Ann Arbor   Travel Guide

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12 Best Things To Do in Ann Arbor

Updated March 23, 2022

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

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University of Michigan University of Michigan free

As the crown jewel of Ann Arbor, the University of Michigan boasts many of the city's top attractions. Start your visit by touring the manicured grounds of the campus, which was opened in Ann Arbor in 1837 (though the school got its start in Detroit in 1817). U-M has a total enrollment of about 48,000 students and stretches across a massive 3,207 acres. You'll find University of Michigan properties dispersed throughout Ann Arbor, though the main campus is centrally located within the city near parks, museums, bars and dining establishments.

When it comes to things to do on campus, you won't be left scratching your head. The university is home to 30 stunning libraries and more than 16 museums, including the Museum of Natural History , the Museum of Art , the Kelsey Museum of Archeology, Matthaei Botanical Gardens, Nichols Arboretum , the Herbarium and the Sindecuse Museum of Dentistry. Other points of interest include the William W. Cook Law Quadrangle (a 10-acre compound comprising pristine green space and impressive gothic-style buildings), the Gerald R. Ford Library and Hill Auditorium (a classical music concert hall). You'll even find a hotel and restaurants on the premises. Campus visitors praised the gorgeous architecture and were wowed by the sheer size of the university. They also enjoyed the many museums on-site.

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University of Michigan Museum of Natural History University of Michigan Museum of Natural History free

The Museum of Natural History was founded in 1956, though the university began collecting and storing artifacts and specimens as early as 1837. Then called the Exhibit Museum, it was officially renamed the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History in 2011, and in 2019 it moved into a brand-new facility on campus.

Popular exhibits include "Dynamic Space," "On the Trail of the Mastodons" (where male and female mastodon skeletons stand side by side), and "Under the Microscope," which explores life at the cellular level. There is also an on-site planetarium. Visitors to the museum were impressed by the detailed exhibits and huge amount of information in the new facility. They extolled the nicely designed space and said their children loved the hands-on activities dispersed throughout.

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University of Michigan Museum of Art University of Michigan Museum of Art free

The University of Michigan Museum of Art, or UMMA, opened in 1909 as a war memorial, alumni office and art space. Today, it is one of the oldest (and largest) campus museums in the United States, holding more than 21,000 pieces of art. Collections include Asian, African and Western art in all sorts of mediums, including photography, glass and metal. Permanent exhibits feature the works of artists like Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol. The museum also has an auditorium for lectures, film screenings and other events. Recent travelers found the museum to be comprehensive and informative. For many, UMMA's small size worked to their advantage; the manageable footprint allowed patrons to get through much of the collections. 

UMMA is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. It is closed on Mondays and on university holidays. Admission is free of charge, and street parking is available. Other nearby points of interest include the Law Quadrangle, the Kelsey Museum of Archeology and the student union. To learn more, visit the University of Michigan Museum of Art website .

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Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum free

The Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum are operated by the same organization on the grounds of the University of Michigan . The Matthaei Gardens feature 11 outdoor spaces with bonsai, medicinal plants and seasonal blooms, as well as approximately 3 miles of scenic trails. There is also an indoor conservatory that is open year-round – ideal if you are visiting during Michigan's icy months. At Matthaei's visitor center, you will find maps and other information, as well as restrooms and a snack bar. Recent travelers had nothing but positive things to say about the expansive grounds and gorgeous flowers, noting it is a great attraction for all ages.

Meanwhile, Nichols Arboretum is a joint operation between the City of Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan. It is a 123-acre property with varying landscapes, ranging from wetlands to forests to glacial grounds. At the arboretum, travelers can hike up to panoramic views and enjoy the tranquility of nature, without venturing far from civilization. Recent travelers remarked Nichols is a delightful hidden gem, and many said the Peony Garden – which typically blooms between late May and mid-June – is a must-see.  

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Huron River Water Trail Huron River Water Trail

The Huron River Water Trail covers 104 miles through Michigan's Lower Peninsula and welcomes more than 2 million visitors annually. The paddling zones of the river range from raging rapids to calm waters. Ann Arbor is the largest of five Trail Towns where visitors can enter the river, find amenities like parks and boat storage and frequent nearby campgrounds, hotels and dining establishments. While paddling is available in the spring and summer, visitors can cross-country ski, snowshoe and ice skate in the area if they visit in the winter months.

The Ann Arbor region of the Huron River Water Trail comprises miles 53 to 46. Popular launch points along this section include the Argo Nature Area and Livery, as well as the Gallup Park and Livery. At Argo, travelers can rent canoes, kayaks and multiperson rafts to paddle downstream through beautiful scenery, placid ponds and Argo Cascades, which features adrenaline-pumping manmade drops and pools. At Gallup Park, choose between canoe, kayak, paddleboat and rowboat rentals for your river adventure. On shore, the park features a 3-mile asphalt trail, playgrounds, fishing spots, picnic areas and concession stands.

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Kerrytown Kerrytown free

If you are looking for an authentic Ann Arbor culinary experience, Kerrytown is the place to find it. Named after County Kerry in Ireland, the district was part of the original Ann Arbor village dating back to the mid-1800s. In the 1960s, developers added a central shopping and dining area to the eclectic neighborhood and called it Kerrytown Market & Shops. Much of the architectural character from decades past still remains; visitors can expect to find brick buildings and sidewalks, original exposed beams, converted 19th-century factories and more.

Kerrytown Market & Shops is home to some of the city's most beloved dining mainstays, including the Ann Arbor Farmers Market and Zingerman's Deli, a local institution that's served up premium deli sandwiches (including its famous Reuben), cheeses, olive oils, smoked fish and more since 1982. Among other meat, fish and produce markets, you'll also find sit-down restaurants with cuisine ranging from vegan to Korean, plus a Sweetwaters coffee shop location.

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Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum

Opened in 1982 in a historic fire station, the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum is an interactive, family-friendly science center. It has attracted around 6 million visitors since its inception and aims to introduce children of all ages to the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields of study. Favorite exhibits include the "H2Oh" water play area in the Concourse and the "Michigan Nature" experience, which features an interactive nature wall and geology samples. Recent travelers spoke highly of the museum, saying it has something for toddlers all the way up to preteens. They also noted that the facility was clean and well-maintained.

The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum is open seven days a week, though opening hours vary by day. On Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, the museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Tuesdays, the attraction opens up one hour earlier (9 a.m.), and on Thursdays, it stays open until 8 p.m. Sunday hours are noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free for toddlers 23 months and younger and $12.50 for adults and children ages 2 and older. Visitors who enter after 5 p.m. on Thursdays only pay $5 per person. To learn more, visit the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum's website .

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Michigan Theater Michigan Theater

The Michigan Theater opened in 1928 as a combined vaudeville stage and movie house. It has undergone a few renovations over the years, and today offers audiences with three screening spaces to view films and live concerts. The Main Auditorium holds 1,600 people, the Screening Room has 200 seats and the Annex Cinema holds 60. The theater offers programming 365 days a year, and past visitors praised the old-timey feel of the theater, as well as the curated list of films and live acts. Still, not all patrons appreciated the retro space, noting that the seats were too tight for taller viewers and not as comfortable as the plush chairs in more modern theaters.

General admission tickets for films are $10.50 per person, while students, veterans, senior citizens and groups of 10 or more can secure tickets for $8.50. Matinee showings between Monday and Friday (before 6 p.m.) cost $7.50 per person. Ticket prices for live events vary, and parking is available in multiple nearby garages as well as on nearby streets. To learn more, visit the Michigan Theater's website . (And if you do decide to see a show, be sure to look out for one of Ann Arbor's famous fairy doors at this spot – and a miniature box office window, to boot.)

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Nickels Arcade Nickels Arcade free

Located in the heart of downtown Ann Arbor, Nickels Arcade is a cozy but upscale covered shopping area with a rich history. The indoor-outdoor complex began as a meat market owned by the Nickels family. After Tom Nickels inherited the market in the early 1900s, he repurposed the shop and expanded the facility to resemble the shopping arcades found in Europe at the time. Nickels completed the block in 1918 and different kinds of shops began opening within the complex.

Today, Nickels Arcade – which celebrated its centennial in 2017 – boasts both vintage and modern-day stores along its mosaic-tiled alley. Visitors can stop into the old-timey barbershop, which dates back to 1917, and grab a drink at the modern juice bar or coffee shop in the same trip. Recent travelers remarked that the block is worth visiting for a short stroll, and many praised the quality merchandise available at several of the shops – including VanBoven Clothing, which has been operated within the same family since 1927.

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Brewery Tours Brewery Tours

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Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library free

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The Creature Conservancy The Creature Conservancy

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29 Best & Fun Things To Do In Ann Arbor (Michigan)

By: Author Jerric Chong

Posted on Published: April 6, 2021  - Last updated: October 16, 2023

places to visit in Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor was once a little strip of land in Michigan that was named after the wives of its co-founders.

Both were called Ann, so the founders shrugged, and Ann Arbor was born.

Today, Ann Arbor is a bustling city that’s home to everything from tech companies to world-famous research universities.

It still has a certain amount of down-home charm, especially in its historic districts, but it’s also grown into a thriving metropolis filled with shops, restaurants, parks, museums, performance venues and more.

You can dance in nightclubs.

You can sip fine wines in vineyards.

You can wander through arboretums, feed animals in petting zoos, scream yourself hoarse at football games and take long scenic drives along the river.

It’s all possible in Ann Arbor.

Maybe you’re planning a distant vacation.

Maybe you’re headed there tomorrow.

Whatever your schedule looks like, here are just a few amazing things to do in Ann Arbor, Michigan!

Table of Contents

1. Ann Arbor Summer Festival

Ann Arbor Summer Festival

VasenkaPhotography / flickr

Held every June – July, the Ann Arbor Summer Festival is one of the city’s biggest celebrations.

It offers a dizzying amount of art, music, food, dance, theater and culture, and it brings together thousands of people from all over Michigan and beyond.

Musicians put on live concerts.

Artists display portraits and paintings.

Marching bands host parades; circus performers show off their tricks; comedians and poets captivate audiences for hours at a time.

There’s also food, of course, as befitting one of the corn dog capitals of the world.

You’ll find plenty of things to munch on as you navigate the booths, crowds and stages.

Another great thing about the festival is that many activities are available at no charge, so if you’re looking for free things to do in Ann Arbor, this event can keep you busy without stretching your budget.

Visit the city in the summertime to enjoy the Ann Arbor Summer Festival.

Once you’ve experienced something like this, you’ll want to come back year after year for more!

Address: 767 N University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, United States

2. Michigan Stadium

Michigan Stadium

Wichai Cheva Photography / Shutterstock

Nicknamed the “Big House,” Michigan Stadium is the largest stadium in the United States and the second largest in the world.

It can seat a whopping 115,000 people!

It’s a must see while you’re in Ann Arbor, and luckily, there are plenty of events on the green to enjoy.

The biggest draw is football, of course, with fans packing the stadium every season to see the Michigan Wolverines beat the snot out of lesser teams.

Other sporting events have centered around soccer, lacrosse and ice hockey.

If you aren’t interested in athletics, you might also like the off-season events hosted in the space.

They’ve included everything from yoga classes to weekend movie nights.

Tours can also be arranged for those who want to see the box seats and locker rooms up close.

All in all, if you’re wondering what to do in Ann Arbor, you should definitely make time for Michigan Stadium.

How often will you get the chance to do the downward dog in America’s biggest sports venue?

Address: 1201 S Main St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104, United States

3. Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum

Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum

Dwight Burdette , CC BY 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Learning comes alive at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum .

Based out of an old, vintage-style red brick firehouse, it’s a place where kids can run, jump, climb, roll and wiggle out their energy to their heart’s content.

Best of all, it’ll be an educational kind of movement!

Splashing pools teach about fluid dynamics.

Simulated driving courses sneak in lessons about motion, force and locomotion.

Nature walks are for biology; laser instruments are for light and energy; bubble capsules are for physics.

Even the 1930s market can provide baby’s first lesson in economics.

If you’re looking for Ann Arbor attractions that all ages can enjoy, schedule a visit to the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum.

Kids will love it, of course, but even adults can discover their inner child as they engage with various exhibits!

Address: 220 E Ann St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104, United States

4. Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum

Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum

Rachel Wickremasinghe / Shutterstock

Though they’re separate entities, the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and the Nichols Arboretum are both owned and operated by the University of Michigan near their main campus, so they’re often taken together as a single tourist attraction.

Points of interest at the gardens include tree groves, bonsai collections, hedge labyrinths, windflower gardens and an elaborate, 10,000-foot conservatory.

