Visit Ypsilanti

A Ypsilanti Bucket List for Michiganders

It seems most people have heard of Ann Arbor, but not everyone is familiar with its close neighbor: Ypsilanti (or Ypsi as most lovingly refer to it). Ypsi is in close proximity to A2 and has a lot of its own quirky, fun things to offer. From historic buildings to a thriving art scene, it’s a place you should visit! I’ve compiled a list of my top 10 favorite things to do (in no particular order) in this fun town:

  1. Cafe Ollie – This coffee shop style eatery in Depot Town serves everything from ice cream to alcohol. As you walk in, you see brightly painted walls, chalk board menus, and local art for sale on all the walls. If that doesn’t bring you in, then maybe the locally inspired live music will. I was won over by the amount of vegan and vegetarian options available, specifically the mac and cheese!
  2. Color Run – Experience the Color Run in a whole new way. Having the run in a smaller city allows you to see so much more and feel like a part of Ypsilanti. Plus, all the restaurants and stores have awesome deals. Sign up for next year!
  3. Arbor Brewing Company Microbrewery – Owned by an inspiring local couple, Rene and Matt Greff, this microbrewery is a cool place to visit. It was opened after the couple needed more space for their Ann Arbor brewery. They decided to bring business to their hometown, Ypsilanti, and the rest is history. The microbrewery uses solar power making them the “greenest brewery east of Colorado.” My favorite beer? The Bollywood Blonde.
    A Ypsilanti Bucket List For Michiganders - Awesome Mitten
    Photo courtesy of  Visit Ypsilanti (
  4. Materials Unlimited – They were voted by Hour Magazine as the best shop in Metro Detroit for vintage antiques, fine antiques, and salvage furnishing! I was instantly overwhelmed by the vintage rooms filled with hard to find furniture, light fixtures, and more. Downstairs you can find everything from old doors to antique hardware. Visit soon you can help them celebrate their 40th year in business!
  5. Sidetrack Bar and Grill – This famous Ypsi restaurant resides right on the train tracks. In fact, in the 1920s the building was hit by a derailed train! You’ve got to have a burger and the strawberry shortcake.
  6. Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum – Originally a Hudson dealership showroom, this museum is a car lover’s dream come true. With over 30 classic cars, vintage memorabilia, and regular car shows; this museum is unique and a must visit.
  7. Dreamland Theater – A hole in the wall theater that supports puppet shows, local musicians, and more!
  8. Michigan Brewery Guild Summer Beer Festival – In late July, this festival combines all my favorite things: summer, craft beer, and awesome food. The Michigan Brewers Guild brings attendees 80 different Michigan breweries and over 800 beers. Tickets are on sale now!
  9. Yankee Air Museum – This place is perfect for aviation fanatics. They have permanent and rotating historical displays throughout the year. My favorite part was taking a ride on the flight simulator. If you want the real thing, they offer rides on real World War II bombers!
  10. Rolling Hills County Park – A perfect summer destination. You can ride the slides in the water park, take a hike on the trails, or have a quiet picnic on the river.
A Ypsilanti Bucket List For Michiganders - Awesome Mitten
Photo courtesy of Visit Ypsilanti (

Now that you’ve got the tools to be a real Ypsilanti tourist, what will your first stop be?

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  1. You didn’t mention The Rocket toy store! I am 30 years old and I love that place 🙂 My children love buying crazy stuff like cupcake toothpaste, or bacon soda (ewww but they like it!) But this IS a list of some of my favorite places in Ypsi 😉

  2. Great list, but I have to wonder if you actually made it to Rolling Hills. There is no river there to picnic by unless your talking about the water park’s lazy river. Pond & little creek yes, river no.

    1. Ed there is a river there, it is further towards the back. My husband & I actually use to fish there!

  3. Dom’s Bakery on Washtenaw has fantastic donuts made in house and B-24 and Sweetwaters are both great places for a coffee. I recommend the cold brew at B-24 on a hot day. They offer ice cream too and have a large space to sit and read or play one of their board games.

  4. Dont forget The Wurst Bar! Artisian brats and burgers and tots! Great specials and lots of local brews oh and a patio!

  5. The Model Cave is also very cool. Great owners and right across the street from the “Rocket”.

  6. Sidetracks is vastly over rated. The staff do not have enough time to give good servace, they do not post their prices and beers can cost more than $7 a pint during happy hour (surprise!) And the one time I ordered food (cheesy fries ) they were awful… how hard is it to get cheesy fries right?
    Aubries has good food a decent beer selection and no surprises.

  7. You forgot The Wurst Bar, Beezy’s, Aubree’s, Haab’s, The Rocket store, La Fuente, and the Heritage Festival.

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