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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Downtown Kalamazoo Restaurants, Bars, Special Events and Other Entertaining Things To Do 

When I first went away to college at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo was not my favorite city. truthfully, I was not even certain that I would stay at WMU after my first year simply because I was so unhappy. Thankfully, I gave it one more year and at some point grew to enjoy the city of Kalamazoo. While I will never live there again now that I have graduated, Kalamazoo will always stay near and dear to my heart.

I was fortunate enough to get to live right downtown for four years. I was near all the bars and restaurants and could even walk to the Arcadia Creek Festival Site, which is where all the summer festivals took place. There are a number of things I grew to enjoy doing in the city. They are as follows:

It might be little and full of rambunctious kids, but the Kalamazoo Valley Museum is an entertaining place to check out. There is a natural disaster exhibit, a mummy and a space with several interactive science exhibits. The traveling exhibit is usually good as well. And, the best part about it is that it is free of charge.

The restaurants in downtown Kalamazoo are also excellent. There are all varieties of cuisine to choose from including American, European, Italian, Japanese and much more. If you are like me and enjoy Italian food, there are three Italian restaurants to choose from, Zazio's, Comensoli's and my favorite, Mangia Mangia.

During the summertime in Kalamazoo, there are quite a few festivals that are hosted at the Arcadia Creek Festival Site. They are all pretty entertaining, but the best ones, in my opinion, are Blue's Fest and Island Fest. There is always themed food and related music. It is just a great opportunity to get outside and enjoy the weather, have a couple beers and listen to very good music.

Now of course, given that I was a college kid when I lived in Kalamazoo, it is essential that I include some of my favorite bars. Bell's is of course towards the top of the list. The beer at this bar is excellent. Yet another great college bar is Shakespeare's Pub. This is a very good venue for watching sports, drinking a beer and having a much more relaxed bar experience, if there is such a thing. It is not a club, there is no dancing, just people socializing. This venue also has a large patio, which is excellent in the summertime. There are numerous other bars to choose from as well. If you want a club experience, there is the dueling piano bar, Monaco Bay, or the Wild Bull, which has a mechanical bull.

These are a few of my personal favorite things to do in Kalamazoo. There are other scenes to be explored as well, such as art, live shows or shopping. Kalamazoo is not just a college town, but a city with fantastic food, art and culture. It is a city that should be on your list of places to check out.

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