Life in Ann Arbor

Michigan Theater

The city of Ann Arbor, home to the University of Michigan, provides diverse cultural, educational and recreational opportunities to its 110,000 residents. More than a college town, Ann Arbor blends a bustling young professional scene with the perks of a major university. With something for everyone, it is no wonder that Livability ranked Ann Arbor the #1 place to live in 2018 and National Geographic listed it as one of the best small cities in America.


Ann Arbor is an affordable city with a variety of houses, apartments, lofts, and condos for rent and purchase. You can enjoy the more active downtown scene in a trendy loft, settle into a cozy northern or western neighborhood, or optimize your game-day commute on the south side of town where you can be within walking distance of the Michigan Football Stadium. While the majority of residents live within the city of Ann Arbor, some residents choose to live in the surrounding cities of Ypsilanti, Dexter, Plymouth, Northville, and Saline. 


Ann Arbor Dining

Downtown Ann Arbor hosts a variety of restaurants, including resident favorites Mani Osteria (Italian), Aventura (tapas), Detroit Filling station (vegan), and nationally known Zingerman’s Delicatessen. Just 30 minutes away, Detroit has a thriving foodie scene that has been recognized nationally. There is no shortage of breweries or beer gardens either, helping Michigan rank nationally at #4 for its beer per


Ann Arbor is home to many world renowned music venues including Hill Auditorium and The Ark.  The University Musical Society hosts a rich array of performances by University based groups as well as renowned invited guests. The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra also offers performances throughout the year.  With Detroit close by, larger venue concerts are always an option as well. 


Michigan Athletics

University of Michigan Athletics Department provides a thrilling experience to be part of the nearly 110,000 members of a lively crowd at a Big Ten college football game at the Michigan Stadium. Other popular sports include men’s basketball, women’s basketball, and men’s hockey. See MGoBlue for more information.

The city of Detroit houses a strong sense of pride in its professional sport teams. Within 40 minutes, you can arrive in downtown Detroit to watch a Tigers baseball game, Red Wings hockey game, Pistons basketball game, or Detroit Lions football game.


June through July is one long celebration in Ann Arbor with the Ann Arbor Summer Festival! This festival offers weekly movie showings, nightly musical entertainment, children activities, and so much more. In late summer, the nationally recognized Ann Arbor Art Fair assembles the artistic talents of hundreds of painters, jewelers, photographers, and musicians and displays their work throughout the city. This festival attracts 400-500,000 festival go-ers a year! Other popular festivals include Taste of Ann Arbor, the African American Downtown Festival, and Huron River Day.  For more information on city events, see the Ann Arbor city visitor's guide.


Ann Arbor Outdoor Activities

Ann Arbor hosts more than 150 municipal parks. Residents are fortunate to work next to the Nichols Arboretum, which is a 123 acre park that includes gardens, trails, and river access. Spring is a popular time in the “Arb” as the blooming peonies draw visitors from all over the area. Residents can also enjoy a walk, run, or bike ride along the Border-to-Border Trail that courses through the many parks in the city. The Huron River provides a great day out on the water with kayaks or canoes, which can be rented through the park system and private companies. Many residents purchase rafts quickly upon moving to Ann Arbor, as floating down the river is a popular activity on warm summer days. 


Ann Arbor trips

There are a number of different weekend trips residents can make in any season. In the fall, everyone should experience the vibrant autumn colors and take a walk along Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes near Traverse City, Michigan. Alternatively, you can head west to Grand Rapids, Saugatuk or Grand Haven to experience this upbeat, lively downtown area just minutes from the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan. There, you can send a day on one of the hundreds of inland lakes. For a longer trip, residents can visit the upper peninsula and experience untapped nature and scenic hikes. 
Explore Michigan at Pure Michigan.