Ann Arbor Michigan: 11 Best Destinations, Museums, Restaurants (Best Places to Eat) and Fun Things to Do

Ann Arbor Michigan: 11 Amazing Destinations, Restaurants and Things to Do | Sherry Trautman | Traveling Michigan

One of my favorite towns!  Here's a few examples of why you need to visit this vibrant collage town! There are so many things to do, places to visit and great Ann Arbor restaurants to enjoy. 

  • You can soak up the rich history of the city by ogling the fantastic architecture within the gorgeous University of Michigan campus.
  • Visit exciting Ann Arbor museums 

  • See a gorgeous Ann Arbor Botanical Gardens

  • Indulge in outstanding Ann Arbor restaurants and best places to eat! 
  • Explore everything this exciting city has to offer! We've got you!!

Let's GO!!!

But First, Ann Arbor Fun Facts!

  • One of the most known facts about Ann Arbor is that it is home to the University of Michigan. Nicknamed "The Big House", the University of Michigan's  football stadium is the largest football stadium in the United States. Plus, did you know it is the second largest stadium in the world? 
  • The University of Michigan Wolverines play at the 107,500-seat stadium drawing loyal fans from the students, community and alumni.  Try to catch a game this fall for one heck of a good time!
  • As of 2017, the population of Ann Arbor is 121,477, making it the 7th largest city in Michigan.
  • The University of Michigan is Ann Arbor's largest employer, accounting for nearly 10 percent of the work force. Makes sense as the University of Michigan has 35,000 students! The majority of remaining jobs are split between manufacturing, health care, automotive, information technology, and biomedical research fields.
  • Here's another interesting fact: 70.4% of Ann Arbor residents hold a Bachelor’s degree or higher. That means there's a bunch of smart cookies running around Ann Arbor!

Our Favorite Ann Arbor Restaurants

Here are a few of our favorite Ann Arbor restaurants and places to eat! Check them out!

1. Zingerman's Roadhouse-2501 Jackson Ave, Ann Arbor, MI

So Chris and I just experienced all that is Zingerman's Roadhouse...twice.  Let me just say, the experience was 5 stars.  Not only was the food quality excellent but the servers were beyond friendly and the atmosphere was very homey.  Read More About Our Exceptional Experience!...

Blue Tractor BBQ and Brewery, Ann ArborBlue Tractor BBQ and Brewery, Ann Arbor

2. Blue Tractor BBQ and Brewery-207 E Washington St, Ann Arbor, MI

First off, try not to lick the pic above, it will muck up your screen...and won't be nearly as satisfying!  This bbq place in Ann Arbor ROCKS! 

We LOVED the ribs and the sauce so much we bought two bottles!! One of the sweet and one mustard!  The ribs were tender, the fries were really crispy and yummy and I also ordered the root vegetables. YUMMY!

I also loved that they source their food locally.  It's awesome to support local farmers and merchants! 

Adventura Restaurant MuralAdventura Restaurant Mural

3. Adventura-216 E Washington St, Ann Arbor, MI

Can you say tapas, paella, wine & cocktails served in a really cool contemporary space?  They are known for their amazing churros with dipping sauce!  OMG! So good!

4. Savas216 S State St, Ann Arbor, MI

We really enjoyed the atmosphere, very friendly service and super fresh food at Savas. Their ingredients are locally sourced as much as possible, which I love.  We think this restaurant is one of the best places to eat in Ann Arbor!

Exciting Ann Arbor Destinations!

1.  Ann Arbor Art Fair-held every July (grab the date here), my friend Jenny and I have been going to this art fair for at least 15 years.  We never miss it, no matter if it's raining or 105 degrees.  Which it usually is.  I have never been hotter in my life than at the Ann Arbor Art Fair.  But it's worth it to see and buy the best art in the Nation all in one place!  Read More and See Cool Pic's!... 

2.  Argo Cascades-Love tubing, rafting and kayaking?  Ann Arbor offers a chance to get on the Huron river during a beautiful spring or summer day.  The most popular river trip is a 3.7 mile course that travels through the heart of the city.

Boat rentals are available through Argo Park Livery at 1055 Longshore Dr., Ann Arbor, MI. Boat rentals begin in May.

3.  Graffiti Alley-Liberty Street, Ann Arbor.

If you are a lover of good graffiti like I am, you need to check out the graffiti alley on Liberty street in Ann Arbor.  I spent some serious time there photographing all the colorful graffiti.  Read More... 

