Ann Arbor is famously home to the University of Michigan, but there’s far more to it than that. The small, walkable city is perfect for a relaxing day of browsing independent stores and galleries, eating delicious food and enjoying beautiful outdoor spaces. Here’s what we think you should choose to do and see during one day in Ann Arbor.
Spend the morning taking in Ann Arbor’s pretty downtown, checking out the many unique businesses dotted around the city while keeping an eye out for those famous fairy doors too, of course. See what’s going on in the Ann Arbor Art Center, and get a recommendation on something new to read at the Literati Bookstore. Or enjoy some retail therapy in the stores of the Nickels Arcade, which also has the Comet Cafe, a great place for a drink and a snack.
In the late morning, take a walk around either of the University’s beautiful outdoor spaces, the Nichols Arboretum or the Matthaei Botanical Gardens. The Arboretum contains displays and natural areas featuring prairie lands, woods, and the Huron River. Highlights from the Botanical Gardens’ 11 outdoor spaces include the bonsai and penjing collection, the English Tudor garden, and woodland wildflowers.
For lunch, it’s a name everyone in Ann Arbor is familiar with, Zingerman’s Delicatessen. The Zingerman’s empire includes a bakehouse, coffee company, roadhouse restaurant, creamery, and candy store all within the city, but it’s the deli on Detroit St that’s your go-to for lunch. Generously stuffed deli sandwiches are its specialty, though you can also get homemade soups and salads.
For the afternoon, take a gentle stroll around the University of Michigan Museum of Art, which has a broad collection and exhibitions that regularly rotate. Alternatively, if you’ve got children with you, there’s the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, complete with four stories of colorful and interactive science-based exhibits.
It’s time for dinner, and again, there are options for every taste. The popular Frita Batidos offers Cuban street food and tropical cocktails, while Sava’s has an eclectic menu of contemporary, locally sourced meals.
For your evening entertainment, there’s nowhere more longstanding and storied than the Blind Pig. Nirvana once called it their favorite venue in an MTV interview, and long before that, Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon amongst others graced the stage. These days you’re more likely to catch local talent and the occasional larger act.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.