Things to Do in Ypsilanti: The Ultimate Pure Michigan Guide

hand showing a cup of iced coffee, out front of a brick building with green doors

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Tucked between Ann Arbor and Detroit, the small city of Ypsilanti is quintessentially under-the-radar when it comes to tourism. Because of some awesome new dining establishments and funky retail popping up throughout the city, Ypsilanti is starting to see some long overdue accolades from travelers. Here’s a list of our top picks for hidden gem attractions in Ypsilanti.

1. Explore Funky Retail at The RocketUnicorn Feed and Supply and This, That & the ODDer Things

The Unicorn Feed and Supply
The Unicorn Feed and Supply | Photo Courtesy of Destination Ann Arbor

These retailers are known for quirky, fun, and 100% unique products. From hippopotamus tea-infusers to a plethora of cat stickers, crazy stuffed monsters and avocado pool floats, you’ll find interesting gifts (for yourself or others) in Ypsilanti.

2. Learn Automotive History at the Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum

Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum
Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum | Photo Courtesy of Destination Ann Arbor

The Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum is housed in a former Hudson dealership, displaying several cars including Kaiser-Frazer, General Motors, and featured car #92, a 1952 Hudson Hornet race car owned by former NASCAR Champion Herb Thomas. The museum preserves an important era in American History, and hosts special events and car shows annually.

3. Enjoy Retro Dining at Gabriel’s Cheese Steak HoagiesChick-Inn and Kluck’s Drive-In

Ypsi is home to several historic, casual eateries that are absolutely beloved by locals and often go unnoticed by visitors. Gabriel’s Cheese Steak Hoagies serves up meaty, cheesy gifts from heaven that are well-known in southeastern Michigan and remains one of the most popular restaurants in Ypsilanti after almost sixty years in business. The Chick-Inn has been around even longer (it opened in 1953) and is locally-famous for its milkshakes and curly fries. Its main competitor, Kluck’s, has some of the same menu items but is possibly best known for its Sloppy Joe sandwich - and also serves ice cream. More of a hot dog fan? Check out Bill’s Hot Dog Stand, which was ranked the #1 hot dog in Michigan.

4. Sip at Hyperion Coffee Company

hand showing a cup of iced coffee, out front of a brick building with green doors


Hyperion Coffee Company, a hidden gem in historic Depot Town, specializes in single origin coffee. Roasting and serving beautiful coffees, the Hyperion team has over 25 years of experience in specialty coffee. You'll enjoy your exceptional coffee experience here.

5. See Public Art at the Ypsilanti District Library Park

You’ll find tons of inspiring art throughout Ypsilanti, on exterior walls and in parks and knitted onto bike racks. Go on an artistic scavenger hunt to find Harriet Tubman in the Ypsilanti District Library park, colorful murals downtown, and “yarn bombing” throughout the city. If you’d rather explore indoor art, consider checking out what's happening at the Riverside Arts Center, 22 North Gallery, and The Gallery at Stone & Spoon.