Top Ten College Towns
|HITS THE SPOT: Famous among the Ann Arbor crowd, Zingerman's Deli is a local favorite (Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau)|
6. University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Warning: Promptly remove any Ohio State Buckeye gear upon entering this city of 115,000. Ann Arbor, Michigan, just 35 minutes from Detroit, is the capitol of Wolverine Country and home to one of the nation's top state schools, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. While academics are rigorous, the entire campus puts down the books every Saturday during football season to watch the Wolverines play Big Ten football—especially if it's against archenemy Ohio State University.
While football season breeds Wolverine fervor, Ann Arbor is bustling year round. For outdoorsy types, the city has more than 150 parks, numerous hiking trails, and canoeing opportunities along the Huron River. Ann Arbor is a truly cosmopolitan place, full of museums, galleries, and performing arts. It also hosts art fairs and festivals galore, like the weeklong Ann Arbor Folk Festival, taking place each January. The Summer Festival occurs over several weeks in June and July, featuring music, dance, and theatrical performances. Edgefest is a three-day jazz festival that takes place in October. But even without a festival, there's plenty to do.
The Main Street area, South University, and State Street are the city's activity hubs. The shops, restaurants, and bars of Main Street are geared more toward graduate students and young professionals. There you'll find one of Ann Arbor's most popular restaurants, The Chop House, and The Ark, a 400-seat music club that features folk and roots musicians. With restaurants and bars like the Brown Jug and Good Time Charley's, South University caters more to the undergraduate population. State Street runs parallel to Main Street and has something to offer everyone, especially the highly recommended Stucchi's ice-cream shop. The Kerrytown area is known for farmer and artisan markets. The famous Zingerman's Delicatessen—which can hold its own against any New York deli—is located just outside Kerrytown. University of Michigan alums also suggest getting a bite to eat at Gratzi, Dominick's, and Prickly Pear, rumored to be a favorite of former Wolverine and Olympic gold medalist, Michael Phelps.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication