This year, Ypsilanti celebrates 200 years since its incorporation in 1823. From meaningful community events, to learning about the city’s interesting history through food, tours, and exploration, we’ve listed 5 ways you can join in the year-long celebration! 

1. History-Inspired Dining 

Restaurants in Ypsilanti honor its past in several ways. Popular breakfast spot, The Bomber, is decorated with WWII-themed memorabilia paying tribute to the nearby Willow Run Bomber Plant. The diner is also known as the home of Rosie the Riveter.
The Bomber Restaurant, 1980s  

Both Sidetrack and Aubree's Pizzeria & Grill have served the community for decades in historic Depot Town, a popular train stop between Detroit and Chicago until the mid-1980s. Today, visitors still enjoy delicious dining and drinks in Depot Town. 
Depot Town, 1982

Located downtown is C. King & Co. Café, named after a family business that dates to 1837. This themed architectural gem serves classic American cuisine with a nod to Ypsilanti’s heritage. Browse Ypsilanti restaurants here.

2. Visit Historic Sites & Landmarks  

Ypsilanti’s historic district is one of the oldest and largest in Michigan, featuring architectural landmarks like the colorful Depot Town buildings and the iconic Water Tower. Thompson Block once served as a war barracks during the Civil War, and Eastern Michigan University celebrates 174 years in 2023. Several buildings date back to the 1800s, including the Ladies Library, First Presbyterian Church, Gilbert Mansion, Brown Chapel AME Church, and Towner House. Learn more through the Ypsilanti Heritage Foundation.
Ypsilanti Water Tower old postcard

3. Explore Museums & Attractions  

Ypsilanti museums have strong connections to aviation and auto history. The Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum, once a barrel-making shop, steel press, then dealership, now showcases Hudsons, Corvairs, and Kaiser-Frazers, preserving an important era in American history. 

Explore over 26,000 square feet at the Michigan Firehouse Museum, celebrating 125 years of the original firehouse, part of the multi-level museum. Just two blocks away at the Ypsilanti Historical Museum, visitors can view featured Bicentennial displays and more from Ypsi’s past.
Michigan Firehouse Museum  

Formerly the Willow Run Bomber Plant built by Ford Motor Company, the Yankee Air Museum has preserved WWII aircraft and artifacts. The plant was the embodiment of America’s “arsenal of Democracy”. Click here to view the Bicentennial Timeline & History page.

4. Experience Historic Tours  

Gain new perspectives on the city’s rich history with self-guided tours of Ypsilanti's historic districts. Admire architecture of various styles and keep an eye out for the Ypsilanti Heritage Foundation signs identifying historic homes or buidings were built. 
Huron Hotel, now the Ypsi Alehouse

5. Things to do 

While a majority of this year's bicentennial events have passed, you can still check out cool things to do all over Ypsi involving the bicentennial. Head to Arbor Brewing Company and grab a 4pack of Ypsi bicentennial beer. Write your love letter to Ypsilanti with YpsiWrites. Learn more: YpsiWrites: Love Letters to Ypsilanti

historic towner house in washtenaw county

View Ypsilanti events here.

Travel & Accommodations 

Visiting from out of town? Ypsilanti borders Ann Arbor’s east side and is located just 17 miles west of the Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Learn more about getting here and around.
TheRide Bus in Depot Town

Book your accommodation early! Keep the theme going and stay at The Newton of Ypsilanti, a historic Inn dating back to 1830. Browse more nearby hotels here.
Basement of The Newton of Ypsilanti

Learn more about the Ypsilanti Bicentennial at

*Historic photos provided by the Ypsilanti Historical Society photo archives.


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