Nickels Arcade#9 in Best Things To Do in Ann Arbor
Price & Hours
Located in the heart of downtown Ann Arbor, Nickels Arcade is a cozy but upscale covered shopping area with a rich history. The indoor-outdoor complex began as a meat market owned by the Nickels family. After Tom Nickels inherited the market in the early 1900s, he repurposed the shop and expanded the facility to resemble the shopping arcades found in Europe at the time. Nickels completed the block in 1918 and different kinds of shops began opening within the complex.
Today, Nickels Arcade – which celebrated its centennial in 2017 – boasts both vintage and modern-day stores along its mosaic-tiled alley. Visitors can stop into the old-timey barbershop, which dates back to 1917, and grab a drink at the modern juice bar or coffee shop in the same trip. Recent travelers remarked that the block is worth visiting for a short stroll, and many praised the quality merchandise available at several of the shops – including VanBoven Clothing, which has been operated within the same family since 1927.
Shops within the arcade operate on their own hours. Most are open Monday through Saturday, though several stores are closed on Sunday.
More Best Things To Do in Ann Arbor
#1 University of Michigan
As the crown jewel of Ann Arbor, the University of Michigan boasts many of the city's top attractions. Start your visit by touring the manicured grounds of the campus, which was opened in Ann Arbor in 1837 (though the school got its start in Detroit in 1817). U-M has a total enrollment of about 48,000 students and stretches across a massive 3,207 acres. You'll find University of Michigan properties dispersed throughout Ann Arbor, though the main campus is centrally located within the city near parks, museums, bars and dining establishments.
When it comes to things to do on campus, you won't be left scratching your head. The university is home to 30 stunning libraries and more than 16 museums, including the Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Art, the Kelsey Museum of Archeology, Matthaei Botanical Gardens, Nichols Arboretum, the Herbarium and the Sindecuse Museum of Dentistry. Other points of interest include the William W. Cook Law Quadrangle (a 10-acre compound comprising pristine green space and impressive gothic-style buildings), the Gerald R. Ford Library and Hill Auditorium (a classical music concert hall). You'll even find a hotel and restaurants on the premises. Campus visitors praised the gorgeous architecture and were wowed by the sheer size of the university. They also enjoyed the many museums on-site.
Explore More of Ann Arbor
If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.