Ypsilanti is a unique name for a town. It was named after the Greek war hero, Demetrius Ypsilanti. Locals only refer the town as “Ypsi”. Ypsi is a progressive city where you can find an amazing community full of vibrant and exuberance. Even though the town is seen progressive, they have still preserved much of the area’s history. To get started, Ypsi is divided into two districts; one is “Downtown” and the other is known as “Depot Town”. Just a short drive from everything Ann Arbor has to offer, Ypsilanti has some great things to check out when in town.
The Water Tower
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The first thing you will notice in Ypsilanti is the historic Water Tower that stands in the very heart of the city. The tower was built in 1890 and stands 147 feet tall, since then it became one of the landmarks in the area.
Ypsi’s rich history
Just walking around the streets of Ypsi, you can immediately see how they preserved their rich cultural history in the area. The architectural structure of the sidewalks and the local community held heritage events all throughout the year. If you want to see more of their deep history you can visit four museums that house most of their cultural heritage. The four museums are:
Ypsilanti Historical Society
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This museum houses most of the Ypsilanti’s artifacts dating back from the 19th century. The brick mansion was built in 1860 which the City of Ypsilanti purchased in 1966. In 1970, the Ypsilanti Historical Society founded the museum to help with the local research, house archives and supervise with preservation efforts. You can expect to see local Native American relics, artifacts from 19th-century homes. The museum is also known for their exhibit about the Ypsilanti Underwear and Ypsilanti Mineral Water bottle materials.
Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum
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For true motorheads, a visit to Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum will definitely pump up your heart. Even if you are not, you can still appreciate the effort and the history of the last Hudson dealership in the world. The museum houses exhibit from the General Motors Willow Run Plant and other Ypsilanti automobile related ventures. Along with the display, the museum also includes some historical value of the artifacts. The museum houses 30 vintage vehicles and a wide collection of advertising, service and repair items that was part of the automobile businesses during the 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s.
Michigan Firehouse Museum
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The museum displays a Romanesque Revival firehouse during 1898 which includes exhibits of a restored bunk area and horse-drawn vehicles. It also houses massive collections of firefighter gear during the early firehouse around the 1900s. This is a perfect place for families and group tours during the summer. The museum can also host events for your specific needs. Every year, they held Fire Truck Muster event in Riverside Park which showcase both historic and modern fire truck from nearby states.
Yankee Air Museum
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The Yankee Air Museum serves as another great place that focuses on aviation during the major conflicts in the world during the 20th century. The display includes aircraft from the different timeline in the history which also helped shaped the aviation world. Some of the well-known aircraft are the Run B-24 Bomber Plant, the B-17 Flying Fortress, and B-25 Mitchell bombers. It’s certainly a unique experience from other aviation museums. The best time to come and visit is when they held their yearly event for the Thunder Over Michigan.
The Yearly Events
Speaking of events, Ypsilanti hosts some of the spectacular events in the region that you keep coming back for more. They have great local produce showcase in their weekly farmer’s markets. Ypsi also has incredible cruise nights, art shows and air shows. There are a lot of events to mention but some of their famous events include Michigan ElvisFest, The Color Run Michigan Eastside and Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival.
The Food: Ypsi’s cultural fusions of cuisine
Your belly will thank you for a gastronomic experience in Ypsi. They offer a wide variety of cuisine from classic barbecues and fresh salads to cultural fusions from almost every part of the world. Usually, when you dine in Ypsi’s, your meal will not be complete without a generous amount of mac and cheese. The city boasts of best-tasting burgers, local brewed beers and artisan coffees brews. The great part of Ypsi is that you will feel like you belong as a local, which is often a rare treat for travelers.
The Scenic Parks
Ypsi is one of those places that has incredible scenic parks that call for afternoon walks, ball games, and even an occasional run. The Riverside Park runs along the Huron River and hosts some of the major city events. There are several other parks hidden within the city waiting for you to explore its abode. Ypsi contributes to the Big 400, a 400 square miles of parks in Southeast Michigan.
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