Kalamazoo’s Top 10 Instagram Photos in September

When Fall arrives in Kalamazoo, we delight in the season that offers the warmth of a bonfire or a cable knit sweater. We dig out our boots, lace up and head for the hayrides, the cider mills and any opportunity to shamelessly indulge in fresh-made donuts.

We don’t waste our breath and grumble as the days grow colder, because we know that soon the air will be so cold that it will take our breath away.

Who other than us can live through a Snowpocalypse, Instagram the experience and still confidently view Mother Nature as awe-inspiring? Maybe it’s true that the best way to truly appreciate something is to be without it for a while.

Here are the top 10 #Kalamazoo Instagram photos of September. Proof that we really do find all four seasons fascinating!

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Honoring #nationalcoffeeday with some #mittenlove. Hope everyone got their coffee fix this Monday!

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Don’t forget to visit Gener The #Pumpkin Man this #fall! Photo credit: @whiskeyabledelta #kalamazoo #kzoo #genethepumpkinman

"We're suckers for #Fall foliage scenery and adorable dogs, so obviously we couldn't resist sharing this photo from @emmalucywolford #kalamazoo #kzoo #puremichigan #loverwhereyoulive #dogsofinstagram"

We’re suckers for #Fall foliage scenery and adorable dogs, so obviously we couldn’t resist sharing this photo from @emmalucywolford #kalamazoo #kzoo #puremichigan #loverwhereyoulive #dogsofinstagram

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#Fall colors are well on their way! Who else love #autumn in #kalamazoo?! Photo credit: @northern_grams #kalamazoo #kzoo #puremichigan

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“The end of family day. #puremichigan #kalamazoo #love #lovesummer” -@dirty_mitten_gang

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“Save a bag & show some love ~ our Farmer’s Market Tote Bag. Designed by the #damnhandsome team, hand-screened, recyclable and biodegradable. Up on the site now.” #regram from @damnhandsomegroomingco. We’re obsessed with these totes! #drinklocal #buylocal #lovewhereyoulive #kzoo

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Hey Instagrammers! Check out this photo @hannamac1 took while rowing on the #kalamazooriver! #beautiful #kalamazoo #kzoo #puremichigan #lovewhereyoulive

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Take a look at this stellar #Kalamazoo morning photo @rhinomediakzoo shared. Nothing quite like #kzoo in the #fall. #puremichigan #lovewhereyoulive

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Thank you @danaaac for this breathtaking photo you captured on your recent #kzoo #nature #walk. There is so much beauty to be discovered in the greater #kalamazoo area! #puremichigan #lovewhereyoulive

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“Guess who’s back!? 2,200 miles across the country from #SanDiego #California to #Kalamazoo #Michigan! #RoadTrip #PureMichigan.” Welcome back, @_kevinhernandez! We hope you enjoy your stay and love the #kzoo area as much as we do! #lovewhereyoulive

Fall Family Favorites Around Kalamazoo

Take a look at these fall family favorites around Kalamazoo from Jill Piwko of KZOOkids.com!

 Jill Piwko is the Director of KZOOkids.com and mom of one busy 6 year-old son. She loves being out and enjoying all of the things that Kalamazoo offers. You can often find Jill hiking, cooking, volunteering, and experiencing things with her family in and around Kalamazoo.

Jill Piwko is the Director of KZOOkids.com and mom of one busy 6 year-old son. She loves being out and enjoying all of the things that Kalamazoo offers. You can often find Jill hiking, cooking, volunteering, and experiencing things with her family in and around Kalamazoo.

 

Fall in the Kalamazoo area is truly spectacular! We love all of the great family things that you can do. From apple picking to Harvest Festivals to trick-or-treat events, there are so many fall activities that make this our favorite season of the year.

Here are some of our favorite family activities and events that we look forward to every fall.

 

 

 

 

(photo courtesy of Jill Piwko)

(photo courtesy of Jill Piwko)

“Gene The Pumpkin Man”

Fall family fun must include a visit to “Gene the Pumpkin Man”. Look for the orange barns, orange tractors and the orange car. Gene has been in the pumpkin business for 57 years offering pumpkins, honey, squash, and pumpkin butter. He opens mid- September and closes for the season on November 1st. Pumpkins will arrive early October. Gene’s farm is located at 22637 M-43 in Kalamazoo and open daily from 10:00 am-8:00 pm every day. Stop in and visit Gene and see why he is so passionate about pumpkins…it’s contagious!

 

 

(photo courtesy of Jill Piwko)

(photo courtesy of Jill Piwko)

Gull Meadow Farms

http://gullmeadowfarms.com

A great way to kick off the fall season is a visit to Gull Meadow Farms located in Richland. There are so many things to do for the whole family. Gull Meadow Farms season opened on September 6 with the petting farm, apple orchard, pumpkin patch, wagon rides, and tons of activities in Pumpkin Lane. One of our favorites activities is the apple cannon that shoots apples more than 150 yards into the air. This season they will have a number of special events including visits from the Pumpkin Princess on Saturdays and Sundays during October and the fun Pumpkin Destruction Weekend on November 1st.   While you’re there, don’t forget to try one of their fresh pumpkin donuts.

 

KRVT Fall Color Cruise and Fun Run

http://www.kalcounty.com/parks/krvt/

(photo courtesy of Kalamazoo River Valley Trail)

(photo courtesy of Kalamazoo River Valley Trail)

The Kalamazoo River Valley Trail is a beautiful place to take a bike ride in the fall. The KRVT Annual Fall Color Cruise on October 12 is a great opportunity to get out there and enjoy the great fall colors. This year they’ve added a fun run, too. Fall colors and an opportunity to enjoy a family bike ride or run provides the perfect opportunity to experience all of the beauty of this great trail in the fall!

 

(photo courtesy of Jill Piwko)

(photo courtesy of Jill Piwko)

Boo Zoo at Binder Park Zoo

http://www.binderparkzoo.org

The Boo Zoo at Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek is such a fun event! This year the Boo Zoo at the Binder Park Zoo will take place between October 15th and October 30th. Enjoy the trick-or-treat trail, games, hayrides, train rides and the carousel. Don’t forget your costume!

 

 

 

(photo courtesy of Kalamazoo Valley Museum)

(photo courtesy of Kalamazoo Valley Museum)

Safe Halloween at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum

http://kvm.kvcc.edu

On October 25th from 12:00 pm-4:00 pm, families are invited to join the Kalamazoo Valley Museum with crafts, face painting, and trick-or-treating! The KVM also offers free access to walk the haunted halls of the planetarium and an opportunity to take part in a Spooky Space Mission. We and many other members of the community love this FREE event.

