Things to Do

Whether you are a lifelong resident or newly arrived transplant, Ann Arbor is stocked with culture, dining, entertainment and sporting events in an accessible, urban environment. People from all over the world come to Ann Arbor and make it their home.

Ann Arbor consistently finds itself on lists of the nation’s “top,” “great” and “best” places to live—cited for being everything from innovative, educated and digital to green, healthy and family friendly

Get to Know Ann Arbor

Michigan football fans rejoice in the rain

Big 10. Wolverines. Maize and Blue. Athletics at Michigan is about tradition, excitement, and the team, the team, the team.

Go from spectator to participant by joining an intramural team on campus or one of the rec leagues around town. Everyone can get in on the action with UMAISE - University of Michigan Adaptive & Inclusive Sports Experience and Michigan Adaptive Sports.

Medical students perform at the annual Galens Smoker

Historically, Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan have been magnets for artists of every genre, enriching the lives of all who reside and visit. Halls, theaters, libraries and galleries of international renown attract performers from our own backyard and around the world. The University's Museum of Art is home to the state's second largest collection of art and regularly features traveling exhibitions.

More on Arts & Culture

Bring your sense of adventure to the table when you visit Ann Arbor. Among the eclectic collection of 300+ restaurants you'll find cuisine ranging from Thai, Korean and Ethiopian, to continental, vegetarian and distinctly American. When you prefer to dine in, there is a grocery store or specialty market to check off your shopping list. The Ann Arbor Farmers Market is open year-round on Saturdays and features more than 100 local vendors.

Stop by the Maize and Blue Cupboard twice a month to pick up groceries at no charge.

Keep an eye out for Ann Arbor Restaurant Week twice a year, in January and June.

Read a review of Ann Arbor’s food scene in The New York Times.

Coffee drinkers enjoy a warm day on the patio at Argus Farm Stop

On or off campus, you are never too far away from a fresh-brewed cup. Ann Arbor is home to several locally owned java joints. Michigan Medicine and North Campus host many quick counter service coffee options, too.

More on Coffee Shops

See 5 coffee shops that are local favorites and get a map to visit each one.

Argus Farm Stop, pictured above, offers coffee drinks with locally sourced ingredients as part of its market, which connects shoppers directly to locally grown produce, meat, eggs, yogurt, and prepared foods.

A parent and child explore the forest

Families can maximize their quality time with so many kid-friendly options in the city and surrounding areas. Explore the Ann Arbor area's many local parks and playgrounds, museums, festivals, libraries, sports events and more. Day trips to Detroit and Toledo to visit their zoos, spending an afternoon at a nearby orchard picking fruit or sipping cider, or kayaking on the Huron River make living here really fun.

More on Kids Activities

Jazz musicians play on campus

Live music can be found almost any night of the week around town. The School of Music, Theatre & Dance hosts 900+ performances a year that are free and open to all students. The University Musical Society offers discounted tickets for students and curated playlists you can download.

If you like to perform, groups like the Life Sciences Orchestra and the Medical Arts Program Artists’ Guild are made up of members of the University of Michigan's medical and science community. Med students can join Auscultations for some a cappella fun.

More on Music

Catch a live show at these local venues:

Flags from different countries hang in a hallway during the Community of Cultures Festival at U-M.
A medical student works on a laptop outside the Taubman Health Sciences Library

Sign up for the latest news and information from a variety of departments and resources across campus and Ann Arbor.

Michigan Medicine News

Read Medical School and alumni news in Medicine at Michigan magazine.

See what Michigan experts are up to across the tripartite mission in Michigan Health Lab.

Get the latest on research innovations through Fast Forward Medical Innovation.

More Newsletters

More Michigan Medicine News

Get news on the science of learning from the Department of Learning Health Sciences.

Learn more about the MDisability initiative at U-M.

Sign up to be a part of the University of Michigan LGBTQ Health Network, which meets quarterly.

Stay in the loop with the Office of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies.

U-M Campus

Learn about innovation and entrepreneurship efforts through Innovate Blue.

Sign up for research administration tips and funding opportunities through the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects.

Get sustainability news from U-M Planet Blue.

Subscribe to the Spectrum Center Digest, a monthly newsletter for LGBTQ individuals and allies at U-M.

Ann Arbor

Find out about local favorites and upcoming events through the Destination Ann Arbor Travel Insider.

Get weekly news and activity ideas for families from the Ann Arbor with Kids team.

State/Regional

Explore statewide adventures and travel info through Pure Michigan

Join the Metro Parent community to get info about family fun throughout Southeast Michigan.

Have a newsletter you would like to see on this list? Let us know!

Diners in downtown Ann Arbor on a fall night

Unwind, let loose and/or be entertained till the wee hours. Many Ann Arbor restaurants feature a bar of their own where you can comfortably relax and enjoy cocktails on a date or with a group of friends.

Find a wide selection of bars and clubs.

See what the local music scene has to offer.

Laugh along with your friends at a comedy or improv show.

Canoes on the Huron River

159 parks. 14 trails. One amazing river. Ann Arbor gives many good reasons to be outside in all four seasons.

Check out the conservatory at Matthaei Botanical Gardens and the big green space next door to Michigan Medicine, the Nichols Arboretum — known locally as the Arb and a popular place to visit in late spring, when hundreds of peonies bloom.

More on Outdoor Recreation

Pedestrians pass by Comet Coffee in the Arcade

Ann Arbor is a dog-friendly town, with several restaurants, stores and hotels happy to accommodate your fur babies.

Dogs are also welcome to play in parks designed for them, including off-leash options. Rolling Hills County Park pool offers an annual Doggy Dip after Labor Day, and the Buhr Park Pool opens up for a Dog Swim at the end of the summer too.

There are lots of canine-centric events throughout the year as well as pet sitting/boarding options, if you need them.

Humans seeking furry feline friendship may enjoy the Tiny Lions Cat Cafe, which is run by the Humane Society of Huron Valley. You can also meet a bird at the Ann Arbor Companion Bird Club.

Find more pet-friendly resources in Ann Arbor.

Pictured Rocks park in Michigan

While Ann Arbor always has something great going on, it’s also located in a convenient spot to make a quick getaway possible.

In less than an hour, you can be in downtown Detroit with all of its professional sports and entertainment venues, or at a terminal in the international airport — just a quick 35-minute drive or ride from Ann Arbor.

Within hours, you can explore a sandy beach along the more than 3,000 miles of state shoreline, take in the majestic scenery of the Upper Peninsula, or explore metro gems like Chicago or Toronto. (Take the Amtrak or Megabus to Chicago if you don't have a car!)

 

More on Regional Trips

30 minutes or less from Ann Arbor: Ypsilanti, Chelsea, Dexter, Manchester, Saline

Short drive (half day or less): Detroit, Chicago, Northern Michigan, Toronto

Explore the Pure Michigan Travel Planner.

Diners in downtown Ann Arbor.