15 Best Things to Do in Kalamazoo

15 Best Things to Do in Kalamazoo

An amalgamation of different experiences- Kalamazoo is one of the best places you can choose for your next vacation. The place will be etched in your memories forever after taking the trip. But, what makes Kalamazoo so interesting? From the popping art and culture scenes, fun-filled activities, hiking trails, amazing summers to the vast museums, recreational activities, splendid nightlife, and the best winter holiday activities- there is no shortage of things to try out in Kalamazoo.

Did you know that Kalamazoo also houses the infamous Western Michigan University? A place filled with young blood is eclectic. By now you have probably already understood how happening the place is. It is a fun town to hang out, chill, and relax for a few days! Let us have a look at all the options that Kalamazoo is offering us!

Look at the artifacts of the Kalamazoo Valley Museum

Kalamazoo Valley Museum
Joe Ross from Lansing, Michigan, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Kalamazoo Valley Museum is a museum that is entirely operated by the student body of the Community College of Kalamazoo. It is famous for its collection of artifacts and is mainly known for having more than 50,000 artifacts. Some of them come from far and wide lands like Egypt.

Egyptian history is well defined here along with a mummy displayed too. It showcases a 2,300-year-old mummy from Egypt itself. Apart from international history, it focuses on the local culture and history too. If you want, you can even see video presentations of the artifacts. There is also a 109-seat planetarium where you can enjoy the show.


Get inspired by the local art at Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
72elyod, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Another one of the famous art scenes of Kalamazoo is the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts located downtown. It is a completely non-profit organization. The main thing about this institute is that it houses innumerable events and occasions throughout the year. It helps in promoting several works of students from different schools or local artists.

Apart from the events that take place annually, there also happens to be a permanent collection of art. In this certain collection, there are over 4,600 pieces- all of them by locals. Apart from local art, you can even find some famous pieces by several well-known artists from all over the United States.


Pick a trail at the Kalamazoo Nature Center

If you are a nature lover, then here it is a piece of nature in the heart of Kalamazoo, just for you. With an area of 1,100 acres- Kalamazoo Nature Centre has everything you have ever wanted from a nature spot.

The first thing you will notice when you enter this nature center is the hundreds of various trails lying around. You can seriously choose any one of these trails to walk, run, or hike. In this center, you will find flowers, forests, prairies, and various other habitations. There are 13 highly maintained trails with almost 10 miles of hiking route present here. There are even trails that are wheel-chair friendly, and Habitat Haven is one of them. The Bluebird Trail is the most favored trail over here with the longest route.


Spend a night at Henderson Inn

Henderson Castle
Jim Roberts, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Henderson Inn which is also known as the Henderson Castle is one of the most attractive places in Kalamazoo.  It was a castle, but later the government remodeled some of the parts turning it into an inn. And, the best part? It is open to the public for spending a night!

Frank Henderson who was a very successful business-man, owned this home back in 1895. It was built in a Victorian mansion-style design and still looks well-detailed even to this day. After the remodeling of the place, you can find hot baths, saunas, WiFi, in-built vineyards, and tonnes of modern things in the inn. It is a perfect combination of the past alongside the present.


Catch a show at Kalamazoo State Theatre


Kalamazoo State Theatre is one of the iconic tourist attractions of Kalamazoo. It serves as a landmark icon of the place. It has been there since 1927. What was once a grand affair is still going strong.
It is now of great historical significance and is also a part of the League of Historic American Theatres. The theatre has not even lost an ounce of its original charm. It keeps up with its events and shows. Just as it used to works in the last century, the theatre has kept up with its performance. They offer a lot of food inside- candy, popcorn, and even liquor are available. Live concerts happen here often too.


Bargain at the Farmer’s Market, Kalamazoo

The farmer’s market is an open market that sells a lot of products. Right from various home-grown products to handicrafts- You can find everything in this market, all at very affordable pricing.

Starting from the summer months of May, you can keep visiting this market till early November. Having more than 100s of small businesses set up their stalls or shops in their market- even helps in promoting the local economy. If you want to get to know the local culture and the farmers, do visit the farmer’s market.
Apart from the main market that is not available during the winters, other small marts are set up during December and January!


Grab a beer at the Bell’s Brewery

You must have heard of the infamous Two Hearted Ale. Even if you haven’t, you might as well do right now! The most famous attraction of Kalamazoo- Bell’s Brewery is the parent of the Two Hearted Ale.

In 1983, the family started their very own home-brewed beers, but now it is one of the biggest local breweries in Michigan. It is not only a famous brand of Michigan, but they have also expanded their business across almost 31 states of the United States. They have a lot of eccentric flavors for you to try out. Done with the beers? They also have a cafe next door to satisfy your hunger.


