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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Discover the Arty Side of Ann Arbor

With experimental new art spaces, a thriving gallery scene, and a burgeoning cocktail culture, this midwestern city offers much more than the typical college-town charms.

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1. Where to Stay


Request the Sunset Room at Baxter House B&B for a private deck and soaking tub.   

Experience architecture firsthand at Baxter House Bed & Breakfast (from $115), located just five blocks from downtown in the historic Kerrytown district. The three-story home blends an eclectic mix of craftsman, Victorian, and modern styles in its design, and multiple outdoor decks provide plenty of room for enjoying fresh air and soaking in the springtime sunshine. Opt for the third-floor Sunset Room (from $115), which includes a private deck and a soaking tub large enough for two. Innkeeper and cookbook author Kathleen Baxter prepares a delicious breakfast daily, with signature dishes like raspberry soup, homemade granola, and mixed grain scones.

Live like the movie version of a “starving artist” at this charming second-floor walk-up on Liberty Street (from $200). High ceilings open up the bohemian space while luxe silk curtains and brilliant, jewel-toned touches keep things cozy. The spot is nestled in the heart of Ann Arbor’s downtown, where sidewalk cafés, bars, and shops off South Main bustle in spring weather. Plenty of artwork graces the tall walls, but you’re also in walking distance of the WSG Gallery featuring contemporary works by local artists, Clay Gallery, and Ann Arbor Art Center .

Discover art in every cubby and corner at this early-20th-century home in the historic Old West Side (from $150) owned by a local artist. From a Chinese cabinet formerly used for housing chickens to hand-painted murals, the inventively decorated rental feels like a live-in curio cabinet of sorts (plus, it comes with a friendly resident cat). There’s also a patio garden enclosed within a honeysuckle-covered trellis. While you’ll likely spend more time perusing the owner’s collection of unique finds and personal works, the revered University of Michigan’s Museum of Art is just a mile away.


Published on May 8, 2014 as a web exclusive.

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