 

 

Gilmore Car Museum’s Spooktacular

http://www.gilmorecarmuseum.org

(photo courtesy of Gilmore Car Museum)

(photo courtesy of Gilmore Car Museum)

The 3rd Annual Gilmore Spooktacular will be held at the Gilmore Car Museum in October 29th from 4:00 pm-7:00 pm. This is such a fun way to trick-or-treat and enjoy Halloween festivities with the kids. Activities include trunk-or-treating, lawn games, rides on the double decker bus and more! The setting at the Gilmore Car Museum make this event spectacular and so unique.

Hope you can get out and enjoy all of the good things that our area has to offer this fall. Have fun!

 

 

Local Spotlight: Lori Gottschling’s Favorite Things to do in Kalamazoo

 

Lori Gottschling is an intern at Discover Kalamazoo who enjoys all things related to coffee and photography. Keep an eye out for Lori at upcoming events in Kalamazoo! :)

Lori Gottschling is an intern at Discover Kalamazoo who enjoys all things related to coffee and photography. Keep an eye out for Lori at upcoming events in Kalamazoo! :)

• Favorite restaurant?  This is difficult for me to answer, because trying new restaurants is my absolute favorite thing to do in Kalamazoo.

 

bravo

Summerfest IPA is one of my favorite drink options at Bravo! This IPA is very earthy and holds notes of pineapple and citrus. :)

 

However, I’m going to go with Bravo! Restaurant and Cafe.

Bravo! offers a number of Italian dishes and hand-crafted beers that are all just to die for. I personally love to start my meals at Bravo! with the mushroom soup and an order of the sweet potato and goat cheese ravioli!

 

• Best breakfast?

I’m going to say The Crow’s Nest.

frenchtoast

The banana bread french toast is extremely delicous and topped with cinnamon syrup, walnuts and powdered sugar! :)

I chose this spot for a few reasons, atmosphere, pricing and deliciousness. ;) First of all, the restaurant itself has a lovely feel to it. Located above Fourth Coast Café, this quaint spot is lined with brick walls covered with unique artwork by some of

Kalamazoo’s talent. The staff is friendly, down to earth and always up to snuff on their menu!

The pricing at Crow’s Nest is also something to make note of. For delicious and unique cuisine you can expect to pay a very fair amount of money and leave feeling full and satisfied! :)

Try any of the french toast options, because they’re all way too delicious!

 

• Top hangout?

My favorite hangout in Kalamazoo is the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, hands down. In addition to eating as much food as possible, I love pretty much all things related to cinema. It only makes sense that I would adore a place that offers a full menu and a show! :)

The Alamo Drafthouse has something for everyone! Trivia nights, quote-alongs and Saturday morning cartoon screenings!

Alamodraft house cinema Kalamazoo

The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is a downtown Kalamazoo treasure. It is the first dine-in movie theatre in the city! :)

Plus, they offer reduced student rates with your student ID, which is great for a college student like me! :)

 

 

 

 

 

• Favorite thing about Kalamazoo? (Continue)

My favorite thing about Kalamazoo is all that it has to offer. Kalamazoo has so many diverse activities and events to give to our community members and guests!

When staying in Kalamazoo, you can expect to have a great time in the city, but also have the option to drive out into the country at any given moment!

There really is so much to be discovered here in Kalamazoo.

KzooLove

 

• Coolest Kalamazoo-history fact?

My favorite history fact about Kalamazoo would be that the familiar old yellow taxicabs were produced in Kalamazoo by The Checker Cab Company until production stopped in the early 80’s.

megdrapercab

The big, round yellow taxis with the checkerboard strip were built in Kalamazoo beginning in 1923!

I’m a HUGE Mad Men geek and I can’t help but smile every time Don Draper hails a cab that was produced in Kalamazoo!

 

 

 

 

 

• Favorite Kalamazoo festival/event?

My favorite Kalamazoo festival would have to be Kalamazoo Pride Festival. This was actually my first year attending Pride and it will absolutely not be my last! The welcoming energy that lingers around Acadia Creek Festival site during Kalamazoo Pride is one of the most beautiful things I have ever experienced. I made new friends and shared laughs with so many people that I may not have ever met had it not been for Pride Fest!

_BJM6550

 

• Favorite place to grab a drink?

BellsBeer(The Mead)

Enjoy “The Mead” at Bell’s Brewery! :)

I’m excited about this question, because I just celebrated my 21st birthday! Although I am very new to the Kalamazoo drinking scene, I would have to pin Bell’s Brewery as my favorite place to grab a drink in the area.

BellsBeer

Bell’s Two Hearted Ale is another crowd favorite!

If you’re looking for a great atmosphere to hang out with friends and grab some delicious brews, Bell’s is the place for you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

• Hidden gem in greater Kalamazoo?

blackowl2

Enjoy a cup of coffee in Black Owl Cafe’s laid back, industrial-decorated setting. :)

I’m not sure if it can be considered a hidden gem, but Black Owl Cafe is the first location that comes to mind.If you are a coffee lover like me you have to add Black Owl Cafe to your list of coffee locations.

Black Owl Cafe offers a number of coffees and teas with different brewing techniques for guests to enjoy. Not only that, but the interior of the cafe is one of the most unique I’ve ever seen!

 

 

 

• ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D ADD :)

I think the biggest mistake you can make while living in Kalamazoo is to not venture out and see all of the different things that the area has to offer! Kalamazoo is rich in culture and diversity and welcomes all visitors with open arms!

 

kzoo

 

Click here for more cool things to do in Kalamazoo! :)

 

 

Kalamazoo’s Top 10 Instagram Photos in August

Here are Discover Kalamazoo’s top 10 photos from August on Instagram!

Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful photos of what makes Kalamazoo such a great place to live!

1.

Fishing in Michigan #fishing #lake #sunset #kalamazoo #kzoo #puremichigan #puremi #michigan  Credit: @northern_grams

Fishing in Michigan #fishing #lake #sunset #kalamazoo #kzoo #puremichigan #puremi #michigan
Credit: @northern_grams


2.

Meet in the Middle?! #Kalamazoo is half-way between Detriot and Chicago! #kzoo #michigan #puremichigan #yestherereallyisakalamazoo  Credit: @kimberpossible

Meet in the Middle?! #Kalamazoo is half-way between Detriot and Chicago! #kzoo #michigan #puremichigan #yestherereallyisakalamazoo
Credit: @kimberpossible


3.

