Ann Arbor, MI downtown

2021 Top 100 Best Places to Live In America Sponsored by: See homes for sale on Movoto by OJO

liv score
How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 75
Demographics 41
Economy 65
Education 72
Health 77
Housing 56
Infrastructure 44

#2. Ann Arbor, MI

Home to the University of Michigan (Go Blue!), Ann Arbor, MI is alive with energy, innovation, arts and culture, and green spaces, making it one of the best places to live in the U.S. This mid-sized community, located in the lower “hand” of the Mitten State, is a leader in artificial intelligence, data security and life sciences. With tons of amazing bookshops, a great restaurant and bar scene and a family-friendly, outdoor-focused lifestyle, Ann Arbor offers something for every one of its 123,000 residents — and counting.

Top Colleges/Universities: University of Michigan

Top Industries & Employers: Higher education, health care, automotive research and manufacturing. The city is also home to world-renowned tech startups like Google, Nokia and Duo Security, just to name a few.

Weekend Plans: Cheer on the Wolverines in “the Big House,” hit up the Ann Arbor Farmers Market or browse one of the many independent bookstores.

Favorite Place to Feast: Zingerman’s Delicatessen, a famous sandwich shop that doubles as a specialty grocer.

Beloved Beverage: The fishbowls at Good Time Charley’s (just be sure to bring a few friends to help you finish it!).

Outdoorsy Activity: Kayaking the Huron River Water Trail, which spans more than 100 miles.

Rooftop Bar: The Circ Bar, located on the second floor of a historic building on Ann Arbor’s First Street, is the perfect place to catch a sunset.

Why Your Pet Will Love It, Too: The breweries here are so dog-friendly that some even have custom menus for furry, four-legged visitors. Grizzly Peak Brewing Co., for instance, offers a special “Pups on the Patio” menu, with proceeds benefiting the Huron Valley Humane Society

Remote Work Perk: When you need to take a break from Zoom, you can recharge your personal batteries at Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum, a gorgeous and refreshing green space that dates back to 1907.

One More Thing … In addition to its human residents, Ann Arbor has a robust fairy population. They take up residence in homes and places around the city. The only clue that gives them away? Their miniature fairy doors!

– Sarah Kuta

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