The University of Michigan, a public research institution is located in Ann Arbor, a town known for its lively arts scene, beautiful parks, and over 300 restaurants. U-M’s "Diag" is the heart of campus, the original spot where it all began back in 1837 when the University relocated from Detroit. This is a big school with close to 40,000 annual enrollment. Greek life is big, and football games in Michigan Stadium, known fondly as the Big House, are legendary. Be sure to stock up on gear at M Den, an Ann Arbor institution. Students at Michigan work hard and play hard and forever bleed blue.
School Lore: New students beware! Urban legend states that if you step on the "M", the bronze inlay at the center of the Diag, you’ll fail your first blue book exam. The superstition is so strong that many students say they steer clear of the “M” throughout their academic career.
School Traditions: Painting the Michigan rock, located at the corner of Hill Street and Washtenaw Avenue, is something every student should do at least once. Changing from day to day-sometimes hour to hour- a temporary billboard for clubs, frats and sororities, and groups of friends to make their voices heard.
Transportation: Detroit Metropolitan International Airport (DTW) is only 20 miles from Ann Arbor, about a 45-minute drive (at the most). Major hubs are Delta, Spirit, and US Air among others. Prefer to travel via train; there is an Amtrak station right in Ann Arbor. Visit the Amtrak website for info on schedules.
Stay: Formerly the Campus Inn, check in to the newly redone and relaunched Graduate Ann Arbor. Graduate Hotels are well-curated boutique properties in university towns across the country designed with a collegiate spirit, perfect when you’re touring or during Parents Weekends. Located directly across from campus, and within walking distance of all of Ann Arbor’s hot spots, you couldn’t ask for a better location. Marriott's Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown is just a few blocks from the University, another convenient choice in the heart of downtown. The Bell Tower Hotel is another good choice, also located within the downtown campus.
Morning Coffee: For those staying at the Graduate, roll out of bed and get your caffeine fix in house at Poindexter Coffee, also offering an assortment of grab-n-go treats. For ideal student spotting a popular campus hang out is Espresso Royale right on State Street and South U. Comet Coffee in the cute alleyway of Nickels Arcade near the Diag is another student favorite. Lab is known for delicious lattes in a light and airy space, its right near M Den so you can combine it with your sweatshirt shopping.
Lunch: You can’t go home without a pit stop at Ann Arbor’s legendary delicatessen Zingerman’s. Expect a line, but it's worth the wait for phenomenal sandwiches, including number #73 which one student swears is the best sandwich by far. If you still have room head to Zingerman’s Next Door with a full dessert menu and excellent coffee drinks. For healthy, hip, Instagram worthy food head to Wilma’s, home to smoothies, avocado toast, and acai bowls. Everyone loves Sava’s for American comfort food. Revive is a solid on-campus spot for a quick bite, a haven for busy students who head here for salads and sandwiches.
Casual: Mani Osteria is many students’ top choice when their parents are in town. Expect a fun, lively dinner as you feast on wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas, salads and small plates. After a long day on campus, relax with a stellar cocktail and a burger with a side of sweet potato wedges at Allen Rumsey, Graduate Ann Arbor’s on-site restaurant. Over and over alums tell us Frita Batidos is a must for a delicious Cuban inspired meal. For seasonal small plates using local ingredients, Spencer is a neighborhood favorite. Other good choices are Jerusalem Garden for Mediterranean, Isalita for Mexican, Slurping Turtle for Ramen, family style Korean at Miss Kim and Korean BBQ at Tomoukun.
A Step Up: Considered one of the best restaurants in Ann Arbor, Taste Kitchen stands out thanks to a global, sophisticated menu. Grange Kitchen and Bar is a market-driven restaurant featuring hearty, upscale American fare. Students and parents also suggest Pacific Rim and Dessous for inventive French/Indian cuisine. Sister restaurants reign in this town--book a seat at Aventura from the team behind Sava’s, or lively Mikette, known for excellent French bistro fare from the folks of Mani Osteria.
Local Attractions: Attending a football game in The Big House is an experience you won’t soon forget. Michigan Stadium is the U.S.’s largest stadium, seating over 110,000 people on game days. If there’s no event when you’re in town you can still visit, book a midweek tour here. You don’t have to venture far from campus for a culture fix; the University has three museums of its own to explore: the Museum of Art, Museum of Natural History, and the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology. You’ll understand why Ann Arbor is often called “Tree Town” at the Nichols Arboretum, a 123-acre conservatory. Great music venues in town include Blind Pig and The Ark. Catch an independent film at The Michigan Theater, stroll the shops at the Kerrytown Market and Shops or tour the Wolverine Brewery. Literati Cafe is a special place, part café and part bookstore with nightly events such as author readings, book clubs, and poetry nights—an authentic Ann Arbor experience.
Campus Chatter: Who knows better than current students and alumni? For lowbrow fun, one student says catch as many games as you can at the big house or head to the Crisler Center when UM plays Michigan State or OSU in basketball. Another mentioned that after a tailgate his friends go to Maize and Blue Deli for sandwiches to order the #86. Well-earned advice from an alum includes joining numerous clubs to find the ones that stick, which she says helps to make “Michigan feel smaller and more like a community.” One nature buff loves taking a study break at the Arb in nice weather, a perfect antidote to hours at the library. We heard from more than one student that Biercamp has the best BBQ in Ann Arbor, an “off the radar” spot.
Alumni Tip: A recent graduate highly recommends joining professional Greek life, co-ed fraternities that differ from traditional fraternities and sororities. Each is dedicated to a given field, providing excellent resources and career guidance. For example, the business frat Pi Sigma Epsilon focus is on marketing, sales and management with weekly chapter meetings and workshops in addition to fun social events.
Why Students Think UMich is #1
— Quotes From Campus —
IN ANN ARBOR
MICHIGAN FAST FACTS
Maize & Blue
Average - 1470
Average - 32
Big - 27,883 Undergraduates
1220 Student Activities Building
515 East Jefferson Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1316
(p) (734) 764-7433
(f) (734) 936-0740
NCAA Division I
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
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