Ann Arbor: Liberal Oasis

While I may have grown up in Louisiana, Ann Arbor has always been my home. The people, the culture, the food (nothing beats Michigan blueberries) have always made me feel warm and fuzzy. Here are my top picks of what to do, where to eat, and where to shop in A².

Eat Here:

Zingerman’s Roadhouse

One can’t visit Ann Arbor and not eat at Zingerman’s. This sit down restaurant houses a humongous salt-and-pepper shaker collection, covering the walls in sealed off shelving, like precious Ming vases. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, though I always suggest considering what’s local, the special, and what’s in season. If the Roadhouse isn’t your style, you could always stop by the Deli, though the line often goes around the block. In the mood for just some pastries? Head to the Bakehouse!

While Zingerman’s is pricey, it is definitely part of the Ann Arbor experience.

Shop Here:

Ann Arbor Street Art Fair

Every summer, downtown Ann Arbor is blocked off for about a week and a ginormous street art fair takes over! True, getting around can be much more difficult, it’s nearly impossible to find parking, and the locals just want to get their groceries and go home to watch GoT reruns so this puts a damper in their style. But I am one of the few Michiganders that adore the art fair! Not only does it give me a chance to support local artists (and buy some amazing art), the local businesses also have sales out the wazoo that week! Last year I bought a beautiful ring from Abracadabra Jewelry/Gem Gallery and it was a steal!

Do This:

See a movie at Michigan Theatre

My sister is a huge movie buff and whenever she and I meet up we’ll often see something together. The Michigan shows indie films as well as classics. It also has an organ in one of their theaters, which would be played during silent movies. I had the pleasure to see it in use one summer — while the movie wasn’t my favorite, the organ player was talented, and it was truly a unique experience. I’ve seen contemporary indie movies there such as “Jackie” and “The Way Way Back,” and my family adores the the “Sound of Music” and “White Christmas” sing-alongs. Be sure you try the specials at the snack bar, like garlic butter on your popcorn!

Don’t miss out on Garlic Butter Wednesday!

Ann Arbor is not only a special place to me, but also to the state of Michigan. I call it a liberal oasis for a reason — it’s very different than the rest of the state. For starters, it’s a huge university town (go Wolverines!). It’s also not touching a lake, and the cost of living is higher in Ann Arbor than other areas. It’s easy to get lost in Ann Arbor and to think that it represents the entire state, but after driving 5 minutes out of the city limits you’ll see otherwise. I adore all of Michigan, but if I had to list one place to go visit it would be my liberal oasis: Ann Arbor.


Originally published at TravelPRIDE.