Amazing shot overlooking the lovely #downtownkzoo, @kgjphotography! We adore our city! #kalamazoo #kzoo #puremichigan

Amazing shot overlooking the lovely #downtownkzoo, @kgjphotography! We adore our city! #kalamazoo #kzoo #puremichigan


4.

"Kalamazoo, taking over the world #kzoo #nyc." - @gregchopp ... It is so awesome to see pieces of #Kalamazoo all over the place, even New York City! #lovewhereyoulive #bellsbrewery #craftbeer #drinklocal

“Kalamazoo, taking over the world #kzoo #nyc.” – @gregchopp … It is so awesome to see pieces of #Kalamazoo all over the place, even New York City! #lovewhereyoulive #bellsbrewery #craftbeer #drinklocal


5.

A most excellet sunrise over Long Lake in #Kalamazoo #ramonapark #kzoo #outdoors #sunrise #love #puremichigan #puremi  Credit: @mlamphere

A most excellet sunrise over Long Lake in #Kalamazoo #ramonapark #kzoo #outdoors #sunrise #love #puremichigan #puremi
Credit: @mlamphere


6.

"Always home #kalamazoo.# - @gratefultribby #kzoo #puremichigan #lovewhereyoulive

“Always home #kalamazoo.# – @gratefultribby #kzoo #puremichigan #lovewhereyoulive


7.

Excellent photo of East Hall @tsarle! #kalamazoo #kzoo #WMU #lovewhereyoulive

Excellent photo of East Hall @tsarle! #kalamazoo #kzoo #WMU #lovewhereyoulive


8.

Awesome photo of one of #kalamazoo's Litte Free Library boxes captured by @kzoolove! "Take a book, give a book." #kzoo #puremichigan #reading #littlefreelibrary

Awesome photo of one of #kalamazoo’s Litte Free Library boxes captured by @kzoolove! “Take a book, give a book.” #kzoo #puremichigan #reading #littlefreelibrary


9.

@rianmari88 fell in #love with Sweetwater's Donut Mill this weekend! What are some of your favorite #kalamazoo treats? #kzoo #sweetwaters #puremichigan #donuts

@rianmari88 fell in #love with Sweetwater’s Donut Mill this weekend! What are some of your favorite #kalamazoo treats? #kzoo #sweetwaters #puremichigan #donuts


10.

Happy #IPA Day!! #puremichigan #michiganbeer #love #drinklocal #bellsbrewery #kalamazoo #beer #craftbeer #IPA Credt: @coolstone179

Happy #IPA Day!! #puremichigan #michiganbeer #love #drinklocal #bellsbrewery #kalamazoo #beer #craftbeer #IPA
Credt: @coolstone179

 


 

Want to see more photos of the greater-Kalamazoo area? Follow Discover Kalamazoo on Instagram at @discoverkzoo!

Click here for more cool things to do in Kalamazoo!

 

Local Spotlight: Dave Walker’s favorite things to do in Kalamazoo

gilmore car museum

The Gilmore Car Museum located in Hickory Corners, Michigan, features more than 300 vehicles spanning all eras. It was named a Top 5 Car Museum by Antique Automobile magazine.

things to do kalamazoo

Dave Walker grew up in Kalamazoo and went to Loy Norrix High School and Albion College. He is a realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and loves helping clients accomplish their real estate goals.

• Fun place(s) for kids/families?
Kalamazoo River Valley Trail, Kalamazoo County Fair, Air Zoo, Gilmore Car Museum

• Best breakfast?
Kare’s Village Diner in Richland

• Top hangout?
The sandbar in Gull Lake

• Best late-night spot?
The Dock at Bayview in Gull Lake

• Favorite thing to do in each season?
Spring – golf, Summer – golf, Fall – golf, Winter –  practice golf (Golfdome in Schoolcraft)


• Coolest Kalamazoo-history fact?
Kalamazoo College has been the site of the Boys 16s & 18s National Tennis Championships for 72 years!

usta kalamazoo

Anybody who’s anybody in men’s tennis has played at the United States Tennis Association Boys 18 & 16 National Tennis Championships held every August in Kalamazoo.

• Favorite attraction?
USTA Boys Tennis National Championships

• Favorite Kalamazoo festival/event?
Blues Fest

• Favorite place to grab a drink?
Wayside West

• Best pizza?
Fricanos

• Favorite restaurant?
Casa Bolero

Kal-Haven Trail

Kal-Haven Trail spans from Kalamazoo to South Haven, Michigan! Enjoy a hike, bike ride, horseback ride, or a leisurely stroll on this 34-mile trail from South Haven to Kalamazoo.


• Perfect day trip?
Bicycle the Kal-Haven Trail, stop in Bloomingdale for lunch, then on to South Haven

• Favorite thing about Kalamazoo?
There’s so much to do, all year!

• Hidden gem in greater Kalamazoo?
The Kalamazoo House Bed & Breakfast

Jessica’s favorite lunch spots around Kalamazoo

things to do in kalamazoo

Jessica Pawlik is an intern at Discover Kalamazoo and fell in love with the city ever since she became a student at Western Michigan Univeristy. She enjoys summer, exploring different attractions and finding out about all the exciting events going on in Kalamazoo.

Kalamazoo, Mich. — There’s no such thing as a free lunch, but there is such thing as a cheap one — or at least one that’s worth the cost!

Living in Kalamazoo for the past three years, I’ve had the chance to explore and discover various lunch spots around town. Here are some of my favorite inexpensive spots in Kalamazoo:

JUST GOOD FOOD
• Location: 303 N. Rose St., Kalamazoo, MI
• Hours:
-Monday-Friday: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
-Saturday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
-Sunday: Closed
• About: Just Good Food Deli is a hidden restaurant located in the basement of the Rose Street Market in downtown Kalamazoo! Here you will find food made from scratch using organic, local and fresh ingredients. Just Good Food also offers catering and hosts receptions, private parties and different special occasions in the ballroom.
• Must Try Menu Items: Jen’s Pasta, Feta Spinach Pasta, Spicy Chicken Quesadilla and Chicken Enchilada

santorini

This delicious dish from Santorini includes a salad, chicekn, rice and pita

SANTORINI ISLAND GRILL
• Location: 1903 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo, MI (Bernhard Center)
• Hours:
-Monday-Friday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
-Saturday-Sunday: Closed
• About: This restaurant is located on Western Michigan University’s campus and offers Greek, Mediterranean and popular grilled items. The menu features pita meals, burgers, burritos, rice bowls, soups, salads and breakfast.
• Must Try Menu Items: Chicken Burrito and Bowl

