Located 43 miles outside of downtown Detroit sits South Main
Street in the arts and science-centric town of Ann Arbor,
Michigan. Maintaining a balance of calm tranquility and vibrant energy, Ann Arbor remains one of the most popular cities in Michigan, with South Main Street taking center stage for numerous activities. Its close proximity to the historic University of Michigan and world-famous University of Michigan Hospital helps account for the incredibly diverse population.
A strong focus on culture and advancement make the South Main Street area of Ann Arbor the ideal place for students to mingle with life-long residents, who share the goal of environmental accountability and social and political activism.
Restaurants & Nightlife
South Main Street has plenty of culinary choices, all conveniently located on the same street.
For a charming ambiance and friendly staff who welcomes you with love, try Black Pearl on South Main Street. This seafood and martini bar has something for everyone, while keeping a cool, laid-back vibe. Start your meal off with the Maryland crab cakes appetizer served with mango salsa before ordering the grilled swordfish with garlic home fries. Complement your meal with the perfect martini, shaken or stirred.
Opened in 1997 as a traditional French bistro, Cafe Felix provides the closest thing to a true Parisian experience without the trip to France. The owners work directly with local farmers and merchants to provide the freshest ingredients when creating such dishes as eggs Benedict, served on a house made English muffin, and pan-roasted Muscovy duck with lavender honey gastric. Try the signature "death in the afternoon" cocktail made with champagne, sugar and absinthe; just make sure you have a designated driver in your party.
The Chop House provides upscale dining at its finest that includes a four-course meal, each served in a different part of the restaurant. Succulent USDA beef and fresh fish and seafood entrées highlight the outstanding service and classic atmosphere. End the night by enjoying an after-dinner puff on one of the finest cigars available in the cigar lounge for a truly high-class experience.
South Main Street continues to be an entertainment hub, where you can find something to enjoy every night of the week.
For a night filled with cocktails and dancing, visit Ann Arbor's premier RUSH Bar & Nightclub. This high energy venue features a VIP lounge, large dance floor and innovative lighting, helping to set the mood for an unforgettable night, where the DJs spin great music and the drink specials encourage you to try something new.
Head over to the Heidelberg on North Main Street for a true German experience. Countless craft brews, a fully stocked jukebox, two dart boards and terrific drink specials make it feel like Oktoberfest all year long. Order the das boot, a 40 ounce glass boot filled with your choice of beer, to test your skills as you sing along with friends both old and new.
If you like acoustic music, head to the Ark on South Main Street, where the relaxed setting helps you connect with the musicians on a more intimate level. The legendary non-profit, 400-seat venue features both local and more well-known artists, earning the title as one of the top music clubs in the world.
History & Culture
Ann Arbor was first settled in 1824 by John Allen and Elisha Rumsey who named the town after their respective wives and copious bur oak trees. Originally registered as Annarbour, the men purchased the 640 acres of land from the federal government for $800. Today, Ann Arbor carries on the tradition of love and appreciation for nature, environmental awareness and action and advancement in technology and medicine.
A number of annual events help capture the spirit of life near South Main. With proceeds used to benefit the Ark, the Ann Arbor Folk Festival features two concerts every January held at the historic Hill Auditorium, where guests enjoy music performed by local and high-profile roots and acoustic musicians. No visit to Ann Arbor would be complete without searching the city for the world-famous fairy doors, several of which can be found at a number of local businesses on South Main Street.
South Main's central location makes getting around town a breeze, whether by car, bike or foot. You can often see cyclists commuting to work, even during the winter months, thanks to numerous bicycle-friendly roads. Easy access to Interstates 94, 23 and M-14 let you navigate your route by car, while the Uber app on your smartphone helps you locate a taxi, airport shuttle or private car in minutes.
If you prefer more eco-friendly travel, the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority, or The Ride, runs several routes throughout the day and night to and from numerous locations within Washtenaw County. All buses use hybrid technology, while charging a wallet-friendly fare.
With so much to do in downtown Ann Arbor,
you might find it more efficient to park your car in a public garage
to explore the city on foot. Try the environmentally-friendly Library Lane Parking Structure on 5th Avenue, complete with charging stations for electric cars and free parking on Sundays.
Life near South Main Street can be classified as moderate to high, given its central location and close proximity to numerous attractions. The cost of living here averages 15 percent higher than the greater Detroit area and 12 percent higher than the rest of Michigan, with the typical price of a one-bedroom
apartment costing $980 per month.
The price of gas tends to hover nearly three percent higher than the national average, while a one-way trip on The Ride costs $1.50, with discounted rates available for both students and senior citizens. You can expect to pay $5 for a pint of beer at the local pub.
Whether you enjoy shopping local, or prefer the mall for name-brand stores, Ann Arbor has you covered.
The Briarwood Mall consists of 982,500 square feet of space to shop for everything from the new iPhone in the Apple store to a high-priced bag from Coach. Check out J Crew or Ann Taylor for the latest in trendy fashions, or snag a bargain on a new set of tools from Sears. Beautiful sculptures and a number of play areas for kids enhance your shopping trip as you browse the selections from a wide array of stores.
For one-of-a-kind items from around the world, head to the popular Four Directions boutique on South Main Street. The owners travel the globe to find unforgettable treasures made by skilled artisans, including unique, hand-crafted jewelry, rocks and minerals and fossils that have been turned into pieces of art. The museum-like atmosphere keeps you guessing, as you never know what you will find each time you visit.
Health and wellness play a large part in the lives of Ann Arbor residents, where it has become a weekend tradition to visit the Ann Arbor Farmers Market in Kerrytown during its open season. Fresh, locally grown produce, a wonderful selection of meats and free-range eggs take the guess work out of planning healthy meals.
If you need to do your weekly grocery shopping, but can't seem to find the time, order online from Busch's Market on South Main Street. This convenient option allows you to create your grocery list and pay your bill on the store's website, while the friendly staff does the shopping for you. For a nominal fee, you can check groceries off your list as you drive to the pick up entrance, where a member of the staff places your bags into your car for you.
Ann Arborites value time outdoors during every season, with plenty of dog-friendly
and exercise-centric parks to choose from.
With tons of open-space to play soccer, baseball or football, and a basketball court full of people looking for a pick-up game, Allmendinger Park on Pauline provides you with a fun-filled day in the fresh air. Pack a picnic and bring the dog as you watch the kids play on the impressive play structure. The tranquil neighborhood location lets you relax for free as you marvel at the colors during the warmer months and build the perfect snowman during the winter.
If you want to exercise
without paying for gym fees, head to Lillie Park on Platt Road in East Ann Arbor. A ten minute drive will land you in one of the best-kept secrets in town, where you can go for a run on the paved track, or take a brisk walk through the woods on one of several trails down to the expansive pond. Stop on the wooden bridge to fish as you watch the Canada geese in their natural habitat. With two play structures, free admission and bags available throughout the park to clean up after your dog, you'll be happy you made the trip.