There’s also a wide range of biodiversity since different greenhouses are modeled after different climates and landscapes; you can see everything from dry, arid deserts to lush green fields and prairies.

Another great thing about the gardens is that they don’t charge admission.

You’ll need to pay for parking, but otherwise, they’re both free things to do in Ann Arbor.

Do you like taking long walks through nature?

Do you enjoy the sound of birdsong over babbling brooks and rustling trees?

You don’t have to trek into the wilderness to unplug from modern life for awhile.

Just go to the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and the Nichols Arboretum.

Address: 1800 N Dixboro Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48105, United States

5. Krazy Jim’s Blimpy Burger

Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burger

Susan Montgomery / Shutterstock

Everyone in Ann Arbor has heard of Krazy Jim’s .

Like its name suggests, it’s different than your usual hamburger joint, and the end results can be pretty wild!

For starters, you’ll build your own burger rather than ordering off a menu.

You’ll get to choose whatever combination of patties, buns, veggies and condiments that your heart desires.

You can also create your own fries with a variety of nacho-style toppings.

Additionally, you’ll watch your food being prepared right in front of you.

As you move through the cafeteria-style line from the grill to the deep fryer, you’ll always know exactly what your chefs are doing, in no small part because you’ll be giving them assembly directions the entire time.

When your food is done, you’ll have the burgers and fries of your dreams.

Celebrate it.

You just experienced Krazy Jim’s Blimpy Burger, one of the most fun places to visit in Ann Arbor!

Address: 304 S Ashley St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104, United States

Visiting other parts of Michigan? Why not check out some of the things to do in Detroit ?

6. Hudson Mills Metropark

Hudson Mills Metropark

ellenm1 / flickr

Located a few miles north of Ann Arbor in Dexter, Michigan, the Hudson Mills Metropark is a stunning landscape filled with both natural wonder and man-made fun.

The terrain covers more than 1,500 acres and includes woods, wetlands and prairies filled with all kinds of flora and fauna.

Outdoor activities range from canoeing and kayaking on the water to hiking and biking along nature trails that twist through the trees.

There’s skiing in the wintertime and fly fishing in the summertime.

You can also let the kids loose on a number of playgrounds!

For adults, recreation might come in the form of an 18-hole golf course or disc golf course.

There are also many athletic fields as well as courts for tennis, shuffle ball and more.

If you’re thinking about what to do in the sunshine during your trip to Ann Arbor, swing by the Hudson Mills Metropark.

It’s only a short distance away, but it’s so different from the lights and sounds of the city that you’ll feel like you’re enjoying another, separate vacation while you’re there.

Address: 8801 N Territorial Rd, Dexter, MI 48130, United States

7. Kerrytown

Kerrytown

Located just a few blocks from downtown Ann Arbor, Kerrytown is a lively historic district full of both old-school charm and brand-new commerce.

Farmer’s markets are held just about every weekend.

Festivals bring together artisans, musicians, crafters and more.

Mom-and-pop shops are prevalent, and there are also a number of cafes with outdoor patios and music streaming through the windows.

Even the roads are cute: They’re made with distinctive red bricks that give the entire area a certain vintage-style charm.

If you’re looking for cool places to go in Ann Arbor, all of the locals will tell you to check out Kerrytown.

It has such history and vibrancy as a neighborhood that it’s practically a town in its own right.

Those heading to Ann Arbor this weekend should definitely grab a bag of caramel corn from a farmer’s market and go sightseeing!

Address: Ashley, Depot, Division, and Ann Streets, Ann Arbor, MI 48104, United States

8. Ann Arbor Ice Cube

Ann Arbor Ice Cube

Ann Arbor Ice Cube

As a snowy destination, Michigan has its fair share of wintertime tourist attractions, but their level of fun can be dependent on the weather.

If you’re looking for a guaranteed good time, try the Ann Arbor Ice Cube instead.

The Ann Arbor Ice Cube is an indoor “ice facility” where you can enjoy the rink all year round.

Whether you’re interested in speed skating, figure skating or playing hockey or broomball, this is the place to experience them, rain or shine!

You can also schedule tours, field trips and birthday parties if you’re traveling with a group or living near Ann Arbor and looking for nice places to visit.

Concessions are available, and the rink is always well-maintained for both public and private events.

Lace up your skates at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube if you want to do some axels and lutzes without having to worry about an inconveniently sunny day melting your rink!

Address: 2121 Oak Valley Dr, Ann Arbor, MI 48103, United States

9. University of Michigan Museum of Art

University of Michigan Museum of Art

The University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) is one of the major points of interest in Ann Arbor.

It represents more than 150 years of art curation and collection, and its works include world-famous paintings from Monet, Picasso and more.

Other things to see include historical artifacts, pottery and portrait galleries, modern photography halls and an outdoor “sculpture walk.”

Visitors can enjoy beautiful art installations made from a variety of mediums with designs and themes that range from the abstract to the hyper-realistic.

Special events at the museum include everything from film screenings to artmaking classes, so if you have free time this weekend, make sure to check their schedule and see what’s coming up next.

All things considered, the University of Michigan Museum of Art is worth a visit for art lovers, culture enthusiasts and anyone else who wants to explore Ann Arbor’s creative heart and soul.

Don’t ignore this amazing destination while you’re in the city!

Address: 525 S State St, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, United States

HopCat

HopCat is one of the best places to grab a beer in Ann Arbor.

Not only does it offer more than 100 different brews, but it’s also famous for its “pub grub,” or its collection of wings, fries, burgers, buffalo rolls and other mouthwatering menu items.

You’ll start by entering the hardwood bar with its warm leather seats and comfortably dim lighting.

Then, after perusing your choices for food and drink, you can choose from local, regional and even international brands from outside of Michigan.

Whether you want dark, heavy tankards paired with greasy cheese curds or lite, golden mugs to go along with soups and salads, you can enjoy various flavor combinations here.

If you visit on the weekend, you can enjoy live music shows and other special events.

If you visit during their “gourmet nights,” you can enjoy four-course, five-beer specials designed to delight your palette in every way.

A trip to HopCat is one of the top things to do in Ann Arbor, especially if you like beer flavors from around the world.

You can travel the globe without even leaving Michigan when you order a drink at Hopcat’s!

Address: 311 Maynard St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104, United States

Exploring other areas of Michigan? Why not check out what to do in Grand Rapids as well as some of the fun things to do in Kalamazoo ?

11. Kelsey Museum of Archaeology

Kelsey Museum of Archaeology

Richard Westlund / Shutterstock

You don’t have to be Indiana Jones to appreciate the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology .

It’s one of those Ann Arbor attractions that can be enjoyed by people from all walks of life due to its utter uniqueness!

For starters, it’s housed in a large, asymmetrical mansion made from jagged fieldstone and outfitted with old-school design elements befitting its Romanesque architecture style.

Inside, it’s packed with more than 100,000 artifacts from civilizations around the world; visitors can walk among Greek coins, Iraqi pottery, Byzantine textiles, Roman brick stamps and Egyptian mummy masks.

The best thing about the museum, however, is its namesake: archeology.

It has very rare collections of things like excavation records and turn-of-the-century photos, and even if you’re not an archaeology student, it’s hard not to be impressed by them.

Check out the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology if you’re looking for fun and interesting places to visit in Ann Arbor.

Take a break from the movie theaters and shopping malls and get a little culture instead!

Address: 434 S State St, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, United States

12. Michigan Theater

Michigan Theater

Hanson-L / Shutterstock

As one of the oldest “movie palaces” in the United States, Michigan Theater has a larger-than-life reputation, one that’s only exceeded by its rich and colorful history as an Ann Arbor landmark.

Originally built in the 1920s, Michigan Theater was the place to see and be seen by the socialites of the era.

It was also considered one of the top tourist attractions in the state, drawing all kinds of visitors who wanted to see its films, plays, concerts and vaudeville acts.

It was a grand old building furnished with things like pipe organs and orchestra pits.

Over the years, however, attendance started to decline, and the theater was almost demolished in the 1950s.

It took the concentrated efforts of the community to raise enough money to keep it going.

Today, Michigan Theater is small but thriving.

You can still book tickets for various movies and shows, and you can take satisfaction in knowing that you’re supporting a local business with strong roots in the neighborhood.

Seeing a film at the Michigan Theater is definitely one of the best things to do in Ann Arbor.

Address: 603 E Liberty St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104, United States

13. Legoland Discovery Center

Legoland Discovery Center

Ilze_Lucero / Shutterstock

A trip to Legoland is one of the most memorable experiences that you can offer your children.

It’s the Michigan equivalent of a trip to Disneyland or Orlando Studios.

They’ll be talking about it for years to come, and you’ll be the coolest mom or dad ever!

What all can you do at Legoland?

It depends on your interests.

Little ones will love the kid-sized Mini-Land that allows them to be giants among colorful brick buildings; older children might appreciate the 4D theater or the Lego race car tracks where you can build and race your own creations.

Even adults can get in on the fun with rides, games and exhibits for the whole family!

One thing to note about Legoland is that you’ll need to buy tickets in advance for all-day admission, so don’t delay the booking aspect.

A little planning today can save you a lot of headache tomorrow!

If you’re heading to Ann Arbor this weekend and hoping to explore the Legoland playgrounds, make sure to call in advance.

Address: 4240 Baldwin Rd, Auburn Hills, MI 48326, United States

14. Lillie Park

Lillie Park

mivod / Shutterstock

With its hills, cliffs, forests and beaches, Michigan is one of the most beautiful places in the US , and Lillie Park is a great place to see the sights.

Not only is the park filled with things like picturesque ponds and woodlands teeming with flowers, but there are also a number of nature trails to help you explore them.

For example, you can walk along wooden bridges over the water, or you can kick up wood chips or push a stroller along the limestone blocks of various park trails.

When you get tired, you can take a rest among the many benches and gazebos that offer waterside views or country-style outlooks of grassy green fields.

Another perk of the park is that it’s centrally located in Ann Arbor, so when you’re done finding yourself in nature, you can return to civilization with no problem.

Many things to do in Michigan involve the outdoors.

To see it at its best, you’ll want to visit a place like Lillie Park.

Address: 4365 Platt Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48108, United States

15. Hill Auditorium

Hill Auditorium

It’s hosted classical orchestras and philharmonics.

It’s welcomed pop singers like Elton John and rock bands like The Grateful Dead.

It’s the Hill Auditorium , and it’s one of the premiere entertainment venues of Ann Arbor.

Built in 1913, the Hill Auditorium combines classic architecture with modern acoustics.

It was originally the result of an experiment: Would it be possible to build a concert hall where the sounds of the stage could be heard equally from every seat?

Letters flew back and forth between builders, and the end result was a 4,000-seat, megaphone-shaped venue raised on the University of Michigan campus.

Today, Hill Auditorium regularly hosts concerts, symphonies, glee clubs and more.

There’s always something happening, so if you’re looking for exciting stuff to do, go and catch a show on campus!

Address: 825 N University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, United States

Have more time? Why not check out some of the things to do in Traverse City and some of the things to do in Frankenmuth, MI ?

16. Border-to-Border Trail

Border-to-Border Trail

Are you on a budget?

You don’t have to spend big bucks to have fun in Ann Arbor.

There are plenty of free things to do, including a walk or bike ride along the Border-to-Border Trail .

Also known as the B2B trail, the Border-to-Border Trail is a 40-mile path along the Huron River that crosses several cities and will eventually cross even more.

Its total proposed length is 70 miles, and it’s a large, collaborative effort between local governments to offer a safe and well-maintained space for people to explore the beauty of Michigan.

You can walk, jog or cycle along a number of paths, bridges and overpasses.

There’s never any charge, so you’re free to explore the trail as much or as little as you’d like.

All pathways are kept clean, and it’s common to see kids being pulled in wagons or dogs bounding joyfully on the ends of their owners’ leashes.

If you want to go on an outdoor adventure in Ann Arbor but aren’t sure where to start, hop on the Border-to-Border Trail.

It can take you in multiple directions along the Huron River to offer beautiful sightseeing opportunities.

17. Domino’s Farms Petting Farm

Domino's Farms Petting Farm

Shu-Hung Liu / Shutterstock

Ann Arbor doesn’t have a zoo, but if you’re looking for fun, fuzzy activities that will delight the young animal lovers in your life, consider making a trip to Domino’s Farms Petting Farm .

Located on the outskirts of the city on a tidy little farm, Domino’s is a place where you can interact with all kinds of cute, docile creatures, including goats, cows, horses and sheep.

You can walk right up to them and touch their fur or give them treats.

The bunnies always love baby carrots!

There are other fun, family-friendly activities to enjoy as well.