IRVING’S MARKET & DELI
• Location: 125 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo, MI (located in the Kalamazoo City Center)
• Hours:
-Monday-Friday: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
-Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
-Sunday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• About: I was surprised on how much this small market has to offer! Inside this downtown Kalamazoo hot-spot, you will find a deli, coffee shop, breakfast, grocery items, bakery, fresh produce, frozen items, diary items and more. Everyone at the deli was extremely friendly and helpful. Irving’s offers catering for all types of parties.
• Must Try Menu Item: Turkey and Pesto Panini

Roadhouse, Univeristy, Kalamazoo

Enjoy a huge patio upstairs and downstairs at Univeristy Roadhouse

UNIVERSITY ROADHOUSE
• Location: 1332 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo, MI
• Hours:
-Monday-Saturday: 11 am to 2 a.m.
-Sunday: 11 a.m. to midnight
• About: University Roadhouse is a great restaurant to bring your friends and family to. It’s located close to Western Michigan University’s campus and has a great outdoor patio to sit down and enjoy a meal. They have a variety of appetizers, salads, pizzas, burgers, sandwiches and entrees.
• Must try Menu Items: BBQ Pulled Pork and Gourmet Mac & Cheese

Taco Bobs, Kalamazoo, Mexican, Funny Tacos

The “Funny Taco” at Taco Bobs! Credit: @krystalbrorson via Instagram

TACO BOBS
• Location: 300 S. Kalamazoo Mall #171, Kalamazoo, MI
• Hours:
-Monday-Friday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
-Saturday: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
-Sunday: Closed
• About: If you are looking for very-delicious and inexpensive Mexican food, Taco Bob’s is the place to go! Taco Bobs has multiple locations in greater Kalamazoo — the one I went to is in downtown Kalamazoo. Taco Bobs is guaranteed to make your mouth water and keep you coming back for more. The menu consists of tacos, tostadas, quesadillas, nachos, salads, burritos and combos. They offer vegetarian options and catering.
• Must Try Menu Item: The Funny Taco!

PANINI EXPRESS
• Location: 125 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo, MI
• Hours: Monday-Friday: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• About: If you love paninis you’ll love Panini Express! It’s a small sandwich shop located in the Kalamazoo City Center in downtown Kalamazoo. Panini Express offers a rotating menu featuring four different paninis every day. You can check the Facebook page to see what they are serving!
• Must Try Menu Item: Armadillo Panini

Erbellis, Pizza, Kalamazoo

Erbelli’s offers all kinds of pizza including this gluten free one! Credit: @emmayoungdale via Instagram

ERBELLI’S
• Location: 6214 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo, MI
• Hours:
-Monday-Thursday: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
-Friday-Saturday: 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
-Sunday: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
• About: If you want award-winning pizza, than Erbelli’s is a place to try! This restaurant has two locations in greater Kalamazoo, but I’ve been to the Stadium Drive location. Erbelli’s is a gourmet pizzeria, Italian bistro and pub. You can choose from delicious pizza, salads, calzones, sandwiches, wraps, pasta and much more! Erbelli’s has won numerous awards for its food and service in Kalamazoo and Portage.
• Must try Menu Item: Any one of their pizzas!

Garden Gate Cafe, Kalamazoo

Stop inside to see how pretty and pink this café is!

GARDEN GATE CAFÉ
• Location: 230 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo, MI
• Hours:
-Monday-Thursday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
-Friday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
-Saturday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
-Sunday: 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• About: This adorable downtown Kalamazoo café feels like you are walking into Barbie’s bakery! The menu has breakfast options, as well as fresh salads, soups, paninis, wraps and a kid’s menu. This café is known for its delicious cupcakes (which can be ordered, delivered or displayed for weddings and events)!
• Must Try Menu Items: Cherry Chicken Salad and Three Cheese Tomato Melt with Pesto

burrito, los amigos, kalamazoo

The biggest burrito I have ever eaten!

LOS AMIGOS
• Location: 3317 Stadium Dr. Kalamazoo, MI
• Hours:
-Sunday-Thursday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
-Friday-Saturday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
• About: If you want a wide-variety of Mexican food, Los Amigos has it all! This authentic Mexican cuisine has different appetizers, soups, salads, chicken, steak and pork dishes, lunch specials and fajitas! This restaurant was voted as the Kalamazoo Gazette’s Readers’ Best Mexican Restaurant choice in 2011.
• Must try Menu Items: Burrito California and a margarita

 

UNION CABARET & GRILLE
• Location: 125 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo, MI
• Hours:
-Monday-Thursday: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
-Friday: 11 a.m. to midnight
-Saturday: Noon to midnight
-Sunday: Closed
• About: The Union Cabaret & Grille in downtown Kalamazoo has a very relaxing atmosphere with a “jazzy” feel. The all-day menu features classic southern-inspired dishes. You can find small plates, soups, salads, mac-n-cheeses, sandwiches, burgers, barbecued-foods and more. Enjoy live music every Thursday through Sunday night!
• Must Try Menu Items: Chicken Gumbo Soup, Union Mac-N-Cheese and the Leftovers Turkey Sandwich

Union Cabaret and Grille, Kalamazoo

The Union is a great lunch and dinner spot with a performance stage

Click here for a list featuring more than 450 Kalamazoo restaurants!

Click here for a list of things to do in Kalamazoo!

Local Spotlight: Candace Faistenhammer’s favorite things to do in Kalamazoo

kalamazoo beer exchange

Named the No. 1 Bar in Michigan by RateBeer.com in 2013 and 2014, it’s no wonder that the Kalamazoo Beer Exchange is an attraction in itself! Starting at 6 p.m. nightly, enjoy the stock-market-like situation for craft beer, as prices change based on supply and demand!

things to do Kalamazoo

Candace Faistenhammer is an intern at Discover Kalamazoo who loves being a Bronco at Western Michigan University, spending her free time fishing with her family and all things Detroit Lions! She is excited to spend her summer trying Kalamazoo breweries and restaurants she’s never tried! :)

• Favorite place to grab a drink?
The Beer Exchange. Prices of the beer here are based on real-time sales, like the stock market, and occasionally the market will crash bringing prices to an all-time low. It’s fun to watch the market and taste beer from all over the world.

