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Things to Do in Ann Arbor: Top Attractions and Activities

Things to Do in Ann Arbor

Looking for things to do in Ann Arbor? Explore the vibrant art scene, hike through beautiful natural parks, and indulge in delicious local cuisine.

History And Culture

Ann Arbor, Michigan is a vibrant city that offers a rich history and diverse culture. From historic sites to fascinating museums, there is something for everyone to explore and learn. Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about the roots of this charming city, Ann Arbor has plenty to offer.

Historic Sites

Step back in time and discover the historic sites that have shaped Ann Arbor’s past. One must-visit spot is the University of Michigan Central Campus, which dates back to the 19th century. Stroll through the picturesque Diag, surrounded by beautiful ivy-covered buildings and iconic landmarks like the Hill Auditorium. Another significant historic site is the Kerrytown District, known for its quaint charm and Victorian-era architecture. Explore the bustling Kerrytown Market & Shops or pay a visit to the Samuel W. Smith House, a Greek Revival mansion.


Immerse yourself in Ann Arbor’s vibrant cultural scene by visiting its world-class museums. Start your journey at the University of Michigan Museum of Art, which houses an impressive collection of over 20,000 works of art spanning centuries and continents. Marvel at the magnificent paintings, sculptures, and rotating exhibitions that showcase the diversity of human creativity. For those interested in scientific discoveries, the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History is a must-see. Get up close with dinosaurs, explore the wonders of the natural world, and engage in hands-on exhibits that ignite curiosity.

Things to Do in Ann Arbor: Top Attractions and Activities


Outdoor Adventures

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or simply enjoy getting some fresh air and sunshine, Ann Arbor offers a plethora of outdoor adventures to satisfy your adventurous spirit. From sprawling parks and pristine natural landscapes to exhilarating hiking and biking trails, there is something for everyone seeking an outdoor escape in this vibrant city.

Parks And Nature

Ann Arbor is home to an impressive array of parks and natural areas that will leave you in awe of its scenic beauty. The city boasts numerous parks, each offering its own distinct charm and recreational activities. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful picnic spot or a place to engage in a game of Frisbee, the parks in Ann Arbor have got you covered. A visit to the breathtaking Matthaei Botanical Gardens or the Nichols Arboretum will immerse you in a world of stunning plants, flowers, and serene walking trails. For a more immersive experience, head to the Gallup Park, located along the banks of the Huron River, for a memorable day of canoeing, kayaking, or paddleboarding.

Top Parks in Ann Arbor

  • Huron Hills Golf Course and Park
  • Bandemer Park
  • Waterworks Park
  • Furstenberg Nature Area
  • Adaptive Sports and Recreation Program at Buhr Park

Hiking And Biking

If you’re someone who loves to explore the outdoors on foot or wheels, Ann Arbor has plenty to offer in terms of hiking and biking trails. The city is surrounded by breathtaking landscapes that are begging to be explored. One of the must-visit destinations for hikers and bikers is the enormous and picturesque Huron River Greenway, which stretches over miles of scenic terrain and offers a refreshing retreat from city life. For avid cyclists, the Border-to-Border Trail is a dream come true, providing an expansive network of paths that meander through beautiful parks, charming neighborhoods, and even connect to nearby towns.

Noteworthy Hiking and Biking Trails

  1. Huron River Greenway
  2. Border-to-Border Trail
  3. Nichols Arboretum Trails
  4. Island Lake Recreation Area Trail
  5. Parker Mill County Park Trail

Dining And Food Scene

Ann Arbor’s dining and food scene is a delightful mix of culinary experiences, ranging from lively farmers’ markets to local eateries that offer a diverse range of flavors. Visitors and locals alike are spoiled for choice when it comes to enjoying the vibrant food culture of this charming city.

Farmers’ Markets

Ann Arbor boasts a vibrant array of farmers’ markets, where visitors can savor the freshest and most flavorsome produce. These markets are ideal for those seeking a taste of local flavors and a glimpse into the bustling food culture of the city. Visitors can explore stalls brimming with an array of fruits, vegetables, local honey, artisanal cheeses, freshly baked goods, and much more. The Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market, located in the Kerrytown district, is a must-visit for those looking to immerse themselves in the local food scene.

