Recognized as the sixth largest city in Michigan, Ann Arbor is a delightful city tucked 45 miles west of Detroit. The city is home to a population of over 344,000 and offers a vibrant cultural experience. If you're considering a visit to the city, the following are a few things that may help you plan better.
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Housing in Ann Arbor Ann Arbor real estate is about 48% owned and 50% rented, leaving the rest vacant. It's a college town, home to the University of Michigan, so it makes sense that many places aren't permanent -- though the rent to own option is always a choice if you like your house. If you want to purchase a house, rather than eventually purchase a rental house, expect to pay a median price of about $250,000. About 650 homes are sold in Ann Arbor every six months.
Weather and Climate Like many of the cities within the region, Ann Arbor experiences a humid continental climate. If you live in a rental home or a place you bought, you can expect a nice four-season year with both cold and hot months. Annual temperatures range from as low as 0 F to as high as 90 F during the summer. The city is coldest during the winter, which runs from November to April, with snowfall sometimes starting as early as October. Because of the city's proximity to the Great Lakes, visibility during the winter is typically poor. Expect some degree of cloudiness during the earlier months. Temperatures during this period often drop below 0 F. Summer is the warmest season, characterized by humid weather, achieving daytime highs of 104 F in July.
Local Restaurants Despite its size, Ann Arbor has a wide variety of affordable places to eat. You will find everything from classy restaurants to pizza restaurants. Tamale and hot dog carts can be found on most streets, with prices averaging at $1. The city's downtown area is home to Chinese restaurants and lots of wrap shops. If you're working on a budget, try the Kerrytown Market and Shops, with a few locations. You'll find a handful of restaurants with meals under $14. For affordable but ethnic fare, head to the Ayse Courtyard Cafe (along Plymouth Road), which is a Turkish restaurant, or Asian Legend, which offers close to four dozen Taiwanese dishes. Meals in are usually under $12. The Bubble Island on S University Ave is a great place to visit for frozen smoothies and beverages; but if you love coffee, then the Cafe Felix (Main Street) is a great place to visit. You can enjoy a nice cup of cappuccino and sandwiches, while soaking in the view, for under $10.
Tourist Attractions Ann Arbor offers several attractive sights. Some of the popular landmarks in the city include the University of Michigan and Michigan Stadium. Walking along Main Street gives you a great way of observing the city in action, but if you are looking for a richer cultural experience, you drop by the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology. Other places worth a visit include the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, Bel-Mark Lanes, and Kempf House. You can tee off from a handful of golf courses, including Stonebridge and Lake Forest Golf Club, or enjoy a picnic at many of the parks around the city.
Largest Employers and Industries With up to 16,000 employees, University of Michigan is easily the largest employer in the city. The University of Michigan Medical Center follows it closely with 12,000 employees. In other sectors, the Toyota Technical Center is the top employer for the automotive industry (1,500 employees), while Thomas Reuters, with more than 1,000 employees is the leading IT employer. Other companies ranked within the 20 largest employees include Sheridan Books, Domino's Pizza, Trinity Healthy Medical Center, and CitiMortgage.