• Favorite restaurant?
To be honest, I’ve never eaten at a place in Kalamazoo that I didn’t love! If I’m going off of my favorite food, which is pizza, Erbelli’s is my favorite place to grab a slice, hands down! Their food is DELICIOUS. If you’re not into pizza, they have a large menu and a great beer selection.

• Favorite attraction?
WMU hockey games are a must see! Going to Lawson Arena for a Bronco Hockey game is much more than simply watching a sport, it’s an experience. Nobody is more passionate about their hockey than WMU and the Kalamazoo community.

• Favorite thing about Kalamazoo?
The atmosphere around Kalamazoo is unbeatable. Downtown gives you a big-city feel with small-town comfort. There are so many things to do and all within walking distance. Being a college town, there are always people around and everyone is approachable.

kalamazoo new year's fest

Kalamazoo New Year’s Fest brings the community together for a night of fun-filled activities for the entire family! Enjoy musicians, magicians, impersonators, artists and more!

• Favorite Kalamazoo festival/event?
New Year’s Fest is my favorite annual event downtown. I had the pleasure of working the event this past year, and it was amazing! There are tons of bands and activities in different locations surrounding Bronson Park leading up to fireworks at midnight. It’s great for the whole family.

• Best late-night spot for college kids?
The Campus Pointe Mall area is perfect for the nights you and your friends want to bar hop, but aren’t interested in taking a taxi downtown. The Grotto at Capone’s, The Mix and AFB Bar and Grill are all located within a one-block radius and are popular bars among the college scene. They each feature daily deals and are only a 10-minute walk from campus and many popular apartment complexes.

western michigan university

Founded in 1903, Western Michigan University celebrated its 111th birthday in 2014!

• Fun Fact about Kalamazoo:
Western Michigan University celebrated their 111th birthday earlier this year (2014)!

• Best breakfast?
Crow’s Nest. The Banana Bread French Toast and house potatoes are to die for! They’re also open 24 hours on the weekend, so you can breakfast anytime! This is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing meal on a Sunday morning after a long night on the town.

asylum lake kalamazoo

Asylum Lake Preserve is a 274-acre parcel of land that is owned by Western Michigan University. Photo courtesy of Brian Wolfe.

• Top hangout?
My friends and I love spending time outside, and Kalamazoo has a ton of outdoor adventures to be had. A place I frequently explore is the Asylum Lake Preserve. It’s so peaceful and there are great trails for casual walking and catching up with a friend.

• Fun places for kids/families?
Bittersweet Ski Resort. Since we can’t change the five months of winter West Michigan is usually blessed with each year, we may as well embrace it! Instead of letting winter trap you in the house, enjoy the natural snow outside and hit the slopes. Bittersweet is perfect for all ages! They have ski classes and hills ranging from beginner to expert, and you can also rent all of your equipment on site.

If you’re not interested in learning to love the snow, try Airway Fun Center for the family! It has go-carts, bowling, bumper cars, laser tag and more! Who wouldn’t love that place?

Alamo Drafthouse Kalamazoo

Alamo Drafthouse Kalamazoo features a full bar with 32 draft taps, wine, mixed drinks, coffee, tea, soda, shakes and more. It’s extensive food menu is made from local ingredients.

• Fun date?
The Alamo Drafthouse. This one-stop shop movie theatre is perfect, if you’re not interested in driving all over the place for dinner and a movie. This is perfect place to get a bite to eat, grab a beer and catch a flick all in one place.

• Perfect day trip?
Head about 45 minutes west on West Main Street and you’ll hit Lake Michigan. South Haven is a prime location for having a picnic, tossing a football, and enjoying Pure Michigan. The beach is clean and the drive is easy. South Haven hosts the annual Fourth of July fireworks, and there’s Haborfest in June, where you can enjoy a pancake breakfast and Dragon Boat Races! It’s perfect if you’re looking for a little getaway for the day.

Click here for the largest database of Kalamazoo events!

Kalamazoo’s Top 10 Instagram Photos in July

Here are Discover Kalamazoo’s top 10 photos from July on Instagram!

Thanks for sharing the beauty of greater Kalamazoo with us!

1.

storm, clouds, weather, kalamazoo

Did everyone catch a glimpse of that crazy #Kalamazoo sky yesterday? If not, take a look! #kzoo #storm #weather #puremichigan

2.

puremichigan, kalamazoo, kzoo, art

Check out this awesome painting by @abalestrii! There are so many reasons to #love #Kalamazoo! What are some of yours? #kzoo #puremichigan

3.

kzoo building, kalamazoo, downtown

Amazing photo of Kalamazoo’s first skyscraper! Photo credit: @josembecerra #kalamazoo #kzoo #puremichigan #love #downtown

4.

Henderson, Castle, Kalamazoo

Did you know?…The Henderson Castle has a hot tub on the roof that overlooks the city! Thanks for the picture @lisamariesakura via Twitter! #henderson #castle #unique #old #beautiful #love #kalamazoo #kzoo #puremichigan #puremi Michigan

5.

Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, WMU

Embracing #WesternWednesday with an awesome shot from @kevinl943 of the sunset over #WMU’s campus! #kalamazoo #love

6.

Dark Horse Nation, Brewery, Michigan

Are you watching the premiere of “Dark Horse Nation” on The History Channel? It features our friends from Dark Horse Brewing Co. located in Marshall, Michigan! #darkhorsenation #puremi #drinklocal #mibeer #craftbeer #puremichigan #love #historychannel

7.

Fishing, lake, kalamazoo, summer, kzoo, michigan

Another incredible night on the water #fishing #outdoors #michigan #puremichigan #puremi #itsinmynature #whatgetsyououtdoors #uafish #sunset #passion #beauty #kalamazoo #kzoo credit: @sherwood95

8.

nature, klienstuck preserve, kalamazoo

Great photo of Klienstuck Preserve, @lizzpaige! #kalamazoo #kzoo #puremichigan

9.

brewery, map, kalamazoo, michigan

Check out #Kalamazoo’s very own Brewery Map! #drinklocal #craftbeer #beercity #kzoo #puremichigan #puremi Click this link to download the map! http://www.discoverkalamazoo.com/kalamazoo-brewery-map-177/

10.

bronson park, fountain, kalamazoo

Let’s kick off this lovely Monday with an amazing photo of the fountain in Bronson Park! Great shot, @michiganderik! #kalamazoo #kzoo #love #michigrammers #puremichigan

Want to see more photos of the greater-Kalamazoo area? Follow Discover Kalamazoo on Instagram at @discoverkzoo!

Click here to find more cool things to do in Kalamazoo!