Local Eateries

Ann Arbor’s culinary landscape is dotted with a myriad of local eateries that cater to diverse palates. From charming cafes and cozy bistros to innovative fine-dining establishments, there’s something to suit every taste. With a focus on fresh, locally sourced ingredients, these eateries offer a tantalizing array of options, including farm-to-table delights, international cuisine, and inventive gastronomic creations. Local eateries like Zingerman’s Deli, The Lunch Room, and Frita Batidos are celebrated for their commitment to quality and flavor, making them essential stops for food enthusiasts exploring Ann Arbor.

Entertainment And Nightlife

Discover the vibrant entertainment and nightlife scene of Ann Arbor, offering a plethora of exciting options for residents and visitors alike.

Live Music Venues

Experience the thrill of live music at these top venues in Ann Arbor:

  • The Ark
  • Blind Pig
  • Necto

Theater And Performing Arts

Immerse yourself in the world of theater and performing arts at these renowned venues:

  • Michigan Theater
  • Ann Arbor Civic Theatre
  • University of Michigan’s Power Center for the Performing Arts

Sports And Recreation

Discover a wealth of sports and recreation options in Ann Arbor. Enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, and picnicking in the city’s parks and nature reserves. Furthermore, take advantage of the numerous sports facilities for activities like tennis, swimming, and team sports.

In Ann Arbor, you can immerse yourself in a vibrant sports culture and enjoy various recreational activities.

University Sports Events

The University of Michigan is the heart of sports in Ann Arbor, offering exciting sporting events throughout the year.
Football games at Michigan Stadium are a must-see, creating a lively atmosphere on game days.
Basketball, hockey, and wrestling events showcase top talent and engage the community.
Attend a game to experience the true spirit of sports in Ann Arbor.

Recreational Centers

Ann Arbor is home to various recreational centers that cater to all ages and interests.
Veterans Memorial Park offers pools, fitness classes, and sports leagues.
Gallup Park provides walking trails, picnic areas, and boat rentals for outdoor enthusiasts.
Join a fitness class or explore the beautiful parks for a day of fun and relaxation.

Experience the dynamic sports scene and diverse recreational opportunities Ann Arbor has to offer.

Shopping And Markets

When it comes to shopping and markets, Ann Arbor offers a diverse and vibrant scene that caters to all tastes. From charming boutiques to artisan markets, there’s something for everyone looking for unique finds and locally-made goods.

Boutiques And Specialty Shops

Ann Arbor is home to a plethora of boutiques and specialty shops, each offering a distinct shopping experience. Whether you’re searching for the latest fashion trends, handcrafted jewelry, or one-of-a-kind home decor, you’ll find it at the boutiques and specialty shops scattered throughout the city.

Artisan Markets

In addition to boutiques, Ann Arbor hosts an array of artisan markets that showcase the creativity and talent of local artisans. These markets are the perfect place to discover unique crafts, artwork, and locally-sourced products. The bustling atmosphere and the opportunity to meet the artisans themselves make visiting these markets a memorable experience.

Seasonal Events And Festivals

Ann Arbor, Michigan, is a vibrant city that offers a wide range of activities throughout the year. Whether you’re visiting during the summer or winter, you’ll find a variety of seasonal events and festivals that will leave you entertained and immersed in the local culture. From lively summer festivals to exciting winter events, Ann Arbor has something for everyone.

Summer Festivals

During the summer months, Ann Arbor comes alive with a host of festivals that celebrate art, music, and food. The Ann Arbor Summer Festival is a must-attend event that brings together renowned artists and performers for a month-long celebration of creativity. From live concerts to outdoor movie screenings, this festival offers a little something for everyone.

If you’re a lover of the performing arts, you won’t want to miss Taste of Ann Arbor. This annual festival showcases the diverse culinary scene in the city, with local restaurants offering their signature dishes in the heart of downtown. It’s a great opportunity to sample a variety of cuisines and support local businesses.

For those interested in exploring Ann Arbor’s rich history, the Museum of Natural History’s Summer Science Festival is the perfect event. With hands-on activities, interactive exhibits, and engaging presentations, this festival provides a fun and educational experience for visitors of all ages.

