How Safe Is Ann Arbor for Travel?

Ann Arbor, United States
Safety Index:
63

Ann Arbor is the fifth-largest city in the state of Michigan and named for the founder’s wives who happen to both be named ‘Ann.’

The ‘Arbor’ portion of the city’s name refers to the more than 50,000 trees across streets, 150+ municipal parks, and the university-run Nichols Arboretum.

The city of Ann Arbor is situated in the southern part of the state and sits along the Huron River.

This area of Michigan was first settled in 1774 and subsequently founded in the mid-1880s.

Ann Arbor was the area’s major rail hub for points to the north of Chicago, partly because of its explosive growth.

The city anchors the Ann Arbor Metro Statistical Area and is also a part of the Detroit Combined Statistical area.

In 2008, CNN Money recognized Ann Arbor among the top 30 small cities in the United States.

With more than 117,000 residents.

The state was recognized by TripSavvy (2020), a leading travel site for outdoor enthusiasts.

Ann Arbor is a cultural city that offers a variety of performing arts groups through the Civic Center, the Symphony Orchestra, the Ballet, the Opera Theater, and public art installations across the city.

Ann Arbor covers about 30 square miles and is home to the University of Michigan, the state’s oldest higher learning institution.

U Michigan was established in 1817 in Detroit but was moved to Ann Arbor in 1837.

The university is a significant contributor to the economy as the University of Michigan employs approximately 32,000, including the school’s medical center.

The city is also home to a variety of high-tech and health services companies.

The university alone employs 12,000 workers in its medical center.

Warnings & Dangers in Ann Arbor

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM

Overall, crime in Ann Arbor is similar to most major urban areas, the roughest areas mainly in the inner sections of the city. Most crime rate categories fall below national averages and the state of Michigan. The crime rate in the city has decreased by 20% from last year’s data.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM

Ann Arbor is home to many major rail and bus services. This includes TheRide, taxis, Zipcar, and car rentals. Public transportation in Ann Arbor is considered safe, but caution should always be a part of one’s plans. As a general rule, one is safer traveling during the day and with a group of travel buddies. Buses include radio systems, security cameras, and mobile video recording systems.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM

Pickpockets look for unsuspecting, distracted targets. The best way to ensure you are not a victim to a pickpocket is to be highly aware of your surroundings. If in a crowd, put your wallet in your front pants pocket or inner jacket pocket, if possible. Women should hold their purses tight across the chest so a pickpocket cannot reach inside without being noticed.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM

Michigan’s most risky events from nature occur in the form of tornados and snowstorms. Ann Arbor’s risk of a tornado is higher than the state and the national average. Michigan’s overall risk for a natural disaster is recognized to be one of the safest states in terms of natural disasters.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM

Like most cities, Ann Arbor has some risk for mugging, especially around the school’s campus – late at night. If you walk at night, stay on well-lit streets, know where you are going, and walk with purpose. Better yet, travel with one or many friends as groups tend to be safer for travelers. Safety tips from the city’s police force are available online.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK : LOW

Terrorism on a domestic and international level has been on the rise, and Ann Arbor faces similar terrorism risks. The Michigan Intelligence Operations Center, a division of the Michigan State Police, is the agency responsible for facilitating the collection and relay of terrorism & public safety intelligence to the community.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM

Scams are perpetrated on unsuspecting travelers online and in person. As such, scams are found in Ann Arbor. The Ann Arbor Police Department offers fraud, identity theft, and SCAM alerts and advice online.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM

Women can travel safely in Ann Arbor, although it is safest to travel during daylight hours or with others in a group. Women should heed safety warnings from the city and state and travel with their mobile phones in case of emergencies. Pay attention to your surroundings and walk purposefully.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK : LOW

Ann Arbor’s tap water is safe to drink, with no outstanding violations for the city’s utility company. The most recent Ann Arbor water quality report is available online.

Safest Places to Visit in Ann Arbor

Despite the many high-tech companies and world-class research facilities, Ann Arbor still has that down-home charm – this is most visible in the city’s historic districts.

With so much to see and do, Ann Arbor has something for everyone – from shops, museums, parks, venues, vineyards, nightclubs, sports events, and restaurants, to name just a few.

There is even a presidential library honoring Gerald R. Ford.

Summer brings the Ann Arbor Art Fair and the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, an amazing array of food, music, culture, and thousands of people.

Sports lovers check out the Big House – the university’s stadium, which is the largest in the country (seating 115,000) and the 2nd largest in the world.

Kerrytown, a historic district in Ann Arbor, has a farmer’s & artisan market every weekend and a variety of boutiques and cafes.

The city and its nearby communities offer many specialty shops and one-of-a-kind retailers – from comics to fashion to food.

