Deli, Birdwatching and a Great Coffee Shop: One Perfect Day in Ann Arbor, MI

A perfect day in Ann Arbor, MI
Dressed to count early birds in a Michigan spring.

ANN ARBOR — I came to Ann Arbor to volunteer for the spring breeding bird count, which, for you non-birders, is a delightful way to spend a morning — or a full day, in the case of the more hardcore birdwatching addicts. Take for example, whoever they talked into pulling an all-nighter on owl patrol. The idea is to go into all the bird-friendly territory and count during the spring migration birds both seen and heard.

I was a recorder, which meant I was to write down how many of what kind of birds either of us detected. Heidi Dobson, an avid Ann Arbor birder, had asked for some help on the day of the count and I, who was looking for an excuse to get into the Michigan woods, had volunteered to go wherever asked. As it turned out, there were some beautiful workplaces that day, starting early, with this sunrise:

Birdwatching Ann Arbor
Early-bird watching in Ann Arbor, MI.

It was amazing, but it was actually the day AFTER the bird count that was my Perfect Ann Arbor Day

It started with coffee and a Michigan bagel with whitefish salad at Zingerman’s Deli, (and for those of you who have never been there, Zingerman’s earns its legend status.) 

Next up, was birding “the Arb,” as Nichols Arboretum is fondly known, a real University of Michigan treasure.

After that beautiful long hike it was time for a siesta at Cedar Bend Natural Area, Ann Arbor’s first municipal park. The sounds of the spring-melt-rushing river floated through the windows and reached me, sunk deeply into the memory foam bed I had custom made for my van-turned-camper.

Finally, it was time to do some work, the work that pays my travel bills, so I needed WiFi and coffee. I happily found both at Literati, a cohabiting bookstore and coffee shop that is indulgent of people turning the place into an office so long as they keep buying stuff.

If you liked this blog, please share it and subscribe. I have many upcoming adventures to report, many from beautiful Michigan, my summer love at the moment, but also Boise, Portland, parts west and some remaining great content from my Southern Food Road Tour.

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