Winter Events

When winter arrives, Ann Arbor transforms into a winter wonderland with its array of festive events. One of the highlights is the South University Winter Art Fair, where local artisans and craftspeople gather to showcase their unique creations. From handcrafted jewelry to stunning paintings, you’re sure to find the perfect gift or keepsake.

Another highly anticipated event is the Ann Arbor Folk Festival, which takes place in the heart of winter. This two-day festival brings together top folk musicians from around the country for unforgettable performances. With its cozy atmosphere and soulful tunes, it’s the perfect way to beat the winter chill.

If you’re looking for a memorable winter activity, the Ann Arbor Ice Sculpture Festival is not to be missed. Talented ice sculptors create breathtaking works of art from blocks of ice, transforming downtown Ann Arbor into a stunning winter wonderland. Take a leisurely stroll through the sculptures and marvel at the intricate designs.

Whether you visit Ann Arbor in the summer or winter, the seasonal events and festivals in this city promise an unforgettable experience. From outdoor concerts and art fairs to ice sculptures and folk music, there’s something to suit every interest and taste. Embrace the vibrant spirit of Ann Arbor and immerse yourself in its seasonal celebrations.

Things to Do in Ann Arbor: Top Attractions and Activities


Day Trips And Nearby Attractions

Ann Arbor, Michigan, is not only a vibrant city with a rich culture and history, but it also serves as a gateway to some incredible day trips and nearby attractions. If you’re looking to explore beyond the city limits, here are a few recommendations for vineyard tours and lakeside excursions that are sure to enhance your Ann Arbor experience.

Vineyard Tours

Indulge in an unforgettable wine-tasting adventure by embarking on a vineyard tour in and around Ann Arbor. With the region’s climate and fertile soil, vineyards here produce exceptional wines that cater to every palette. Here are a couple of vineyards you shouldn’t miss:

  • 1. Sandhill Crane Vineyards: Located just a short drive from Ann Arbor, Sandhill Crane Vineyards offers a taste of the countryside with their award-winning wines. Take a leisurely stroll through the vineyards, learn about the wine-making process, and savor their exquisite grape and fruit wines.
  • 2. Cherry Creek Winery: Nestled in the picturesque countryside, Cherry Creek Winery is a must-visit for wine enthusiasts. Enjoy the scenic beauty as you sample their handcrafted wines, from dry reds to sweet whites, and discover the art of wine-making firsthand.

Lakeside Excursions

When you’re in Ann Arbor, don’t miss the opportunity to escape to the nearby lakes and immerse yourself in natural beauty. Here are a couple of lakeside excursions that promise tranquility and breathtaking views:

  • 1. Gallup Park: Located along the beautiful Huron River, Gallup Park is the perfect destination for nature lovers. Rent a kayak or paddleboat to explore the serene waters, enjoy a picnic by the waterfront, or take a leisurely stroll along the miles of scenic trails.
  • 2. Halfmoon Lake: Situated just a short drive from Ann Arbor, Halfmoon Lake offers a peaceful retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Spend the day fishing, swimming, or simply unwinding on the sandy beach, surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature.
Things to Do in Ann Arbor: Top Attractions and Activities


Frequently Asked Questions For Things To Do In Ann Arbor

What Are The Top Attractions In Ann Arbor?

Ann Arbor boasts attractions like the University of Michigan, Nichols Arboretum, and Kerrytown Market for a vibrant cultural experience.

Where Can I Find The Best Dining Spots In Ann Arbor?

Savor local flavors at Zingerman’s Delicatessen, The Gandy Dancer, and Frita Batidos for a culinary delight in Ann Arbor.

What Outdoor Activities Are Popular In Ann Arbor?

Explore the Huron River with kayaking, visit Matthaei Botanical Gardens, or bike the Border-to-Border Trail for outdoor adventures in Ann Arbor.


In Ann Arbor, the options for fun and exploration are endless. From the breathtaking natural beauty of the Arboretum to the rich cultural experiences offered by the University of Michigan, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re a foodie, nature lover, or history enthusiast, Ann Arbor has it all.

Come and discover the endless adventures waiting for you.