For example, you can take a tractor ride or explore a train caboose.

On holidays, there are special events like egg hunts or drive-throughs with Christmas lights.

Ultimately, however, the main draw of Domino’s Farms Petting Farm is the animals.

In a city without a zoo, it fills a crucial void for animal enthusiasts who are visiting Ann Arbor.

Put on your good walking shoes and get ready to see some cuteness!

Address: 3001 Earhart Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48106, United States

18. Pedal Saloon Ann Arbor

One of the coolest places to see in Ann Arbor is one that doesn’t stay put.

Instead, it’s a pedal-powered “ trolley pub ” that makes its way through the city with groups of people that climb abroad and pedal it.

There are two ways to reserve a spot.

One is to join a mixer as an individual, couple or small group of six people or less; the other is to book the entire trolley for a private party.

Either way, you’re bound to have fun.

It’s a memorable way to see the sights, and you can join specific tours that will take you on a circuit of the best bars, shops, restaurants and landmarks that downtown Ann Arbor has to offer.

You’ll also sneak in some exercise so that you can burn off those Blimpy Burgers while you wander!

Address: 200-300 N Main St, Ann Arbor, MI 48103, United States

19. Furstenberg Nature Area

Furstenberg Nature Area

Furstenberg Nature Area

A stroll through the Furstenberg Nature Area is one of the most romantic things to do in Ann Arbor.

The wind gently rustles the trees; the ducks peacefully swim in the ponds.

Wooden boardwalks are available if you want to take couple’s photos with amazing backdrops.

Everything freezes in the winter, including the lake, so you can walk across its snowy embankments while holding hands with your lover to keep warm.

In the spring and summer, flowers bloom so richly that the air is heavy with dozens of different fragrances.

In the fall, the leaves change color and offer a satisfying crunch beneath your boots as you take a stroll through the scenery.

Other date ideas include biking the trails together or feeding the white swans on the water.

You can also pack a picnic lunch and spread out a blanket under a shaded tree for you and your sweetheart.

If you’re headed to Ann Arbor with a special someone, the Furstenberg Nature Area is the place to go.

It’s so peaceful and beautiful that you’re sure to create very special memories while you’re there together.

Address: 2626 Fuller Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48105, United States

20. Stonebridge Golf Club

Stonebridge Golf Club

Stonebridge Golf Club

If you enjoy being in nature but don’t like roughing it in the wilderness without access to modern amenities, how about trying a round of golf at the Stonebridge Golf Club ?

There are 18 holes on stunningly green vistas with lakes, woods and sand pits.

Lessons are available at all skill levels for both juniors and adults, and there’s even a driving range and practice facility if you want to warm up your iron before hitting the hills.

When you’ve conquered all 18 holes, check out the bar and grille for dinner and drinks, or hit up the golf shop for all kinds of equipment to improve your game.

You might also enjoy sightseeing in the area around the course since it’s an upscale neighborhood with lots of high-end shops and restaurants.

Long story short, the Stonebridge Golf Club offers enjoyable activities for all types of travelers in Ann Arbor.

Whether you’re an experienced athlete or just an outdoor enthusiast looking to try something new, consider an afternoon spent among the rolling green fields with their cheerfully-waving flags.

Address: 1825 Clubhouse Dr, Ann Arbor, MI 48108, United States

21. Chateau Aeronautique Winery

Chateau Aeronautique Winery

Chateau Aeronautique Winery

Located a few miles south of Ann Arbor in Jackson, Michigan, the Chateau Aeronautique Winery is an utterly unique experience that combines wine and airplanes.

Yes, you read that right!

This “aeronautique” winery was founded by an airline pilot who decided to deck out the entire destination with grass runaways, airplane seating, vintage WWII posters and bartops fashioned after glider wings.

There are also several classic planes on site, including a 1940 Boeing Stearman and a 1956 Cessna 172s, so you’ll have some fun things to see after you’ve gotten nice and tipsy on the reds.

Ultimately, the Chateau Aeronautique Winery is one of the best things to do near Ann Arbor.

You’ll need to be willing to make the drive to Jackson, Michigan, but once you’re walking through the airpark and marveling at the old-school planes, the extra travel time will be worth it.

Address: 1849 Rives Eaton Rd, Jackson, MI 49201, United States

22. Zingerman’s Bakehouse

Zingerman's Bakehouse

Zingerman’s Bakehouse

Zingerman’s is one of the most famous of Ann Arbor attractions.

In fact, it’s so popular that it’s become an entire franchise; there’s a Zingerman’s Delicatessen for soups and sandwiches, a Zingerman’s Creamery for cheeses, gelatos and ice creams, and a Zingerman’s Coffee Company for world-class roasts.

The sweetest destination, however, is Zingerman’s Bakehouse .

It creates everything from everyday pastries to once-in-a-lifetime wedding cakes, and walking through its doors and seeing its sky-high bread shelves is like entering a carb-a-riffic version of Willy Wonka’s factory.

You can shop.

You can sample.

You can even sign up for baking classes that will teach you how to create your own cakes and cookies.

If you have a sweet tooth in Ann Arbor, you won’t want to miss Zingerman’s Bakehouse!

Address: 3711 Plaza Dr, Ann Arbor, MI 48108, United States

23. University of Michigan Museum of Natural History

University of Michigan Museum of Natural History

A trip to the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History is one of the most fun things to do in Ann Arbor.

It has so many cool things to see that your head and neck will develop a permanent swivel as you take in the geodes, soil samples, dinosaur bones, taxidermy animals and more!

Permanent exhibits include a “Michigan Wildlife Gallery” where you can see all of the state’s native species and a “Hall of Evolution” where you can trace humanity’s development through skulls and ultra-lifelike recreations of neanderthals.

There are also butterfly gardens, planetarium shows, gigantic whale skeletons and various fossil displays.

You’ll also want to make time for the Quetzalcoatlus.

How many times in your life will you be able to stand under a life-size reconstruction of a pterosaur?

The University of Michigan Museum of Natural History is a one-of-a-kind experience that combines both education and entertainment.

If you’re at all interested in natural history, this is the destination for you.

Address: 1105 N University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, United States

24. State Street

State Street

State Street is one of the most popular places to go in downtown Ann Arbor.

It’s packed with shops, cafes, restaurants and other lively destinations, and if you visit at the right time, it’s often the center point of citywide fairs and festivals.

The most famous event is the State Street Area Art Fair.

Held every summer, it jingles with the sound of jewel sculptures and glitters with the colorful fibers of textiles and fashion pieces.

There are also Halloween parties, Christmas festivities, Easter celebrations and more.

There’s even a semi-regular State Street Ladies Night if you’re wondering what to do as a single gal in Ann Arbor!

Walk the streets.

See the sights.

Listen to the buskers playing their instruments; breathe deeply around the food trucks and inhale their amazing aromas.

A trip to State Street is one of the most fun things to do in Ann Arbor, so it should be appreciated to the fullest.

Address: S State St, Ann Arbor, MI, United States

25. Ann Arbor Film Festival

Ann Arbor Film Festival

If you love Hitchcock, Scorsese and Spielberg, the Ann Arbor Film Festival is your chance to see the next generation of filmmakers before they get rich and famous.

You see, the festival is dedicated to independent and experimental filmmakers.

It’s been home to many small productions with big visions, and according to its organizers, its main purpose is “promoting film as an art form.”

To that extent, you can find all kinds of movies at the festival, including comedies, dramas, documentaries, animated films, period pieces, slasher flicks and more.

Rather than being rigidly defined by any specific category of film production, it’s a collective celebration of experimental movie making in all forms.

If you’re wondering what to see in the city that you can’t see anywhere else, try the Ann Arbor Film Festival.

It’s one of the top film festivals of its kind, and since it’s only held once per year, it’s a special event that you can look forward to during all other 364 days.

26. The Last Word

The Last Word

The Last Word

If you have “visit a speakeasy” on your bucket list, The Last Word is the place to cross it off.

Located underground, it’s a stylish, dimly-lit bar where the decor is completely vintage and the cocktails are completely delicious.

True to its name, many of its drinks have literary themes, and its menu is shaped like a book with different “chapters” for wine and beer.

You can even flip to the “epilogue” and find cocktails to go!

This scholarly touch is just one of the ways that the bar distinguishes itself as a classy establishment rather than just a place to get drunk in Ann Arbor.

All things considered, the Last Word is one of the coolest places to visit in the city.

If you’re strolling through downtown Ann Arbor at night and wondering what to do after 1AM, this is the place to stop in, pull up a chair and have some nerdy fun.

Address: 301 W Huron St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104, United States

27. Necto Nightclub

Necto Nightclub

Necto Nightclub

Necto Nightclub is among the top tourist attractions of Ann Arbor.

As you might expect, it’s not for kids, but it’s otherwise very much a playground for adults!

There are three floors in the club for drinking, dancing and socializing.

Most of the action is visible from the balconies, but there’s also a secret “Red Room” hidden from plain sight that functions as a low-key lounge.

Additionally, when you get tired of the pulsing beats and strobe lights of the main area, there are dark booths in the shadows to offer peace and privacy.

Themed nights are rampant, so whether you’re heading to the club tonight or next year, there’s guaranteed to be something going on.

The only question is whether it’ll involve concerts, drag shows, costume parties, retro parties or more.

Necto Nightclub is one of the most fun things to do in Ann Arbor.

If you’re over the age of 21, make sure to check out this premiere destination for city nightlife!

Address: 516 E Liberty St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104, United States

28. Wild Swan Theater

Wild Swan Theater

Wild Swan Theater

Wild Swan Theater is dedicated to putting on high-end performances for low-end prices.

Rather than being an expensive, pretentious theater meant only for the rich, it’s a cheap, fun and family-friendly venue, and one of its main goals is to stay accessible even for struggling or low-income audiences.

Tickets are available year-round for various musicals and theater productions.

If you can’t catch a show, there are also lessons, workshops, classes and kid’s camps.

If you happen to have a disabled or neuro-divergent child, there are outreach programs for them, too.

Wild Swan Theater is one of the best Ann Arbor attractions for kids and adults alike.

Its shows can bring the entire family together for a good time, and it’s built on a solid foundation of accessibility.

If you’re lucky, its productions might even instill a lifelong appreciation for the arts in your kids!

Address: 6175 Jackson Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48103, United States

29. Graffiti Alley

Graffiti Alley

Josie Hill / flickr

Located on East Liberty Street, “Graffiti Alley” is one of the touchstones of the Ann Arbor community, and it means a lot to the locals even as it doubles as an awesome tourist attraction for visitors.

No one knows who first took a can of spray paint to the alley, but when the city covered it all up with a mural in 1999, rebels were back with their tagging within the week.

They were so thorough in defacing the alley, in fact, that it became the most colorful, vibrant and eye-popping place in the entire city.

Today, there are layers upon layers of graffiti in the alley, and there’s always new work being added.

It’s the kind of place that’s never the same when you visit it.

If you want some visually stunning selfies while you’re in Ann Arbor, check out Graffiti Alley.

Address: E Liberty St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104, United States

Start Planning Your Trip To Ann Arbor

These are just a few of the best things to do in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

It might be well-known for its university, but there’s plenty of fun to be had outside of the campus.

Whether you’re interested in shopping, dining, hiking, biking or bar-hopping, it’s a place to cross off bucket list items for sure!

Happy travels.

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31. Cobblestone Farm

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32. County Farm Park

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33. Delhi Metropark

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34. Parker Mill Park

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35. Briarwood Mall

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40. Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library

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41. Barton Nature Area

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The 15 Best Things to do in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Perched on the banks of the winding Huron River, Ann Arbor is a buzzing college town that’s just bursting with fun things to do. The city is perhaps best known as being home to the sprawling University of Michigan campus, which is responsible for giving Ann Arbor its youthful and artsy spirit.  

The U-M campus is also where you’ll find some of the best Ann Arbor attractions, including world-class art and science museums, plant-filled arboretums and botanical gardens, and one of the largest sports stadiums in the world. While visiting campus is a must for any visitor to Ann Arbor, step off campus, and you’ll find that there’s much more to this college town than school spirit. 

If you’re planning a visit over the summer, you’ll love biking along the 35-mile-long Border-to-Border Trail and paddling along the Huron River Water Trail. In the summer, the city also plays host to the annual Ann Arbor Summer Festival, a month-long extravaganza featuring over 200 concerts, comedy shows, art fairs, and so much more!

Visit in the fall, and you can sip apple cider at a local cider mill before watching the Wolverines play at the “Big House.” When winter sets in, you can stay warm inside Ann Arbor’s many trendy coffee shops and bustling breweries. Better yet, head over to State Street or the Nickels Arcade and shop till you drop.

