Ann Arbor, Michigan: A Repeatable & Enjoyable Experience

Located just 30 minutes to the West of Detroit’s Wayne County Airport is a Vibrant and Energetic City known as Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Ann Arbor area, home to the University of Michigan, is an urban oasis: an approachable, friendly town with big city sophistication; a teaching hub and epicenter for education nestled in a peaceful Midwestern setting. Founded in 1824, Ann Arbor is a part of Washtenaw County which includes surrounding cities; Ypsilanti, Chelsea, Milan, Saline, Dexter and Manchester. Combined, the county has a total population of nearly 368,000 people and together they are thriving in every way possible. Ann Arbor boasts over 100 arts and entertainment venues from community clubs to fine arts museums and many more. With the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor can easily be described as a small town with big city appeal. While also being walkable friendly, the geographically small town makes it easy for visitors to explore the famous arts, culture and food venues with a rich mix of diversity and cuisines. If you are planning your next friends or family trip and you would like a place that is enjoyable; then Ann Arbor, Michigan is a place where you should consider heading. Join me as share my experience with you during my time in Ann Arbor!


Nothing says ‘cozy’ like the accommodations at The Graduate Ann Arbor in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Located right across the street from the University of Michigan this boutique 4-star hotel includes the arts, counterculture and the political scene of this famously progressive community that speaks to its storied history. With its unique touch, The Graduate finds a way to incorporate aspects of the city in its details throughout the property. With a stay at The Graduate Ann Arbor, you will be centrally located in the city while being steps away from all that the city has to offer.


The Graduate Ann Arbor – King Bedroom

The Graduate Ann Arbor – King Bedroom

Because ‘bigger is always better’, I was lucky enough to spend 5 nights in one of the ‘Big ole’ King Bedroom’ suites. Perfect for one or two travelers, The Graduate King room includes a comfy king bed, a workstation and huge lounge chairs for more space to stretch out. Decked out with nods to Ann Arbor, this room is an inviting, familiar retreat that is distinctly The Graduate. The lobby invites you with hand painted mosaic patterns that sweep across wooden floors, handsome millwork, leather clad columns and you can not forget to mention the huge lobby table that invites you to gather around and lounge with a grand center staircase. A perfect setting for a nightcap with libations from The Allen Rumsey Cocktail lounge!


The Graduate Ann Arbor Lobby Table

Ann Arbor’s Great Adventures:

Ann Arbor is a great destination that is home to excellent museums, beautiful parks, sports events and a thriving performing arts scene. The city is well known for its beautiful downtown that offers an array of restaurants, shops, cafes, and boutiques. Although there are tons of things to do in Ann Arbor three of my favorites while visiting were the Yankee Air Museum, The Big House and the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History. For any aviation geeks, The Yankee Air Museum is your safe haven. Located at Willow Run Airport on the outskirts of Ann Arbor, The Yankee Air Museum is home to some of the finest aircraft artifacts and is a great place to touch, feel and interact with some of the most amazing aircraft throughout aviation history.


Yankee Air Museum

The Yankee Lady – Yankee Air Museum

Although the Yankee Air Museum is a place of aero knowledge and experiences it also encompasses a lot of history. The Yankee Air Museum is a premier aviation museum that houses restored, flying aircraft. These vintage beauties include The Yankee Lady and the Hairless Joe, which flies out of the historic Willow Run Airport. The 47,000 sq ft museum is home to many restored aircraft, hundreds of artifacts and amazing exhibits. The highly trained staff are happy to guide you throughout the museum and there are multiple, hands-on opportunities for kids of all ages and adults. Not to mention, The Willow Run Airport is also home to the World War II Bomber Plant also known as Rosie The Riveter’s Factory (Air Force Plant 31) which was a manufacturing complex located between Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor that was constructed by the Ford Motor Company for the mass production of aircraft, especially the B-24 Liberator heavy bomber.

