Explore Ann Arbor with Expedia’s Travel Guides to find the best hotels, flights, holiday packages and more!
Founded in 1824, Ann Arbor benefits from the influence of a lively student population belonging to the University of Michigan, which moved from Detroit to Ann Arbor in 1837. During the 1960s and 1970s, the city gained a reputation as a centre for left-wing politics, as well as political activism and student movements. Today, Ann Arbor is a city alive with culture and exciting activities. From kayaking down the Huron river to touring the Dexter Cider Mill (the oldest continuously operating cider mill in Michigan) and munching your way through the weekly farmers market, there’s plenty to see and do in Ann Arbor.
With a hire car at your disposal, you’ll also be able to venture beyond the city limits to destinations such as Jackson (a 40-minute drive), where the spectacular Cascade Falls are a popular attraction at night, when the giant water installation is lit up with twinkling lights, accompanied by live music in the nearby Rotary Bandshell. Alternatively, head to the Parlour to try your hand at the famous 21-scoop ice cream challenge.
Fly into Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport and from there it’s an easy 30-minute drive into the centre of Ann Arbor.
Once you have the keys to your personal hire car, Michigan and beyond is yours to explore. Canton is just a 25-minute drive, where the city’s Splash Park is a hit with kids, and a great way to cool off in the height of summer.
Choose from a wide selection of hire car providers in Ann Arbor to suit every budget and requirement, from Dollar and Thrifty to Hertz and Alamo.
The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum provides a selection of fun and interactive learning exhibits for children, where they can learn about everything from technology and the internet to the science behind how the human body works. Meanwhile, the Matthaei Botanical Gardens provides the chance to wander through picturesque gardens and nature trails, learning about a wide variety of rare flora and fauna native to the Michigan area. Gallup Park also provides a scenic escape into nature, with 69 acres of natural landscapes dotted with picnic sites, playgrounds and walkways. For a typically American finish to your day, make sure you visit Pinball Pete’s – a retro-style arcade with pinball machines, video games, air hockey and more.
Beyond Ann Arbor, your hire car can take you to other destinations such as Adrian (an hour’s drive), where you can catch a performance at the Croswell Opera House or visit the Lenawee County Historical Museum. The vibrant city of Detroit is also just 40 minutes’ drive away, where you’ll be spoilt for choice for things to do, from the Detroit Institute of Arts to the stunning Bell Isle Park and the striking Fisher Building – an Art Deco skyscraper completed in 1928 that towers over the city.
Driving in Ann Arbor, like much of America, is largely straightforward, with wide lanes and simple road layouts. Cars drive on the right-hand side of the road and you can overtake on both sides. You can also perform a U-turn at the end of most junctions – it will be marked if you are not allowed to do so. Most American cars are automatic, so remember to request a stick shift if you would prefer one.
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