large community park with playgrounds, sports fields, and picnic areas. It offers a mix of architectural styles, including charming bungalows and historic homes, and has a strong sense of community.
Just east of Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, often referred to as “Ypsi,” is a diverse and culturally rich community. It has its own downtown area, Depot Town, known for its historic buildings, unique shops, and vibrant arts scene.
Top Employers in Ann Arbor
Healthcare and Education are two of the largest employers in Ann Arbor.
The University of Michigan
Unsurprisingly, the University of Michigan is the largest employer in the Ann Arbor Area. This iconic college provides education and jobs in the city.
University of Michigan Medical Center
The healthcare sector of the economy is strongly represented in the Ann Arbor job market, with the University of Michigan Medical Center providing over 12,000 jobs.
Trinity Health is another major medical system that provides thousands of jobs to people working in the healthcare sector in Ann Arbor.
Ann Arbor Public Schools
Ann Arbor Public Schools provide thousands of more jobs to government workers and teachers, making it one of the largest employers in the area.
Eastern Michigan University
The University of Michigan isn’t the only college with a major footprint in Ann Arbor. Eastern Michigan University also has a major employment presence.
Ann Arbor Area Museums
University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA)
Located on the University of Michigan campus, UMMA is one of the largest university art museums in the country. It houses a vast collection of over 21,000 artworks spanning various periods and cultures. From ancient Egyptian artifacts to contemporary art installations, UMMA offers a rich and diverse art experience.
Museum of Natural History
Also situated on the University of Michigan campus, the Museum of Natural History features exhibits that explore the natural world, from dinosaurs and prehistoric life to geology, anthropology, and Michigan’s wildlife. Visitors can enjoy interactive displays, fossil specimens, and hands-on activities for all ages.
Kempf House Museum
This historic house museum offers a glimpse into the 1853 Greek Revival-style home of German immigrant Reuben Kempf and his family. It showcases period furnishings, decorative arts, and exhibits that depict life in Ann Arbor during the mid-19th century. The Kempf House Museum provides a fascinating look at local history and domestic life of the era.
University of Michigan Museum of Natural History
Opening in April 2019, the new University of Michigan Museum of Natural History provides an engaging and interactive experience for visitors of all ages. The museum features exhibits on topics such as evolution, biodiversity, the Earth’s history, and the natural wonders of Michigan. It also houses the iconic Michigan Mastodon skeleton.
The African American Cultural & Historical Museum of Washtenaw County
Located in nearby Ypsilanti, this museum showcases the rich history, achievements, and contributions of African Americans in the county. It features exhibits on local history, culture, and notable individuals, offering insight into the African American experience in the region.
Great Parks in the Ann Arbor Area
Located along the Huron River, Gallup Park is one of the largest and most popular parks in Ann Arbor. It offers scenic walking paths, biking trails, picnic areas, and a canoe livery where you can rent canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards to explore the river. The park also features a playground, a nature center, and beautiful gardens.
Affiliated with the University of Michigan, Nichols Arboretum is a 123-acre natural area known for its stunning landscapes, trails, and botanical gardens. You can take a leisurely stroll through the peony garden, hike the trails along the river, or enjoy a picnic in one of the open meadows. The Arb is particularly famous for the blooming of thousands of cherry trees during the annual Ann Arbor Cherry Blossom Festival.
County Farm Park
Situated just outside of Ann Arbor, County Farm Park offers a peaceful retreat with open fields, wooded areas, and a pond. It features walking trails, picnic areas, a playground, and community gardens. The park is known for its wildlife sightings and is a great spot for birdwatching.
Living in Ann Arbor
The quality of life in Ann Arbor is exceptional. The city consistently ranks highly in national surveys for its excellent schools, low crime rates, and access to quality healthcare. The downtown area is filled with unique shops, local boutiques, and a diverse range of restaurants and cafes that cater to all tastes.
Ann Arbor Housing Trends
With a great blend of hip downtown neighborhoods and family-friendly suburbs, there are many housing options depending on the kind of lifestyle you are looking for.
Housing costs are rising over time, but there are still a variety of options depending on your pricepoint, as there are many suburbs and cities surrounding Ann Arbor.
Median Home Price: $511,000
Ann Arbor offers a dynamic and enriching lifestyle. With its vibrant arts scene, outdoor recreational opportunities, strong sense of community, and excellent quality of life, it’s no wonder why so many people choose to call Ann Arbor home. The city’s unique blend of academia, culture, and natural beauty make it an exceptional place to live and create lasting memories.
Amazing Ann Arbor Restaurants
Ann Arbor is known for its diverse and vibrant food scene, offering a wide range of restaurants that cater to different tastes and culinary preferences.
