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About Ann Arbor

One of the Best Cities To Find A Job. (US News & World Report, 2011)

The country’s Smartest Big City. (, 2011)

A Top 10 US City For Well Being. (US News & World Report, 2011)

There’s no shortage of accolades and positive attributes used in conjunction with Ann Arbor, one of Michigan’s largest cities and home to the world-renown University of Michigan, the largest college football stadium in the world, and a medical research institution continually rated by various media organizations and industry groups as one of the best in the country.

Founded in 1824, Ann Arbor, Michigan began its rise when the University of Michigan relocated from Detroit. Now the city’s largest employer (approximately 30,000 workers), the university system has become intertwined with Ann Arbor itself, spawning a citywide culture draped in the school’s maize and blue colors and sporting the educational, artistic, and progressive vibrancy one would expect to find in a place housing one of the country’s largest educational institutions (approximately 43,000 undergraduate and graduate students).

While not directly responsible for Ann Arbor’s culture, the University’s presence is key. The Hill Auditorium, Lydia Mendelssohn Theater, and the Power Center for the Performing Arts – all located on campus – present local, national, and international acts. Musicians have found the city a magnet; Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop, George Clinton, and Bob Seger all called Ann Arbor home at one point. Longtime locals and former students may remember performances from Dave Matthews Band and Nirvana at the small Blind Pig before those groups became internationally successful. Downtown Ann Arbor is home to a number of bookshops that feature author reads and poetry slams, and politicians, celebrities, and acclaimed experts regularly drop by campus. Presidents are no stranger to the city: John F. Kennedy spoke publicly for the first time about the Peace Corps on the steps of the Michigan Union in 1960. Lyndon Johnson gave the commencement speech in 1964, and Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Woodrow Wilson, and Theodore Roosevelt have all graced the city with their presence.

Downtown Ann Arbor is a world unto itself, with restaurants featuring cuisine from countries the world over, a restaurant themed after Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven, coffee shops, tea rooms, bookshops selling only new-age items, bookshops selling only textbooks, enough pizza stops to keep you stuffed for a year, art galleries, boutiques, beer gardens, beer breweries, karaoke bars, and wine bars. Running a marathon? There’s a store for everything you need. Need some Ethiopian food? No problem. Live music? The Blind Pig and The Ark have you covered.

If your scene is one that requires more physical activity or outdoor time, Ann Arbor can help. The city sports 157 parks, including four city pools, two city golf courses, two ice rinks, two canoe liveries, 24 miles of on-road bike lanes and 60 miles of park bicycle paths. You’ll find dog parks, baseball diamonds, basketball courts, tennis courts, playgrounds, and soccer fields dotting every corner of the city. Ultimate frisbee and lacrosse are not uncommon sights. One of Ann Arbor’s numerous nicknames is Tree Town; it claims 100,000 trees in its borders.

About 35 miles west of Detroit, Ann Arbor is its own city but still is within easy reach of Detroit and its suburbs. Living in Ann Arbor means you’ll be surrounded by tree-lined properties. The city contains the hustle-and-bustle of a college town, but also the friendliness and peace necessary for raising a family. The residential neighborhoods mix classic 19th-century and early-20th-century designs (white picket fences are not uncommon) with ranches, many of which are within a fair walking distance of downtown. Contemporary and larger homes are typically found at least two miles from downtown. The Old West Side neighborhood is on the National Register of Historic Places. Apartment complexes are quite common due to the number of students in Ann Arbor.

Beyond the University, of course, is the public school system. The Ann Arbor Public School system is 20 elementary schools, 1 K-8 open schools, 5 middle schools, 6 high schools, pre-school, and 1 adult education program. Various programs within the schools are nationally recognized, including the music program, and the system can claim a number of National Merit Awards.

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