Best Reviewed: Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti
A Travel Guide
Edited by Maryann Huk
Published by Cardinal Content
copyright © 2015 by Cardinal Content.
All Rights Reserved
Table of Contents
Ann Arbor or A2 is wonderful city that contains an almost mind boggling level of culture and activities far beyond what one would expect for a population of just over 100,000 souls. Of course we are fully aware that is not anything more or less than it being home to giant Midwestern University: The University of Michigan. And how, over the decades the University of Michigan has done a remarkable thing in making itself one of the nation’s best higher learning institutions, of any kind, private or public. The University folks like to think they compare in many ways to the best of the Ivy League schools, and that is not a comparison without merit. What is quite true is the fact that the University of Michigan is integral to a city and the local culture that prizes academic achievement (of course) athletic excellence and enthusiasm (Oh, Brother!) and at the same time revels in Artistic expression and a kind of independent spirit that leans toward the cutting edge. That is the Ann Arbor we expected when we meandered over while doing our recent book on Downtown Detroit. What we found was all of that and much more.
Now, at the same time we meandered back, a short ways to Ypsilanti, Michigan. A big part of this ebook is our tribute to Ypsilanti, Michigan. If there is niftier small American city that combines its industrial heritage with the promise of a brightening future, we would be hard pressed to find it. Ypsi, as the familiar and natives are allowed to call it, certainly benefits greatly from being a University town with the Eastern Michigan University, and its close proximity to that other Michigan school. Its industrial heritage naturally comes from its important relationship with Detroit. Just like Detroit, Ypsilanti saw industry dwindle to non-existent, then come back some. But this time Ypsilanti is not about being a place that houses blue collar folks, and University types in a kind of ‘nary the twain shall meet ‘ existence of the past. EMU is now rightfully seen as the economic anchor of the community. The industrial heritage is appreciated, and locals think it needs to be preserved. And, into this mix comes a new generation of business people and community activists who want Ypsilanti to keep its authentic ways; free from abandonment but not replaced by brittle gentrification. Ypsilanti mirrors Detroit in its hopes and renewed energy. At the same time Ypsi is becoming more like the best of Ann Arbor with a renewed civic energy and social consciousness. Not just a few of the people we met in Detroit and Ann Arbor expressed their enthusiasm for Ypsilanti, and pondered their own futures moving there. For us, we may not have Paris, but we will always have Ypsilanti.
Once again we concentrated on the central part of the cities: Both in Ann Arbor, and then over in Ypsilanti. The distance between the two is just a matter of about ten miles. The strange mental dislocation of these two university towns divided by the ubiquitous Michigan freeway however, was always a tad odd. For years The U of M side seemed to take an attitude that Ypsilanti was the outer reaches of the Detroit they did not particularly like or care about -- all industrial and perhaps less educated. The fact that Ypsilanti has a state university with a population of students larger than some of the better known Midwestern schools, such as Notre Dame seem not to make a difference. If there was any negativity on the Easter Michigan University side in Ypsilanti was just knowing that across the freeway others with perhaps more recources and more opportunity were ignoring EMU and so be it.
Well, if any of that indifference and dismissing ever existed, it has disappeared. We suppose it is the result of a new generations of students, on both sides of the US 23 that are more tolerant and inclusive of their peers then any generation before. So it is not acceptable to deem oneself superior just for going to the U of M, or conversely not as able for matriculating at Eastern. Just two different paths in a world where success is no longer guaranteed, and continuing economic challenges face students no matter from where they graduate,
Add in the fact that Ypsilanti is becoming in its own way a University town means the good parts of an American Upper Midwest University town with its tolerance, dedication to social causes and energetic culture are becoming an Ypsi thing, too.
Climate in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti
Ann Arbor summers can be hotish and humid. Even though temperatures occasionally hit 90 degrees, the average is the mid 80s. Winters are typical for Southeastern Michigan. They have a definite four seasons. By late October the autumn chill is in the air. After a less snowy winter than one might expect, it starts to warm up again in mid-March. A mid-April fleeting snow does happen now and then. The average winter temps range close to 30°F. Iin January temps can dip below 20°F or much lower factoring wind chill. Summers can get uncomfortably very warm, even hot in mid-July when it temperatures push into the 90’s with high humidity.
Getting to Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti
Ann Arbor is bordered by I-94 on the south and west. On the east going north and south is US-23. From Ann Arbor going north and east is M-14. It leads to I-96.
