Introduction to Ann Arbor, Michigan
Ann Arbor is located in southeastern Michigan on the Huron River, about 40 miles west of Detroit and 45 miles east of Lansing. John Allen and Elisha Rumsey founded the city in 1824, naming it after their spouses, both named Ann. Today, "A-Squared" is Michigan's 7th-largest city, with a population of around 115,000. The hometown of former President Gerald Ford, the city manages to exude Midwestern charm while claiming a strong economy based on a variety of industries, including printing and publishing, electronics and transportation equipment, medical equipment and technology. Domino's Pizza and Borders Books are based in the city. Ann Arbor is also an important medical center, home to a large pharmaceutical research facility and several high tech research and development firms. The city offers a great quality of life, ranking #10 on the BestJobsUsa.com list of the Best Places to Live and Work in America. It also ranked #3 among small cities on Ladies' Home Journal's 2002 list of the Best Cities for Women.
Ann Arbor Culture
Ann Arbor has many museums, including the Gerald R. Ford Library, the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology and the University of Michigan Museum of Art. The city attracts thousands of visitors to its festivals throughout the year: the 2-day Ann the Arbor Folk Festival in January, the 3-week Ann Arbor Summer Festival (music, comedy, films) in June and the Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival in September.
Ann Arbor Sports and Leisure
Ann Arbor offers the sports fan a lively college sports scene with access to major league teams 40 miles east in Detroit. Within Ann Arbor, the University of Michigan Wolverines play at 107,500-seat Michigan Stadium, the largest in the country. Another 45 miles west is East Lansing, home to the Michigan State University Spartans. Detroit offers pro sports teams in each of the four major leagues. Baseball's Detroit Tigers play downtown at 40,000-seat, state-of-the-art Comerica Park, which has a Ferris wheel and a carousel. Adjacent 65,000-seat Ford Field is the domed den of the NFL's Lions. The stadium also hosts national events such as the Super Bowl and NCAA Men's Final Four basketball. The NHL's Detroit Red Wings play at 20,000-seat Joe Louis Arena, which also features college tournaments such as the Great Lakes Invitational in December and the CCHA tournament in March. A half-hour drive northeast of Ann Arbor, the 2,000-seat Palace at Auburn Hills hosts the NBA's Detroit Pistons, the WNBA's Shock, and Arena Football's Fury.
Ann Arbor Outdoors
Although it's not the warmest city you'll encounter, Ann Arbor is a nice place to enjoy the great outdoors. Dexter-Huron Metropark, just 7 miles northwest of Ann Arbor on the Huron River, provides 122-acres of wooded areas and excellent river fishing. Hudson Mills Metropark, another 5 miles northwest, is a 1,549-acre park that offers fishing, canoeing, kayaking, hiking and nature trails, softball diamonds and an 18-hole golf course. With easy access to more water sports on the Great Lakes, plus skiing in dozens of nearby slopes, Ann Arbor offers an endless array of outdoor activities.
Ann Arbor at Night
A progressive city with a thriving college scene and one of the youngest populations (28 years median age) among major cities, Ann Arbor offers a stimulating nightlife. Home to the University of Michigan's 35,000 students, the area is loaded with hip bars, coffee houses and places to hear live music. Washington and Main Streets are among the city's favorite hotspots for a night out. Nearby Ypsilanti offers more restaurants and bars. Detroit has a booming music scene, plenty of bars, three casinos within the city and another across the Canadian border in Windsor.