Maybe it was for school, maybe it was for a job, but you now find yourself living in Ann Arbor.
Ann Arbor is a pretty awesome town and has been continuing to grow with new restaurants, businesses, sporting teams and more for the past several years. As with any move though, it is easy to find yourself getting into a rut, especially if you don’t know many people.
Well, before you starting going from home to work (or class) and back everyday or staying in on the weekends because you’re new here, let us give you some pointers on things to know when living in Ann Arbor.
To get the boring stuff out of the way: Traffic/Parking
Ann Arbor can be a stressful city to drive through for those who have never visited before. Downtown Ann Arbor is filled one way streets and often full of traffic. If you’re planning on visiting downtown often, make sure you become familiar with where the one-way streets are.
The City of Ann Arbor has installed several roundabouts throughout town as well. You can learn more about where these roundabouts are and how to drive them at the City of Ann Arbor’s website here.
Downtown Ann Arbor has steadily been growing into a popular metro area resulting in an increase in bicycle commuters. Pay attention to which streets have bike lanes and which don’t. Bicyclists often ride in the road with or without a lane so pay attention to them.
Ann Arbor has more traffic in the morning and evening rush hours, but that doesn’t even compare to traffic during University of Michigan football games. We can try to prepare you for U of M gamedays, but you’ll have to see it to believe it this fall.
There are several parking ramps downtown and many side streets with meters at various prices. One nice thing about parking? Street parking is free downtown after 6:00 p.m. M-F and structure and street parking is free all day on Sundays.
Get your tastebuds ready
A photo posted by Jake (@jegazlay) on
One thing Ann Arbor has become famous for is our unique food culture. From gourmet ramen bars to award-wining fine dining to college student pubs, Ann Arbor has something for you to enjoy. Some places that we have featured can be found in our top lists:
- “The 6 Places to go in the Ann Arbor Area to Celebrate National Donut Day”
- “The 5 Places to Try Today While Celebrating “National Cheese Lovers Day”‘
- “It’s National Coffee Day, Where are you Celebrating Ann Arbor?”
Ann Arbor reasturants across town have been topping national lists/awards each month for a long time now. In the past few months some of these awards include:
Make sure you quench your thirst at one of Ann Arbor’s various breweries too. With a growing number of breweries opening in the Greater Ann Arbor area, you have a wide variety of beers to enjoy at your disposal.
Music, movies, art….there’s always something to do
Ann Arbor is full of fun events throughout the year, but since summer is almost here, the real fun is about to start.
Our suggestions? Make sure you get out and swing by:
- Sonic lunch
- Ann Arbor Summer Festival
- Ann Arbor Street Art Fair
- Taste of Ann Arbor
- Ann Arbor’s Parks (especially kayaking/tubing/canoeing down the Huron river)
Lastly, what everyone knows Ann Arbor for: University of Michigan
A photo posted by Eli (@eli5473) on
Bringing in over 40,000 students to Ann Arbor each year, it’s easy to say that the University of Michigan makes a big impact on Ann Arbor.
The good news? The University of Michigan provides many great things for you to do while living in Ann Arbor. Some of the things to take advantage of are:
- Sporting events: U of M’s Big House is the largest stadium in the country (second in the world) seating over 100,000 people. Even if you don’t bleed maize & blue, visiting the stadium should be on your Ann Arbor bucket list for the experience.
- Museums: There area wide variety of museums on U of M’s campus, but the main two to check out are the Museum of Art and the Museum of Natural history.
- Parks: The Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum both feature beautiful landscapes & unique vegetation. With all of the flowers blooming, make sure to take a hike this summer to see the garden’s beauty.
The bad news? With a large school in town, during the school year traffic will be worse and you may have to wait at your favorite joints to get a table (especially if you like the businesses on South U).
Hopefully you now have some ideas on where to go first and what to do around town. Don’t be afraid to try new things especially when Ann Arbor offers a unique/diverse culture for you to experience.
If you want to stay up to date on what is happening around town (including food deals, city plans, events, etc.) make sure you “like” Living in Ann Arbor on Facebook and check back to this blog often!
To our current Ann Arbor residents, if you have your own suggestions on the first things to do after moving to Ann Arbor, let us know in the comments below!