Ann Arbor, Michigan
An Eagle Eye On the News

The Skyline Post

The Skyline Post

The Skyline Post

A Review of Skyline Study Spots, Where to Work at in A2

Students often find themselves overwhelmed with homework, busy beyond belief, and stuck looking for a place to power through their obligations. This article covers the good and the bad of Ann Arbor study spots, including the pros and cons based on our eagle-eye criteria of what makes for a great study location.

To evaluate potential spots, the Noise Level, Population Density, Food /Drink, Proximity to Downtown, Accessibility, and Availability, were each reviewed on a scale of 1 to 5. At the end of each section, the Overall Average Score is displayed to give a general idea of the location’s rating in a single number.

Ann Arbor District Library: Westgate Branch (2503 Jackson Ave.)

Westgate Library. Credit: Oliver Pung.

A classic for any students in the area, Westgate is seldom without at least one or two study groups at any given time. With rows upon rows of bookshelves and resources, along with dedicated reservable work rooms, it sets the standard for all other study spots. 

Westgate scores well with a moderate noise level and crowded population density. The moderate noise level is due to respectful and calm study groups. The population density is close to ideal: enough people to find someone to study with, yet empty enough to always find a seat. 

Westgate shines when considering the many nearby food/drink options and its proximity to downtown. Unfortunately, it’s a bus or car ride away from downtown. This is normally a bad thing, but in this case, the level of separation is preferred due to parking and proximity to the freeway. Westgate is fully accessible, making it a welcoming space for everyone with automatic entryways and ramps throughout.

4 out of 5

Shinola Cafe (301 S Main St.)

Shinola. Credit: Lucas Caswell.

Cool and calm, Shinola Cafe is a hidden gem of Main Street, located below the location’s storefront.  Sporting a stylish aesthetic and relaxed layout, it’s a notable part of Main Street. Unfortunately, this coffee shop isn’t a good place to work at with groups of friends.

Shinola Cafe is not an ideal place to study or work due to its quiet noise level and crowded population. It’s extremely quiet; which means a quiet work environment, but also limits conversation. It is also only able to house a small number of people in the one-room cafe.

The food itself consists of a limited selection of drinks and snacks. However, it has the benefit of being dead center downtown, surrounded by a variety of other dining locations. 

Finally, Shinola Cafe has a lack of accessibility and limited seating. The store itself is accessible, however the cafe is primarily accessed through a single, central staircase. Making your way into the cafe, the lanes between tables are noticeably crowded. The location makes finding parking difficult, especially in the midst of traffic, but adds an extra layer of background noise as a distraction while you work. While not bad as a cafe, this is not a good place to study. 

2.8 out of 5

Kerrytown Market & Shops (407 N 5th Ave.)

Kerrytown. Credit: Lucas Caswell

You can’t describe downtown Ann Arbor without mentioning the Kerrytown Market & Shops, the city marketplace and artisans market. Hosting a wide variety of stores, venues, and environments all in such close quarters, it stands to have something for everyone who visits; unless, of course, you’re in search of seating or a quiet workspace. 

Kerrytown Market is not an ideal place if you’re looking for somewhere to work. It’s a challenging place to study due to the high noise level and crowded population. While nice to shop at and visit, the majority of the Kerrytown building is always a little too loud and a little too crowded after a while.

Although it’s not suited for studying, Kerrytown Market shines when it comes to proximity to downtown and the food/drink variety.  A short walk from downtown and many dining options, Kerrytown Market makes for a perfect location for a regular day out. 

Nearly every area of Kerrytown Market is technically accessible for those with physical disabilities; however, among the limited variety of seating options, there’s seldom any available on most days. 

3.6 out of 5

Ann Arbor Coffee Roasting Company (324 S State St)

Ann Arbor Coffee Roasting Company. Credit: Oliver Pung.

Relatively new to the scene, A2RC is a local coffee shop in downtown Ann Arbor right next to Nickels Arcade. A2RC differentiates itself from competitors in the area with a lively and fun atmosphere, decorated by modern animation posters.. Although relatively new, I can already safely say that this is the place to study due to its moderate noise level and active population. 

The noise level is balanced, with just enough background volume to keep the space lively. The respectful and calm energy contributes to its suitability for studying, reflected in the population density rating: enough space to bring a small group to study with, while naturally limiting the number of people per party.

A2CRC also offers nearby food/drink options and close proximity to downtown, with two separate parking structures nearby.

Finally, A2CRC is fully accessible. With automatic entryways with ramps, A2CRC prioritizes accessibility. This commitment extends to their availability of space, with almost always a place for everyone upon each visit. I can safely say that this is a good place to study.

4.1 out of 5

Donate to The Skyline Post
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Skyline High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Oliver Pung, Writer

Oliver Pung ('24) is a member of the lifestyles section for the Skyline Post. In his free time he likes to read, draw, and produce jazz music. He also throws shot put & discus for the Skyline Track team.

Donate to The Skyline Post
Our Goal