When you visit Ann Arbor and you’re looking for things to do, you might notice some locations that are listed under Ypsilanti rather than Ann Arbor itself. You may also hear locals talk about nearby Ypsi, as it’s called. The two cities are so close that sometimes Ypsi is considered a part of Ann Arbor itself. But Ypsi, though near enough to Ann Arbor that it will almost certainly come into play during your trip, is its own city and offers many attractions all its own.

An Introduction to Ypsi

Ypsi is a small city located just east of Ann Arbor and only 20 minutes away from Detroit. Sandwiched in between these two better known cities, Ypsi is sometimes overlooked, but again, a trip to either city often means at least brushing against Ypsilanti. It’s named for Greek Independence War Hero Demetrios Ypsilanti and known for its bohemian culture and thriving art scene. Local businesses here make the culture as colorful as it is today, but they’re also proud of their history.


The city dates back to French Canadian fur trade in 1809 and has been an established city since 1823. Ypsilanti has been home to game changers in the automotive industry — with the prototype for the Tucker ‘48 designed here — and politics, with the first Muslim elected official in the state of Michigan (Faz Husain) elected in 1979. Today you can see some of that historic charm in the downtown area.

Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor

Ypsi is covered by the AATA, so if you plan to take public transportation in Ann Arbor, you’ll be able to get to Ypsilanti. It’s for this reason in part that Ypsilanti is often lumped in with Ann Arbor in terms of the metropolitan area. Ypsi is home to Eastern Michigan University, the other popular university in the area besides University of Michigan. There are also art galleries, bars, and live music venues in Ypsilanti that Ann Arbor tourists may want to check out while they’re exploring those scenes in Ann Arbor.

What to Do In Ypsi

Want to make a day trip to Ypsilanti while you’re in Ann Arbor? You may start by checking out the Automotive Heritage Museum, where you can learn about Ypsi’s rich history in the automotive industry and find models of classic cars. Depot Town, in Ypsi’s historic district, is also a good place to get a sense of the character of Ypsi, and you’re sure to find a number of great restaurants and bars there. You can beat the heat and enjoy a day with the family at Rolling Hills Water Park or have the most colorful shopping experience of your life at Unicorn Feed and Supply. Just ask Ann Arbor locals for their recommendations in Ypsilanti and you’re sure to develop quite a list.


It all starts with your trip to Ann Arbor. Looking for a place to stay for your visit? Contact University Inn in Ann Arbor today for more information or to book a room.

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