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10 Reasons to Visit Kalamazoo, Michigan in 2019

Posted on December 4th, 2018


Kalamazoo has so much to offer, with great events and attractions that you can only experience in this beautiful West Michigan city. Here are 10 reasons you should visit Kalamazoo, MI in 2019:


  1. The Breweries


With 12 breweries and counting just in the city itself, it’s no stretch to say that Kalamazoo is a Craft Beer destination for 2019. Michigan’s oldest brewery, Bell’s, had its Two Hearted Ale named the best beer in America in 2017. Hop on the Kalamazoo Brew Bus, Give A Craft Beer Trail and get free swag, or check out Kalamazoo Beer Week January 11-20th! More than half of the breweries are within walking distance of one another, so check out our beer map to plan your route!




  1. Kalamazoo Institute of Art


The Kalamazoo Institute of Art is home to both world-class and local/regional works, and holds more than 4,700 fine artworks in its permanent collection. The Watanabe Exhibit, which will be open in 2019, brings together many rare prints of the Japanese print publisher, Shozaburo Watanabe, who was the driving force behind “shin-hanga”, colorful images of Japan’s people and natural beauty.

This year starting on June 7th, the KIA Art Fair gives visitors a chance to look through almost 200 vendors with jewelry, photography, sculpture, painting, ceramics, glass, fiber, leather, and wood on display. There will also be music, food trucks, and family activities to make a great, art-filled weekend!




  1. Audiotree Music Festival


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Thank you Kalamazoo. This year was magic.

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In late September every year, the Audiotree Music Festival takes place, with attendees gathering for the music plus the incredible selection of craft beer, food trucks, and specialty vendors. Over 20+ new and emerging artists will perform, curated by the popular web series Audiotree Live. 2018 saw indie giants Father John Misty, Local Natives, and Real Estate headline. Check out the event’s website here.




  1. The Food


There’s no doubt that Kalamazoo is the food hub of West Michigan, with more than 450+ restaurants. Be sure to check out some local favorites, like Crow’s Nest, Rustica, and Erbelli’s Gourmet Pizza. Explore some of what makes the restaurant’s truly special during Restaurant Week, the last week in July, which features innovative parings & affordable food options and the chance to “hop” from place to place with the $10 price fix.

If you’re more into making your own food or you just want to take some home, head to KZoo’s Farmer’s Markets where there’s always a bounty of fresh produce, beautiful plants and flowers, and more.




  1. Kalamazoo Pride


The 2-day outdoor festival in early June, Kalamazoo Pride, is the largest fundraiser for OutFront Kalamazoo, the LGBTQ and ally community resource in the greater Kalamazoo area, and is always a fantastic time. It features performers and pageants, and in 2019 there will be more entertainment, more vending options, and more family-friendly activities. Be sure to check their website for updates!




  1. The Great Outdoors


If you’re a lover of the great outdoors, you must visit Kalamazoo in 2019. Discover popular fishing spots, find the perfect biking trail, play on nearly 2 dozen golf courses, and satisfy your wanderlust with 14 hiking trails. You could also paddle on the Kalamazoo river on a kayak, canoe and stand up paddle board. Tours, lessons, and rentals are available in the area as well – check them out here!




  1. Hippie Fest


The grooviest festival of 2019 goes down on June 1st. Hippie Fest features one-of-a-kind artists and vendors, local goods, bohemian shopping, live music, hippie car show, cirque performers, DIY tie-dye, sideshow acts, and food trucks. It’s fun for the whole family, and even free for kids 5 and under. Get your tickets here!




  1. Kalamazoo Living History Show


The Kalamazoo Living History Show occurs in mid-March and it’s not something history or culture lovers should miss in 2019. It attracts 270+ of the finest artisans and vendors of pre-1890 living history supplies and related crafts from throughout the United States and Canada. Expect children’s activities, Native American dancing and singing, and artisan craft demonstrations at the show! Learn more here.




  1. Dog-Friendly


Kalamazoo is a superb destination for those who want to bring their best friend on vacation in 2019. There’s 6 off-leash dog parks, as well as many restaurants and attractions with pet-friendly areas. You can even bring your dog with you while you sample KZoo’s beer, as Arcadia Brewing Company has a pet-friendly beer garden! You can also explore over 1,000 acres of beautiful undeveloped woods and sand dunes with your pup at Grand Mere State Park. Also, on May 11, you can join the Dog Walk & K-9 Festival for world-class canine entertainment to benefit the Kalamazoo Humane Society!




  1. Kalamazoo Nature Center


Voted the number one nature center in the nation by other nature centers, the Kalamazoo Nature Center has an Interpretive Center that features the award-winning “Nature Up Close” hall. It includes state-of-the-art interactive exhibits, three-story tropical rainforest, Bug House, and seasonal butterfly and hummingbird garden. The facility has over 1,100 acres, with an 11-acre arboretum, 11 nature trails for hiking and cross-country skiing, and the DeLano Pioneer homestead – making it fun throughout 2019. Check out more details here!



If you’re looking for plenty to do, then Kalamazoo is the place to visit in 2019! From art exhibits to festivals, there’s something for everyone. Be sure to sign-up for our newsletter so you stay up-to-date and don’t miss any of our events & attractions!


Featured photo of Bates Alley is credited to Kalamazoo Aerial Media