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Ypsilanti, often shortened to Ypsi, is a city that lies 6 miles east of Ann Arbor and 18 miles west of the Detroit city limits. Best known as the home of Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti is a city with some finely aged architecture and homes that are of European influence. Colorful and near the Huron River, Ypsilanti thrives as an economic city and an area which many are happy to both live in and visit.
Geographically linked to Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti's market tends to follow the Ann Arbor housing market by proxy. While Ann Arbor goes through periods of housing shortages, many of its students and working professionals choose to live in Ypsilanti for its housing surplus and reasonable prices. The City of Ypsilanti's homes are predominately of early-to-mid 1900's built homes, with a vibrant historic district. New construction continues primarily in Ypsilanti Twp and Superior Twp, offering newer-built homes within a commuting distance of either U of M or Metro Detroit.
Like much of Michigan, Ypsilanti took part in the boom of the automotive industry. It was originally, however, a trading post established in 1809 by Gabriel Godfroy, a French-Canadian fur trader from Montreal. A permanent settled was established in 1823 by Major Thomas Woodruff on the east side of the Huron River – it was incorporated into the Territory of Michigan as “Woodruff’s Grove.” However, Woodruff’s Grove would eventually become Ypsilanti, named after Demetrios Ypsilantis, a hero in the Greek War of Independence. As mentioned earlier, Ypsilanti played an important role in the automotive industry. From 1920 to 1922, Apex Motors produced the “ACE” car. Preston Tucker, located in Ypsilanti and whose family owned the Ypsilanti Machine Tool Company, designed and built prototypes that would become the Tucker ’48. Later, in 1945, Henry J. Kaiser and Joseph W. Frazer bought Willow Run B-24 Liberator bomber plant from the Ford Motor Company and began production of the Kaiser and Frazer model cards in 1947. Ypsilanti would come to be the location of the last Hudson automobile dealership, inspiring the character in the Pixar film Cars via its tribute to the Fabulous Hudson Hornet race car.
Ypsilanti is located 6 miles of Ann Arbor to the east, and 18 odd miles west of the Detroit City limits. Ypsilanti is geographically located at the intersection of the Huron River and Michigan Avenue, which connects downtown Detroit with Chicago, Illinois.
The climate in Ypsilanti is standard of Michigan State and falls under a more arctic nature. Seeing more intense winters and mild summers, Ypsilanti often gets the effects of wind coming off of the Huron River which can create wind chills and heavier lake effect snow.
Ypsilanti has an interesting atmosphere when it comes to shopping. Being a city that prizes antiques and a blend of trendy, modern culture, Ypsilanti has delights in abundance for both residents and visitors alike
The Rocket – 122 West Michigan Avenue – (734) 483-2291
World of Rocks – 42 North Huron Street – (734) 481-9981
Black Stone Books and Cultural Center – 214 West Michigan Avenue – (734) 961-7376
Mix – 130 West Michigan Avenue - (734) 961-8704
Residents and visitors alike are sure to find a treat in Ypsilanti. Whether it is in amazing burgers, breath-taking brunch or some authentic Neopolitan pizza, the city is sure to have something for even the pickiest of eaters
The Wurst Bar – 705 West Cross Street – (734) 485-6720
The Bomber Restaurant – 306 East Michigan Avenue – (734) 482-0550
Casablanca – 2333 Washtenaw Road – (734) 961-7825
Cultivate Coffee & Taphouse – 307 North River Street – (734) 249-8993
For some of the best brews, soothing hookah or just a general night on the town, Ypsilanti is no slouch. The city has amazing food, trendy bars, lounges, music and arts venues, and plenty of exciting scenes for night owls to enjoy, perfect for those who are looking for a memorable night out on the town with friends
Tap Room – 201 West Michigan Avenue – (734) 482-5320
Sidetrack – 56 East Cross Street – (734) 483-1035
The Crossroad’s Bar & Grill – 517 West Cross Street – (734) 340-5597
Encore Hookah Lounge – 622 South Hewitt Road – (734) 905-7066
Ypsilanti has a wide range of schools, whether it be from prekindergarten up to university or in specialized research, the city is abundant in choices. Known for East Michigan University especially, the quality of the school system in Ypsilanti is rated quite highly by residents, and the university is just one such gem amongst the districts for either their children or for themselves to attend. Residents never need worry about a school being far out of reach in their area.
Eastern Michigan University – 900 Oakwood Street – (734) 487-6453
Huron Valley Catholic School – 1300 North Prospect Road – (734) 483-0366
Ypsilanti Community High School – 2095 Packard Road – (734) 714-1000
Estabrook Elementary School – 1555 West Cross Street – (734) 714-1900
Ypsilanti has played an important role in the automotive industry, as mentioned earlier. Like the surrounding areas of Ann Arbor and Plymouth, Ypsilanti is another community that owes a lot of its history to the Starkweather family. It goes without saying that Ypsilanti is not in short supply of historical landmarks, nor does it slack in the more obscure areas to visit. Whether it is for a family trip, a history lesson or a trip into the more obscure and bizarre, there is something in Ypsilanti. In short, there is an admirable amount of history and landmarks for residents and visitors alike to admire when it comes to the city of Ypsilanti
Ypsilanti Historical Museum – 220 North Huron Street – (734) 482-4990
Automotive Heritage Museum – 100 East Cross Street – (734) 482-5200
Starkweather Hall – 901 West Forest
Pease Auditorium – West Cross Street & College Place – (734) 487-5386
Michigan Firehouse Museum – 110 West Cross Street – (734) 547-0663
Ypsilanti Food Co-Op – 312 North River Street – (734) 483-1520
With its long-standing contributions to the history of Michigan as well as the history of the automotive industry, Ypsilanti is a city to truly be proud of. With modest, trendy homes dotting the snow, trendy bars, great shopping and fantastic schools, it is a city that is not only fantastic to live in but that has become a tourist favorite. Whether it is for a fan of the automotive industry who has come to see an important piece of history, or the homage from the Pixar animated film Cars ala Doc Hudson aka the Fabulous Hudson Hornet, it doesn’t seem to matter. Everyone comes to the city of Ypsilanti with expectations of a great time and rarely do they leave disappointed.
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