What’s not to love about Ann Arbor? “A2”, as named by locals, has plenty to offer: the culture that a Big Ten university brings; the charm of a small town with its downtown storefronts and adjacent neighborhoods; the diverse cuisine of a food city; the natural beauty of the Michigan landscape with its four-season appeal; and the affordability of the midwest for cost of living as compared to the east and west coasts.
Small City, Big Town
Designated by Wallethub as the most educated city in America for the last 6 years running,
Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan are intertwined. Ann Arbor integrates the university into the city both geographically and culturally, with central campus and the medical school and campus situated within residential and business areas. This proximity of city space to university life adds to the vibrancy of the downtown area shared by all ages and cultures, as over 130 countries and all 50 states are represented in the University of Michigan student body.
U-Mich has several impressive rankings as a top-tier university and research center, among these:
- No. 3 Undergraduate Public University (U.S. News and World Reports 2020)
- No. 1 U.S. Public University (QS World University Rankings 2019-2020)
- No. 15 World Reputation Rankings (Times Higher Ed 2019
In addition, Michigan Medicine which is comprised of 3 hospitals on its Ann Arbor medical campus, ranks the No. 1 Hospital in Michigan and the No. 1 Children’s Hospital in Michigan, with national rankings in 14 adult specialties and 10 children’s specialties (US News and World Reports 2019).
For live music, theater, and dance performances, check out these venues:
- The Ark, one of a kind intimate stage setting and music club that features a wide range of musical talent, from new to seasoned musicians, be sure to check out their unique programming.
- The Blind Pig, the iconic local stage for bands and DJs, popular with dance crowds, band fans, and the nightclub scene.
- Kerrytown Concert House, a performance setting in a beautiful mid-19th-century home refurbished to a concert hall and seating 110 people, KCH features avante garde jazz, chamber music, and vocal artists, from local to international stature.
- University Musical Society on stage at Hill Auditorium, Power Center, and Rackham Auditorium, brings in world class musicians, dance companies, and theater groups.
- Ann Arbor Art Center, a community collective retail space for visual artists, a hub for art classes for all ages, and monthly curated exhibits.
- Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, a fully professional orchestra since 1986, features local talent and provides programming from September to May..
- Ann Arbor Civic Theater, a community theater, showcases talented local actors in programming from September through June, with 3 plays and 3 musicals.
Tree Town established its roots in the love and appreciation for its green canopy. Nearly two centuries later and true to its nickname, the urban forest gives Ann Arbor a fresh green welcome every spring, shade to enjoy by summer, bursts of color every autumn, and in winter the anticipation of next year’s cycle beginning again.
This offers Ann Arbor residents a large plethora of outdoor activities available during all seasons of the year, including a multitude of walking, biking, and running trails, public parks, and dedicated areas for outdoor activities of all kinds, as well as multiple arboretums highlighting the diversity of the flora and fauna native to the area.
The diverse food scene in Ann Arbor makes it a great destination for culinary tourism. For starters, the wide selection of ethnic food restaurants spans many cuisines from Japanese, Vitenmase, Thai, Korean, Chinese, and Indian; as well as Irish, French, Mexican, Italian, Spanish, Polish, German, Greek, Turkish, Middle Eastern, and Ethiopian.
Add to that list classic American bistro menus, college town bars and grills, farm-to-table fare, vegetarian eateries, food trucks, beer gardens, breweries, coffee shops, and bakeries, along with a vibrant take out, food shopping, and food delivery scene, and you can begin to understand why Ann Arbor appears as a favorite on food city lists.
Ann Arbor tops the list of the best college sports towns, based on “its excellent mix of livability and sports, Forbes says. Sports teams such as the extremely popular Men’s Wolverines football team and the Wolverines Men’s Basketball program (currently highly ranked in the NCAA and undefeated thus far in the 2020-2021 winter season) at Michigan’s Wolverines Athletic programs are among the best in the country.
The football team plays at the famously dubbed “Big House”, or Michigan’s football stadium, which the largest capacity for its usually completely full 110,00 person+ stadium, which also allows Ann Arbor to have one of the biggest and most entertaining city-wide “game days” filled with locals, students, alums, and out of town fans converging on the town for every home page and tailgating before and after each game throughout town and outside the stadium.
Ann Arbor is rising as a New Top Tech Hub in the U.S., Bloomberg Report confirms.
With the tech giant Google opening a large Ann Arbor office well over a decade ago, many startups, startup accelerators, tech firms, plus being a prominent meeting center for industry, Ann Arbor is an attractive destination for further tech entities to establish their roots locally. If you’re a tech startup, all set to open offices, note that America’s high-tech businesses and workers (the talent) are gravitating to regional college towns like Ann Arbor, a recognized site for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Ann Arbor, being a rising tech hub, brings enormous career opportunities for the tech aspirants ready to start their professional journey. Many top engineering students get hired by in town companies once they finish their degrees at different universities in the area and find they don’t need to move to the West Coast or a much larger city or area to make their mark on the tech world. The University of Michigan has a solid connection to Ann Arbor’s success as a tech hub.