Discover the Brew in Kalamazoo: A Guide to Kalamazoo Breweries

 

things to do in kalamazoo

Jessica Pawlik is an intern at Discover Kalamazoo and fell in love with the city ever since she became a student at Western Michigan Univeristy. She enjoys summer, exploring different attractions and finding out about all the exciting events going on in Kalamazoo.

Kalamazoo, Mich. — What is Kalamazoo known for besides its unique name?… It’s BEER!

With 10 breweries in Kalamazoo County (and more on the way), here are just some of the reasons that you should come experience Kalamazoo breweries:

Kalamazoo was ranked as the No. 4 top Beer City in the nation from liveability.com in 2012

Kalamazoo was ranked as the No. 3 Beer Town in America from Business Insider in 2013

Kalamazoo came in second in the Beery City USA contest from examiner.com in 2013

Kalamazoo opened six new breweries in 2013

Kalamazoo/Grand Rapids was named among the 20 best beer towns in America from matador network in 2013

Kalamazoo was named one of the eight Underrated Beer Cities in the World, according to U.S. World & News Report in 2014

With all the buzz about Kalamazoo’s craft beer, I wanted to tap into the brew scene. Here’s a list of what you can find at each local brewery! Also, check out Kalamazoo’s very own Brewery Map!

Arcadia Ales, Brewery, Kalamazoo, Beer

Hundreds of people packed the brewpub and patio of Arcadia Ales’ Kalamazoo Riverfront Brewery, Pub and Kitchen on its grand opening day.

ARCADIA ALES
Location: 701 E. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo, MI
• Hours:
- Tuesday-Saturday: Noon to 1 a.m.
- Sunday: Noon to 8 p.m.
- Monday: Closed
History: Kalamazoo’s newest riverfront brewery had its grand opening in May 2014. Arcadia Brewing Company is a microbrewery specializing in handcrafted British-style ales. All of the beers are produced in small batches using a 25 Barrel Peter Austin Brewery. These methods originated in England, allowing this style of beer to reflect more than 25 years of world-class brewing heritage. Arcadia’s original brewery is located in Battle Creek, Mich.
Beers at Arcadia (what you may find on tap):
- Classic Beers:
Sky High Rye, Loch Down Scotch Ale, Thunder Trial ESB, IPA and Anglers Ale
- Specialty Beers: B-Craft Black IPA, Hopmouth Double IPA, London Porters and Cocoa Loco
- Seasonal Beers: Whitsun, Jaw-Jacker and Nut Brown Ale
- Reserve Beers: Big Dick’s Olde Ale, Imperial Stout, Hop Rocket, Cereal Killer Barleywine and Shipwreck Porter
Bragging rights: At the 1998 World Beer Championships Arcadia’s India Pale Ale took the gold

Bell's, Beer, Kalamazoo, Eccentric Cafe

Bell’s Eccentric Café is located downtown Kalamazoo offering different craft beers, delicious food, live music & entertainment and more.

BELL’S ECCENTRIC CAFE
• Location: 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo, MI
• Hours:
-
Monday-Wednesday: 11 a.m. to midnight
- Thursday-Saturday: 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
- Sunday: Noon to midnight
• History: This microbrewery is the oldest in Michigan and the first Michigan brewery to open an onsite pub and serve beer by the glass to the public. At The Eccentric Café, customers can taste different Bell’s well known beers and small batch brews that are not distributed outside of the pub. This café offers food, live entertainment, dancing, special events and a beer garden open during summer.
Beers at Bell’s (what you may find on tap): View Bell’s Eccentric Café Live Tap Cam to see the beer available!
• Bragging Rights: In 2014 alone…
- Bell’s Brewery, Inc. was named the Top Brewer in Michigan*
- Bell’s Two Hearted Ale was named the Top India Pale Ale in the world*
- Bell’s Hopslam was named the No. 4 Double India Pale Ale in the world*
- Bell’s Blacknote Stout was named the No. 4 Stout in the world*
- Bell’s Expedition Stout was named the No. 14 Stout in the world*
(*Awards from RateBeer.com)

Bilbo's photo

Try Bilbo’s six homemade brews (Lord of the Rings-theme) at the Stadium Drive location in Kalamazoo.

BILBO’S PIZZA IN A PAN
• Location: 3307 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo, MI
• Hours:
- Monday-Friday: 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
- Saturday: Noon to 2 a.m.
- Sunday: Noon to midnight
• History: Bilbo’s offers six homemade brews (Lord of the Rings theme) with additional 16-18 beers on tap. Bilbo’s serves pan pizza, sandwiches, pasta and salads. Bilbo’s beer is only served at the location on Stadium Drive.
Beers at Bilbo’s (what you may find on tap): Sledgehammer Wizard Wheat Dragon Red Ale, Raspberry Wheat Rocky Mountain Lagor, Charlie Brown Ale Honey blonde, Oatmeal Stout All American Pale Ale, Honey Porter 90 Schilling Ale, Copper Ale Doppelback.

BOATYARD BREWING COMPANY

Boatyard Brewing Co.  West Michigan Beer Tours

Boatyard Brewing Co. – photo courtesy of West Michigan Beer Tours

Location: 432 E. Paterson St., Kalamazoo MI
Hours:
-Tuesday-Friday: 2 p.m. to 9 pm
- Saturday: Noon to 9 p.m.
- Sunday-Monday: Closed
• History: Boatyard Brewing Company had its grand opening in June 2014. The idea came up in the summer of 2011 to form a brewery with exceptional craft beers. You can taste some of Boatyard’s best traditional ale recipes and unique offerings. There are eight taps in the front room and six taps in the smaller tap room.
Beers at Boatyard (what you may find on tap): EZ Ale, Frosted Harbor Dark Raspberry, Kalamazoo Cream Ale, Kalamazoo Shandy, North Bay IPA, The bitter End.

kalamazoo breweries

Bravo! is recognized for its Tuscany-inspired cuisine, wine list, beers and more.

BRAVO! RESTAURANT & CAFE
Location: 5402 Portage Road, Kalamazoo, MI
Hours:
-
Monday-Thursday: Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Dinner: 5 to 10 p.m.
- Saturday : Lunch: closed; Dinner: 5 to 11 p.m.
- Sunday: Brunch: 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Dinner: 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
• History: Bravo! offers a delicious dinner, lunch and Sunday brunch menu along with handcrafted beer. The beer is brewed using all-natural ingredients, one keg at a time. The beers and ales are crisp, refreshing and paired easily with meals.
Beers at Bravo (what you may find on tap): Chefs Ale-Amber Ale, Quattro Hop-Imperial IPA, Sweet Bravo! Brown-Nut Brown

kalamazoo brewery

Gonzo’s features eight handcrafted beers and an upscale American menu.

