Ann Arbor receives regular attention on the national stage as one of the best places to live in the country. The reasons for this are plentiful, ranging from its educational opportunities and community involvement to plentiful parks and things to do throughout the town. To learn more about Ann Arbor, along with several FAQs, read on below.

Ann Arbor Relocation Guide
Photo by Carmen Speltino

Ann Arbor FAQs

Is Ann Arbor similar to Detroit?

It is not. Ann Arbor has a robust economy, growing job market, stable political system, and rising home values. It also has a world class university, the University of Michigan, that brings with it a diverse, educated, and community-oriented local population.

What are the schools like?

The school-rating website Great Schools gives schools in Ann Arbor very high ratings. The schools here consistently receive good to excellent marks.

How are the local hospitals?

Here, we look to the University of Michigan and its Medical Center, the top rated health facility in the city. In 2009, U.S. News and World Report gave it the #14 slot in the list of best hospitals in the country.

How far away are the Great Lakes?

Ann Arbor is less than an hour from the shoreline of Lake Erie. The city is also about an hour away from the Canadian border and two and a half hours away from Lake Michigan.

Ann Arbor Notoriety

Ann Arbor is most famous as the home of the University of Michigan. Home of the Wolverines and a member of the Big Ten Conference, college sports are important to residents, whether university-affiliated or not. Some sources, like Washington Monthly, rank Michigan as the 12th best college in the nation.

The city is also known for its music and performing arts groups, including some not associated with the university. Among them are the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, the Ann Arbor Civic Ballet (Michigan’s first chartered ballet company), and The Ark (a famous folk venue).

Ann Arbor is also known as “Tree Town” because of the dense forestation of the city’s parks and residential areas, which contain more than 50,000 trees along the streets and in its 157 municipal parks, which range from small neighborhood greens to larger recreational areas.

The city has received numerous accolades including the following recent high-points:

  • Most-educated City in the US – Card Hub (2013)
  • Best Destination for Green Travelers (Top 10) – Travel Nerd (2013)
  • Best-Read Cities (#4) – Amazon (2012)
  • 20 Best Summer Vacation Destinations – Frommer’s (2012)
  • Best US Small City for Aging (#7) – Miliken Institute (2012)

Specific Areas of Town

  • Ann Arbor North
  • Central Ann Arbor
  • University of Michigan Campus
  • Downtown Ann Arbor
  • Ann Arbor West

These areas, excluding the campus, all contain smaller neighborhoods and communities. Commercial areas in downtown Ann Arbor include the Kerrytown Shops along with the Main Street, South University, and State Street Business Districts.

Out and About

Ann Arbor is a terrific place to enjoy concerts, theater, museum exhibits, and shopping. For younger children, the city maintains more than 90 playgrounds. The Leslie Science and Nature Center features programs for every age group. Ann Arbor also offers a ton of opportunities to play sports, including golf, tennis, ice skating, hockey, outdoor basketball, soccer, baseball and softball.

Ann Arbor has a wide variety of dining options to choose from. These are a few well reviewed restaurants favored by townies and visitors alike:

  • Anthony’s Gourmet Pizza – Voted Best Pizza in Ann Arbor
  • Chela’s Restaurant & Taqueria
  • Logan – often mentioned in Zagat travel guides
  • Pacific Rim

Ann Arbor, Michigan has a lot to offer residents, including the perks associated with living in a university-town, including cultural events, a music scene, and almost year round college sports. With great schools and plentiful recreation areas, the city is also a terrific place to raise a family. For more information or questions, don’t hesitate to contact us! 

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