The kids will love Coleman’s Farm and Corn Maze, Planet Rock, Domino’s Petting Farm, and the city’s Hands-on Museum.

Other museums include UM’s Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, the Museum of Natural History, and the Stearns Collections of Musical Instruments.

Nature lovers, check out the Huron River Water Trail, the Creature Conservancy, and the Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum.

Placess to Avoid in Ann Arbor

Other than petty crimes, much of the more serious crime is found near the central campus (and off-campus housing) of the University of Michigan, which is not unusual for a college town.

Yes, there is the presence of some crime, but most of it can be mitigated if one takes sensible and practical precautions.

In other words, wandering along from a bar having had too much to drink is riskier than walking to breakfast from a hotel to a nearby store.

The most dangerous of Ann Arbor’s neighborhoods are published monthly on the Ann Arbor Observer’s online crime report.

This map details those neighborhoods that run along the central campus corridor and a small cluster of crime on Ann Arbor’s western edge.

Heed the safety tips noted below to keep out of trouble when visiting Ann Arbor.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Ann Arbor

  1. When traveling to unfamiliar areas, take the time to research the location. So you know what to look for and what to avoid.
  2. Always remain aware of your immediate surroundings, as events happen quickly. Pickpockets and other petty criminals are opportunistic, always looking for an unsuspecting target that is too distracted to notice their criminal intent.
  3. If traveling with cash and valuables, select a hotel or other lodging that offers a secure place (a room safe, for example). To store valuables at night or when out sightseeing and not in the room.
  4. If you must walk alone, consider carrying a loud whistle, a high-decibel alarm, and a mobile phone. Never carry more than you need in terms of credit cards and cash.
  5. If traveling with a pet, be certain the hotel and lodging allow for pets overnight.
  6. When traveling on the bus, sit near the driver. Avoid a seat near the exit where someone can grab your purse or belongings as they exit the bus.
  7. If traveling in winter, be sure to follow current weather reports. To ensure you have dressed appropriately for impending weather conditions.
  8. If your travel plans require a monetary deposit, be certain to choose a company that is trustworthy and likely to still be in business when you finally arrive in Ann Arbor.
  9. Before leaving for Ann Arbor, take a moment to copy your relevant travel documents and credit card information. Give a copy of these documents to a friend or a family member to hold in case you lose this needed information.
  10. If you are a daily jogger and stay in Ann Arbor, vary the times and jogging routes.

So... How Safe Is Ann Arbor Really?

The city of Ann Arbor offers a wonderful opportunity to absorb this northern Midwest culture with relative safety.

Like most modern urban locations, Ann Arbor’s rougher areas are generally concentrated around the university and downtown.

One’s safety level is directly impacted by the time of the day you travel, the locations your travel covers, whether you are walking or driving or traveling alone.

Remember, Ann Arbor’s overall crime rate averages fall below national averages, but the city is not without some potential risk to travelers – especially those traveling solo or are women.

How Does Ann Arbor Compare?

CitySafety Index
Ann Arbor63
Baltimore56
Boston67
Washington DC56
New York City67
Calgary (Canada)82
Buenos Aires (Argentina)60
Vancouver (Canada)82

Useful Information

  • Visas - The federally run United States’ Consular Affairs Bureau processes visa requests for American passports. This federal agency takes weeks to process a visa request; however, there are private companies that, for a fee, will expedite your visa request. But, if you are out of time, this additional fee can be a lifesaver.
  • Currency - Ann Arbor’s currency is the US dollar. The airport and city offer many currency exchange service options. Stores and shops in Ann Arbor accept both debit and credit cards.
  • Weather - The weather in Ann Arbor is considered humid and impacted by the nearby Great Lakes. There are four seasons, with a snowy winter that averages nearly 60 inches of snow annually. In terms of rain, Ann Arbor averages about 36 inches/year.
  • Airports - The city of Ann Arbor is served by the Ann Arbor Airport, a government-run general aviation airport that is situated to the south of the city’s downtown. In addition, the area is served by the largest international airport in the area – the Detroit Metro Airport, which is about 30 minutes to Ann Arbor’s east. An airport handles freight and commercial air traffic in Ypsilanti.
  • Travel Insurance - Travelers face a fair number of unexpected events and uncertainty. Travel insurance is an intelligent way to protect yourself from potential losses and is available for domestic and international travel. Coverage for travel insurance will vary, depending on the insurer and the coverage the insured selects.
Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Ann Arbor Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan -5° C
Feb -3° C
Mar 3° C
Apr 9° C
May 16° C
Jun 21° C
Jul 23° C
Aug 22° C
Sep 18° C
Oct 12° C
Nov 5° C
Dec -2° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
-1181522272928241792
Low
°C
-8-7-3391417161261-5
High
°F
303446597281848275634836
Low
°F
181927374857636154433423

Where to Next?

Share Your Experience