Although to the untrained eye campus may appear emptier in the summer, students know that’s hardly the case. In fact, other than the line for Espresso Royale being considerably shorter, not much changes after winter term ends! Ann Arbor flowers between May and August in a way that only those who stay for spring or summer term (or summer jobs) have the pleasure of experiencing. No longer restricted by full-time class schedules and extracurricular duties, students have actually been known to wander beyond the borders of the UGLI (Shapiro Undergraduate Library) in the summer months and enjoy a few other parts of the city, blending city life and campus life into a unique, seasonal nuance of Ann Arbor. Here are some things to check out on campus over the summer:
Surprising to no one, Ann Arbor maintains its reputation as a foodie destination in the summer, particularly so around the campus side of town. In the South University area the hungry visitor can seek Panini-refuge at Revive, a popular student choice for breakfast and lunch, or satisfy their appetites with Mediterranean options from Pita Pit or Oasis Grill. For someone on the go, pizza is available by the slice at the age-old favorites, South U Pizza and Backroom Pizza. On the east end of South University, ethnic food connoisseurs will find No Thai!, a popular Thai chain, Rich J.C. to satisfy Korean cravings, and China Gate and Lucky Kitchen offer Chinese options. Sandwich die-hards will be relieved to find not one but two delis just a block a part from one another: Amer’s Deli and the Maize n’ Blue Deli. And finally, the burger people are well taken care of at Burgerfi. The State Street/Central Campus side of town hosts Amer’s second location, Ashley’s, Mezes Greek Grill, Panera Bread, Chipotle, Five Guys, A Taste of India Suvai, La Marsa Mediterranean Cuisine, Jimmy Johns and the 2 AM-favorite, New York Pizza Depot just to name a few eateries.
The Diag erupts into its full glory in the sunshine. Hammocks pepper the trees, hosting alternately instrument-strumming and napping undergraduates, seemingly without a care in the world now that finals are over. You might even spot a slackliner or two, but join in at your own risk – it’s harder than it looks! A short walk across the bridge over Palmer Fields leads to Nichol’s Arboretum just past Mary Markley Dormitory. The Huron River runs through this spectacular park bordered by a trail, which is a favorite of dog walkers and exercise enthusiasts. With the rolling hills and open fields, the Arboretum is a choice location for Frisbee throwing and sunbathing on hotter days.
Located in the middle of central campus, the University of Michigan Museum of Art offers exhibits available to the public all summer long. Performances by musicians and actors are hosted regularly in the beautiful Power Center (perfectly located within walking distance from Angelo’s, Ann Arbor’s legendary brunch extraordinaire). In June, Ann Arbor Summer Festival kicks off with Top of the Park, the outdoor program that features food carts, live music and nightly movie screenings on the North Ingalls Mall by the University of Michigan Rackham Graduate building. The following month brings the Ann Arbor Art fair to portions of campus and downtown Ann Arbor, exhibiting the work of local, regional and national artists galore! Townies anticipate this time of year not only for the incredible artwork on display, but also the outrageous sales offered by many of the stores in the area, so be on the lookout for killer savings as you stroll!
Ann Arbor is as serious about food as it is about beer and dancing. Ashley’s on State Street is a high ranking beer bar that also happens to serve an unbelievable selection of fries (they make seven different kinds), and on the opposite end of the same block lies Hopcat, a new addition to the Ann Arbor beer family. Across from Hopcat is the famous Scorekeeper’s Bar and Grille where the line has been known to wrap well into the adjacent parking structure on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On South University, enjoy an expansive selection of brews at World of Beer or the Brown Jug. Rick’s American Café offers the best dance floor in town that packs to the brim each Friday night. But before you get on your dancing shoes, be sure to grab a 22 ounce fishbowl at Good Time Charley’s to properly prepare yourself. Some say they’re meant to be shared but the choice is yours… Portion size is subjective anyway.