As Newport Road climbs north to the Wines Elementary area, just south of M-14 on the city’s northwest side, broad and rambling roads offer some of the best views in the city and a wide range of housing styles, encompassing everything from modest subdivisions in Ann Arbor to secluded luxury homes in Barton Hills and rural residential hideaways in the townships of Ann Arbor, Scio, and Webster. A mix of retired and young families live among lofty hills in houses ranging from Cape Cods and colonials near Hunt Park to dramatic contemporaries on Orkney; all have easy access to both Bird Hills Nature Area and Bluffs Park. The city calls this the Sunset neighborhood, but a now-defunct neighborhood music festival popularized a new name for part of it: Water Hill.
West of Newport, young parents mix with grandparents on quiet streets of single-family ranches and Cape Cods tucked behind the sports fields of Forsythe Middle School, which shares a large, open campus with Wines.
M-14 divides the middle-class city neighborhoods to its south from some of the most exclusive terrain in the Ann Arbor area. As Newport moves north from the freeway, it passes through late 20th-century subdivisions filled with family-minded professionals and business executives—Walnut Ridge, Newport Hills, and Newport Creek. Farther north, modern dream houses perch on the wooded slopes and stare out across the Huron River at the mansions of Barton Hills in a duel of extravagance. Barton Hills, one of Michigan’s wealthiest communities, is legally a village, but its streets and shared facilities are owned by the homeowners’ private association, which limits access to residents and their guests. Most of the village’s first homes, often of English Tudor or cottage style, were constructed during the 1930s. Architect-designed mid-century modern houses followed in the 1950s and 1960s. Recently, many homes have been extensively renovated—or torn down and replaced with larger contemporary structures.
The Wines district continues west along Miller almost to Zeeb and far north into Webster Township, where country homes sit on large lots. Multiple-family housing is represented by the Newport West Condominiums, whose 103 units are carefully designed to maximize privacy and views of neighboring Bird Hills Nature Area.
Wines grads go on to Forsythe Middle School and Skyline High.
Bike lanes: With a marked bike lane on Miller and part of Newport (one way northbound, only to M-14), and suggested bike routes on Sunset and Newport north of M-14, this is a bike-friendly area.
Walking: Wines School has a walk score of 9 (walkscore.com), and few homes in this area are within walking distance of any kind of shopping.