Spring Arbor University


Just finished studying for the big exam and need to take a breather from the books? There’s plenty to do in and around Spring Arbor; take a look at some of the opportunities for fun off-campus.


Sacred Grounds—Sacred Grounds is located right on campus in White Library. The student baristas proudly brew fair trade coffee and Tazo tea. Visit often for weekly specialty drinks, daily discounts, and baked goods!

Starbucks—Having Starbucks withdrawals? No problem! There is a Starbucks located at 1801 N. West Ave., Jackson, 49202; 517.782.3408. Remember, Sacred Grounds also serves up Starbucks coffee too!

Biggby—A popular chain from west Michigan, Biggby offers a wide variety of sweet additions to your regular cup of joe. 7851 Spring Arbor Rd, Spring Arbor, MI 49283; 517.748.5996.

Jackson Coffee Company—Voted the best coffee in Jackson, this vintage-style coffee house in downtown Jackson delivers charm and sophistication. Every Friday night, Jackson Coffee Co. hosts live entertainment on its second floor. 201 S. Mechanic St., Jackson, 49201; 517.990.6770; www.jacksoncoffeeco.com

Dunkin’ Donuts—If you’re not too big on Biggby, “donut” worry! There’s also a Dunkin’ Donuts to meet your coffee and donut needs. 906 N. West Ave., Jackson, 49202; 517.787.3123

Cuppa—Offers handcrafted coffee and espressos, Art of the Tea loose leaf teas, Sweetbird smoothies and syrups, and a great variety of baked goods (even gluten-free muffins)! 634 N Mechanic St., Jackson, 49202; 517.392.6489



Marino’s or Slice of Spice—College lesson #1: Pizza is a college staple. Take your pick, there are three pizza restaurants within walking distance of SAU.

  • Marino’s Pizza—102 Teft Rd; 517.750.3805
  • Slice of Spice—7851 Spring Arbor Rd. (in the Village Crossing Mall); 517.962.4311

Klavon’s Pizzeria—They’re best known for their Chicago-style pizza. Round up a group and head here for a great meal! 6010 Clinton Rd., Jackson, 49201; 517.784.7000



China City—This classic Chinese eatery offers up all your old favorites, from noodles to wontons to soup, and you get a ton of food for a low price. 1690 Spring Arbor Rd., Jackson, 49203; 517.789.8899

AKA Sushi Bar—Craving some sushi? AKA Sushi is the best around! They feature many sushi rolls on their menu, and also offer vegetarian options, lunch bentos and hot entrées. 1801 N. West Ave., Jackson, 49202



Los Tres Amigos—At Los Tres Amigos, the crisp chips, savory salsa, gooey guacamole, tasty tacos, cheesy chimichangas, fantastic fajitas—okay, you get the picture—will make you feel south of the border in no time. 1111 North West Ave., Jackson, 49202; 517.784.8400

El Compa—Looking for authentic Mexican food? El Compa delights its patrons with a large selection of delicious meals and also offers bottled Jaritos and Cokes (with real sugar!) in their tienda located at the restaurant. 1103 E Ganson St., Jackson, 49201; 517.796.9797

Chilango’s—A truly authentic Mexican experience. Chilango’s has a clean atmosphere and serves up weekly specials. Try an assortment of a la carte tacos, or (if you’re really hungry) the wet burrito. 1020 E Ganson St., Jackson, 49201; 517.795.1502



Olive Garden—A popular and consistent franchise with, honestly, great food. 3500 Oneil Dr., Jackson, 49202; 517.787.2388

Bella Notte Ristorante—Got a big date? Want to celebrate after passing your organic chemistry mid-term? Bella Notte Ristorante, a hip, downtown eatery, is sure to impress. The atmosphere is elegant and upscale, the servers are classy and the food is delicious. 137 W. Michigan Ave., Jackson, MI 49201; 517.782.5727; www.bellanotteristorante.com



Outback Steakhouse—Located across from the Jackson Crossing mall near Lowe’s. 1501 Boardman Rd., Jackson, 49202; 517.784.7700

Lone Star Steakhouse—Not into Outback? Head over to Lone Star Steakhouse located at 3510 O’Neill Rd., Jackson, 49202; 517.768.0884



