- By Eric Pointer
- Local Page
- Published Nov 20, 2017
Home to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor hosts the perfect environment for young singles and growing families alike. Ann Arbor is much more than a college town and is well known as a family-friendly city with sought after premiums that would be found on any family priority list. The city features a selection of things to do including outdoor recreation, cultural centers and museums, as well as exceptional food. It’s easy to see why Ann Arbor is attracting more and more families and young people to enjoy this beautiful city.
1. Top Notch Schools
One unique feature about Ann Arbor is that this community values education. Ann Arbor and the surrounding communities boasts some of the best schools in the state with a collection of the top-rated school districts in Michigan being located within the city and satellite areas. Families looking to expand or relocate can rest easy with the expectation of a high quality education for their children. In Michigan, families can select schools outside of their zoned district for their child to attend, provided that the selected school has available space and agrees to accept the student. Due to Michigan’s statewide adopted policy of school choice or intradistrict choice, families do not have to adhere to schools within their district. Luckily, Ann Arbor’s school district provides families ease of mind when selecting from an assortment of high-quality public schools. For young professionals, Ann Arbor locals have crafted an atmosphere appealing to academics and recent graduates in large part due to its association with the University of Michigan.
2. Quality Arts and Cultural Centers
Ann Arbor is home to a variety of cultural centers and museums that align closely with the city’s overall absorption in academia and education. The city offers cultural wonders including the Natural History Museum in partnership with the University of Michigan. Offering extensive dinosaur exhibits and a digital planetarium, the museum hosts approximately 18,000 school children annually and attracts over 150,000 visitors each year. The University of Michigan Museum of Art holds a sizeable collection of rotating artworks from across the globe. Admission to the Natural History Museum and the Museum of Art are both free although the museum does encourage a suggested donation between $5 - $10. Families can enjoy the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum which offers a bright and colorful space for children to learn about science through over 250 interactive exhibits.
3. Safe Neighborhoods
Ann Arbor is welcoming to families and young professionals alike. Haisley, located to the Northwest of the city, is a family-friendly neighborhood next to Veterans Memorial Park. The neighborhood of Northside is home to some of the city’s oldest homes. Located in the northeast downtown area of Ann Arbor featuring a variety of apartment complexes. The neighborhood of Burns Park is lined with trees and historic homes and is upheld as one of the city’s most desirable neighborhood featuring a collection of upscale homes. The southwestern neighborhood of Ann Arbor, Dicken, offers modest one and two-story homes that provides a more affordable alternative to some of the city’s more high-end areas. Dicken is also home to quaint parks to be enjoyed year round. The Allen neighborhood to the east of Dicken is home to Buhr Park and Cobblestone Farm which offer a variety of recreational opportunities for families and individuals.
4. Residents Embrace Healthy Lifestyles
Ann Arbor residents have taken a holistic approach to their health by creating a culture that holds recreation, fitness, and healthy eating in high esteem. The Ann Arbor Farmers Market offers a wide selection of local farm-fresh produce every week. Community-based markets like the Argus Farm Shop, selling local produce, meats, and dairy products. Local restaurants have also adopted the farm-to-table culture and generally offer a variety of foods from Michigan farmers. Ann Arbor is also a very walkable city and encourages residents to walk or bike to nearby stops during the warmer months, although it is important to consider vehicles to move around in the snow. The city is also home to over 150 parks as well as the Huron River running through the city. Residents of Ann Arbor can enjoy Argo Park, offering boat and paddleboard rentals for a day on the water or visit the Nichols Arboretum for river access, hiking trails, and a celebrated peony garden.
5. Exceptional Food and Brews
One of America’s best college towns is bound to be home to amazing happy hour specials to appeal to its large collegiate population. Exceptional drinks and cocktails can be found at Ashley’s offering discounted appetizer, $3 select pints and $4 well drinks. A traditional crowd favorite and Ann Arbor staple, Zingerman’s Deli offers stand out sandwiches and a surprisingly diversified array of culinary delicacies ranging from sliced meats and cheeses to cold Thai noodles. Renowned chef Takashi Yagihashi owns the widely celebrated Slurping Turtle featuring asian fusion eats including sushi, ramen, and Japanese-style tacos. As for libations, Ann Arbor’s spirits and bar scenes are growing as craft brewing becomes increasingly popular throughout the country. Ann Arbor Brewing Company offers a great selection of craft beers and an extensive menu perfect for date nights and after work socials.