The Ann Arbor area is the state’s rare jewel: a small, friendly town with big city sophistication; a world-class educational and high-tech research center nestled in a peaceful rural setting; a close-knit community of charming neighborhoods with a rich mix of cultures.
Although geographically small, the area is perhaps most renowned for its cultural offerings. From exclusive art exhibits to performances by jazz legends, there are abundant opportunities to enjoy arts and culture. More than 30 independent bookstores, dozens of unique galleries, and a variety of top-notch museums; including the newly-renovated University of Michigan Museum of Art — are all within the downtown limits.
The Ann Arbor area also offers a bounty of recreational activities for those looking to golf, hike, or cycle, and three metroparks are within a short drive of the city center.
In the warmer months, the area offers an array of street festivals and outdoor fairs. The award-winning Ann Arbor Art Fairs draw an annual crowd of nearly 500,000 as the streets of downtown are transformed into an outdoor art gallery. In the fall, football Saturdays are more than just events — they are experiences, as more than 100,000 people fill “The Big House” to watch the Wolverines. In the winter, holiday light festivals and the Ann Arbor Folk Festival are always crowd pleasers.
Dining aficionados will appreciate the nearly 300 restaurants within a 20-mile radius of Ann Arbor. Options range from old-fashioned Italian bistros to trendy, contemporary American restaurants. Many offer alfresco dining in the warmer months, which, when combined with the array of jazz and dance clubs in the area, makes downtown Ann Arbor a vibrant destination for nightlife.
- Population – Ann Arbor: 114,024, including the student population of the University of Michigan.
- Size – 28.2 square miles
- Average Age – 27.3 years (almost 25% of Ann Arborites are between 18 and 24)
- Education – 64.2 percent have four years of college or more
- Weather – averages 31.25 inches of precipitation and 37.3 inches of snow
- Avg. high 58.1 degrees Fahrenheit / avg. low 39.4 degrees Fahrenheit
Ann Arbor was founded in 1824 when John Allen and Elisha Rumsey left Detroit on a one-horse sleigh and headed west to establish a new community. Originally registered as Annarbour, it is believed that the “Ann” honors their wives Ann and Mary Ann and “arbour” refers to a grove or shady opening found in the Michigan woods. Eventually the words were separated and the town became known as Ann Arbor – it remains the only city in the world with that name.
THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
- Total Enrollment (Ann Arbor, Flint and Dearborn campuses) – 53,031, Ann Arbor Enrollment – 38,103
- Alumni Body – 439,239 living degree holders
- Ann Arbor campus size in acres: 3,177
- Employment – In Ann Arbor, UM employs more than 27,000 Washtenaw County residents, annual payroll $900 million
- Each home football game generates about $2.2 million for the local economy
- Cultural activities attract about 130,000 attendees each year
U of M graduates include: Actor James Earle Jones, U.S. President Gerald Ford, Playwright Arthur Miller, Cartoonist Cathy Guisewite and Olympian Michael Phelps