Panera Bread—Located near the Jackson Crossing mall. 1285 Boardman Rd., Jackson, 49202; 517.783.0800

The Pickle Barrel Deli—Right in downtown Jackson, this sandwich shop features freshly-baked bread from the acclaimed Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor. 156 W Michigan Ave., Jackson, 49201; 517.962.2559

The Hunt Club—A great place for groups or dates. Large portions and a rustic atmosphere. 1514 Daniel Rd., Jackson, 49202; 517.782.0375

Schlenker’s Sandwich Shop—Schlenker’s makes a good burger. Come here for a unique and inexpensive burger experience, where your burger is served up on wax paper. Save room for the pie! 1104 E Ganson St., Jackson 49201; 517.783.1667

Denny’s and Steak ‘n Shake—The life of a college student doesn’t always run on a typical schedule, which means there will be times when you’re starving and most restaurants are closed. That’s where Steak ‘n’ Shake and Denny’s 24-hour dining experiences come in. There you will find food you need to carry you through a long night of studying or to provide a place to hang out at the end of a long day.

  • Steak ‘n Shake—2655 Airport Rd., Jackson, 49202; 517.841.9390
  • Denny’s—2560 Airport Rd., Jackson, 49202; 517.782.0025


Ice Cream

Frosty Boy and The Parlour—A sundae can make your day, a double scoop can brighten your mood—and let’s not even get started on sprinkles. Head just down the road to Frosty Boy or take a trip to The Parlour, which has made a name for itself with their 21-scoop mountain of ice cream, aptly named the “Dare to be Great.”

  • Frosty Boy—309 W. Main St., Spring Arbor; 517.750.1114
  • The Parlour—1401 Daniel Rd., Jackson, 49202; 517.783.1581



One Five One—Some have been known to drive an hour to get to this laid-back-yet-still-chic downtown restaurant. But then again, where else would they find escargot, spinach pizza, baked brie and a variety of specialty and vegetarian pastas all on one menu? 151 W. Michigan Ave., Jackson, 49201; 517.782.1895.

City Crepes—This new restaurant offers a variety of French-style savory and dessert crepes in a small and cozy café environment. 141 N. Jackson St., Jackson, 49201; 517.789.8090


Westwood Mall—This is the place to go when you need essentials like new towels, running shoes, electronics or jeans, or other vital college gear. At Westwood, you’ll find more than 10 stores including Gap, Elder-Beerman, American Eagle Outfitters, Radio Shack, Foot Locker and Waldenbooks. 1850 W. Michigan Ave., Jackson, 49202; 517.787.1170; www.shopwestwoodmall.com

Jackson Crossing Mall—When convenience is a must for purchasing a must-have, Jackson Crossing is your one-stop shop. You’ll find Kohl’s, Sears, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, TJ Maxx, Best Buy and other top departments stores and shops. There are a wide variety of other shopping and entertainment opportunities in the area, so while there, also take time for dinner and a movie with friends. 1092 Jackson Crossing, Jackson, 49204; 517.783.4890.

Thrift Stores—Who doesn’t love rooting through the miles and miles of racks at vintage and thrift stores and coming out with the perfect bag or skirt or jacket or belt for a few measly bucks? Budgeting and college life are part and parcel, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your shop on, too.

  • Twice As Nice Consignment—111 E. Ganson St., Jackson, 49201‎ 517.784.2398
  • Jackson Antique Mall—201 N. Jackson St., Jackson, 49202; 517.784.3333
  • Resale Depot—2390 Wildwood St., Jackson, 49202; 517.780.9099
  • Resale Depot—409 Hupp St., Jackson, 49203; 517.962.4291
  • St. Vincent de Paul—1812 Spring Arbor Rd., Jackson, 48203; 517.784.0721; www.svdpjackson.com
  • Goodwill—617 N. Mechanic St., Jackson, 49202; 517.787.0570; www.goodwillcmh.org
  • Goodwill—955 W. Argyle St., Jackson, 49202; 517.789.6193


Goodrich Jackson 10 Theatre—Head straight to Jackson 10 for a technologically superb movie experience. This megaplex has it allstadium seating, game room, café, party rooms for rent and kiosk ticket printing. 1501 N. Wisner Jackson, 49202; 517.784.2727; www.gqti.com/Theaters.aspx?TheaterID=1455