When it comes to food and drink, Ann Arbor will not disappoint, either. From the iconic Rueben sandwich at Zingerman’s Deli to the Korean eats at Miss Kim, you’ll never get tired of dining out in Ann Arbor. Plus, the spectacular Ann Arbor Farmers Market is open year-round and offers all sorts of creative farm-fresh eats.

With so many cool things to see, do, and eat, you might not know where to begin. So we’ve compiled our list of the absolute best things to do in Ann Arbor for you. Stick to these fun and unique Ann Arbor bucket list recommendations, and there’s no doubt you’ll have an amazing time adventuring around Tree Town!

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase or booking through one of our links we may earn a small commission (don’t worry, it’s at no extra cost to you).

15 Fun and Unique Things to do in Ann Arbor

1. paddle along the huron river water trail.

Best Things to do in Ann Arbor, Michigan: Huron River Water Trail

If you’re looking for outdoor things to do in Ann Arbor, why not hop in a kayak and paddle down the Huron River?

The Huron River Water Trail meanders for 104 miles through Ann Arbor, Dexter, and Ypsilanti, offering endless outdoor adventure. Kayaking, canoeing, SUPing, and tubing down the river are easily some of the coolest and most popular Ann Arbor activities when the weather is nice. Plus, the river offers a mix of calm waters and roaring rapids, making an excursion along the Huron River Water Trail a great activity for all skill levels. 

Cool Things to do in Ann Arbor, Michigan: Huron River Water Trail

The Ann Arbor section of the Huron River Water Trail unravels for nearly 10 miles. One of the most popular routes is the 1.5-hour trip from Argo Park to Gallup Park (you can find rentals at both parks). For something a bit more adventurous, you can also try paddling 2.5 hours from Barton to Gallup!

While the Huron River Water Trail does close for the winter season, you’ll find plenty of opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice skating in the winter months.

2. Spend a Day in Historic Kerrytown 

Cool Things to do in Ann Arbor, Michigan: Kerrytown

When it comes to cool things to do in Ann Arbor, Kerrytown offers them in spades. This historic part of town dates back to the mid-1800s, and today you’ll find red-brick buildings, revamped 19th-century factories, and all sorts of architectural gems housing cool shops, cafes, and restaurants.

If you consider yourself a foodie, you’ll want to spend some time eating your way around Kerrytown. From the pastrami or tempeh-stuffed Reuben sandwiches at Zingerman’s Deli to the pork belly bibimbop and Korean BBQ tempeh banh mi at Miss Kim , you’ll find something to suit all tastes here.

Best Things to do in Ann Arbor, Michigan: Kerrytown

Once you’ve had your fill, be sure to browse all of the cool boutique shops in Kerrytown Market & Shops . From handcrafted jewelry and vintage home goods to specialty oils and teas, you’ll find a surprise around every corner.

Kerrytown is also home to some of the top Ann Arbor attractions, including the Ann Arbor Farmers Market, the Kerrytown Concert House , and the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum , to name a few.

3. Sip Fresh Apple Cider at the Dexter Cider Mill

Best Things to do in Ann Arbor, Michigan: Dexter Cider Mill

Located in the nearby town of Dexter, the Dexter Cider Mill is a must on your Ann Arbor bucket list if you’re planning on an autumn visit. This place has been family-owned and operated since 1886, and they pride themselves on keeping things just like they were over 100 years ago.

The location along the Huron River is beautiful at any time of year, but visit in the fall, and you’ll love being surrounded by trees bursting with fall colors. Be sure to come hungry because the Dexter Cider Mill serves up all sorts of fresh and delicious treats. 

Unique Things to do in Ann Arbor, Michigan: Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

From apple strudel, apple turnovers, and caramel apples to barbecue sauces, mustards, and honey, you’ll find all sorts of goodies you won’t be able to resist taking home. And you can’t visit the Dexter Cider Mill without trying at least one of their famous cinnamon-sugar donuts and washing it down with a cup of homemade wood-pressed cider. 

Plus, the 21+ crowd will love sipping on their delicious hard cider, which is available in Traditional, Bourbon Barrel Aged, and IPC flavors. If you’re looking for fun things to do in Ann Arbor, you can’t go wrong with a visit to the Dexter Cider Mill!

4. See the Michigan Wolverines Kick Off at the ‘Big House’

Must do things in Ann Arbor, Michigan: Big House

The University of Michigan is home to the largest stadium in the US and the third-largest in the world. Known as the “Big House,” this behemoth has a capacity of 107,601. So you can imagine how infectious the atmosphere is during a big game!

If you happen to be in town on a Saturday during the college football season – which runs from August to December – getting tickets to see the Michigan Wolverines play at Michigan Stadium is a must on your Ann Arbor bucket list. 

Best Things to do in Ann Arbor, Michigan: Big House

You’ll want to get to the stadium early to soak up the energy of all the tailgate parties before kickoff. Better yet, bring a portable grill and cooler and throw your own tailgate party! And don’t forget to don your maize and blue, so you fit in with the crowd.

5. Find All of Ann Arbor’s Tiny ‘Fairy Doors’

Best Things to do in Ann Arbor, Michigan: Fairy Doors

If you’re looking for unique Ann Arbor activities, kids and adults alike will love seeking out all of the city’s whimsical “ fairy doors .” You’ll find these tiny entryways peppered around town in the most unlikely places!

The first fairy doors were discovered by the daughters of Jonathan B. Wright when he was renovating his Ann Arbor home in 1993. The girls found five six-inch fairy doors, some of which opened up to miniature furnished rooms.

Since this “discovery,” over two dozen cute fairy doors have popped up around the city. Kids love finding them and leaving little gifts for the resident fairies. Sometimes it’s possible to see lights on inside the doors, which means the fairies are at home.

To spot a fairy door for yourself, head over to Sweetwaters Café (the West Washington location), where you’ll find a tiny door and mini coffee shop, before seeking out the tiny door and windows of book “houses” on a shelf in the Downtown Library and the tiny door offering fairies access to the Michigan Theater , to name a few!   

6. Shop for Local Goods at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market

Unique Things to do in Ann Arbor, Michigan: Farmers Market

There’s no better way to get a taste of the local flavor than by visiting a farmers’ market. Luckily, Ann Arbor is home to a thriving farm-to-table movement made even stronger due to the year-round Ann Arbor Farmers Market . This historic market has been running for over 100 years and today attracts over 115 vendors from around Michigan and Ohio.

You can find everything here, from farm-fresh fruits, veggies, herbs, and flowers to delicious donuts, pies, gluten-free baked goods, and coffee. Come hungry, too, because vendors at this farmers’ market cook up everything from Mediterranean food to Polish fare. 

Best Things to do in Ann Arbor, Michigan: Farmers Market

Of course, it’s not all about food. You can shop for all sorts of handcrafted goods, like jewelry, soaps, and candles. Or just grab a cup of fresh-roasted coffee and soak up the vibe.

The farmers’ market is located in Kerrytown at 315 Detroit Street. You can visit on both Wednesdays and Saturdays from May to December from 7 am to 3 pm. However, from January to April, only the Saturday market is open (8 am to 3 pm).   

7. Go on a DIY Brewery Tour

Cool Things to do in Ann Arbor, Michigan: DIY Brewery Tour

Ann Arbor takes its craft brews very seriously, so it’s no surprise that more and more breweries pop up every year. If you’re looking for fun things to do in Ann Arbor, embarking on a DIY brewery tour will not disappoint!

You can start your journey on the West Side of the city at Wolverine State Brewing Co , which is known around town for their award-winning lagers. Order up a full order of their “Famous Nachos” to share and wash them down with a Gulo Gulo India Pale Lager or a Tundra King West Coast Style I.P.L. 

After that, make your way on foot to West Liberty Street, where you’ll find Townies Brewery . Here you can order a flight and nosh on bar bites from the on-site food truck. 

Unique Things to do in Ann Arbor, Michigan: Wolverine State Brewing Co

Once you’ve had your fill, continue down the road to HOMES Brewery to try their innovative brews, including the crisp Hitasu Rice Lager, the citrusy Same Same Different IPA, or the fruity Razz Peach Sherbet Fruited Sour. If you’ve got the room, the menu features some seriously good Asian street food-style snacks.

From Arbor Brewing Company to Grizzly Peak Brewing Co. , you’ll find tons of other excellent breweries sprinkled around town too!

8. Get Cultured at the University of Michigan Museum of Art

Ann Arbor, Michigan Things to do: University of Michigan of Art

The sprawling University of Michigan campus is home to many of the best Ann Arbor attractions, including the University of Michigan Museum of Art . Among the 19,000 works housed in this expansive museum, you’ll find pieces from the likes of Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Claude Monet, and Frank Lloyd Wright, to name a few.

You’ll find a wide range of collections inside the museum, too, from the African Art, Asian Art, and Western Art collections to the Photography, Decorative Arts/Design, and Modern/Contemporary Art collections.

Unique Things to do in Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Museum of Art

Of course, you’ll always find intriguing rotating exhibits on display. If you don’t know where to start, sign up for one of the docent-led tours or let the handy downloadable maps and visitor guides lead the way!

9. Get Outside on the Border-to-Border Trail

Unique Things to do in Ann Arbor, Michigan: Border to Border Trail

When it comes to outdoor things to do in Ann Arbor, you’ll be spoiled for choice. And if you’re looking to get a nice workout in when the weather is nice, you’ll absolutely love the city’s Border-to-Border Trail (aka the B2B Trail).

This paved, non-motorized trail meanders for 35 miles along the Huron River from Livingston County to Wayne County. You can explore six different “corridors” which will connect you to surrounding towns. But if you want to stay local, the Ann Arbor Corridor offers 5.6 miles of outdoor adventure. 

Fun Things to do in Ann Arbor, Michigan: Border to Border Trail

You can head out on two wheels or on foot. Along the way, you can rent a kayak at one of the two liveries, explore Gallup Park, picnic at Bandemer Park, or admire the scenery at the Argo Nature Area. Visit during the fall season, and you’ll likely be spoiled with stunning fall colors!

10. Sample Ann Arbor’s Diverse Restaurant Scene

Must do things in Ann Arbor, Michigan: Ann Arbor Diverse Restaurant Scene

Ann Arbor is known as a foodie city, so you’ll definitely want to treat yourself to a few of its most iconic dishes. No trip to Ann Arbor is complete without ordering up a classic burger from Krazy Jim’s Blimpy Burger or a Rueben sandwich from Zingerman’s Delicatessen .

But if you’re hungry for more, you’ll love sampling the wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas from Mani Osteria and Bar before sipping a Belgian-style brew at Jolly Pumpkin Café & Brewery .

Ann Arbor, Michigan Bucket List: Ann Arbors Diverse Restaurant Scene

If you’re looking to try Ann Arbor’s many international flavors, head over to Frita Batidos for Cuban-inspired burgers, visit Slurping Turtle for sushi and ramen, or stop off at The Blue Nile for Ethiopian eats. Ann Arbor’s diverse food scene means you’ll find something to satisfy all tastes and cravings.

11. Be Endlessly Entertained at the Ann Arbor Summer Festival

If you’re planning a summer trip to Ann Arbor, try your best to time your visit with the annual Ann Arbor Summer Festival . This epic festival lasts for a whopping four weeks, during which the entire city comes alive with all sorts of cool events and attractions. 

You can expect over 200 events catering to all ages and interests. From concerts, comedy shows, and dance troops to outdoor film screenings, art exhibitions, and kid-friendly activities, you’re sure to be endlessly entertained. Of course, you can expect to find all manner of food being served at the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, too.

The best part about this unique festival is that most of the events are totally free to attend. But be sure to check the website before you head out since some events do require tickets.

12. Photograph Nickels Arcade

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Step inside Nickels Arcade, and you’ll immediately feel like you’ve been transported to Europe. This classic shopping arcade was built in 1918 and features an incredibly photogenic 261-foot-long mosaic-tiled corridor. 

Plus, this architectural gem has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, so you know it’s something special! If you’re looking for photo ops in Ann Arbor, Nickels Arcade is a must-visit.

Unique Things to do in Ann Arbor, Michigan: Nickels Arcade

Located at 326 South State Street, Nickels Arcade is also a great spot to do a little shopping during your trip. First, grab a cup of coffee at Comet Coffee, and then peruse the unique shops that line both sides of the covered corridor. 

You’ll find some of the city’s oldest shops in the arcade, including the Van Boven men’s boutique and Caravan Gift Shop. From the antique shop and old-fashioned barbershop to the vintage stores and adorable flower shop, it’s impossible not to be charmed by this unique attraction.