Yspilanti is on the other side of US 23 -- the Detroit side to the southeast. Going north it is accessed from US 23 first at Michigan and then at Washtenaw. Going east-west on 1-94 at the Huron exit. North of Ypsi is I-96. You get back on US 23 northbound to I-96.
Ann Arbor has ample paid parking downtown but curbside parking is a challenge. On game days at the University of Michigan, and other popular occasions parking, anywhere can be a challenge. Fortnuately the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti/Washtenaw County region have excellent public transporation with the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority (AATA) park and ride lots. They lie beyond downtown Ann Arbor, but the distance to Ann Arbor events is not far. There are five such lots with free parking around the city, and bus service to each. Also, the University of Michigan has its own bus system.
Ypsilanti parking is pretty good, most of the time, except for EMU game days and special events. Downtown has lots and metered street parking. Depot Town is more of a challenge on weekends and evenings. There is free parking in open lots by the tracks, and on the surface streets.
Downtown Ann Arbor offers many restaurants and art galleries. The University of Michigan hosts numerous cultural events as well as outstanding performance venues such as the Michigan Theater. It is host to first-run independent films and high-profile music groups. Several good independent bookshops are still located here. One was Borders Books before it grew into the behemoth retail giant that recently met its demise.
Ypsilanti downtown is in transition and becoming more vital. With its revival many of the best Ypsi’s past are being retained, as new places open. Though the city center does not have the extensive array of events that Ann Arbor has – after all Ypsi is a much smaller city – it does have exactly what a small Michigan city should have: A community that is welcoming, close knit and respectful.
, 120 W Huron Street, 734 995-7281 or +1 800 888-9487
GETTING TO ANN ARBOR AND YPSILANTI
The nearest major airport to Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti is about 25 minutes away.
734-707-7AIR, The AirRide is brought to you by the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority (TheRide) and that provides 12 daily scheduled trips between Ann Arbor and DTW.
, 325 Depot Street, 734 994-4906 or +1 800 872-7245 , daily, 7AM-12AM; ticketing is available from 7:15AM-11:30PM. The station is walking distance from downtown It is down by the river beyond the Kerrytown district. It at a lower elevation than town, so you can also take bus route 17 (from the station) or 1 (from nearby Beakes Street) to downtown. Also ere are usually taxis waiting outside the station. The Ann Arbor stop is situated on the Wolverine line.
The Wolverine is a nifty way to go back and forth from Detroit to Ann Arbor. The discounted ticket prices available online during the week, add to the ease of using the Wolverine. Taking a bike onboard is not a challenge. All of this is important, when you consider that there is no public transpiration from Detroit to Ann Arbor. For whatever reason, (well we know why), the suburban Metro Detroit system stops about 10 miles short of reaching the The Ride, Ann Arbor’s bus system. Now, there is no really good reason for this, except the outer suburbs commingle the idea of public transportation with Minorities. So they do not want the busses reaching that far. Damn silly. The A2 system is tied to Washtenaw County and cannot reasonably span the distance to the Metro buses. So, the train is a direct connection, though it will cost as much as double more than a public transportation bus ride, though it is still not bad.
, 877 462-6342, Strictly go to the West. Chicago is the terminus. Very inconvenient, unless you are in Chicago, Grand Rapids, or Lansing.
Megabuses arrive and depart at the University of Michigan’s State Street Commuter Park & Ride lot. This lot is on the west side of South State Street about 0.5 mile north of Eisenhower Parkway, and just about a mile from I-94 The bus stop is on the east side of the parking lot between the entrance and exit. The Ride Route 36 (weekdays only) goes to the campus and downtown. Taxi Services in town know when each Megabus arrives, and flat fares are common and reasonable.
, 116 W Huron Street, 734 662-5511, M-F 9AM-6PM, Sa-Su 9AM-4:30PM. The bus station is located downtown, near Main Street. Detroit is a little over 1 hour away via bus; Chicago is 5 to 6.5 hours away.
, 1 888 643-5637, Bus service from Detroit Metro to Lansing MI via Jackson MI.
Downtown Ann Arbor is not large, so it’s easy to get around just by walking. In fact, free parking is almost nonexistent, especially when the town is full of students, so you’ll probably prefer to walk anyway. Bike riding in Ann Arbor is also a great way to get around. All The Ride busses have bike racks. Bike rentals for Ann Arbor downtown are available at and then there is [+ Tree Town Pedicab+] if you want someone else to do the peddling.
