Attitude Every time we visit Ann Arbor, Michigan (population: 112,000), we come back raving--about the vibrant downtown, the eclectic cuisine, the affordable galleries, the sleek museums and, of course, that infectious college-town energy. Just 45 minutes west of Detroit, the University of Michigan's hometown makes a colorful (and tasty) weekend getaway.
Big Blue The University of Michigan blends into downtown Ann Arbor. Take a stroll on the 3,200-acre campus (pictured). 734/764-1817; umich.edu 
Ceramics Motawi Tileworks makes Arts and Crafts-style tiles for homes, plus clocks, pendants and other goodies. Come Thursdays for tours. See Midwest Living's review.  (734) 213-0017; www.motawi.com 
Downtown districts Main Street, State Street and Kerrytown are different, but they share this: almost no chain businesses. (800) 888-9487; visitannarbor.org 
Espresso Love Breakfast Stout This smoky, coffee-infused ale is our fave among Arbor Brewing Company's beers. (734) 213-1393; arborbrewing.com 
Fried pig's head Sounds awful, tastes great. Try it with mustard at Grange Kitchen and Bar, a fabulous farm-to-table spot downtown. (734) 995-2107; grangekitchenandbar.com 
Glowing Art Festifools, an early April festival, is filled with elaborate luminaries, music and creativity. (734) 763-7550; wonderfoolproductions.org 
Intriguing jewelry The tempting selection at 16 Hands Gallery includes watches made from silver spoons. (734) 761-1110; 16handsgallery.com 
Kneading bread Zingerman's Bakehouse (see Z), hosts hands-on classes where you can learn to make doughnuts, croissants and more. (734) 761-7255; bakewithzing.com 
Louis Comfort Tiffany collection The glitzy University of Michigan Museum of Art displays a stunning array of Tiffany glass. Free. See Midwest Living's review.  (734) 764-0395; umma.umich.edu 
Morning food Cafe Zola's French-inspired brunch menu includes 11 omelets. Our pick: goat cheese and asparagus. (734) 769-2020; cafezola.com 
Open-air art (pictured) Ann Arbor hosts four art fairs at the same time each summer. (800) 888-9487; artfairs.visitannarbor.org 
Quixotic gifts Shop for decorative papers, bookbinding materials, stationery and more at Hollanders. (734) 741-7531; hollanders.com 
Sidewalk cafes (pictured) Spring in Ann Arbor means dusting off the tables and umbrellas for another season of alfresco dining. Ethnic fare, smoothies or subs—you name it, someone's eating it while basking in the sun and smiling.
Vibrant art The nonprofit Ann Arbor Art Center (pictured) has a colorful gallery and hosts lots of classes. (734) 994-8004; annarborartcenter.org 
Wind chimes Spruce up your nest with outdoor music-makers from Downtown Home and Garden. (734) 662-8122; downtownhomeandgarden.com 
Xtra calories Indulge in a midday truffle at Schakolad Chocolate Factory. (734) 213-1700; schakolad.com 
Youthful vibe College towns have a sneaky way of making you yearn for pre-responsibility days. Wallow in the nostalgia (maybe over a slice of pizza) before checking back into reality.
Zingerman's (pictured) Not just a name, but an institution, this family of businesses includes the original deli, a bakery, a creamery and, our latest obsession, the Roadhouse restaurant. Together, they form the backbone of the city's culinary scene. Zingerman's also shares the foodie love via mail-order, so even if you can't visit Ann Arbor, at least you can taste it at home. See Midwest Living's reviews of Zingerman's Bakehouse , Zingerman's Deli  and Zingerman's Roadhouse . (888) 636-8162; zingermans.com 
(A version of this story appeared in Midwest Living® March/April 2011. Prices and other details can change; please check specifics before making travel plans.)