Standing in the middle of the factory you can't help but be in awe of the feeling of what was once a thriving factory that contributed to the highest levels of achievement in the United States armed forces history. For more information, visit

Next up, on the list is a must visit to The University of Michigan Museum of Natural History. The University of Michigan Museum of Natural History is a part of the university’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. Found on the university’s Central Campus, the museum includes 312,000-square-foot and one of the largest and most interactive teaching and research facilities of its kind among higher education institutions.


Yankee Air Museum

Museum of Natural History – University of Michigan

Some of the museum’s newest features include a 25-foot Quetzalcoatlus pterosaur flying high in the Biological Sciences Building atrium; a high-tech planetarium and dome theater; an interactive, multimedia “Tree of Life” display to illustrate the connections among all living things; the Fossil Prep Lab, where visitors can see how fossils are prepared for study and display; and the Student Showcase, which features research projects from U-M undergraduate students across disciplines.

Last by not least, you cannot forget to mention one of the most iconic attractions in the city. Nicknamed ‘The Big House’, Michigan Stadium is the largest stadium in the United States and the second largest in the world, seating crowds of up to 115,000 people. Built in 1927, the stadium has played host to a variety of sports games, including college football, lacrosse, and hockey, as well as being the venue for the University of Michigan's main graduation ceremonies.


Michigan Stadium

The University of Michigan “The Big House” Stadium

The stadium drew a record crowd of 115, 109 people in 2013 for a college football game between Michigan and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Although Michigan Stadium is not open to the general public for exercising, tours or photo opportunities, private tours of the facility during weekdays can be arranged.

Food and Brews:

Since exploding in the 1990s, the Michigan craft beer scene has been booming with different craft style beers and a sheer number of breweries available throughout the county. And beer lovers around the entire state have been enjoying it, too! The Ann Arbor community celebrates the industry with some of the state’s best breweries, with several hidden gems and with local, neighborhood spots that tourists come back to again and again. My personal favorite brewery you may ask?

With nearly 5,000 square-foot, the new kids on the blocks, HOMES brewery opened in April 2017. Coming from a person who is not much of a beer drinker, I was very pleased with the overall aesthetics of the building and how unique the overall concept was. Not to mention the beer good is good which is why it was once named No. 7 of the top 10 best new breweries in the USA.


Homes Brewery

HOMES Brewery

HOMES is named for the Great Lakes: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior, and beer is not the only way HOMES is re-thinking the local brewery. The standard food menu at most breweries includes pretzels and burgers, pizza or both. But the HOMES menu is lighter and if you visit a lot of breweries you will certainly appreciate the creative menu. It offers a variety of fast-casual Asian street food such as baos, bowls, kimchi, endamame and more.

For a great meal, I would highly recommend The Standard Bistro & Larder! The Standard Bistro & Larder celebrates the diversity of French cuisine as inspired by the culinary rich history of France and the influences of the surrounding regions. The setting is lovely, very light and airy with great use of accent colors. To compliment the décor was a nice menu that offered a variety of options. From the mussels to the ravioli and duck confetti crepe, everything was fabulous. Paired with a very nice wine selection, the service was superb. No doubt on your first visit you will notice its a nice change of pace from the hustle bustle of downtown Ann Arbor.


The Standard Bistro

On A Personal Note:

My time in Ann Arbor was nice. With a super diverse culture and things to offer for everyone of all ages Ann Arbor definitely shows off as stand out city in Michigan. There is no denying the theater, arts, and culinary experience that one will embark on while visiting the city. Whether its a cooking class at Fustini’s, a liquor tasting at Ann Arbor Distilling Company or Moroccan Food at Casa Blanca in Ypsilanti – there is something for you all in Ann Arbor! Last but certainly not least, thank you to the many restaurants, tour guides and welcoming citizens of Ann Arbor, Michigan for their warm welcome. Thank you also goes to Maria Jimenez of Geiger & Associates and Mary Kerr, President and CEO and the entire staff of Destination Ann Arbor, for being such a gracious host.

For more information, visit