Carmike Plaza Cinemas—Another good option for movie lovers, GKC’s seven screens show the latest flicks coupled with the latest technology including a digital theatre system, digital light processing system and stadium seating design. 1700 N. Wisner St. Jackson, 49202; 517.784.7731

IMAX—Razor-sharp images are projected onto a screen the height of a basketball court, while dozens of digital speakers bathe you in surround sound; it’s the ultimate sensory experience. Celebration Cinema, 200 E. Edgewood Blvd. Lansing, 48911; 517.393.SHOW; https://celebrationcinema.com/location/Lansing

Michigan Theatre—One of Michigan’s remaining historic theatres is continually being restored. It is open to the public for tours and events, including classic films, art films, theatre performances and concerts. 124 N. Mechanic St., Jackson, 49201; 517.783.0811; www.michigantheatre.org

Movie Rentals—You don’t always have to go big—sometimes the small screen in the comfort of your home is the perfect way to enjoy the cinema. There are many movie rental stores in and around the Spring Arbor area. Among the choices are:

  • RedBox—1700 W. Michigan Ave. (inside Walmart), Jackson, 49202
  • Family Video—1111 W. Ganson St., Jackson, 49202; 517.784.3197


Art 634—Originally a carriage factory, this creative center offers opportunities to explore music, dance, photography, painting, fabric, sculpture, hair design, jewelry, and handcrafted coffee all in one location. 634 N. Mechanic St., Jackson, 49202; www.art634.com

Optimist Ice Arena and Jackson All-Skate—Whether you prefer skates with wheels or with blades, these two facilities offer great opportunities to have some fun, relieve some stress and burn calories. Rentals are cheap and groups are welcome. When you’re up to your ears in homework, take a couple twirls around the rink and feel like a kid again.

Airport Lanes—Even if you’ve never picked up a bowling ball in your life, you can still have a great time with your friends by rolling a few frames. 3501 Wildwood Ave., Jackson, 517.783.2711

Lime Lake and Falling Waters Trail—A popular destination for students, Lime Lake is a great place to go for a swim (when it’s not too cold!). On a causeway over the lake is Falling Waters Trail, a 10.5-mile paved bike and walking path that links Jackson, Spring Arbor and Concord. 5419 Teft Rd., Spring Arbor, 49237

Sparks Foundation County Park—This 465-acre state park features an outdoor basketball court, four lighted tennis courts, horseshoe pitching pits, pier fishing, picnic shelter, flower gardens, cross country ski trails, a huge sled hill, 18-hole and nine-hole golf courses, a mini-golf course, paved pedestrian walkways, batting cages, paddle boat rentals and an ice cream stand. Take I-94 to Exit 138; follow the signs! Jackson, 49201; 517.788.4000; www.jacksonmich.com/cascades2.html

Ella Sharp Park and Museum—This charming park and historic art museum offers flower gardens, nature trails and an arboretum, exhibits of local and national art (including one of the state’s most thorough displays of Jackson’s history), baseball, softball and soccer fields, basketball and volleyball courts and a challenging multi-leveled mini-golf course. 3225 Fourth St., Jackson, 49203; 517.787.2320; www.ellasharppark.com (park), www.ellasharp.org (museum)

Gallagher Park—Just a short walk from the University, 10-acre Gallagher Park is the perfect place for some pick-up baseball, softball or soccer games, whether it’s between classes, after a hard day’s work or on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Be sure to schedule your game during park hours: dawn to dusk.

Swains Lake County Park—There will be times you just need to get away from the hustle and bustle of college life… and this is definitely the place to escape. This beautiful 26-acre county park, just a few miles down the road, offers swimming, picnics, hiking, biking, fishing and nature trails. Located off M-60, south on Main St./Pulaski Rd. in Concord; www.jackson.mi.us/Parks/SwainsLakePark.asp

Whiffletree Golf Club and The Grande—Jackson County is home to more golf courses than any other county in Michigan. Golfing options range from easy-access, low-cost courses such as Whiffletree to championship-level courses like The Grande.

  • Whiffletree—15730 Homer Rd., Concord, 49237; 517.524.6655
  • The Grande—1293 Floyd Ave., Jackson, 49201; 517.768.9494