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Local Spotlight: Candace Faistenhammer’s favorite things to do in Kalamazoo

Posted on August 11th, 2014
kalamazoo beer exchange

Named the No. 1 Bar in Michigan by RateBeer.com in 2013 and 2014, it’s no wonder that the Kalamazoo Beer Exchange is an attraction in itself! Starting at 6 p.m. nightly, enjoy the stock-market-like situation for craft beer, as prices change based on supply and demand!

things to do Kalamazoo

Candace Faistenhammer is an intern at Discover Kalamazoo who loves being a Bronco at Western Michigan University, spending her free time fishing with her family and all things Detroit Lions! She is excited to spend her summer trying Kalamazoo breweries and restaurants she’s never tried! 🙂

• Favorite place to grab a drink?
The Beer Exchange. Prices of the beer here are based on real-time sales, like the stock market, and occasionally the market will crash bringing prices to an all-time low. It’s fun to watch the market and taste beer from all over the world.

• Favorite restaurant?
To be honest, I’ve never eaten at a place in Kalamazoo that I didn’t love! If I’m going off of my favorite food, which is pizza, Erbelli’s is my favorite place to grab a slice, hands down! Their food is DELICIOUS. If you’re not into pizza, they have a large menu and a great beer selection.

• Favorite attraction?
WMU hockey games are a must see! Going to Lawson Arena for a Bronco Hockey game is much more than simply watching a sport, it’s an experience. Nobody is more passionate about their hockey than WMU and the Kalamazoo community.

• Favorite thing about Kalamazoo?
The atmosphere around Kalamazoo is unbeatable. Downtown gives you a big-city feel with small-town comfort. There are so many things to do and all within walking distance. Being a college town, there are always people around and everyone is approachable.

kalamazoo new year's fest

Kalamazoo New Year’s Fest brings the community together for a night of fun-filled activities for the entire family! Enjoy musicians, magicians, impersonators, artists and more!

• Favorite Kalamazoo festival/event?
New Year’s Fest is my favorite annual event downtown. I had the pleasure of working the event this past year, and it was amazing! There are tons of bands and activities in different locations surrounding Bronson Park leading up to fireworks at midnight. It’s great for the whole family.

• Best late-night spot for college kids?
The Campus Pointe Mall area is perfect for the nights you and your friends want to bar hop, but aren’t interested in taking a taxi downtown. The Grotto at Capone’s, The Mix and AFB Bar and Grill are all located within a one-block radius and are popular bars among the college scene. They each feature daily deals and are only a 10-minute walk from campus and many popular apartment complexes.

western michigan university

Founded in 1903, Western Michigan University celebrated its 111th birthday in 2014!

• Fun Fact about Kalamazoo:
Western Michigan University celebrated their 111th birthday earlier this year (2014)!

• Best breakfast?
Crow’s Nest. The Banana Bread French Toast and house potatoes are to die for! They’re also open 24 hours on the weekend, so you can breakfast anytime! This is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing meal on a Sunday morning after a long night on the town.

asylum lake kalamazoo

Asylum Lake Preserve is a 274-acre parcel of land that is owned by Western Michigan University. Photo courtesy of Brian Wolfe.

• Top hangout?
My friends and I love spending time outside, and Kalamazoo has a ton of outdoor adventures to be had. A place I frequently explore is the Asylum Lake Preserve. It’s so peaceful and there are great trails for casual walking and catching up with a friend.

• Fun places for kids/families?
Bittersweet Ski Resort. Since we can’t change the five months of winter West Michigan is usually blessed with each year, we may as well embrace it! Instead of letting winter trap you in the house, enjoy the natural snow outside and hit the slopes. Bittersweet is perfect for all ages! They have ski classes and hills ranging from beginner to expert, and you can also rent all of your equipment on site.

If you’re not interested in learning to love the snow, try Airway Fun Center for the family! It has go-carts, bowling, bumper cars, laser tag and more! Who wouldn’t love that place?

Alamo Drafthouse Kalamazoo

Alamo Drafthouse Kalamazoo features a full bar with 32 draft taps, wine, mixed drinks, coffee, tea, soda, shakes and more. It’s extensive food menu is made from local ingredients.

• Fun date?
The Alamo Drafthouse. This one-stop shop movie theatre is perfect, if you’re not interested in driving all over the place for dinner and a movie. This is perfect place to get a bite to eat, grab a beer and catch a flick all in one place.

• Perfect day trip?
Head about 45 minutes west on West Main Street and you’ll hit Lake Michigan. South Haven is a prime location for having a picnic, tossing a football, and enjoying Pure Michigan. The beach is clean and the drive is easy. South Haven hosts the annual Fourth of July fireworks, and there’s Haborfest in June, where you can enjoy a pancake breakfast and Dragon Boat Races! It’s perfect if you’re looking for a little getaway for the day.

Click here for the largest database of Kalamazoo events!

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