By Eden Baniel
Luckily for Detroit Connector riders, I can’t think of a better place to sightsee and enjoy than the city of Ann Arbor. Serving as my home away from home the past four years, it has grown on me more and more each day. With graduation just around the corner, I’ve thought a lot about the places I’ve visited, leaving me with an list of the things I love the most about Ann Arbor.
Michigan Sporting Events
While the University of Michigan is certainly a college town, it also feels like a miniature city. As a student, it’s amazing to see how much the city of Ann Arbor supports the University of Michigan. There is a sense of pride in the air that feels especially palpable around game days.
With the Michigan basketball team having just won the Big Ten Tournament Championship, recently, that pride can be felt now more than ever. Even if you’re not a big sports fan, experiencing a Michigan game can be an awe-inspiring experience, whether it’s football, basketball, hockey game, or many of the other great sports teams on campus. If you’ve ever been to the Big House, home to U-M’s football team, and the largest football stadium within North America, then you might also feel that there is nothing like sitting in a crowd of over one hundred thousand people who are all cheering for the same goal.
University of Michigan Museum of Art
Sometimes on my way to class, I stop by UMMA to enjoy its art collection. New exhibitions are often displayed within the museum, along with some really interesting events. I’ve enjoyed being able to attend events within the museum that have often included poetry readings and guest speakers, but I’ve also found joy in simply walking through it in order to admire some of the paintings, sculptures, and other art-work. Life can come with a great deal of stress, and having the UMMA on campus is an amazing resource for experiencing the culture present within different types of art, as well as finding a sense of stillness within the business of daily life.
Main Street is just a short drive (or a brisk walk) from the University of Michigan’s central campus, which includes several restaurants with some of the best food I’ve ever tasted. Some of my favorite restaurants include Aventura, The Chop House, Frita Batidos, Café Zola, and The Blue Tractor.
I could go on for days when describing how good the culinary scene around Main Street is, but what makes it so special is that many of these incredible restaurants are local to Ann Arbor and can’t be found elsewhere. When you are not exploring the cuisine scene around Main Street, you can enjoy some of the many shops and boutiques that are offered there, many of which are also local to Ann Arbor.
While Kerrytown is also filled with lovely shops and boutiques, there are two main attractions within the area that are must-sees. If you already know a bit about Ann Arbor, then it’s possible that you have heard of Zingerman’s Delicatessen before.
Zingerman’s is an Ann Arbor staple located in the heart of Kerrytown. Beginning as a small deli more than 30 years ago,, it has grown into a huge business with several distinct products from specialty cheeses and candies to delicious baked goods. If you decide to visit Zingerman’s, I recommend trying the Reuben before walking over to the Zingerman’s Coffee Company and enjoying some specialty coffee and dessert.
The second attraction within Kerrytown that’s definitely worth exploring is the Farmer’s Market, which is conveniently located directly across the street from Zingerman’s. Every Saturday, the Farmer’s Market displays products from over one hundred local businesses, that include native plants, artisanal yogurts, fresh-picked vegetables, slow-roasted coffee beans and so much more. An early Saturday morning spent at the Farmer’s Market followed by lunch at Zingerman’s truly sounds like the perfect day.
Ann Arbor is home to some breathtaking scenery – both at the Nichols Arboretum (“the Arb”) and the Huron River. When the weather is warm, the Arb is a great place to have a picnic, nice jog, or simply a walk through the forest. It is a beautiful place to enjoy, and in the fall, the seasonal colors seen within the Arb are breathtaking.
In summer, the Huron River is a popular spot to swim, canoe, or even paddleboard. Both U-M students and Ann Arbor locals can often be seen catching some much-needed sun after a long Michigan winter on the docks nearby the Huron River in a park called Bandamer Park.
One of my favorite activities when visiting the docks is bringing along a large tube and sitting in it within the water. When the seasons are right, Ann Arbor can be a beautiful and stunning place to enjoy nature.
The Connector Destinations Blog is not an official University endorsement, and is based solely on the opinion of the author.