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Local Spotlight: Favorite things to do in Kalamazoo

Posted on April 24th, 2014
restaurant kalamazoo

Zazios Chef’s Table, located inside the Radisson hotel in downtown Kalamazoo, offers an intimate, interactive, five-course dinner and wine pairing. Enjoy an cooking demonstration while tasting the chef’s creations!

things to do in kalamazoo

Laurel Parrott is the co-owner of the Kalamazoo House Bed & Breakfast in downtown Kalamazoo, Michigan.

• Favorite restaurant?  
It’s a tie. I really love Rustica. And Zazios’ Chef’s Table is always super-special.

• Best breakfast?
Of course, I think the Kalamazoo House B&B‘s breakfast can’t be beat…but on the rare occasions that we get out to breakfast, it’s Studio Grill for me. Try the Wooden Spoon Omelet.

• Favorite attraction?
Having grown up in eastern Michigan, I grew up going to antique car museums. When we moved back to Michigan to buy the B&B, I figured I had already had my fill with old cars, and so I put off going to the Gilmore Car Museum way too long. It’s truly outstanding, and the fact that the beautiful campus also features restored barns makes it all the more special for me. I particularly like to tell my guests to be sure to see the collection of “car mascots” (that’s hood ornaments, for the uninitiated.)

gilmore car museum

The Gilmore Car Museum located in Hickory Corners, Michigan, features more than 300 vehicles spanning all eras. It was named a Top 5 Car Museum by Antique Automobile magazine.

• Top hangout?
Old Dog Tavern. Comfortable, friendly, I enjoy the Sunday Bloody Mary Bar a whole lot.

kalamazoo bar

Kalamazoo’s Old Dog Tavern offers lots of live entertainment, food and drinks.

• Best late-night spot?  
B&B owners are up early, so we rarely get out late at night. Others will have to answer this one.

• Favorite thing about Kalamazoo?
The vibrant, walkable downtown Kalamazoo that keeps getting even better and better.

Downtown Kalamazoo Michigan

Photo by Michael Buck. The Kalamazoo Mall, a downtown outdoor shopping area, bustles with boutiques, unique restaurants and old-world charm.


• Favorite thing to do in each season?
Spring: Getting my flower gardens ready and blooming. Enjoying the gardens in Bronson Park and nearby neighborhoods.
– Summer: The big lake.
– Fall: Apple orchards.
– Winter: Long walks during the first big snows of the season. (Of course, I’m pretty over it by now).

• Coolest Kalamazoo-history fact?
Back in the late 1800s, there were more than 20 cigar-making businesses here in Kalamazoo. I know this because the Lilienfelds who built this house (Kalamazoo House B&B) had the largest one. This always surprises people.

• Favorite Kalamazoo festival/event?
I’m pretty partial to Kalamazoo Beer Week in January. Lots of good energy from folks enjoying good craft beer after the holidays.

Kalamazoo Beer Week

Kalamazoo Beer Week happens in January and is a week-long series of events that support the craft beer experience through special tastings, dinners, and interactive events.

• Favorite place to grab a drink?
You can’t beat the SkyDeck at the Entertainment District on a beautiful evening.

Kalamazoo bar

SkyDeck is a local favorite rooftop bar to grab a drink and view of the sunset over the city! It’s open during the warm months.

• Perfect day trip?
When we get time to getaway between check-out time and check-in time, it’s often a motorcycle ride to the beach at South Haven. Get some sun, maybe an ice cream cone, and then stop at some farm stands on the way home.

• Fun place(s) for kids/families?
Air Zoo and Kalamazoo Nature Center.

Air Zoo

The Air Zoo is home to more than 50 rare and historic aircraft. As a first-of-its kind museum, the Air Zoo features theme-park-style rides, a flight-motion simulator, 4-D movie theatre, space section and more! Plus it showcases one of the world’s largest hand-painted murals.

• Fun date?
See above, Chef’s Table at Zazios in the Radisson is really special.

• Best pizza?

Kalamazoo b&b

Laurel Parrott, co-owner of the Kalamazoo House Bed & Breakfast, said breakfast at the Kalamazoo House B&B can’t be beat. But if she does go out for breakfast, it’s to Studio Grill in downtown!

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