In Ypsilanti walking is okay, too. However the distances between EMU, Downtown, and Depot Town are greater. So, if you are not driving, then a bike is great idea, or taking The Ride. Ypsi has its own dedicated bus routes, as well as the busses that from Ann Arbor and the rest of Washtenaw County. All but one of the Ypsi busses come to the Ypsilanti Transportation Center on Pearl between Washington and Adams. Like all The Ride busses the ones in Ypsi also have bike racks,
WHAT TO SEE IN ANN ARBOR:
Ann Arbor, as the name implies, has a history about trees. According to information found at the Ann Arbor library, the ‘Ann’ in Ann Arbor are two Anns. They are the wives of the two founders who decided to name the town plat in 1824 in honor of their wives first name and a stand of magnificent Burr Oak they purchased. The local native populations had come to call this place Kaw-goosh-kaw-nick, which is the onomatopoeia of the sound the grist mill.
There are many shops and restaurants along State, Liberty, and . The closer to Main Street, the more they become for the upscale urban dwellers of Ann Arbor and less for University students. Student also like to hangout along South University street.
A few blocks north of downtown is historic . It is full of remodeled old homes and pleasant shopping.
, 603 E Liberty Street, 734 668-8397 or 734 668-TIME (8463), This restored 1928 cinema is, complete with two theater organs. One of them a vintage 1927 pipe organ. The organ is often played before performances, and during the Michigan Theater’s special silent-film showings The theater shows independent and foreign films. Classic-films are shown throughout the year.. The main auditorium is host to top flight Local and National musical groups and comedy acts.
The sister , 233 S State Street, 734 761-8667 is an Art Deco cinema built in 1942. .
, 316 S Main Street, 734 761-1451, A nonprofit, intimate music club with 400 seats. The bookings lean toward American Roots and World Music, but not exclusively.
, 734-764-2538, The University Musical Society annually presents a series of concerts by world-renowned performing artists from Music, Dance and Theater at Hill Auditorium, the Power Center, the Michigan Theater, or Rackham Auditorium. It is one of the oldest performance arts presenters, now in its 134th season. Not just world-renowned artists, but easily some of the best live music, dance and theatre offered anywhere. The international reputation of the University Muscial Society and its consistent enthusiastic audiences makes booking the UMS a must for outstanding acts that are on occasional tours to the US. It is probably an understatement to say it is hard to imagine any other sub 200,000 populated American city that can attract so much extraordinary talent and artistry from every part of the planet.
The Depot and
Named in honor of the Greek Patriot Demetrius Ypsilanti and founded in 1825, Ypsilanti is located along the banks of Huron River where it continues its path to toward Lake Erie. Downtown, as noted before, is in the midst of revitalization. That means there is a lot of opportunity in Ypsi, and not just to go and have a good time. We want to start out with this youtube video that captures the spirit of Ypsi in many ways. . .
Be sure to watch for the magic mug of Michigan craft beer (or hot cider), near the end. Pure Ypsi.
Not far from Downtown Ypsilanti is the other major university in Washtenaw County, . It is one of the four Normal Schools, or teaching colleges that later became universities. The others are Central in Mount Pleasant, Western in Kalamzoo, and Northern in the Upper Peninsulas Marquette, Michigan.
The Ypsilanti water tower has the curious distinction of having won Cabinet magazine’s competition to find the “world’s most phallic building
, 220 N Huron St, Ypsilanti, Mi, 734-484-0080. Tuesday through Sunday from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Free.
110 W. Cross St. Ypsilanti, MI 48197, 734.547.0663, Tuesday thru Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm Sunday from 12 pm to 4 pm Closed Mondays.
, 100 East Cross Street Ypsilanti, Mi 48198 Monday- Friday 1:30-5:00 Saturday-9:30- 5:00 Sunday- Noon- 5:00 .
. Early May.
Held in Mid May.
, Depot Town – Riverside Park, Ypsilanti,
At Willow Run Airport 47884 D St., Belleville, MI 48111 was built by the Ford Motor Company in 1941 to serve as an airfield for their B-24 Bomber Plant is where the is located, and each summer they help put on , one of the largest air shows in America. One of the best things they have going is you can book a once in a life time flight on a B-25 or B-17 (or both) when these meticulously restored warplanes are not touring around the country at other air shows. The price is worthy of the exclusiveness of the opportunity, and all goes to help fund the museum,
Back to A2
Looking at the outside of the Law Quadrangle from across S. University Street
The University of Michigan is a public research university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It is the state’s oldest university and the flagship campus of the University of Michigan. It is one of the founding members of the Association of American Universities. It has been ranked among the top five research universities in the US, and among the top 20 universities in the world, The University of Michigan also has satellite campuses in Flint and Dearborn.
