"Ypsi" as the residents often call it, is a small college town in Michigan. With fewer than 20,000 full time residents, the city's most important institution is Eastern Michigan University. The automotive industry was important in the past of Ypsilanti, but the last major automotive plant shut down in 2010. Ypsilanti is also the birthplace of another famous American institution. Now one of the largest restaurant chains in the country, Domino's Pizza started in 1960 in Ypsilanti. Originally called DomiNick's, the small pizza restaurant was founded by Tom and James Monaghan. When Tom took over and started to expand the business, he was forced to rebrand, and the famous "Domino's" chain was born.
When to Search
Ypsilanti is a town that has suffered from a shrinking population. However, for apartment hunters this is good news, because there is a wealth of vacant apartments. You can start looking anytime and have success when it comes to apartment hunting in this Michigan town.
Staying in the Know
Along with the high vacancy rates, there come more decisions for apartment hunters to make. In a town like Ypsilanti, remember that you need to interview the landlord as much as they need to interview you. Ask questions about building maintenance, security and upkeep, to make sure that any apartment you apply for is a place you really want to live.
Life in Ypsilanti
Ypsilanti is a completely car oriented city. Michigan is a state that for decades was supported nearly completely by the automobile industry, and car culture is still deeply ingrained in it's towns. The good news is that even if you don't have a car, Ypsilanti is small enough to navigate on foot. Just be sure to pack warm winter clothes if you plan on doing that, as the Michigan winters can be harsh.
Where to play
Ypsi is a quiet little town, but there are things to keep you occupied right within its borders. Cross Street and Michigan Avenue are both worth visiting to check out local eateries, coffee shops and bars. Local cultural exhibits like the Firehouse Museum and Automotive Heritage Museum provide a great look into this Michigan town's past.
Ypsilanti may not be the most well known city in Michigan, but it has some incredible hidden gems that are often overlooked by those focussing on the bigger cities. The Michigan Firehouse Museum is a great place to visit, as it's antique displays are housed in a real fire station, and it manages to give a truly authentic glimpse into the past of firefighting. The Ypsilanti Historical Society operates the Ypsilanti Historical Museum out of a 19th century home. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Ypsilanti speaks to a period in the nation’s history that deeply affected thousands of people, and is well worth visiting.
La Fiesta Mexicana is a local Mexican staple. The restaurant’s claim to fame is how everything is made in-house from fresh ingredients, bringing flavours that are seldom seen outside of authentic family run operations in Mexico. The Bomber Restaurant is a fun place to go thanks to the aviation theme in the family-owned diner. The most famous meal here is the breakfast platter, which should leave even the biggest appetites satisfied. If you like pizza, but enjoy eating in a more upscale environment than some pizza joints, Aubree’s Pizzeria & Tavern should be on your list of places to explore.
The Sidetrack pub is a great place to go for a meal in a pub environment. The pub-style food is very popular, with the Shepard’s Pie coming highly recommended. The Wurst Bar features craft beer, and craft sausage, with exotic handmade varieties of each always on the menu. The Tap Room is the perfect picture of a neighbourhood pub. The food is simple, but extremely fresh, and everything is made by hand. The pool tables and shuffleboard make for a fun way to kill some time while enjoying a few drinks. Craft beer lovers should try the brews made by Corner Brewery. Located close to campus, this location is popular with the college crowd as well.
It doesn't matter which city in Michigan you're currently in, you will always find that the culture comes back to the automobile. In Ypsilanti, this takes the form of the Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum, which celebrates the great past of the American car. PTD Productions produces a variety of theatre from the modern era for audiences in Ypsilanti. If you like classical music, you should definitely check out the performances put on by the Ypsilanti Symphony Orchestra. The Riverside Arts Center is a multi-purpose arts venue that has performance and rehearsal spaces for theatre and dance, as well as an art gallery where local artists can display their work.
The Michigan Summer Beer Festival each July draws beer lovers from across the State to Ypsilanti. More than 80 different craft brewers from the state come to display their wares. The Ypsilanti Heritage Festival each August is simply a celebration of all the greatest things to come out of the city. The food, the music, the art and the history are all celebrated during this weekend event. If you're looking for something a bit more off the beaten path, then you could attend the Michigan Elvisfest, held in downtown Ypsilanti. Like similar events held all over the country, this event celebrates the music, style and life of the King of Rock and Roll.
Ypsilanti has a thriving antiques scene, and there are many places in the local area that offer great shopping for antique lovers. Salt City Antiques is certainly a good place to try, as it's two-floor showroom offers a lot of options from various periods. Downtown Ypsilanti is home to a number of fascinating little shops that defy description, offering a grand assortment of curios and keepsakes. Shops like Bowerbird Mongo offer a shopping experience that really is unique to Ypsilanti. Ypsilanti residents who want the typical indoor shopping mall experience head up to Ann Arbor. Typically, they go to the Briarwood Mall, which is the largest in the region.
Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti is the home of the Eastern Michigan Eagles. The basketball team is often the most popular team at the school, enjoying very strong fan support. The football team plays at Rynearson Stadium, which is also the home of the running track for the University. The stadium seats over 30,000 people. Because the city is so close to Ann Arbor however, some of the locals support the University of Michigan Wolverines instead. While the Eagles are a relatively obscure athletic’s program, the Wolverines are a Big Ten powerhouse with 11 National football championships. The Wolverines count many extremely successful NFL players among their alumni, but none more so than Tom Brady.
Ypsilanti has a handful of golf courses, but none has received such wide-reaching recognition as the Eagle Crest Golf Course. This course runs along the shores of Ford Lake, and the scenery is unmatched. The lake itself provides a huge number of opportunities for recreation. Boating and fishing on the lake are both great ways to enjoy a quiet afternoon. Cycling is also a very popular activity in and around Ypsilanti. Ypsilanti residents can actually travel to Ann Arbor by utilizing the Border to Border trail, which is paved for most of the distance between the two.