Ann Arbor, Michigan is a popular tourist destination and is home to the University of Michigan. The sixth largest city in the state, it is located in the greater Detroit area and is the county seat of Washtenaw County. The city is a very liberal one and in the 60′s and 70′s was a major player in civil rights and anti war movements. The city’s unusual name is believed to be a combination of the founder’s spouses names and the vast amount of trees in the area.
The land that Ann Arbor was built upon was purchased for $800 in 1824 by John Allen and Elisha Rumsey. The original settlers in the city were British, German, Irish and African. City officials had high hopes for Ann Arbor to become the capitol of Michigan and set aside 40 acres to offer to the state. Lansing beat Ann Arbor in the capitol competition and the land was instead used for the University of Michigan when it moved from Detroit in 1837. Ann Arbor was considered a city but lost a lot of its population during the late 1800s. It eventually got back to city proportions when Greek, Italian, Russian and Polish immigrants came to the city for jobs, specifically in the mill industry.
This university city has earned the nickname “Tree Town” because of the dense population of over 100,000 trees throughout the city’s parks and streets. The city’s climate is usually influenced by the great lakes and is midwestern humid continental. This means that Ann Arbor has very cold winters with lake effects and very hot, humid summers. Spring and autumn are wonderful, mild seasons but are extremely short lived. Snowfall generally occurs from the months of October to April. The city’s lowest temperature was -24 degrees Fahrenheit and the highest was 105 degrees.
There are around 113,000 people living in the city, who’s main economy stems from the University of Michigan. The city boasts many other industries including retail, internet-based retail and laboratories. Although the city’s main financial contribution is the University, there are also many other famous companies that have been started there. The United States Environmental Protection Agency uses Ann Arbor as their home for vehicle emissions testing. Domino’s Pizza and Border’s bookstore both got their start in Ann Arbor. Border’s headquarters are located within the city while Domino’s has a 271 acre complex directly outside of the city.
Ann Arbor’s culture relies heavily upon University of Michigan influence. The city boasts several performing arts societies located within the university campus as well as many museums and discovery centers. The city also has a district library with a huge collection of books. In Ann Arbor, sports are a huge part of the culture. The University of Michigan is a member of the Big Ten Conference. Michigan’s stadium is the world’s largest American football stadium that has seating for 109,901 spectators.
The city was one of the first to decriminalize marijuana and has a long history of being compassionate to users. It boasts hundreds of marijuana dispensaries within the city’s legal limits and has progressive laws towards ticketing and fining marijuana users. This poses a problem for the University of Michigan officials which do not allow marijuana use on campus and do not fall into the same laws as the city of Ann Arbor.
Ann Arbor is a great place to live and to visit any time of year. From art festivals to marijuana festivals to sports events, the city has something to offer everyone. Walking down the boutique and restaurant lined streets, visitors can capture a feeling of old world charm while still maintaining big city conveniences. There are various accommodations around different parts of the city depending on what types of things visitors wish to be involved in. The city has year round events for aspects of art and culture. Elvis festivals, twists on Mardi Gras and even beer festivals are a few things that visitors can enjoy and participate in.
With its small town charm, big city feel, activities for everyone and rich history Ann Arbor is the perfect place to take an affordable adventure for families, singles and romantic getaways. No matter what visitors are looking for, Ann Arbor has it all.