So once you’ve decided to make the move to Ann Arbor, you will need to know exactly where to start your search. That’s why we’re unpacking a handful of the most desirable neighborhoods in Ann Arbor, each maintaining proximity to the heart of the city and their own set of attractions and features. Each has its own sense of personality and charm — and a healthy dose of beautiful homes, of course!
Whether you’re a young professional looking for a walkable area near hotspots, a family looking to put down roots, or you’re looking to live out your retirement years in a dreamy neighborhood — your future neighborhood just might be on this list!
Old West Side
If you value historic homes and proximity to some of the city’s best attractions, look no further than the Old West Side. This historic neighborhood with tree-lined streets is situated directly west of Main Street and downtown Ann Arbor, and just about everything is accessible with a short walk. But inside the borders of the Old West Side, you’ll also find plenty of local businesses and attractions for residents, families and children of all ages. Not to mention, the neighborhood is built around one of the city’s largest and most popular parks — Allmendinger Park — and is served by some of the area’s best schools.
The neighborhood hosts some of the city’s most historic homes varying in styles, including mansard, Queen Anne, Romanesque villas, colonial, Georgian revival, Gothic cottages and Italian bracket, most of which were built between 1850 and 1925. You’ll find slightly smaller homes without garages, due to the era many of them were built. The Old West Side is recognized as a “streetscape” district, defined by its exceptional street appearance and overall atmosphere, and was the first in the nation to receive this designation.
Considered one of the most beloved and centrally located neighborhoods in the city, Burns Park is a popular enclave in Central Ann Arbor containing tree-canopied streets and beautiful older homes. Activity centers on the 15-acre Burns Park, which hosts five tennis courts, a basketball court, playground equipment, walking paths and Burns Park School. Burns Park is a friendly, community-oriented neighborhood allowing convenient access to the city’s best attractions, including downtown Ann Arbor, the University of Michigan Campus and Nichols Arboretum.
As such, Burns Park is one of the most desirable and expensive neighborhoods in Ann Arbor. Here, you’ll find plenty of executive estate-style homes, many of which are owned by U-M faculty, staff and doctors. Homes in Burns Park are surrounded by old growth trees, creating a park-like feel for residents and visitors. The area is divided into two distinct sections, Lower Burns Park and North Burns Park, both of which are considered some of the most desirable places to live in the city.
Situated just north of the Huron River, Northside is a large region formerly known as Lower Town. History buffs will enjoy the eclectic mix of housing styles, including some of the oldest homes in the city! Northside has a rich history, a well-connected and diverse community feel, and residents enjoy access to University of Michigan’s North Campus, downtown Ann Arbor, Black Pond Woods Nature Area, the Huron River, Leslie Woods Nature Area and the Leslie Park Golf Course, and Northside Park, which is known for its community center, softball fields and tennis court. Northside is also home to Argo Nature Center, a 22-acre park offering trails, boat rentals and more!
Many college students and young professionals call Northside home, due to its proximity to U-M’s North Campus and downtown, and relative affordability. It is also home to Domino’s Farms Office Park, which has more than 50 company headquarters, including Domino’s Pizza. The neighborhood has gone through a lot of transition over the last several years, with the recent development of a $146 million condominium property and other mixed-use projects.
Hosting some of the most charming, historic homes in the city, Eberwhite is a vibrant and centrally located neighborhood just west of downtown Ann Arbor. The land that now hosts Eberwhite was once the property of Eber White, an early settler in the area. The neighborhood centers on the scenic and popular Eberwhite Woods, a beloved park filled with trees, wildflowers and well-maintained walking trails. Residents of Eberwhite enjoy convenient access to downtown and the University of Michigan football stadium, which are both within walking distance.
Many of the homes in Eberwhite were built in the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s, so they are slightly larger than some of the older homes in the neighboring Old West Side. The lots are a bit wider as well, with more garages, representative of the lifestyle shift during that era. As such, Eberwhite is a popular place for families to settle down in. That’s also because Eberwhite Elementary School is one of the highest-rated and most desirable schools in Ann Arbor.
Centrally located just southeast of downtown Ann Arbor, this neighborhood is desirable for its collection of luxury homes, central location and beautiful natural setting. Along tree-lined streets, homes in Ann Arbor Hills range from historic homes built in the 1930s and traditional homes to new construction properties and mid-century modern homes. Many of the homes in Ann Arbor Hills have been lovingly restored over the decades, so the neighborhood enjoys a mix of old and new — and is constantly being renewed.
Residents of Ann Arbor Hills are within walking distance of downtown, the University of Michigan, Nichols Arboretum, Huron Hills Golf Course, Gallup Park, and the Ann Arbor Racquet Club. While the neighborhood is not far from downtown Ann Arbor, it feels as though you are worlds away, with the lush canopy of mature trees and rolling hills — thus giving it the name “Ann Arbor Hills.”
Located directly north of Main Street Ann Arbor adjacent to Kerrytown, Old Fourth Ward is a desirable historic neighborhood in the heart of activity. Considered one of the first residential areas in the city, Old Fourth Ward is home to a number of historic homes, buildings and churches. The neighborhood is especially popular amongst University of Michigan students and faculty due to its proximity to campus and downtown. Lined with a variety of homes both old and new, the streets of Old Fourth Ward are shaded under a mature canopy of trees.
Named after County Kerry, Ireland, the ancestral home of the area’s developer, Kerrytown is one of the major draws to living in the Old Fourth Ward. This marketplace is home to the year-round Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market, the Jim Toy Community Center, annual events like Kerrytown KindleFest, beloved restaurants like Miss Kim and The Lunch Room, as well as tons of local shops and services. Outside of the main Kerrytown market, you’ll also find some of Ann Arbor’s most beloved institutions, including Zingerman’s Delicatessen, Aut Bar, Kerrytown Concert House and more — continuing all the way to the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum at East Huron Street.