Ypsilanti (named after Greek war hero Demetrius Ypsilanti) has a funky community vibe and a fresh arts scene. “Ypsi”, as it’s affectionately known, has a rich history, which shines through in its vibrant shopping, dining and entertainment scenes – and is inspiring a resurgence of visitors from near and far. Two main districts, Downtown and Depot Town, are historic areas infused with innovative, bohemian, locally-driven businesses. Sometimes overlooked because of its more famous neighbor (Ann Arbor, Michigan), Ypsilanti has its own inimitable, groovy, authentic ambiance worthy of a weekend getaway.
The history of Ypsi is still present and vibrant in today’s shops, dining and entertainment scene. Shopping fanatics love Ypsi’s independent, unique boutiques. And foodies adore Ypsilanti. Nearby Ann Arbor often gets applause from culinary connoisseurs, but locals know that less-expensive, under-the-radar Ypsilanti has hidden gems that keep Ann Arbor on its toes. A bohemian artists’ community, Ypsi has art galleries to spare, plus theatrical and musical performances nearly every evening.
Ypsilanti expands beyond the downtown districts to include 23,000+ acres of public park and recreation areas that help make up the Washtenaw County area. If you are the outdoorsy type, just minutes from town find golfing, mountain biking, canoeing, hiking or natural scenery you can relax in. On the Huron, Ypsilanti is the perfect spot for canoeing, kayaking and fishing. The scenery provided by the Huron, Ford Lake, and its surrounding wilderness in and around Ypsi is every bit as stunning as a more traditional “tourist destination”.
Automotive, aviation and history enthusiasts will love Ypsilanti as well. Few places in the world are more tied to automotive history. The Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum is a historic, former Hudson Sales & Service franchise that now houses Hudson, Tucker, Kaiser-Frazer, General Motors Hydramatic, Chevrolet Corvair, and other makes and models. Other free or low-cost museums in Ypsilanti include the Michigan Firehouse Museum which celebrates fire-fighting history, the Ypsilanti Historical Museum, and the Yankee Air Museum located at the former Willow Run Bomber Plant. At the Yankee Air Museum, you’ll learn about the story of the bomber plant, it’s role in World War II, and Ypsi’s role in aviation history.
Ypsilanti hosts a variety of hip festivals throughout the year. Visitors and locals alike gather for these utterly unique events – and to enjoy the underrated, understated, honest beauty of Ypsilanti. While you’re here, consider staying in one of several historic and charming bed and breakfasts, a more traditional hotel or resort, or independent rental homes.