Skip to main content

Kalamazoo Culture

Get to the heart of Kalamazoo’s character downtown, where shops, restaurants and theaters make for a lively scene. Visit five historic districts to see buildings of architectural significance and learn the history of the area. Tour the Dr. Nathan Thomas House, one of the state’s most prominent Underground Railroad sites, and the W.K Kellogg Manor House, former estate of the breakfast cereal magnate and now home to a bird sanctuary and conference center. For history buffs, there’s the Gilmore Car Museum. Housing nearly 400 automobiles in historic buildings, it’s rated one of the top five automobile museums in the country.

 

Crafting Greatness

To get a real sense of Kalamazoo, sample the food and drink scene. With 450 restaurants (and growing opportunities for farm-fresh, locally sourced dining experiences), Kalamazoo is getting a lot of attention for its cuisine. Michigan is particular smitten with craft beer, and the love affair started right here in Kalamazoo. Bell’s Brewery is the oldest and largest microbrewery in the state and their beers enjoy a cult-like following around the world. In fact, Bell’s Two Hearted was named the #1 rated India Pale Ale in the world, according to Ratebeer.com. Take a beer-venture on the Give A Craft Beer Trail, a fun way to explore all the local breweries and to earn some swag at the end of your trek.

 

Contagious Creativity and Curiosity

Offering 10 live performance theaters, a world-class art museum, numerous schools of art and design, offbeat galleries and a vibrant monthly Art Hop, Kalamazoo is a mecca for the arts. Spend a day at Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, where you’ll find dynamic exhibitions, films and other events along with the permanent collection of modern works. Be inspired at Air Zoo, an aviation museum full of interactive exhibits and rides that will blow-your-mind, and then stop by the Kalamazoo Nature Center to discover the natural world along many trails or by visiting the center’s DeLano Homestead Farmyard.

Fun Fact

Plenty of guitar history in Kalamazoo
View more
Heritage Guitars/Discover Kalamazoo

Orville Gibson started the Gibson Guitar Corporation in the late 19th century in Kalamazoo.

Kalamazoo-built Checker cab on display
View more
Kalamazoo Valley Museum/Discover Kalamazoo

The iconic Checker taxis that once dominated the streets of New York and Chicago were built in Kalamazoo.

Much more than a baker’s dozen on offer at Sweetwaters Donut Mill
View more
Discover Kalamazoo

Sweetwaters Donut Mill has been named one of the top donut shops in the world by AOL, Thrillist, MSN and more.

Hot Air Balloon over Asheville, North Carolina
View more

Nearby Experiences

View more experiences

Upcoming events

Cars in every color of the rainbow at Street Rods Nationals North
View more
Discover Kalamazoo

Event

Street Rods Nationals North

September

Pumpkins decorate a rustic fence during the Olde Tyme Harvest Festival
View more
Discover Kalamazoo
The holiday parade led by a cheerful snowman
View more
Discover Kalamazoo

Event

Kalamazoo Holiday Parade

November

A delicious flight awaits during Beer Week
View more
Discover Kalamazoo

Event

Kalamazoo Beer Week

January

Getting a how-to at the Maple Sugar Festival
View more
Kalamazoo Nature Center

Event

Maple Sugar Festival

March

Tickling the ivories at Gilmore International Keyboard Festival
View more
The Gilmore Keyboard Festival/Discover Kalamazoo
Strolling the art stalls at June Jubilee
View more
Discover Kalamazoo

Event

June Jubilee

June

Soaring through the air during Richland Park Horse Trials
View more
Richland Park Horse Trials

Explore more