Earlier this year, I took a two week vacation to Ann Arbor, Michigan. This was one of the best holidays I have ever taken and so I’d like to suggest 6 things to do or see if you find yourself in Michigan’s sixth largest city.
- Vault of Midnight
This is a must for comic book fans. A spacious two storey building on S. Main Street in Ann Arbor’s Downtown, you will find everything to sate your nerd needs. Vault of Midnight has all the latest releases as well as all the merchandise you could wish for. However, the real gem is the basement level- downstairs you will find back issues of comic books and all manner of board games. So whether you are looking for a card game such as The Resistance or an RPG in a box like Betrayal at House on the Hill, Vault of Midnight is likely to have it.
- The Diag
Part of the University of Michigan, the Diag is a great place to go and relax. I was there during orientation week so there wasn’t too much commotion but the rather expansive area allows serene, non-intrusive study space or just a place to relax with friends or yourself! The added bonus is that the Diag is located in the centre of Ann Arbor’s Downtown, meaning that you aren’t too far from shopping and food outlets.
- Greenfield Village/The Henry Ford Museum
Okay, so this one isn’t technically in Ann Arbor. However, if you are in A2, you can easily reach these locations. The Henry Ford Museum is a wonderful slice of transport history as well as the other products Ford has invested in over the years (such as the Dymaxion House). Greenfield Village is an eclectic collection of the homes and the iconic buildings of people who Henry Ford found inspiration. You can find Edison’s Menlo Park complex, the Wright Brothers’ bicycle shop and Noel Webster’s home to name three. To get around, a steam train circles the whole village while horse drawn carriages serve the interior of the park. Model T rides are available to gain the experience of the riding in the first mainstream automobile. To gain the best experience, I suggest devoting a day to both sites.
- Pinball Pete’s
Fancy spending some time at a classic arcade? Pinball Pete’s houses a collection of light gun shooters; coin flip machines and arcades featuring Tetris and Street Fighter. If none of that is your style then you can indulge in a hearty game of air hockey. Overall, you will lose a satisfying amount of quarters at this nostalgia fest. Once more located in Ann Arbor’s Downtown, you can easily find the neon sign to make Pinball Pete’s a stop on your tour.
- Washtenaw Diary
So you’ve had a wonderful day exploring beautiful Ann Arbor but now you need to cool off with a sweet treat. Travel just outside Downtown and you’ll find Washtenaw Dairy, a charming ice cream that has served Ann Arbor since 1934. With a cornucopia of flavours and non-ice cream treats to purchase, I found myself in ice cream heaven after my trip here.
- Ann Arbor Street Art Fair
If you find yourself in Ann Arbor in late July, you may have no option but to visit the annual Ann Arbor Street Art Fair. This four day event showcases the best work of the local artists. The fair takes over Downtown and is a very pleasant experience (I had to confer with my Ann Arbor expert on this one but I think she might be biased due to her love and academic pursuit of art…)