4.  Hudson Mills Metropark- 8801 N Territorial Rd, Dexter, MI 48130 

This 1,549-acre outdoor space rocks!  Not only does it have an 18-hole, par-71 golf course but it also has two 24-hole disc golf courses!  The Metropark has basketball, volleyball, softball and soccer fields. 

Golf not for you?  How about a 3-mile loop paved hike-bike trail? In addition, the five-mile West River Trail connects to the Hudson Mills loop so you can bike or hike to downtown Dexter where you can catch dinner or some entertainment.

Other amenities include several picnic shelters that can be rented, children's play areas, a canoe camp, a group camp and shuffleboard courts. 

If you are looking for winter entertainment, Hudson Mills Metropark offers groomed cross-country ski trails  There is an entry fee per vehicle. 

Tip:  Walkers, bicyclists, and inline skaters can enjoy free access to all Metroparks by entering through the park roads and hike/bike trails.

University of Michigan Hospital

University of Michigan HospitalUniversity of Michigan Hospital

University of Michigan Hospital-I know it's a little weird that I listed a hospital, but unfortunately, things happen while traveling Michigan that require serious medical attention. It's best to be prepared.

My husband and I have both personally experienced accidents or medical care requiring extended hospital stays and evaluations in which we requested the expert care of the doctors at the University of Michigan Hospital.  Read More of my detailed account...

Ann Arbor Art Museum

University of Michigan Museum of ArtUniversity of Michigan Museum of Art

The University of Michigan Museum of Art-525 S State St, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 

This awesome museum displays works from around the globe and spanning centuries.  

University of Michigan Museum of ArtUniversity of Michigan Museum of Art

At 94,000 sq ft, the University of Michigan Museum of Art is one of the largest university art museums in the United States.  We had a fantastic time during our visit!!

University of Michigan Museum of ArtUniversity of Michigan Museum of Art
University of Michigan Museum of ArtUniversity of Michigan Museum of Art

Isn't this room incredible?  I could move right in!

Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum

Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum-1800 N Dixboro Rd, Ann Arbor, MI   

The University of Michigan's Matthaei Botanical Gardens includes botanical gardens, natural areas with beautiful trails and a wetland boardwalk.  Be sure to check out the several research-quality habitats.  The River Landing is a great spot to enjoy your lunch while watching canoes pass, wildlife or just enjoying the beauty of the river. 

Visiting in the winter?  Something is always blooming year-round at the botanical gardens and arboretum. There are events throughout the year and children's program.  Definitely check it out and plan for 2-3 hours for your visit.  

Discover Kensington Metro Park!

25 miles north of Ann Arbor is Kensington Metropark...a place that will blow your mind! Click here for why you need to go!

Famous People From Ann Arbor

BONUS!  I couldn't resist providing incredibly useful facts that will most definitely enrich your life...such as, famous people that were born or went to school in Ann Arbor!

  • Ann Coulter (politics, U of M law school graduate)
  • Bill Ford (previous CEO for Ford Motor Company)
  • Former President Gerald Ford-(Ann Arbor was his hometown!)
  • Bob Seger (musician, Pioneer High School grad)
  • Bob Woodruff (ABC Nightly News anchor, U of M graduate)
  • Cherry Chevapravatdumrong (writer for the hit show, Family Guy, grew up here)
  • Iggy Pop (musician, grew up here!)
  • James Earl Jones (actor-Darth Vader, U of M grad. Husband very excited about this!)
  • James Gaines (editor of Time magazine, U of M graduate)
  • Jim Abbott (major-league baseball player, U of M graduate)
  • Jim Buckmaster (CEO of Craigslist, born and raised here)
  • Kenny G (musician, he really needs no introduction)
  • Larry Page (co-creator of Google, U of M graduate)
  • Lucy Liu (actress, U of M graduate.  HUGE fan!)
  • Madonna (U of M student)
  • Mike Wallace (journalist, U of M graduate)
  • Selma Blair (actress, U of M grad)
  • Taproot (band heralding from Ann Arbor)
  • Tom Brady (awesome football player, U of M grad)

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Discovered this badass mural on the wall at Aventura restaurant in Ann Arbor. I really love the action, flow and power of this piece! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ My inspiration to you is, every successful person had to start at the bottom and claw their way up. My manta is, "If it was easy everybody would could do it"⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It takes hard work, study, dedication and perseverance. Keep your eyes on the goal! Get out there and conquer! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #bullrider #bullriders #annarbor #annarbormichigan #annarborart #annarbormurals #mural #womenpower #michiganmurals #michiganart #art #painting #bulls #torro #tuesdayvibes #tuesdaythoughts #conquerlife #takethebullbythehorns #inspiration #keepgoing #Aventura

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