13. Escape the City at the Matthaei Botanical Garden and Nichols Arboretum

Ann Arbor, Michigan Things to do: Matthaei Botanical Garden

Nature enthusiasts will love spending an afternoon at the Matthaei Botanical Garden and Nichols Arboretum . If you’re looking for free things to do in Ann Arbor, these two nature-filled attractions should definitely be on your to-do list. 

Explore the Matthaei Botanical Gardens, and you’ll find 11 outdoor garden spaces, including the Bonsai and Penjing Garden, the Medicinal Garden, and the Gateway Garden of New World Plants. If you’ve got the little ones in tow, be sure to check out the hands-on Gaffield Children’s Garden, too. 

Ann Arbor, Michigan Bucket List: Nichols Arboretum

Head over to the Nichols Arboretum (aka the Arb), and you’ll find 3.5 miles of trails leading to a handful of gardens. If you happen to be in town from late May or early June, follow the Peony Trail to see all the blooms in the Peony Garden! 

The outdoor gardens aren’t in bloom in the harsh winter months, but if you are planning on a winter visit, the spectacular Conservatory is open year-round and features a Tropical House, Temperate House, and Arid House.

14. Spend Some Time in the State Street District

Fun Things to do in Ann Arbor, Michigan: State Street District

The State Street District is where you need to be if you want to be in the center of all the action. Located right next to the University of Michigan campus, there’s always something exciting going on in this buzzing part of town. 

The State Street District is home to many of the top Ann Arbor attractions, including the University of Michigan Museum of Art , the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology , and the historic Michigan Theater . This is also where you’ll find some of the best annual festivals and events, like the Ann Arbor Film Festival , the Ann Arbor Summer Festival , and the Ann Arbor Art Fair . 

Unique Things to do in Ann Arbor, Michigan: State Street District

And if you’re just looking to wine and dine, you’ll find all sorts of excellent bars and restaurants in this part of town – from beers at HopCat to pizzas at The Original Cottage Inn . After you’ve had your fill, be sure to check out all of the district’s quirky shops, bookstores, and more!

15. Sip Cocktails at The Last Word… If You Can Find It

The Last Word is easy to miss if you don’t know what you’re looking for. This speakeasy-style cocktail and whiskey bar can be found behind an unmarked door in downtown Ann Arbor. (Hint: If you see the number 301, you’re in the right place.)

Step inside the dimly lit bar and take your time to peruse the novel-length drinks menu. It features everything from wine and beer to cider and whiskey, but it’s the creative, top-notch cocktails that really make this place shine!

If you need a little spice in your life, try The Osborn, a concoction of Mammoth Old Dam Gin, pineapple, jalapeño, lime, and ginger beer; or order the Devil’s Dew with Banhez Mezcal, lime, Zucca Rabarbaro, beet syrup, banana liqueur, and a habanero tincture. But don’t worry if spice isn’t your thing. You’ll find all sorts of non-spicy, fruit and herb-forward cocktails on the menu, too.

If you’re feeling peckish, the food menu features all sorts of globally-inspired treats. From Fried Chicken Buns and Moroccan Meatballs to Malay Curry Poutine and Koreatown Cauliflower, you’ll want to sample everything on the menu!

There you have it! The 15 best things to do in Ann Arbor. What’s your favorite thing to do in Ann Arbor?

Planning a trip to Michigan? Check out our favorite books and travel guides!

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Best Things to do in Ann Arbor, Michigan

About the Author:

Justine Lopez

Justine is a California native who always seems to take the unconventional route in life. She also suffers from a serious case of wanderlust! In 2013, she set out on a yearlong round-the-world journey and never looked back. Since then she’s lived the expat life in Indonesia, Cambodia, China, and Vietnam. She’s now living and working as a freelance writer in Mexico. As she meanders her way around the world, Justine is always seeking out delicious vegetarian food, pretty beaches, and amazing new travel destinations.

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The Epicurean Traveler

Inspiring Cultural Exploration Through Culinary Travel

University of Michigan Law Quad, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

Ann Arbor Weekend Getaway Guide For Food And Art Lovers

With its walkable downtown full of shopping, art, and dining suited for eclectic tastes, visitors can have an artsy and flavor-packed weekend getaway in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Disclosure: This Ann Arbor weekend getaway guide also contains some affiliate links. When you click on a link and purchase an item or book your hotel stay, I may earn a commission.

A charmingly quirky college town, Ann Arbor is home to the University of Michigan. With many college students on summer break, May through August is an optimal time for a weekend getaway to Ann Arbor to explore all that this Southeast Michigan city offers.

Having grown up about 30 miles from Ann Arbor in Dearborn, Michigan, I feel honored to partner with  Destination Ann Arbor  and the premier women’s travel network Wanderful to share one of my favorite Michigan cities with you.

There are so many fun and unique things to do in Ann Arbor ; I’m sure you’ll enjoy visiting this college town as much as I have. In particular, Ann Arbor is a fabulous getaway for foodies and art lovers. So, let’s get started with how you can plan a relaxing, delicious, and art-filled weekend getaway in Ann Arbor this summer. For even more information about visiting Ann Arbor, click here .

Where to Stay: Downtown at Graduate Ann Arbor

Stay in the heart of downtown Ann Arbor’s shopping, dining, and art at Graduate Ann Arbor . Plus, you’ll be right by the University of Michigan campus.

Some say our college years are some of the best of our lives. If your university housing was anything like the campus-inspired digs at Graduate Ann Arbor , then that saying probably holds true. Though I bet your dormitory didn’t have a cocktail lounge. 😉

At Graduate Ann Arbor, you’ll have fun taking in all the scholastic-inspired details. Your room key looks like a student ID. You’ll see chalkboards scribbled with mathematical equations in the lobby. And, you’ll hang your “studying” pennant on your door when you don’t want to be disturbed.

In the lobby, you can sip a cup of freshly brewed coffee around a long table that seems like it was taken from the university’s law library. Later in the day, gather in the Allen Rumsey Cocktail Lounge for a Mrs. Robinson, a cleverly named drink of wheat vodka, lime, rosemary, simple syrup, blackberry liqueur, bitters, and egg white.

My mom and my boyfriend joined me on separate nights during my stay. We found Graduate Ann Arbor appeals to a variety of travelers from Millennial to Baby Boomer. Whether you are visiting for a girls’ trip or a romantic weekend getaway in Ann Arbor, I’m sure you’ll love having Graduate Ann Arbor as your home base.

Graduate Ann Arbor is located at 615 East Huron Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104. You can check availability at Graduate Ann Arbor for your travel dates.

Don’t miss out on this unique hotel that will take you back to your own university days — reserve your room now !

Where to Eat in Ann Arbor

If you’ve seen “The Five-Year Engagement” starring Emily Blunt, you might remember Zingerman’s Delicatessen where Jason Segal’s character works. While Zingerman’s might be Ann Arbor’s most well-known foodie destination, there is much more to the city’s dining scene. In fact, the area has more than 300 restaurants! In downtown Ann Arbor alone, you’ll find an eclectic mix, including ethnic eateries, craft breweries, and even vegetarian and vegan restaurants. 

Clockwise from top: Bouillabaisse at Taste Kitchen, chorizo fundido hash at Isalita brunch,   chicken avocado rice bowl with steamed buns and koryo carrot salad at Korean restaurant Miss Kim, mural outside Spanish tapas restaurant Aventura, breakfast sandwich and smoothie at Wilma’s, dining room of Sava’s

Dining Recommendations for Your Ann Arbor Getaway

Where to eat in Ann Arbor could be a blog post of its own! For now, here are my recommendations for your summer getaway — from breakfast to dessert.

Breakfast and Brunch in Ann Arbor

Left: Beach blanket smoothie at Fred’s (now closed) | Right: Brunch at Isalita

Poindexter Coffee  | 615 East Huron Street

If you are the type of traveler who needs coffee first thing in the morning, then head downstairs to the Graduate Ann Arbor lobby. Poindexter Coffee offers grab-and-go pastries, Zingerman’s bagels, and freshly brewed java.

Isalita | 341A East Liberty Street

Keep this downtown Mexican spot in mind for Sunday brunch when you can order breakfast dishes like a chorizo fundido hash or tacos from the full lunch/dinner menu. The same goes for cocktails — blood orange mimosas if you are feeling breakfast vibes or margaritas because it’s five o’clock somewhere.

RELATED:  7 Ann Arbor Spots That Aren’t Your Average Coffee Shops

Lunch in Ann Arbor

Left: Rice bowls, carrot salad, and steamed buns at Miss Kim | Right: Sava’s Greek salad

Zingerman’s Delicatessen | 422 Detroit Street

At this renowned deli, a staff member will help you find just the right sandwich. I can give two thumbs up to Benno’s Birdie . It’s Amish chicken breast, Ligurian pesto, oven-dried tomatoes, and fresh handmade mozzarella on a grilled rustic Italian bread. It’s definitely a sandwich for pesto lovers. Make sure you grab a side dish from the case of deli salads, too!

Miss Kim | 415 North Fifth Avenue

At this Zingerman’s restaurant in Kerrytown, chef Ji Hye Kim creates authentic Korean dishes using local Michigan ingredients in the spirit of Korean culinary traditions. Her steamed buns made in-house are a must! I highly recommend the roasted pork belly bun, but the sautéed mushrooms bun is a great vegetarian option that can also be made vegan. I also really like the chicken avocado rice bowl during my lunch at Miss Kim .

Sava’s | 216 South State Street

Also another contender for Sunday brunch, Sava’s is a delight for all your senses. From the colorful tile floor up to the burst chandeliers, your eyes will be pleased. Your taste buds will be, too! Start your meal with the bang bang shrimp, and the lavender lemonade is so refreshing on a hot summer day.

RELATED: Lunch in Ann Arbor — Five Spots Where You Should Eat

Dinner in Ann Arbor

Clockwise from top right: Gambas al ajillo at Aventura, bouillabaisse at Taste Kitchen, sangria with bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with chorizo and blue cheese at Aventura, salmon sashimi and spring rolls at Taste Kitchen

Taste Kitchen | 521 East Liberty Street

Chef Van regularly changes his menu that features sustainably sourced seafood and produce with Vietnamese flavors and French techniques. If the bouillabaisse or salmon sashimi is on the menu when you dine at Taste Kitchen, I would highly recommend you order both.

Aventura | 216 East Washington Street

At this modern Spanish tapas restaurant, you’ll find a menu of traditional Spanish cuisine and drinks. I’ve heard so much praise for the squid ink paella. Based on dining here, I recommend the red sangria, bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with blue cheese, gambas al ajillo, and Brussels sprouts served with pistachios, apples, honey, olive oil, and Crema Fresca.

Cool Treats for Summer

Left: Strawberry and star fruit white iced tea with a chocolate-hazelnut macaron at TeaHaus | Right: Lavender lemon honey ice cream at Blank Slate Creamery

Blank Slate Creamery | 300 West Liberty Street

Cool down with a scoop of all-natural, made-in-house ice cream! You’ll find unique flavors such as balsamic strawberry, lavender lemon honey, chocolate-covered pretzel with a caramel swirl, Vietnamese cinnamon, and campfire s’mores.

TeaHaus | 204-206 North Fourth Avenue

With more than 175 varieties of tea, you are sure to find one you’ll enjoy. On a hot day, cool down with iced tea and pair it with a macaron. The chocolate-hazelnut macaron I had at TeaHaus was seriously the best macaron I’ve ever had.

Drinks In Ann Arbor

Left: Matthaei Botanicals cocktail at Allen Rumsey Cocktail Lounge at Graduate Ann Arbor | Top right: Craft beer samples at HOMES Brewery | Bottom right: Black Star Farms 2103 Merlot at VinBar (closed)

HOMES Brewery | 2321 Jackson Avenue

A short Uber/Lyft ride from downtown Ann Arbor, HOMES is just the place for sour beers, saisons, IPAs featuring tropical hops, and fruit-forward beers paired with Asian street food. Sit out on the patio and soak in some sunshine, too!

Allen Rumsey Cocktail Lounge | 615 East Huron Street

After a night on the town, head back to the Graduate for a nightcap. At the Allen Rumsey Supper Club, you’ll sip old-fashion cocktails in the tradition of Midwestern supper clubs. I thoroughly enjoyed the gin-based Matthaei Botanicals — named after the local botanical garden.

Experiencing the Arts in Ann Arbor

Whether you are passing a mural on the street or attending a concert or art exhibit, there are plenty of ways to indulge in the arts in Ann Arbor.