The university was founded in 1817 in Detroit about 20 years before the Michigan Territory officially became a state. The university moved to Ann Arbor in 1837 to what is now known as Central Campus. Over the centuries the university expanded to include more than 584 major buildings with a combined area of more than 712 acres. The University of Michigan also transformed its academic program from a strictly classical curriculum to one that includes science and research. The University of Michigan was the site of much student activism in the 1960s. When presidential candidate John F. Kennedy visited the University on October 14, 1960, he gave an impromptu speech on the steps of the Michigan Union that led to a University of Michigan student movement. This movement help to contribute to the establishment of the Peace Corps.
Ann Arbor has 147 city parks, ranging from less than a block wide to over 100 acres. Some of the more prominent ones include:
, 1610 Washington Heights. “The Arb” comprises 123 acres of hilly woodland along the Huron River, with collections of North American plants interspersed throughout. It features Peony garden, prairie, constructed wetland and Appalachian plant collection.
, 1800 N Dixboro Road, The grounds are open daily from 8AM-dusk. A 300-acre site with outdoor display gardens and a 10,000-square-foot conservatory
Gallup Park, 3000 Fuller Road, A 69-acre park along the Huron River and Geddes Pond. Walkways with pedestrian bridges over the water, two playgrounds, picnic areas, open fields, over 3 miles of asphalt trails. Gallup Park featured canoe, kayak and paddleboat.
Buhr Park, 2751 Packard Street, 734 971-3228, A 39-acre park with picnic areas, children’s play area, softball diamond, soccer fields, outdoor tennis courts, 25-yard swimming pool, children’s wading pool, outdoor ice arena for public skating and ice hockey, cross-country ski center, and snowmobile trails. Skate rentals available.
Ypsilanti has quite a few city parks, but the three that stand out are all along the Huron River that runs through Ypsi: Riverside, Frog Island and Penisular Park. In deed they are all a part of the Ypsi Riverfront Park System. They are also home to many of the city’s best annual events including the Heritage Festival, ElvisFest, Michigan Summer Beer Festival, and several automotive events.
Visit: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/576460 to purchase this book to continue reading. Show the author you appreciate their work!
Something wonderful is happening right now in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, Michigan. That's right, both. Ann Arbor already has a world-wide reputation as one of the best University towns in America; home of the University of Michigan. Now Ypsilanti, right across a freeway from Ann Arbor is gaining a widening reputation for being an interesting college town (Eastern Michigan University) as well as a revitalized post-industrial small city -- a smaller version of nearby Detroit. Both share a long heritage of being a places where young people could get life off to a good start. Now, more and more young small business people, artists, craftspeople, and entrepreneurs are creating new and lively city-scapes and neighborhoods in both A2 and Ypsi. For travelers and tourists the combination of both cities offers days of exploration, fascination and fun. There they will find world-class museums, art galleries, theater, and of course music, comedy, and night life. That is along with collegiate and amateur sports at the highest level. There are also a world of unusual and creative places to enjoy. And if nothing else there are the magnificent four seasons of Southeast Michigan to experience on foot, on bike, on the water, on skis, and even in a car. This travel guide concentrates on the best reviewed places for all of those things, with an emphasis on eating, drinking and having fun. As all travelers know, those are the things that need to be done everyday. Though the places described, in-depth, do not represent all of the best of Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, they are many of the best. And true to our book's orientation, they are found just as much in Ypsi and A2. We are offering this ebook travel guide to you without a set price. If you deem it worthy of making a payment for purchase, please do by all means. However, it you just want to have a copy for your smart phone, pad or home computer at no cost, that is Jake with us. What we do ask is that you take a moment and rate and review A2/Ypsi Best Reviewed at the online place you downloaded your copy. It is your feedback and insights that will help us to a better job each time we publish a ebook. This ebook is the first in a series of travel guides we are publishing on Smashwords The next, and very soon, is on Downtown Detroil. and then Cleveland. After that we will release an ebook on Pittsburgh. Then we will cover Baltimore and Philadelphia. If you have a part of North American you want covered, please let us know. Especially if you might just want to be the travel reporter/author. We are looking to build a network of travel writers to cover everywhere we can. Many Thanks, Maryann P. Huk Publisher Cardinal Content