Things To Do

Kalamazoo and its surrounding communities offer such a wide variety of activities that no listing does them justice. Instead, we have included a few of our favorite dining, film, live theatre, pubs and wineries, bookstores and museum suggestions, with additional links to help you plan your visit.

For those starting your Michigan vacation here, we suggest:

  • 1001 Photos of Michigan - where Doreen Lawrence and Suzie Martin, share photos and information about their favorite state in a daily format
  • Great Lakes Gazette - where Kath Usitalo writes about activities in both the lower and upper peninsulas.
  • Michigan Pics - with daily photos of the great state of Michigan.

KALAMAZOO PUBLIC LIBRARY


315 S ROSE ST
Kalamazoo 49007
Website
Description:

Just imagine rainbows, Internet, consumer reports, financial news, Dr. Seuss, local history, and "Jaws" all in one dazzling place. Tour the whole wide world at Kalamazoo Public Library.

Kalamazoo Public Library Friends Bookstore


http://www.kpl.gov/friends/bookstore/
Kalamazoo 49007
Website
Description:

How can you not love a bookstore with the motto – “Gently Used Books, Very Gently Priced.” Located in the lower level of the downtown library, this store sells used books for between 10 cents and $2.50. And the proceeds go to support the Friends of the Library mission of supporting the library and promoting literacy and reading in the community – and to provide low-cost reading materials to the public. At the bookstore, college students get 20 percent off the already low prices, teachers buy bags of books to supplement their classroom libraries, and others come just to add to their collections of works by favorite authors.

If you go, be sure to check out their weekly specials.

315 S. Rose St. Hours: Wed 12 – 7pm; Thurs-Sat 10am-4pm

Kalamazoo State Theatre


406 S Burdick St
Kalamazoo 49007
Website
Description:

The State Theatre has been a fixture in Kalamazoo since 1927, and is today West Michigan's Premier Live Concert Venue. (need to get listed on their website under lodging)

Kalamazoo Valley Museum


230 N Rose St
Kalamazoo 49007
Website
Description:

The Kalamazoo Valley Museum preserves and interprets the heritage of Southwest Michigan and provides life-long learning opportunities to engage children and adults in history, science, and technology. Through exhibitions, programs, and educational and family events (many of which are free), the Museum seeks to develop cultural, historical and scientific literacy. Besides, it’s a fun place to go.

Kazoo Books


407 North Clarendon Street
Kalamazoo 49006
Website
Description:

Hands-down this is our favorite. Owner Gloria Tiller opened her first Kazoo Books location in 1988 which she described as “a simple little paperback used bookstore.” The original store was expanded in 1999 and the Parkview location added four years later to keep up with growing demand for new and used books. Kazoo Books is now an Amazon.com affiliate and Tiller orders directly from publishers and distributors. Tiller still sells used books — but only those in excellent condition; patrons are welcome to bring in second-hand titles to be considered for trade. Additionally, Tiller deals in highly collectible books and is trained to appraise valuable literary works. She is among a staff of seven, including husband James, that work together to hold a multitude of special events with a particular focus on local authors and the cultivation of literacy. A knowledgeable staff, large inventory and personal service are all components that contribute to the longevity of Kazoo Books.

407 N. Clarendon St. (just 1 mile from Stuart Avenue Inn) and 2413 Parkview Ave. Don’t be misled – both buildings look deceptively small from the outside, but provide plenty of book shelves, wandering room, and reading nooks inside.

Hours: 10 – 6 Monday through Saturday.

Martini's Pizza


832 South Westnedge Avenue
Kalamazoo 49008
Website
Description:

A short drive from the Inn. O.k., we’ve only had their pizzas which vary from traditional pizza and cheese to a fresh basil, garlic, olive oil, tomatoes and a light topping of mozzarella – delicious.

MIichigan News Agency


308 W MICHIGAN AVE.
Kalamazoo 49007
Website
Description:

O.k. this is not a traditional bookstore – but it is a tradition in Kalamazoo. This downtown Kalamazoo icon has been “Bringing the World to You Since ’47.” Operating 6am to 8pm 365 days a year, this store stocks 6,500 different magazine titles, 16,000 paperback books and about eight different newspapers. A trip to Kalamazoo is not complete without a trip to the Michigan News.

308 E. Michigan Ave. (less than a mile from Stuart Avenue Inn – really – you can walk there!)

Miller Auditorium


1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo 49008
Website
Description:

Over 35 years after its grand opening in 1968, Miller is still ranked as one of the top ten facilities in the United States, and is the third largest theatre in Michigan, and the premier center for performing arts not only in Kalamazoo, but also in all of Southwest Michigan.

Riviera Theatre


50 North Main Street
Three Rivers 49093
Website
Description:

The Riviera in Three Rivers. O.k. this one is a 30 to 40 minute drive, but well worth it. The Theater, located in historic downtown Three Rivers, Michigan, originally opened on December 23, 1925. In 2000, after a long run of events and films, the theatre closed its doors. In 2005, the theatre came under new ownership, and work began on the long and meticulous renovation. The Riviera re-opened for business in summer 2008. It has been beautifully restored, and offers many films not shown elsewhere. We recently watched the 2010 Oscar Nominated Short Live Action and Animated Films. What a treat! Complete with complimentary appetizers! To see what’s playing at the Riviera this week, click here.

Rustica


236 S. Kalamazoo Mall
Kalamazoo 49007
Website
Description:

This is our new favorite restaurant for a nice evening out. Their motto is Simple, Fresh, and Delicious.  And it is all three.  The cuisine reflects influences of France, Italy, Spain and other European countries - but mixes with a healthy dose of regional Michigan fare.  The Apple Braised Pork Shank, Grilled Arctic Char, Grilled Hanger Steak are all terrifically tasty. But the Cassoulet with Michigan shell beans, duck confit, homemade garlic sausage, lamb carrots and an herb crust is divine. The prices are reasonable, and chef focuses on fresh, sustainable, local products. Only one drawback - they don't take reservations. But they do have a call-ahead system explained in detail on their website.

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