Midwest, Travel
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Kalamazoo, Michigan Weekend Itinerary

This is a sponsored post, however, all opinions are my own.

I recently saw someone wearing a shirt that read, “Yes, there really is a Kalamazoo.” I can attest that there is, and it’s a Midwest destination you should visit! 

Kalamazoo, Michigan 

Kalamazoo, Michigan, has world-class brewing, dining, parks, music, art, theatre, and culture. The city’s heavy focus on arts and entertainment was evident as the downtown was abuzz with live theatre, music, craft markets for shopping, and maker’s spaces for classes and experiences. 

plainwell, Michigan along the kalamazoo river
Plainwell, Michigan

The city also has a rich history. There are 5 historic wards in Kalamazoo with landmarks, buildings, and stately homes showcasing various architectural styles along tree-lined streets. I recently learned that  Kalamazoo County was a stop on the Underground Railroad. The home that was a safe house, the Dr. Nathan Thomas House, is located on Cass St. in the southwest part of Kalamazoo County in Schoolcraft. 

woman having breakfast at kalamazoo house bed & breakfast
Kalamazoo House

Where is Kalamazoo, Michigan 

Kalamazoo is located in the Southwest Region of Michigan, about 145 miles from Chicago. We drove for about 2 hours. Amtrak will also take you from Chicago to Kalamazoo. The station is a 10-minute walk from Kalamazoo’s Central Business District.

downtown kalamazoo, michigan
Downtown Kalamazoo

Where to Stay in Kalamazoo, Michigan 

We checked into two Bed & Breakfasts for one night each during our stay. 

Kalamazoo House Bed & Breakfast 

Friday evening, we checked in at the Kalamazoo House located in the South Street Historic Ward. The bed and breakfast is run out of a beautiful 1878 Victorian home a short walk from restaurants, shops, and nightlife. There are many stunning homes in the South Historic Ward, so be sure to take a stroll around the neighborhood. 

coffee mug with Kalamazoo House written on it
Kalamazoo House

I absolutely adored the Kalamazoo House as well as the owners. We’d definitely do a return stay. 

Stuart Avenue Inn Bed and Breakfast

Stuart Avenue Inn Bed and Breakfast is in a lovely 1886 Victorian mansion in Kalamazoo’s Historic West End. The innkeepers and their sweet dog Arlo were terrific and showed exceptional hospitality! 

Stuart Ave Bed & Breakfast in Kalamazoo, Michigan
Stuart Ave Inn Bed & Breakfast

I really enjoy the intimate setting that a bed and breakfast offers. It’s an excellent opportunity to connect with strangers and hear their stories. For example, I met a woman visiting Kalamazoo from South Carolina during breakfast Sunday for her granddaughter’s graduation. She told me about the different places she’s lived and her family over coffee, and she listened and engaged as I told her about mine. It was a wonderful encounter. 

Stuart Ave Inn Bed & Breakfast in Kalamazoo, Michigan
Stuart Ave Inn Bed & Breakfast

Where to Eat and Drink in Kalamazoo, Michigan 

Kalamazoo has many tempting choices when it comes to eating and drinking, which made our decisions difficult. 

Kalamazoo Food Truck Rally 

Teresa's Kitchen Food Truck in Kalamazoo, Michigan
Teresa’s Kitchen Food Truck

We arrived Friday evening, and it should come as no surprise that our first stop involved food. Dinner was at the Kalamazoo Food Truck Rally, which hosts about 12 trucks and street food vendors. The smells heightened our anticipation for what was to come: 

Samosa's from Cairos' Kitchen in Kalamazoo Michigan
Cairo’s Kitchen
  1. I made a beeline for the Teresa’s Kitchen food truck selling authentic Mexican. I was significantly rewarded with amazing steak tacos and elote!
  2. I tried the samosas and falafel from Cairo’s Kitchen. Cairo’s Kitchen sells Egyptian food; holy yum! I’m still dreaming about their samosas with curry aioli!
  3. Dave stopped at Smoked Down BBQ for their pulled pork and mac n’ cheese, also very good!
woman holding a taco from a food truck in Kalamazoo, Michigan
Teresa’s Kitchen Kzoo

Two Twins Coffee 

Two Twins coffee in downtown kalamazoo, michigan
Two Twins

We stopped in at Two Twins for coffee, which had a friendly atmosphere for good coffee and conversations. If we hadn’t had kayaking scheduled, I’d have hung out for a while. 