A beloved institution in Ann Arbor, Zingerman’s Deli is known for its delicious sandwiches, artisanal bread, and specialty food products. They source high-quality ingredients and offer a variety of unique and flavorful options.
This Cuban-inspired eatery is famous for its flavorful Frita burgers, made with spiced chorizo and served with toppings like avocado, fried egg, and tropical salsa. Don’t forget to try their refreshing Batidos, a Cuban milkshake made with fresh fruit.
Located in downtown Ann Arbor, Sava’s is a popular restaurant offering a diverse menu with a focus on seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. They serve contemporary American cuisine with a creative twist, and their brunch options are particularly delightful.
For authentic and flavorful Japanese cuisine, head to Slurping Turtle. They specialize in ramen, but also offer a range of other Japanese dishes like sushi, small plates, and unique cocktails.
The Gandy Dancer
Housed in a beautifully restored 19th-century train depot, The Gandy Dancer is an upscale seafood and steakhouse known for its elegant atmosphere and excellent cuisine. It’s a great choice for a special occasion or a fine dining experience.
Great Attractions for Ann Arbor Stay-cations
Matthaei Botanical Gardens
Part of the University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum, Matthaei Botanical Gardens features a diverse collection of plants from around the world. The gardens encompass various themed areas, including a conservatory, bonsai collection, wildflower garden, and a beautiful outdoor display garden. Visitors can explore the trails, attend educational programs, and enjoy the tranquility of the natural surroundings.
Huron Hills Golf Course and Park
This multi-use park combines a golf course with open green spaces and recreational amenities. It offers opportunities for golfing, disc golf, soccer, baseball, and picnicking. The park also has trails that connect to the larger Border-to-Border Trail system, providing options for walking, running, and biking.
Ann Arbor Art Fair
Held in July, the Ann Arbor Art Fair is one of the largest outdoor art fairs in the United States. The event spans several streets in downtown Ann Arbor and features works from hundreds of artists across different mediums, including painting, sculpture, photography, ceramics, and more. It’s a great opportunity to explore and purchase unique artworks while enjoying live music and delicious food.
Ann Arbor Film Festival
Known as the oldest experimental and avant-garde film festival in North America, the Ann Arbor Film Festival takes place in March. It showcases a diverse range of innovative and thought-provoking films from around the world, including experimental cinema, documentaries, animation, and more. The festival also features panel discussions, artist talks, and workshops.
Ann Arbor Folk Festival
Organized by The Ark, a renowned folk and acoustic music venue, the Ann Arbor Folk Festival is an annual event that celebrates the genre with two nights of performances by established and emerging folk musicians. The festival typically takes place in January and serves as a fundraiser for The Ark’s programming.
Ann Arbor has a great mix of unique local shops and big-name stores, often found side by side in shopping areas. There’s plenty of opportunity to shop ‘til you drop in this city.
A beloved independent bookstore, Literati offers a curated selection of books, including new releases, bestsellers, and a wide range of genres. They also host author events, book clubs, and literary gatherings, creating a welcoming space for book lovers.
The Himalayan Bazaar
This charming shop brings a taste of the Himalayas to Ann Arbor. It offers a diverse range of goods, including clothing, jewelry, home decor, and handicrafts from Nepal, Tibet, and India. The Himalayan Bazaar is a treasure trove of unique and culturally rich items.
Rock Paper Scissors
A delightful boutique located in downtown Ann Arbor, Rock Paper Scissors offers a curated selection of gifts, stationery, home decor, and accessories. They showcase products from local artists and makers, as well as unique finds from around the world.
The Getup Vintage
If you love vintage fashion, The Getup Vintage is a must-visit. This boutique specializes in carefully curated vintage clothing, accessories, and home goods from different eras. You’ll find unique and one-of-a-kind pieces that add a touch of nostalgia to your wardrobe.
Places of Worship
Ann Arbor has numerous places of worship that represent a wide range of faiths and religions.
Christ Church Ann Arbor
The Christ Church Ann Arbor is a loving group of believers that offer a Presbyterian community that is warm and welcoming.
Beth Israel Congregation
The Beth Israel Congregation was founded in 1916, and is the oldest synagogue in Ann Arbor. This conservative congregation welcomes the people of Ann Arbor to the temple.
Muslim Community Association – MCA (Islamic Center of Ann Arbor)
The Islamic Center of Ann Arbor offers area Muslims a convenient and safe place for worship and community services.
Chinmaya Avantika was founded in Ann Arbor in 1989 to, “Give maximum happiness to maximum people for maximum time.”
After graduating in 2016 from The University of Texas with a degree in English, Sanda Brown became a content writer for the BDX with a focus on website copy and content marketing.
At the BDX, Sanda helps write and edit articles on NewHomeSource.com, writes website copy for builders, and manages a team of freelancers that work on additional content needs.