GONZO’S BIGGDOGG BREWING
• Location: 140 South Westnedge Ave., Kalamazoo, MI
Hours:
- Monday-Wednesday: 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.
- Thursday-Friday: 2 p.m. to 1 a.m.
- Saturday: 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
- Sunday: Noon to 11 p.m.
• History: Greg “Gonzo” Haner began brewing micro-brewed beer in 1992 and has produced many batches of beer, homemade wine, whiskey and single-malt scotch. His unique talent and passion for brewing led him to establish Gonzo’s BiggDogg Brewing, which opened up in November 2013. Gonzo’s menu includes appetizers, burgers, sandwiches and pizzas.
Beers at Gonzo’s (what you may find on tap): The Premier, Dogg Days Ale, Burning Sun Red, Magic Trick Hefeweizen, Nimble Limbo, Unloosend III Blonde Ale, Melons on a Blonde, Showroom IPA w/Cascada, Sub-Continental IPA, Cloak of Darkness Black IPA, Vanilla Porter Ale, Into The Night Stout.

michigan brewery

First brewery in Portage featuring a New-American-style menu paired with craft beer.

LATITUDE 42 BREWING COMPANY
Location: 7842 Portage Road, Portage, MI
Hours:
- Monday-Tuesday: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
- Wednesday-Saturday: 11 a.m. to midnight
- Sunday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
• History:
The first brewery to open in Portage, MI., offers a variety of beer on tap, craft food, private parties and events. The menu includes soup, salad, appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, box lunches, pizzas, kids’ menu, entrees, desserts, Michigan wines and beer to go.
Beer’s at Latitude 42 (what you may find on tap):
Check out the list here!
Bragging rights:
- Latitude 42 won a total of 20 medals in the Indiana Brewers Cup
- Powerline (porter), Tinderbock (wheat) and Poppin Pills (pilsner) won gold at the World Expo of Beer in 2014 (Power Porter won 4 gold medals!)
- Tinderlock Lager and Powerline Porter both won gold in the 2014 Indiana Brewers Cup
- Okctoberfest Marzen and Mikes Camaro – California Common Ale won silver in the 2014 Indiana Brewers Cup

Olde Peninsula, beer, kalamazoo

Kalamazoo’s first brewpub with an on-site brewery

Olde Peninsula Brewpub & Restaurant
Location: 200 E. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo, MI
Hours:
- Monday-Tuesday: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
- Wednesday-Thursdays: 11 a.m. to midnight
- Friday-Saturday: 11 a.m. to 1  a.m.
- Sunday: Noon to 11 p.m.
• History: Olde Peninsula Brewpub & Restaurant is Kalamazoo’s first brewpub! Olde Peninsula is located in downtown Kalamazoo and offers five permanent beers on tap as well as seasonal handcrafted ales. The menu includes a variety of items and entrees with a regular and seasonal menu. Olde Peninsula has a brewery tour and guide tasting of each beer on tap for $10. Enjoy happy hour specials, $2 Pint Night and Euchre tournaments on Wednesday and $1 off all Growlers on Thursday’s!
Beers at Olde Peninsula (what you may find on tap): Haymarket Cream Ale, Sunset Red, OP IPA, Rockin’ Razberry Wheat and Midnight Stout.

kalamazoo beer

Rupert’s features eight handcrafted brews and live entertainment six nights a week. Captain Stooby is sleeping in the background!

RUPERT’S BREW HOUSE
• Location: 773 W. Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo, MI
Hours: Every day: 2 p.m. to 2 a.m.
History: Opened in October 2013 Rupert’s Brew House has eight handcrafted brews on tap and nightly local music. In 2014, Rupert’s received a license to make wine and hard liquor. Stop by the brewery, and you might run into Rupert’s Great Dane, Captain Stooby!
Beers at Rupert’s (what you may find on tap): Twice Licked Kitty- American Style Pale Ale, Double High IPA, Mastif Drool Nitro Stout and Britani’s Cream Ale

Tibbs Brewing Co

Tibbs produces handcrafted small-batch beers on a one-barrel system.

TIBBS BREWING COMPANY
Location: 402 South Burdick St., Kalamazoo, MI
Hours:
-
Wednesday-Thursday: 4 p.m. to midnight
- Friday: 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.
- Saturday: 2 p.m. to 1 a.m.
- Sunday-Tuesday: Closed for brewing
• History: Tibbs Brewing Company opened in 2013 and is a small nano-brewery in downtown Kalamazoo. This brewery uses a one-barrel system producing handcrafted small-batch beers which allows for experimental batches and staple beers.
Beers at Tibbs (what you may find on tap): Belgium Triple, Honey Citra, Imperial Red and Strawberry Blonde.

Click here for more information on Kalamazoo Breweries!

Click here to find more cool things to do in Kalamazoo!

Local Spotlight: Janis Clark’s Favorite things to do in Kalamazoo

kalamazoo art fair

The annual Kalamazoo Art Fair happens every spring in Bronson Park in downtown Kalamazoo.

things to do kalamazoo

Janis Clark is Director of Business Engagement at Western Michigan University, and her passion is people. She loves making new friends and connecting them with the old. She has never met a stranger. You can find Janis laughing and chatting at venues all over town – unless it is summer – then head for the beach!

Favorite Kalamazoo festival/event?
I like Kalamazoo’s Art Hop anytime of the year, but the first Friday in June is the one event I look forward to the most. That is also the Kalamazoo Institute Arts – Art Fair in the park and on Art on the Mall, and it kicks off the summer festival season of fun-filled outdoor activities. From the Mixers on the Mall to Ribfest to Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra Sundays in the park, every week has at least one reason to grab a friend and celebrate the summer downtown Kalamazoo style; and you are sure to meet hundreds of others having the same idea.

Favorite thing about Kalamazoo?
My favorite thing about Kalamazoo is the altruistic spirit of our citizens and our commitment to make Kalamazoo a better place to live, work and visit for everyone from every walk of life. What other community would initiate a program like the Kalamazoo Promise, which gives every child who goes through and graduates from our public schools the knowledge and certainty that they will be able to attend college without having to worry about the cost of that invaluable education?

