If you’re seeking for a great family day trip, Ann Arbor should be on your list. Not only can you visit restaurants, bookstores, coffee shops and other unique stores, but spring’s warmer temperatures make a walk around the University of Michigan campus or one of the many parks and trails in the area a great way to get much needed fresh air outside. Head there earlier in the day, have lunch, do a little exploring and be back home by dinner time.
We found a few places to help get you started on your visit.
How to get there:
Ann Arbor is located on the Huron River, about 35 miles west of Detroit. From Detroit, take I-96 W and M-14 W to North Main Street.
A longtime Ann Arbor institution since 1996, featuring fresh omelets, crêpes, waffles, salads, sandwiches, appetizers, entrées and pastries. Enjoy a bite with a coffee, tea or wine for the grown-ups. The waffles and array of smoothies are favorites with the littles. Vegan and gluten-free options available.
Where: 300 Detroit St., Ann Arbor
Located where the Staebler Family Oil Company opened a filling station in 1925, this spot offers plant-based deliciousness for curbside pickup and delivery that will please the palates of your whole gang. The 100% vegan menu includes soup, chili, salads, sandwiches, wraps and other entrees.
A Middle Eastern eatery where you can have your fill of favorites like hummus, fattoush, shawarma and falafel just to name a few of the specialties on the menu. Save room for some baklava and Turkish coffee for dessert!
Where: 2541 Jackson Ave., Ann Arbor
After 42 years in downtown Ann Arbor, Seva has been in its current location since 2014 serving vegan and vegetarian fare – including a full kids menu. Hot tip: don’t miss the General Tso’s Cauliflower — you’ll be coming back for more!
Where: 422 Detroit St., Ann Arbor
The extensive menu is full of sandwich options made with quality ingredients and generous portions. Be sure to order ahead online or by phone. After lunch, grab a coffee and some of their famous coffee cake at the Next Door Cafe.
This artisanal coffee shop’s menu touts food items including burritos and sandwiches, along with specialty coffees. Visit its website to learn more about the beans they roast at the Rosewood location!
Where: 419 Detroit St., Ann Arbor
A whimsical gallery featuring independent artists and unique gifts for everyone. Shop their selection of goods online or visit one of their other two locations in Berkley or Rochester as well.
Where: 407 N. 5th Ave., Ann Arbor
Located in Kerrytown’s historic market district, the Kerrytown Market & Shops offer a variety of fresh food, eateries, gourmet shops and other retail stores, including Mudpuddles toys. The adjacent Farmers Market is a must. The Sunday Artisan Market is open April through December.
An independent bookstore offering popular subscription services. Book lovers can peruse the selection and check out recommendations made by experienced booksellers. Visit their website for a list of virtually hosted author events that you can join from the comfort of home.
Where: 206 N. 4th Ave., Ann Arbor
The Dexter-based chocolatier has a sister store in Mindo, Ecuador, and now a retail space in Ann Arbor! Visit their location in Dexter for a tour and chocolate making events (tickets available online).
Where: 216 S. Main St., Ann Arbor
A fun, eclectic gift and greeting card shop. Try their Stamp and Send service where you can select a greeting card, provide the message for them to handwrite, address, stamp and mail to your recipient. Shop online and ship your gift or shop in store at their locations in Ann Arbor and Saline.
In addition to an array of classes and workshops, the art center offers summer camps and art boxes that include all of the supplies and instructions needed to make an art project!
Where: 220 E. Ann St., Ann Arbor
Hours of fun for children of all ages! The various exhibits include favorites like H2Oh!, the Preschool Gallery and Lyons Country Store. Advance tickets required. Annual family memberships available as well.
Where: 3001 Earhart Road, Ann Arbor
A hands-on, interactive opportunity for families and groups to visit and see all of the animals housed at the farm.
Where: 3050 Jackson Road, Ann Arbor
The hotel features poolside hotel rooms and suites with balconies and spiral staircases or first floor walk out to the four seasons pool and recreation area. Onsite dining available at Weber’s Restaurant.
Where: 1831 Traver Road Ann Arbor
Learn through STEM activities and explore the natural world. The Birds of Prey and Raptor enclosures are a popular attraction. The center offers summer camps and programs for scouts, too!
Where: Matthaei Botanical Gardens, 1800 N. Dixboro Road, Ann Arbor; Nichols Arboretum, 1610 Washington Heights., Ann Arbor
The Botanical Gardens consist of the conservatory, display gardens such as the Gaffield Children’s Garden, Bonsai & Penjing Garden, Great Lakes Gardens, and many trails and natural areas. The arboretum is home to the Nichols Arboretum Peony Garden and several collections of historic or native plants. Both are free and open seven days a week.
Where: 412 Maynard St., Ann Arbor
One of the oldest and largest university art museums in the country, hosting special exhibitions and displaying works from the permanent collection that features world renowned artists. Admission is free and open to the public.
Where: Biological Sciences Building, 1105 N. University Ave., Ann Arbor
Learn about the story of our world through permanent and changing exhibitions that are interactive, hands-on and thought-provoking. Admission is free.
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