Clockwise from top right: Mural in downtown Ann Arbor by Greek artist Cacao Rocks, taking a swing on “Shang” by Mark di Suvero at the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA), State Theatre marquee, and “Michigan Wings” by Kelsey Montague #WhatLiftsYou

Listen tto Live Music at The Ark

The Ark, a renowned music venue in downtown Ann Arbor

Hosting more than 300 performances each year, The Ark is nationally well-known for folk and acoustic music. An intimate venue of about 400 seats, tickets to most shows cost less than $50. Sometimes you can even nab a ticket for as little as $11! The Ark has hosted big names over the years, including Kacey Musgraves, Emmylou Harris, and Ben Folds. Check The Ark’s calendar to see if there is a concert while you are in town!

The Ark is located at 316 South Main Street.

Seek Street Art in Downtown Ann Arbor

Left: “Michigan Wings” by Kelsey Montague | Right: Street art by Greek artist Cacao Rocks

As you walk around downtown Ann Arbor, you are bound to see some street art. One of the newest additions is  Michigan Wings by artist Kelsey Montague. If you are into street art, you probably recognize her work, especially her well-known wings in the Gulch neighborhood of Nashville. The Michigan Wings feature iconic sights from the University of Michigan’s campus, including Burton Tower, the Law Quad, and the brass “M” on the Diag.

When you find the Panera at the corner of South Thayer Street and North University Avenue, you’ll see three more murals. This series was created by international artists brought to Ann Arbor through the Global Graffiti project. Offering a global perspective, these public artworks were created to demonstrate how street art is a powerful medium of expression and communication.

“Michigan Wings” is on Maynard Street at the corner of East William Street. Cacao Rocks’ murals are located at 318 South Thayer Street.

Attend a Summer Festival

The annual Ann Arbor Art Fair

One of my favorite art events of the summer takes place in Ann Arbor — the annual Ann Arbor Art Fair. It’s actually made up of four separate award-winning, juried fairs. One of the largest art fairs in the US, it takes over downtown Ann Arbor for a long weekend each July. As a regular Ann Arbor Art Fair visitor, I shared my top tips for visiting the fair in this post .

Other unique art events to attend in Ann Arbor during the summer include Shakespeare in the Arb at Nichols Arboretum and the three-week-long Ann Arbor Summer Festival celebrating theater, dance, music, and comedy with performances at Hill Auditorium and the Power Center. Both events take place in June, so keep those in mind as you plan your trip!

Take a Gander at the Law Quad’s Architecture

University of Michigan Law Quad and Law Library

As you walk through the archway to the University of Michigan Law Quad, you’ll find beautiful Tudor Gothic architecture. Inside the Law Library, the reading room’s arched windows feature stained glass seals of other universities. With dramatic chandeliers and a high, cathedral-like ceiling, I felt like I was Harry Potter, stepping into the Hogwarts Great Hall for the first time. My favorite details from the University of Michigan Law School are stained glass cartoons featuring aspects of the law — divorce, inheritance, and crimes such as burglary and forgery. You’ll find those in the Cloister Hall, the first floor of Hutchins Hall.

The University of Michigan Law Library is located at 801 South Monroe Street.

Browse the University of Michigan Museum of Art

From top right: “Love is What You Want” by Tracey Emin, Untitled by Mark Bradford, Museum Apse featuring European and American art from 1830 to 1915

The University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) is one of the largest university art museums in the United States. The collection features European and American art dating back to the 1100s, artworks from Africa and Asia, modern and contemporary art, photography, and outdoor sculptures. Admission to the museum is free and open to the public Tuesday through Sunday. Check the museum’s website for accurate hours of operation and current exhibits!

UMMA is located at 525 South State Street.

Catch an Indie Flick at the State Theatre

State Theatre in downtown Ann Arbor

Need to beat the heat? Rainy day? Go see a movie at the State Theatre! This Art Deco cinema in downtown Ann Arbor shows indie, art house, and foreign films that you might not find at your average movie theater. Check out the State Theatre’s schedule to see what is playing when you are in town!

The State Theatre is located at 233 South State Street.

Getting To And Around Ann Arbor

Ideally located for visitors in Michigan and surrounding states, Ann Arbor is only a 45-minute drive from Detroit, two hours from Grand Rapids, three hours from Cleveland and Columbus, and four hours from Chicago and Indianapolis. The city is easily accessible from major highways, including I-94, M-14, and US 23. And, visitors from Chicago and Detroit can take Amtrak’s Wolverine Line to Ann Arbor to enjoy a car-free weekend!

Pro Tip: The Ann Arbor train station is near Kerrytown. So, be sure to stop into Zingerman’s Deli to grab a sandwich for your train ride home!

Visiting Ann Arbor from too far away to drive?

Ann Arbor is only 25 miles from Detroit Metro (DTW), a major international airport. You can even get to downtown Ann Arbor from the airport without a car for less than $25 round trip per person. Check out Michigan Flyer for its motorcoach schedule between Ann Arbor and DTW!

Once you are in Ann Arbor, the downtown is very walkable. However, you can use local buses and ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft to get you around when needed.

Explore the map to see where to eat, drink, and experience the arts in Ann Arbor!

Final Thoughts About Visiting Ann Arbor

Looking for a weekend getaway in the Midwest? Interested in street art or live music? Are you a total foodie? Then I say a trip to Ann Arbor, Michigan, is in order.

Growing up nearby in the Detroit area, I always loved visiting Ann Arbor for day trips. Now that I’ve stayed in the city for a weekend getaway, I would urge metro Detroiters to consider Ann Arbor for an overnight stay or weekend getaway, too. There is probably much more to see and do than you realized. I know that was how I felt.

For more inspiration, start planning your trip at AnnArbor.org !

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Save the image below to your Michigan travel board on Pinterest for future trip planning!

Weekend Getaway Ann Arbor, Michigan pin collage with photo of Sava's Restaurant diners eating in airy dining room, woman in jeans and striped shirt stands in front of maize-and-blue wings mural, and Graduate Ann Arbor hotel exterior with blue bicycles and M flags

Reader Interactions

trip ann arbor michigan

July 27, 2018 at 7:26 pm

I almost went to grad school in Ann Arbor and visited once. Really loved the vibe of the town, and if I get the chance I’d love to go back and spend more time there. I love that there is transportation from the airport for $25. Seems like a great deal if you don’t want to rent a car and drive. I know I’d been eating my way around town so driving and Ubering would be the best route for me. The Graduate sounds like a super fun hotel, and I love all the student life touches they’ve thrown into the experience. Great details in this list! Love all the photos!

trip ann arbor michigan

July 27, 2018 at 5:05 pm

Michigan has never stood out tourist destination. Yet, Ann Arbor looks like an amazing place to explore the food and art scene. Sign me up for all that yummy food.

trip ann arbor michigan

July 26, 2018 at 5:21 pm

I had no idea Ann Arbor was so close to Toronto! It sounds as though it would make a delicious long weekend escape …perhaps with some of that vino from Michigan wineries

trip ann arbor michigan

July 26, 2018 at 10:46 am

I had never even heard of Ann Arbor till recently, it looks so beautiful and wow on all the food, activites and local art. And congrats on the Ambassadorship, that is awesome. Mgith have to put this place on my travel bucket list 😉

trip ann arbor michigan

July 26, 2018 at 10:07 am

I’m really hoping to get to Ann Arbor soon. It seems like an awesome foodie destination! Your photos are making me hungry haha. And I just love Michigan. Someday I really want to take a couple of months and explore different places all over the state.

trip ann arbor michigan

July 25, 2018 at 11:26 pm

Loved my stay at The Graduate. I can really relate to the decor as a U of M alumnus. But that aside, the room was comfortable and spacious. The mini food cart in the lobby was a great place to grab a cup of coffee or tea throughout the day and a quick snack, not just first thing in the morning. Enjoyed that the hotel was within walking distance of so many places to eat, shop and visit. Also convenient that a bike rental was located right outside the hotel too in case I wanted to be more adventurous. Looking forward to staying again so I can explore all the new and old places that Downtown Ann Arbor and U of M campus has to offer. Will have to try some of the places you mentioned that I have not been to yet. Looking forward to hearing more about my favorite college town in your upcoming posts. Love your pics.

trip ann arbor michigan

July 25, 2018 at 10:30 pm

How fun that Graduate Ann Arbor reflects college memories and traditions — it’s so much fun when a hotel finds a unique way to blend hospitality with the surrounding culture. I love your choices for art exploration and the many dining options you’ve outlined. If I were planning a trip to Ann Arbor soon, I think your post would be a great start to choosing my itinerary!

trip ann arbor michigan

July 24, 2018 at 10:13 pm

This is awesome! I live in Toledo and we get up to Ann Arbor every so often but not nearly enough! I think we need to plan a trip there before the end of summer! I would love to stay at that hotel! XOXO

https://www.theweekenderafashionfieldguide.com

trip ann arbor michigan

July 24, 2018 at 6:15 pm

What an amazing getaway! Such a fun time – love your pictures!

trip ann arbor michigan

July 24, 2018 at 11:08 am

It seems that you really had a fabulous time there in Ann Arbor. and those foods are so tempting and it makes me feel so hungry. On my next travel, I would love to explore that place too.

trip ann arbor michigan

July 24, 2018 at 2:39 am

Loved your tour of Ann Arbor, Erin. Great pictures too. I love all the art inside and out, the cool architecture – new and old and of course, all that food and drink. Definitely putting the city on my itinerary.

trip ann arbor michigan

July 24, 2018 at 12:18 am

You’re right, Ann Arbor looks so charming and quirky – I feel like it should be in a chick flick (kind of reminds me of the town in The Proposal) Random.

trip ann arbor michigan

July 24, 2018 at 12:17 am

My brother is really into art. He won’t admit it, but he himself is an artist. I can’t wait to share this place with him.

trip ann arbor michigan

July 23, 2018 at 11:06 pm

I go to Ann Arbor a couple of times a year and in fact will be there this weekend for the soccer game. I am going to look up those wings and try one of the restaurants on your list. They are different than the places I have tried before. Thanks for the new options Erin.

trip ann arbor michigan

July 23, 2018 at 12:27 pm

What awesome food options! I would love to check out the craft breweries and vegan restaurants 🙂

trip ann arbor michigan

July 22, 2018 at 8:51 pm

I just went to Ann Arbor for the first time a couple of month ago. It was a surprisingly cute town. I visited Pete’s Arcade and ate at Seva. I even went to the quads (love it) and walk around the Big House (not really a fan, Ohio Stadium is so much better IMHO). Ann Arbor was pretty dang cute.

trip ann arbor michigan

July 22, 2018 at 10:59 am

OMG, those food photos made me slobber all over myself. Ann Arbor made it on one of my top must-visit spots in the next couple of months. This looks like such a fun and delicious place to explore <3

trip ann arbor michigan

July 22, 2018 at 1:10 am

This looks like a great place to visit. I love all the craft breweries and the hotel looks like a blast. I have never heard of bacon wrapped dates. Were they good?

trip ann arbor michigan

July 21, 2018 at 3:46 pm

I’ve never been to Michigan! I love the way the university theme runs through the hotel and food choices!

trip ann arbor michigan

July 21, 2018 at 2:09 pm

Although I’ve never been to Ann Arbor, I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about this beautiful, college town. Your beautiful pictures make me want to go visit right now!

trip ann arbor michigan

July 21, 2018 at 7:36 am

One of my husband’s relatives lived in Ann Arbor – no longer though – and we visited them once but we didn’t do any of the city. I’ve always heard that Ann Arbor is a cool place to visit and live. It all looks good to me – well, except those flags and that blue and yellow – I’m a Buckeye!

trip ann arbor michigan

July 26, 2018 at 11:00 am

Lol, Jill. If you can get past the reminders around Ann Arbor that it is home to the University of Michigan, there is a lot for a Buckeye (or a Spartan) to enjoy around town. The city definitely seems like a cool place to live, too. If I had to move somewhere else in Michigan, Ann Arbor would certainly be a contender.

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Everything for kids, teens, & families in Ann Arbor & Metro Detroit

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101 family day trips and staycation ideas around the ann arbor-detroit area.

Remember, it's always best to follow each link to get details about your visit directly from your destination, since some places operate seasonally or by reservation, as well as to check each venue's COVID requirements (masks, limits, social distancing).

Free activities and splurges that are worth it. The coolest stuff for a staycation in town and road trips for less than a tank of gas from Ann Arbor-Detroit. Kids Out And About has tons of ideas for family travel, with places to explore, learn, and have fun!

KidsOutAndAbout is America's online guide to everything for kids, teens, and families! If you don't already receive our free weekly e-newsletter, sign up today to make sure you're in the know about free stuff, festivals, classes, camps, vacation ideas, and all the best events near you!