Bell’s Brewery 

Bell's Brewery sign in kalamazoo, michigan
Bell’s Brewery

Did you know that Kalamazoo is a craft beer destination? One of my favorite breweries, Bell’s, is located there. Bell’s Brewery has been named Best Brewery in America 4 years in a row. No trip to Kalamazoo is complete without a stop there.

Principle Food and Drink 

cocktail from Principle Food & Drink in Kalamazoo, Michigan
Principle Food & Drink

Everything that touched our table, at Principle Food & Drink, from the creative cocktails to the entrees were outstanding! This farm-to-table restaurant should not be missed! 

600 Kitchen and Bar 

Our brunch before hitting the road tradition took place at 600 Kitchen and Bar. Another winner! We devoured a pancake board, frittata, some of the tastiest chicken and waffles I’d ever had, and the Island Girl: poached eggs and lobster, English muffin, hollandaise, and pickled onion. I took our leftovers home, and everything was just as delish at dinner! 

Fun Things to do in Kalamazoo, Michigan 

State on State Street 

We headed to downtown Kalamazoo for State on State Street Friday after checking in at our bed & breakfast. State on State has free live music every Friday night. They have tables and a bar set up to enjoy cocktails during the entertainment. 

 two beers on a table at Kalamazoo State Theatre in downtown Kalamazoo
Kalamazoo State Theatre

Side Note: you can order to-go drinks to consume while strolling around designated downtown areas. There are markers displayed by participating businesses that let you know that you can stop in for refills while exploring. 

The State Theatre, designed by renowned architect John Eberson, has been a fixture in Kalamazoo since 1927. It was developed in the atmospheric theatre style. It’s stunning! We plan on returning to see a concert there in the fall. 

Kayak the Kalamazoo River with Plainwell Kayaking Company 

man kayaking on the kalamazoo river
Kalamazoo River

Our Saturday activities began with hilarious kayak shenanigans along the Kalamazoo River. The tour started in Plainwell, about 12 miles from Kalamazoo. There were many fumbles due to inexperience. However, we had a delightful time and even managed to stick to the course. The kayak company wasn’t expecting us to get through it in the time we did, so we patted ourselves on the back. The Kalamazoo River stretches 135 miles and flows into Lake Michigan. 

woman and man standing besides kayak on the Kalamazoo River
Plainwell Kayak Company

Afterward, we rewarded ourselves with ice cream at Dean’s. There was a car show happening in Plainwell, so we stuck around and swooned over a few cars. 

Vintage Cars at rally in Plainwell, Michigan
Plainwell, Michigan

Art Class at Glass Art Kalamazoo

Sun Catchers made a Glass Art in Kalamazoo, Michigan
Sun Catchers

We took a fused-glass sun catchers class at Glass Art in Kalamazoo. Glass Art is a community-based nonprofit organization founded by a local group of glass artists. Both Dave and I thoroughly enjoyed this experience. 

Vintage in the Zoo 

Vintage in the Zoo in Downtown Kalamazoo, Michigan
Vintage in the Zoo

Vintage in the Zoo is a monthly vintage shopping experience in Downtown Kalamazoo. The market showcases vintage clothing, accessories, jewelry, furniture, and retro items. Check it out on the second Saturday of each month. So many feelings of nostalgia surfaced while looking through the market. 

Vintage Market in downtown Kalamazoo, Michigan
Vintage in the Zoo

Make Fragrances at The Aroma Labs 

couple making perfume at the Aroma Labs in Downtown Kalamazoo, Michigan
The Aroma Labs

The Aroma Labs fun and interactive perfume-making experiences put both of us in a laughing, cheerful mood! Our host Carly was fabulous! I’m so in love with my new perfume! 

Kalamazoo was both lively and vibrant, with live music and activities happening throughout the weekend. There was an abundance of things to get into! So much we could’ve easily stayed an additional night. 

Hopefully, when you’re planning your next getaway, you’ll think of Kalamazoo! 

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