Pair a donut with beer!

Have you ever heard of the donut-beer combination? Well here at the Boatyard Brewing Company, you get to try that. With an interior well decorated and live music going on all the time- Boatyard Brewing Company has some of the most unique beers you get to taste in all of Kalamazoo.
The menu is exclusive along with great options like some hand-made donuts and popcorn!


Hike at the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail

Are you a serious hiker? Do you take your hiking business seriously? Or are you just a passionate person with a love for running or hiking? Whatever it is, Kalamazoo River Valley Trail has got your back.

It has got a 22-mile trail, that is easily accessible. The road is motorable too, and you can bring a wheelchair if it is needed. The road is 10 feet in width, so you can understand that joggers, bikers, and even cars can be accessed here on the trail.
The trail goes through the area of Downtown, so if you are hungry, you can easily stop by a cafe or any shop and have something to nibble on!


Go on a beer tour!

Kalamazoo Beer Exchange
RonaldL / Shutterstock.com

Beers are an integral part of Michigan. So, a beer tour while you are visiting the Western Michigan area is quite important. There are several private as well as public touring companies that offer the beer tours. These beer tours are pretty interesting as they even let you see the various brewing processes. Also, the owners of these companies are quite friendly and they let you know about the history and the making of their different special brews!


Walk around Al Sabo Preserve

Al Sabo Preserve
Dean Pennala / Shutterstock.com

Want some greenery away from the chaos of hectic city life. Kalamazoo presents you with the Al Sabo Preserve. It has almost 741 acres of free land that consists of trails and even boardwalks. Moab, Lookout,  Atwater, and Mandala Two are the names of some of the trails.

Interested in mountain biking? There is an option for that here too! With almost 7 miles of biking trails inside the preserve area, you can easily go mountain biking. Also, the views are quite excellent. There are the views of the Kalamazoo river itself meeting up with the Portage Creek. You can probably see a lot of animals here. Deers, coyotes, muskrats, and turtles are just to name a few.


Take a tour to Verhages Fruit Farm & Cider Mill

Verhages Fruit Farm & Cider Mill is one of the most interesting tourist attractions. It is a working farm but lets other people come and view their farm too. You can go on a tour here.

The most attractive time to visit this farm is during the fall and the holiday seasons. There are a lot of tours from which you can choose. The tours mainly range from half an hour to an hour at the most. You can pick apples, see them make cider from them, or even make the cider by yourself! You can even enjoy some of their farm-made organic treats. Plus, there is a donut shop too to satisfy your cravings.


Snack at Sweetwater’s Donut Mill


Kalamazoo is not essentially Kalamazoo without Sweetwater’s Donut Mill! What started as a local family business now has three shops across Sweetwater’s Donut Mill. Stop at any one of the locations if you want to devour on some lip-smacking breakfast.
There are over 50 different types of donuts along with coffee. From a simple glazed donut, chocolate ones to jelly-filled donuts- Sweetwater’s Donut Mill has it all for you. Even if you miss the time for breakfast, you can drop by anytime for the shop is open throughout the day! It also has some of the best-baked goods too.


Energize yourself with a cup of coffee

There is one thing any college town does well i.e. making their coffees! Similar is the story of the college town of Kalamazoo. After all, students know the best places to grab their coffees from!

Head down to Water Street Coffee. This is one of Kalamazoo’s very own cafes that have been here for almost 25 years. It also happens to be a diner where you can grab a late-night meal at an affordable price too. It’s coffee beans are house-roasted and are combined with some syrups that suit its flavors well. It has expanded to various locations too where you can avail of the coffee via a drive-thru.

Enjoy a game at Bronson Park

Bronson Park
Gpwitteveen, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Bronson Park has been a tourist attraction of Kalamazoo since the 1850s. Located in the prime location of Downtown Kalamazoo, it is the center of the crowd’s attraction too. The locals generally go to Bronson Park if they want an outing. With ample space, a picnic area, and greenery- Bronson Park has some fountains and sculptures too. The sculptures are the statues of the heroes that have given away their lives in the war.

But, did you know you can even play at Bronson Park? Gear up and play Bubble soccer! But, make sure that you visit the park with a group of friends as the equipment is available for rent for a group of 10. Visit the park on a sunny afternoon and have the time of your lives.

These were all the things to do in Kalamazoo. So, stay for a weekend, enjoy the delicacies, sweets, activities, and even the nightlife of this town of Michigan. With a ton of things to do, Kalamazoo is easily one of the best places to opt for a weekend gateway.