Explore Gardens 

Get wild on a hike, time travel today, make life a beach, splash into some water fun, spend the day at a museum, explore these cities, all aboard planes, trains, and automobiles , grow some fun at the farm, whoop it up at a festival or fair, connect with nature, amuse yourself at these amusement parks   , talk to the animals, take a spin on a carousel , get active indoors, challenge yourself.

Limiting our list to 101 ideas meant some great destinations may have been left off the list - if there is something you’d like to see added, share it with us on Facebook !

Most of these destinations are within an hour from Ann Arbor. For those that are a bit farther away:

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Wherever I May Roam - Travel Blog

A Perfect Northern Michigan Road Trip

By: Author Melody Pittman

Posted on Published: June 23, 2023  - Last updated: June 25, 2023

A Perfect Northern Michigan Road Trip

Join me on an unforgettable Northern Michigan road trip that will convert you into a die-hard Michigan fan. Our journey will take us to the Cherry Capital of the World , a secluded haven steeped in American history, charming Mushroom houses, thrilling ghost encounters, and breathtaking vistas.

I’m excited to share my adventures with you, providing a detailed itinerary you can follow in my footsteps and discover the wonders of this enchanting region for yourself. Get ready to be captivated by Northern Michigan’s beauty and charm!

perfect-north-michigan-road-trip

Day 1: Arrive in Northern Michigan and See Mackinac Island

Are you ready for an adventure in Northern Michigan? Let’s start by flying into Traverse City’s Cherry Capital Airport, the closest and most affordable airport option. From there, hop in your car and drive 2 1/2 hours to Mackinaw City. Don’t worry about parking; head over to Shepler’s Ferry where you can bring your luggage with you for the ride.

If you haven’t experienced ferrying across with your car and luggage, it’s a breeze. The friendly ferry attendants will direct you to the right spot to park your car and tag your bags if you’re heading to a hotel on Mackinac Island. They’ll take care of delivering your bags to your indicated hotel while you buy your ferry ticket and wait for your boarding time.

Sit back and enjoy the spectacular scenery during the twenty-minute ride. Then, it’s time to do some retail therapy by browsing the charming boutiques along Mackinac Island’s front street, sample world-renowned fudge from Ryba , and capture beautiful photos.

Mackinac is the fudge capital of the world!

fudge-slices-mackinac-island

The only modes of transportation on the island are walking, biking, or taking a horse-drawn carriage. It’s a different way of life here, and one you have to experience to understand.

Don’t miss visiting the iconic Doud’s Market, a family-owned grocery store that has been a staple since 1884.

douds-market-mackinac-island

While you’re on Mackinac Island, treat yourself to a private island tour provided by Jack’s Livery Stable , where you can learn about the island’s fascinating history and hear local stories. By the way, both Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island are pronounced as Mac-kin-aw.

Where to Stay on Mackinac Island

Discover two exceptional places to stay on Mackinac Island, perfect for a luxurious getaway. The famous Grand Hotel has hosted five US Presidents, been featured in movies, and boasts a picturesque porch — the longest in the nation. It reminds me a lot of the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia, but not as many amenities.

the-grand-hotel-outside-view

For an equally stunning experience, stay at Mission Point Resort . This elegant property offers breathtaking waterfront views, elegant restaurants, and a rich history.

I stayed at Mission Point Resort, so I know a lot more about it. The rooms were spacious and luxurious, and the entire resort was laid out in a nice fashion. Views of the waterfront from my room were exceptional. I especially loved the spa and restaurants.

mission-point-resort-hotel

Have a memorable dining experience at Mission Point Resort’s Chianti restaurant. Delight in the antipasti, Fettuccine a la Carbonara, and baby gem lettuce salad, all of which receive a 10/10 for food quality, taste, and service.

If you’re still not ready to conclude your evening in North Michigan, head to the Pink Pony for cocktails and music. It’s a local favorite and the perfect way to end a day in paradise.

chianti-cannelloni-pasta-dish

Day 2: Sightseeing Mackinac Island and Heading to Petoskey

Don’t miss out on an unforgettable visit to historic Fort Mackinac during your travels in Mackinac! This military outpost served as barracks for soldiers for many years and is the oldest building in Michigan. Costumed interpreters will transport you back to life at Fort Mackinac circa 1780, which was the first National Park in the National Park System and is now a state park.

fort-mackinac-historic-homes

Fort Mackinac’s charming cottages, bungalows, and New England style town make for the perfect photo backdrop to remember your trip here.

fort-mackinac-reenactment

I highly recommend enjoying lunch at the delightful Fort Mackinac Tea Room , located on the Terrace of Fort Mackinac. Although it is managed and owned by The Grand Hotel, the amazing views and delicious food make it well worth a visit.

When it’s time to leave, catch the 1 PM ferry off the island, which gives you plenty of time to see all the incredible artwork, galleries, outdoor paintings, and sculptures that Mackinac has to offer.

Don’t forget to take in the breathtaking blooms from Mackinac’s incredible flower scene!

soup-and-sandwich-the-grand-hotel-tea-room

Exploring Adorable Petoskey

The Terrace Inn is a 100+ year-old hotel boasting 38 cozy cottage rooms with private baths and a delicious complimentary breakfast. Plus, its bay views, interesting nooks, and crannies, and lovely onsite restaurant make it the perfect place for your next getaway.

The drive to get there will take you about 45 minutes.

terrace-inn-hotel-petoskey

FYI : The Terrace Inn has a ghost, which touched my foot as I laid across the bed. If that sort of thing freaks you out, this may not be the property for you.  

room-at-the-terrace-inn

In Petosky, you’ll find an array of local shops, the Crooked Tree Arts Center, and plenty of tastings to tickle your fancy. Sip a beer flight at Beards Brewery, enjoy a cup of coffee at North Perk Coffee, or indulge in a tasting at Gypsy Vodka.

If wine is more your thing, check out Petoskey Farms Vineyards. Or, like me, try something unique with a handcrafted soda flight at Roast & Toast .

park-in-petoskey

While in Petoskey, be sure to stop by the many charming shops to pick up souvenirs and gourmet foods. Grandpa Shorter’s Gifts , North Goods, and Threads are all great options. And don’t forget to look out for native Petoskey stones!

These flat, smooth stones with circle-like designs (easier to spot when wet) can be found at Magnus Park, Bayfront Park, and Petoskey State Park . Brave the chilly waters for a chance to find your own, or purchase one as a reminder of your trip.

Fun Fact: Ernest Hemingway loved this area and featured it and North Michigan in many of his books.

petoskey-stones-state-park-beach

Dinner and Evening Activity in Petoskey

Discover the best dinner spot in Petoskey! Indulge in oak-planked whitefish, a local Northern Michigan favorite, at Stafford’s Pier Restaurant . It’s a light and beautifully presented dish that will satisfy your taste buds. And don’t forget to leave room for their irresistible Cherry Praline Profiteroles for dessert.

whitefish-with-green-beans

After dinner, explore the wealth and luxury of Petoskey’s waterfront homes with a pontoon boat tour from Pointer Boat . It’s a unique and fun way to see the breathtaking sights. And before you end your night, enjoy a soothing nightcap at the Terrace Inn.

Depending on the time of year, remember to bundle up, as Petoskey is in the snow belt and gets tons of snow!

pointer-boat-tour-captain

Day 3: Arriving in Charlevoix and Scenic Driving 

Looking for a fun adventure on your Northern Michigan road trip? On day three, kick off your day with a delicious buffet-style breakfast (the potato casserole is the bomb!) at the Terrace Inn before heading out to explore the darling towns of Charlevoix and Traverse City.

Charlevoix (char-la-voy) is a charming seaside French-sounding town just 30 minutes away from Petoskey. Take a break along the way at the Horton Bay General Store for antiques, a tavern, and a tempting restaurant.

Across the street, the Red Fox Inn bookstore offers souvenirs, clothing, and other unique items.

horton-bay-general-store-counter-service

The real highlight of Charlevoix, for me anyway, is the Earl Young Mushroom House Tour . Book a tour at Elements Gallery and hop into a GEM car to explore the whimsical mushroom houses designed by local artist Earl Young.

mushroom-house-charlevoix

These quirky gnome-like houses, 26 in total, will catch your eye with their stonemasonry walls featuring wavy eaves and unmistakable chimneys and roofs. Some of these distinctive houses are available to rent, and the hour-long tour is sure to be a favorite memory of your trip. Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind experience!

mushroom-house-michigan

Charlevoix: A Beautiful Small Town

You’ll discover Charlevoix, a picturesque waterfront town situated on not one, not two, but four stunning bodies of water – Lake Michigan, Round River, Charlevoix River, and Pine River. This idyllic destination is a paradise for boating, fishing, and water sports enthusiasts.

charlevoix-lighthouse-michigan

Stroll through the town’s charming streets and you’ll encounter cute cafes, souvenir shops, clothing stores, art galleries, and even a killer taffy shop (I sampled way too many flavors!). The hanging flower baskets add a lovely touch to the already captivating scenery.

Deciding how to spend your afternoon in Charlevoix can be a delightful dilemma. You might want to explore more of the downtown area’s shopping and attractions or take a drive to a fantastic waterfront dining spot across town.

At The Cantina: Tacos & Tequila , indulge in incredible Queso Dip and Tacos complemented by a cold margarita.

queso-dip-from-the-cantina

Alternatively, make your way to The Landing for mouth-watering burgers, fish & chips, and PB&J Sweet Potato Fries. This cool spot boasts excellent waterfront seating and fantastic service.

Either way, your time in Charlevoix promises to be unforgettable.

the-landing-boat-dock

Day 3: Next Up…Traverse City

After exploring the charming town of Charlevoix, head south to Traverse City, famously known as the Cherry Capital of the World —a mere hour away. Stay at Hotel Indigo for stylish and comfortable accommodations.

hotel-indigo-traverse-city

Want to experience a taste of Italy? Drive to Mari Vineyards , where you can enjoy a fantastic wine tasting or private tour. Take a picture at the Game-of-Thrones-ish door in the basement and try the Proefectus Red and Scriptorium Riesling.

mari-vineyards-tour

In Traverse City, Clinch Park is the perfect place for shopping, dining, and water activities like kayaking or paddleboarding. Check out the State Theatre Bijou by the Bay to watch classic and indie films in a stunning historical movie theater. Don’t forget the nearly 20 golf courses, six distilleries, and 20 breweries for more fun.

Before dinner, snap some photos at the Mission Point Lighthouse , and then head to PepeNero Ristorante for a toothsome meal of your favorite Italian dish or Mediterranean delight. My friends in the area absolutely love this one and say the meals never disappoint.

I ate at Mission Table on my perfect road trip to North Michigan, but it is now an event space only.

End your adventure back at Hotel Indigo, where you can rest up for your final day on the road trip.

traverse-city-waterfront-flowers

Day 4: A National Park, Leelanau, and Glen Arbor 

After grabbing a quick breakfast, make your way to the Leelanau Peninsula, one of Michigan’s best-hidden gems. Start at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Empire, Michigan. With 35-miles of shoreline and towering dunes, it’s an incredible sight to see.

sleeping-bear-dunes-northern-michigan

Be warned, climbing down the dunes to reach the water and back up can be challenging for even the most avid hikers. Some have to be airlifted at a fee from the 450-foot drop. However, if you’re up for the challenge, the view is truly breathtaking.

sleeping-bear-dunes-overlook

Next, head over to Glen Arbor’s Cherry Republic Great Hall mega-store, also known as the Cherry Capital of the World. Here, you’ll find cherry-flavored everything, from salsa to candies to jam and chocolate. Don’t forget to try the cherry wine tasting too.

cherry-republic-northern-michigan

Before you leave, take a browse through the nearby Cottage Book Shop for souvenirs and grab a delicious coffee from Leelanau Coffee Roasting Company . I found an amazing selection of national park posters and day planners at Cottage Books. This is my kinda independent book store!

Fishtown: Unexpected Find on the Northern Michigan Road Trip

Explore Fishtown, a charming commercial fishing village on Lake Michigan’s Leelanau Peninsula that’s been preserved for over 150 years. Known for its historic 19th-century shanties, locals saved Fishtown from destruction 11 years ago.

Today, it’s a must-visit destination for shopping, dining, and snapping stunning photos.

adorable-town-of-lelaneau

Don’t miss out on the Village Cheese Shanty and their famous sandwiches. You can place your order at their tiny shop’s menu board and enjoy your meal outside once it’s ready- no need to wait indoors!

Try the Third Coast sandwich with chicken breast, German mustard, and Maytag Bleu cheese on a pretzel bun – it’s simply delicious!

