My first experience walking through Nichols Arboretum — exclusively known as “the Arb” — was in October of my freshman year. While sitting on a bench near the Huron river, I felt a sense of peace for the first time as a college student. I frequently return to revisit that feeling and always leave restored.

The Arb provides a temporary escape from the hustle and bustle of college life. Nestled between North Campus and the University Medical Center, it’s difficult to imagine a place so serene while also surrounded by some of the busiest places in Ann Arbor. Because of this, it makes for the ideal quick getaway, an excursion that doesn’t require a long drive or extensive planning.

What makes the Arb stand out isn’t only its natural beauty, but its diversity of wildlife. At one moment, you’ll be walking along a steep trail only to end up at a wetland so drastically different from where you started. Strolling through the Arb is a like a self-guided tour of some of the most beautiful trees and plants Michigan has to offer. Outdoorsy types and city slickers alike can find joy in all of the sights and smells it has to offer. The Arb is, undoubtedly, the most beautiful spot on campus. From walking along the trails on a first date to sprawling out on a grassy hill for a quick nap, it’s the perfect destination that suits just about everything.

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