Favorite restaurant?
I love the lunch buffet at Saffron, because one bite is better than the next! Plus, I don’t have to choose what to order (because I can never remember the names of the dishes I like). Saffron’s salad is amazing, and the naan just soaks up every yummy bite.  It also has the only rice pudding I’ve ever liked. I also go to Martell’s a lot, since it has always been my neighborhood place; Martell’s outside patio overlooking the lake is a true escape from your day and in the winter the bar has always been a comfortable meeting spot.

kalamazoo restaurants

Martell’s is one of Janis Clark’s favorite restaurants in the greater Kalamazoo area. Enjoy the outdoor patio or cozy up to the indoor fireplace at this popular restaurant.

best breakfast kalamazoo

The simple glazed donut from Sweetwater’s Donut Mill is one of Janis Clark’s favorite places for breakfast. Sweetwater’s Donut Mill was named as one of the top dozen “Best Donuts Ever” across America by AOL!

Best breakfast?
I am not a morning eater (coffee and more coffee), but the cherry pecan muffin at Grand Traverse Pie and the simple glazed donut from Sweetwater’s Donut Mill are two places I go to for a breakfast-like, carb-happy treat later in the day. For a brunch, however, I love the eggs benedict at Cosmo’s and Bravo’s Sunday buffet (the bacon and the seafood salad alone make this girl quite happy).

kalamazoo theatre

Janis loves seeing the stars at the Kalamazoo State Theatre. Check out a show at this beautiful building in downtown Kalamazoo.

Favorite attraction?
I love going to performances at the State Theatre. I went there when I first visited Kalamazoo in 1986 and sitting beneath the stars is and always will be magical. The Gilmore Car Museum is another “history comes alive” kind of place. Seeing a ’57 Chevy or a NYC taxi bring back my childhood, and all cars you only see in the movies or in books are right before your eyes.

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

Janis Clark loves to head to the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Art & All That Jazz.

Favorite thing to do in each season?
- In the summer, I want to be at the big lake (Lake Michigan) any and every chance I get. I hate to make plans with anyone, unless it involves the beach! On weekends, if it is sunny, I will go to South Haven, Saugatuck or St. Joe’s with a book and many beverages from sun up to sun down. I love how many of my friends also live on the many lakes that we have in greater Kalamazoo and being invited to tool around on party boats is a personal fave.
- In the spring I like going to the Binder Park Zoo and feeding the giraffes in Wild Africa or visiting the new black bear cubs.
- In the fall I like driving around and seeing the cacophony of color as the leaves change and stopping for cider (and a donut) at some farm.
- In winter, I like having my fireplace going and friends coming over and seeing the winter wonderland view of Woods Lake from my window. Besides counting down the days until summer, I like going to the venues like the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts for Art and All that Jazz or Miller Auditorium for the Broadway series and spotlight performers and Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra for classical concerts and the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre and Farmer’s Alley for quality theatre. All of the above capture my imagination and take me away from the wintertime blues.

Western Michigan University

Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo is a top 100 national university!

Coolest Kalamazoo-history fact?
In 1903, the state awarded Kalamazoo the right to build the Normal School, and a group of businessmen worked together to raise the $75,000 to build East Hall. That group of businessmen became the Chamber of Commerce, the Normal School became Western Michigan University and East Hall is becoming the Western Michigan University Alumni Center. The Alumni Center will be a venue open to the public and will feature a ballroom overlooking downtown Kalamazoo for your events and meetings. This is exceptionally cool for me because it embraces all my worlds — working at WMU and volunteering for the Chamber and Discover Kalamazoo as a Kalamazoo Certified Tourism Ambassador.

Favorite place to grab a drink?
The Beacon Club has the BEST drink in town. Reza has been there for more than 30 years and truly nobody does it better. I love my Cosmos and the remainder is in the shaker, so there is always room for more! :) [Editor's note: The Beacon Club is a private-dining club.]

Perfect day trip?
In the summer it is always the beach (see above), but during those non-summer months, I love going to Grand Rapids several times while Art Prize is here and to the Frederik Meijer Gardens and downtown museums. It’s only 45 minutes away and is a real sister city to Kalamazoo. Another nice day trip is to Chelsea, Michigan. Chelsea has a fabulous old theatre, great shops and dining at the Common Grill is worth the trip alone. Also, if you have never been to Greenfield Village, it is an amazing place. You can actually step back in time to castles or Edison’s workshop or the Wright Brother’s bicycle shoppe and see working tradesmen make candles and pottery, blow glass and spin silk.

kalamazoo growlers

At center, Janis Clark, enjoys a Kalamazoo Growlers baseball game with fellow Kalamazoo Certified Tourism Ambassadors (CTAs) in the Bell’s Bear Cave section.

Fun place(s) for kids/families?
Take me out to the ballgame! The Growler’s brought minor league baseball back to Kalamazoo and is a perfect outing for the whole family; a place to root, root, root for the home team with the home crowd. The Binder Park Zoo, I already mentioned, is perfect for children of all ages, as is the Kalamazoo Air Zoo. The Air Zoo not only has rides and attractions but is a living history staffed with volunteers who give you personal insight to the changing and permanent exhibits.

Best pizza?
Martini’s margharita or spinach and artichoke pizza with a side chopped salad gets my vote, but I also like Oakwood Bistro’s mushroom pizza and for a to-go option, I like Papa Murphy’s vegetarian gourmet.

Alamo Drafthouse Kalamazoo

Alamo Drafthouse Kalamazoo features a full bar with 32 draft taps, wine, mixed drinks, coffee, tea, soda, shakes and more. It’s extensive food menu is made from local ingredients.

Favorite way to spend a Saturday afternoon?
Saturday is domestic goddess day of cleaning, laundry and bills then go to Family Fitness for body pump, the tanner (as my reward) and errands like the cleaners and library, then shopping for necessities and perhaps something nice for me at Steinmart or TJ Maxx and of course, DSW.  I loves the movies and going to the show at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema or Celebration Cinema or the Kalamazoo 10 is my reward for jobs well done.

• Hidden gem in greater Kalamazoo?
The hidden gem in Kalamazoo is Discover Kalamazoo’s CTA program itself! It has opened the door to me on so many previously hidden gems. On field trips, I explored the Kellogg Manor House when it was festooned with Christmas decorations, been to historic Vicksburg’s Historical Village, the Gilmore Car Museum, the Kalamazoo Nature Center, a Pink Floyd laser light show at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum, a Wellspring/Cory Terry & Dancers performance and inside the control tower at the airport, just to name a few fun things we have done!

Click for the largest database of Kalamazoo events!