Leland and Lake Leelanau boast numerous fun shops, including Leland Gal , Tug Stuff, Two Fish , The Fish Hook, and Leelanau Books. If you’re feeling adventurous, there are several wineries and distilleries in the area ready to be explored.

Don’t miss out on this quaint and historic gem on Michigan’s coast!

leland-historic-district-waterfront-shanties

Michigan, I Love You!

I fell in love with Northern Michigan during my road trip and I am so excited to share the highlights with you! From the breathtaking landscapes to the one-of-a-kind attractions, this region has it all. If you’re looking for a special trip in the future, I highly recommend adding Northern Michigan to your list.

adorable-seating-area-in-northern-michigan

Thanks to Pure Michigan for hosting my travels. As always, opinions and reviews are 100% mine and unbiased.

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Read more about Michigan here:

24 Hours in Ann Arbor

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Susan Veness

Saturday 20th of July 2019

Wonderful piece, and a real trip down memory lane for me! Lived in Michigan for 48 glorious summers and bone-chilling winters (summers are easy; winters, you just survive), and your journey took me to all the places I know so well. You hit the real highlights (Mackinaw Island and Petoskey are a must). It also reminded me I've got a bottle of cherry wine in my wine rack that's probably a decade old, so I'm guessing it's cherry vinegar by now. If you ever get the chance to visit Mackinaw Island in the winter (arrival by the world's shortest flight), jump at it. It's a completely different world, and a true winter wonderland.

MelodyPittman

The winter wonderland sounds really fun! I heard lots of stories about the extreme temps and those that stay year round. They are troupers. LOL Thanks so much for reading and your sweet comment. I love a good road trip. ;)

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Fall Getaway in Ann Arbor

Fall in the Ann Arbor area is one of the most unique and restful seasons to experience. At Destination Ann Arbor, we have you covered all season long to plan your perfect weekend trip. From beautiful nature explorations to spooky Halloween events, we recommend exploring some of these autumn experiences here.

1 – Begin with the Farmers Market

Taking place every Wednesday and Saturday from 7 a.m. - 3 p.m., the Ann Arbor Farmers Market  is the second oldest continuously operating public market in Michigan and offers a host of fresh finds and seasonal goodies. From in-season snacks to housewarming art, seeing the city market is the perfect way to begin your Ann Arbor fall visit.  Find other farms and farmers markets in the area .  

Ann Arbor Farmers Market

2 – Take A Trip to the Big House 

Take some time to visit the legendary University of Michigan Stadium to enjoy college Football. The U-M Football team is one of the most storied programs in college football history. Famously known as the 'Big House', this stadium holds the largest capacity in the US, and third largest in the world. During   your trip, take the time to enjoy one of their Saturday games this season.   Find even more fun things to do during football weekends .

Band spells home at Michigan Stadium

3 – You Deserve a Tasty Fall Drink

Ann Arbor is home to dozens of breweries and distilleries . Enjoy one of the many beer selections at Ashley’s or visit Conor O’Neill’s , a downtown Ann Arbor staple with over 100 drinks that range from draft beers to Irish whiskey. We recommend exploring Conor O’Neill’s food menu and trying their Big House Burger.  Find more area pubs and breweries .

arbor brewing company sample beers

4 – Knit a Blanket to Keep Warm 

Take a moment to visit Spun , Ann Arbor’s family-owned yarn and fiber crafts store. Here, you can knit a cozy blanket or participate in one of their knitting classes to make a fall-themed scarf. If you want to explore more, Spun is located inside the Kerrytown Market and Shops , which offers several stores to visit during your trip.   Browse more Ann Arbor area shopping .

Woman browsing at yarn at Spun

5 - Get Spooky 

No fall visit is complete without a trip to Wiard's Orchard and Country Fair and experiencing its haunted attractions. Their array of scary events ranges from a haunted hayride to their corn maze. Wiard's is the oldest continuously owned family business in Michigan! Enjoy this spooky delight during the scariest season of the year.   Browse more Ann Arbor area corn mazes and fall attractions . 

Wiard's Night Terrors

6 - Enjoy a Nature Stroll 

The Ann Arbor outdoor experience during the fall allows you to see our local gardens. We recommend visiting the Matthaei Botanical Gardens to see their vibrant garden trails and conservatory. While enjoying the garden's natural serenity, you can also savor a trip to Nichol's Arboretum , a diverse terrain of rich landscapes in the middle of the city along the Huron River. Also known as The Arb, this nature adventure displays a collection of native and exotic trees and shrubs.  Browse more Ann Arbor area parks and gardens . 

Nichols Arboretum in the Fall

7 - Enjoy Over 150 Years of Art History 

Ann Arbor has over a dozen museums and art exhibits. We recommend visiting the University of Michigan Museum of Art to see the institution’s 150 years of art collection on full display. The multi-level showing features local, national, and historical art fixtures that range from Decorative Arts to modern photography.   Browse more Ann Arbor area museums.

University of Michigan Museum of Art

8 – Taste the World-Famous Zingerman’s 

Zingerman’s  has been a fixture in the Ann Arbor community for over 40 years. During your fall visit, we recommend stopping by Zingerman’s Deli to try their world-famous Reuben sandwich, which has routinely been called one of the best sandwiches in the country. This is a popular spot so leave plenty of time between events to enjoy the Zingerman's experience.  Browse more Ann Arbor area restaurants . 

Two women outside Zingerman's Deli

9 – Visit A Cider Mill 

Enjoying some delicious cider and local-made treats is a fall tradition in the Ann Arbor area. We recommend treating yourself to The Dexter Cider Mill . This cidery is the oldest continuously operating cider mill in Michigan. Visitors can enjoy treats like their delicious cider mill doughnuts in plain, cinnamon sugar, or caramel apple. You can also enjoy their sweet and powdered apple turnovers with a chilled cider slushy. This cider mill is the perfect spot to help fix your sweet-tooth cravings.   Find other cider mills happening around the Ann Arbor area .  

Dexter Cider Mill

10 - Support Local Artists at Artoberfest

The A2 Artoberfest is an artistic celebration for the city of Ann Arbor. Taking place on October 28th and 29th, this festival features food vendors, live entertainment, and art-related activities. This fair is the perfect way to conclude your autumn visit to the city.   Find other festivals and events happening around the Ann Arbor area .  

A2 Artoberfest

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Bus from Ann Arbor, MI to Ciudad Juarez, MX

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The bus trip from Ann Arbor to Ciudad Juarez is about 1961 miles long. The quickest trip with Greyhound takes 39 hours 15 minutes and you can expect a minimum of .

The Ann Arbor to Ciudad Juarez bus starts from $220.99. Booking in advance, whether on the app or website, is the best way to get the most affordable bus travel. If you book online, you can choose to pay with a debit card or credit card on the Greyhound app or website. If you prefer, you can also pay in person with cash.

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The last Greyhound bus to Ciudad Juarez from Ann Arbor leaves at 5:40 pm.

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Payton Sandfort, Tony Perkins lead Iowa basketball to bounce-back win over Michigan

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — It wasn't a smooth trip to get here.

Iowa basketball endured travel issues on its way to Saturday's game against Michigan. The Hawkeyes were supposed to leave Iowa City on Friday afternoon, but there was an issue with the aircraft. Then, the next plane wasn't able to land in Cedar Rapids due to fog.

That forced Iowa to change course again. They picked up members of the staff, who went separate from the team, from Cedar Rapids and then drove to Waterloo, where they were set to fly out.

Finally, the Hawkeyes landed in Michigan around 11 p.m. Eastern time. Iowa subsequently canceled the shootaround on Saturday for more rest time.

And yet, despite those hurdles, Iowa captured an 88-78 win over Michigan at the Breslin Center. The Hawkeyes slugged through the first half before turning on the afterburners in the second 20 minutes.

“You get to a point where you're used to that," Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said of the travel troubles. "Yeah, I mean, it was crazy (Friday) ... Really impressed with the professional approach the guys had. That’s, quite frankly, what I expected.”

One game after shooting just 42.1% from the field and 21.4% from deep in a disappointing loss to Maryland , Iowa put on an offensive showing against the Wolverines. The Hawkeyes (12-8, 4-5 Big Ten) shot 53.4% from the field and 50% from deep.

Michigan gained some separation after the midpoint of the first half, using a 10-0 run to surge to a nine-point lead. But the Hawkeyes didn’t let it balloon beyond that, and closed the half on a strong note, outscoring Michigan 10-4 to whittle the deficit down to just two at the break.

That carried over into the second half. Iowa opened the final 20 minutes on a quick 8-0 run to take a 50-44 lead, leading Michigan to call a timeout. It was a stretch of really sound basketball on both ends of the floor.

Iowa did not give up the lead from there on out.

Women's game: No. 5 Iowa women's basketball starts slow, finishes strong in blowing by Nebraska

Tony Perkins continued his phenomenal stretch of play, which was highlighted by the fact that he scored his 1,000th point in college. He scored 24 points against Michigan while dishing out five assists. Perkins has now scored in double figures in each of the last 11 games.

"I would say just getting down to the end, down to the end of the season," Perkins said. "Second part of the season, so I'm trying to put as much as I can on it. Even if I have to pass out. Just keep going and keep going."

Payton Sandfort had a nice bounce-back game after a rough outing against Maryland. Sandfort was visibly distraught after the loss to the Terrapins, a game in which he scored just six points and was 3-of-9 from the field, including 0-of-4 from beyond the arc. 

But on Saturday, Sandfort had 26 points on 10-14 from the field, including 6-8 from deep.

"Just made some plays I don’t normally make," Sandfort said of the Maryland game. "And that was devastating because it felt like I let my guys down. We’re in a position right now where we need to win a lot of games and string them together to reach our goals. I love those guys to death.”

Freshman Owen Freeman, importantly, was able to avoid foul trouble Saturday. The freshman big man has been fantastic this season but struggled with fouling. That was particularly evident over the last three games, where, even though he was still relatively productive, he racked up a combined 14 fouls.

But on Saturday, Freeman was both available and productive. He was a big-time contributor, scoring 15 points while grabbing nine rebounds.

Freshman Ladji Dembele made his return on Saturday. Dembele suffered an ankle injury during Iowa’s eventual loss to Purdue a week ago and missed the game against Maryland as a result. But on Saturday, he bolstered Iowa’s frontcourt depth.

The win marked the second time this season that Iowa played Michigan. The Hawkeyes fell to Michigan in December, capping off a brutal three-game losing streak where Fran McCaffery's crew lost by a combined 54 points.

That December loss was part of an eventual 0-3 start in Big Ten play for the Hawkeyes. But Iowa got things turned around, stringing together three consecutive wins to get back to .500 in league play.

But after a loss to Purdue, Iowa dropped a dud against Maryland on Tuesday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa fell apart down the stretch, which put into question whether the Hawkeyes had turned the corner after seeming to revive their season.

But the win against Michigan tempers some of the concern, reinforcing the notion that the Hawkeyes are still heading in the right direction. It's not as if Michigan is some juggernaut; the Wolverines have struggled this season. But road wins in the Big Ten are not easy to come by. Iowa earned the win with an outright dominant second half.

Despite the hiccup against the Terrapins, Iowa has still won four of its last six games in the Big Ten.

The Hawkeyes are amid a stretch of playing three games in seven days. Iowa opened with a loss to Maryland. Then the win against Michigan. The stretch will close out with a road matchup with Indiana on Tuesday.

Follow Tyler Tachman on X @Tyler_T15 , contact via email at [email protected]

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WEATHER ALERT

A river flood warning in effect for Livingston County

All about ann arbor, dog dies after falling through ice on huron river in ann arbor.

Sarah Parlette , Associated Producer

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Fire department officials are reminding residents to keep animals leashed around bodies of water after being called to Gallup Park to rescue a dog that had fallen through the ice.

Firefighters pulled the dog from the Huron River just before noon on Friday.

Officials said the animal was retrieved from the water and was attempted to be resuscitated but later died.

“Thank you to the BluePearl Pet Hospital for their extraordinary efforts,” the Ann Arbor Fire Department wrote on social media. “This is the second incident in two years where a dog went out onto the ice along the Huron River and fell in. Please keep dogs on a leash when around water, especially this time of year with unstable ice conditions.”

Department officials noted that ice on the Huron River, and anywhere around the city, is not afe due to warmer winter temperatures and recent rain.

The City of Ann Arbor requires dogs to be on a leash when walking with their owners, when in public places or in vehicles. Dogs who are 6 months or older must be licensed with the city and wearing their tag, or the owner can receive a violation.

Learn more about licensing dogs in Ann Arbor here.

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About the Author:

Sarah parlette.

Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.

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