The Fall season often has us thinking of heading off-the-beaten-path and taking a winding road until we stumble upon a cider mill or pumpkin patch!
For all of those times that you’re unable to make the trip outside the city for that authentic fall adventure, here are nine different ways you can still have that quintessential autumn experience in and around downtown Kalamazoo.
Shop for cider, pie, pumpkins, gourds and other fall produce at the Kalamazoo Farmers Market
The Kalamazoo Farmers Market is such a popular community event in the city, and for good reason! Located downtown in the Washington Square Neighborhood, the Kalamazoo Farmers Market is a seasonal market that features over 100 local businesses and vendors every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, from May-November. You can expect to find an abundance of seasonal produce at the market, so if you’re looking for somewhere near downtown to get your pumpkins and gourds this fall, this is just the place!
Pick up pumpkin or apple cider donuts from Sweetwater’s Donut Mill
Although not located directly downtown, Sweetwater’s Donut Mill is so famous and such a Kalamazoo staple, that we had to include them in this list! If you’re in the mood for some of your favorite fall treats, like cinnamon sugar, pumpkin or apple cider donuts, but don’t have the time to make a trip to the cider mill, Sweetwater’s is going to be your best friend! They have two Kalamazoo locations, both within less than 10 minutes drive from central downtown.
Sip on fun seasonal drinks from the local coffee shops
If you’re a fan of coffee, then you can probably relate to the joy that is felt when you can transition from iced drinks to hot ones. There is just something so comforting about starting your day with the warmth of your favorite caffeinated beverage filling your soul (and not making you sweat in return!). Indulge in the craft from our local coffee shops and treat yourself to not only a seasonal drink, but their cozy atmospheres as well.
Stroll down Historic South Street or the Stuart Neighborhood
The South Street Historic District is located downtown and is a tree-lined neighborhood, making it the perfect place to stroll down and take in the fall colors. The beautifully preserved houses, which were built between 1841 and 1915, are the true stars of the historic neighborhood. The South Street Historic District is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Many of the Historic Stuart Neighborhood’s homes date back to this late 19th-century population boom, and there are a large number of well-preserved residences in styles such as Queen Anne and Italianate. Like the South Street Historic District, the Stuart Neighborhood also boasts huge old trees and truly unique homes. The neighborhood is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and enjoys local historic district status.
Wander the streets of central city and embark on Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership’s 2nd Annual SkeleTour
The Downtown Kalamazoo SkeleTour is a month-long celebration during October in downtown Kalamazoo. Downtown streets are adorned with skeletons representing great local businesses. From creepy and scary to funny and silly, there’s a skeleton for every taste!
Sample some fall seasonal brews
Kalamazoo is home to an overwhelming number of craft breweries, so you can be sure that our local brew masters are constantly rolling out not only new and special release seasonal brews, but some of your favorite well-known staples too! If beer is totally not your thing, rest-assured that Kalamazoo has something for you too! If you’re more of a wine drinker, wander into Tempo Vino Winery on East Michigan Avenue. You may have to venture outside of downtown, but we recommend you head to Texas Corners Brewing Company if hard cider is your jam, or trek out to Lawton Ridge Winery for some more local wine.
Check out the yummy fall scents at the new Kalamazoo Candle Company Marketplace
Loved by so many locals here, the iconic candle brand has officially opened a retail store, Kalamazoo Candle Company Marketplace, in downtown Kalamazoo! Not only will their fall scents instantly transport you to your favorite fall memories of leaves crunching and pumpkin everything, but you can actually drop in and create your own DIY candle scent any time you wish!
Take in the colors from some of the highest look-out spots
Heritage Hall is home to Western Michigan University’s Alumni Center. Widely recognized as the birthplace of the University, the 53,000-square-foot building is a tangible example of both Kalamazoo’s and WMU’s commitment to community and education.
In 1903, the area where the building sits, a 20-acre site overlooking the city, was offered by the citizens of Kalamazoo as a place for the new Western State Normal School. At the time, Kalamazoo was in fierce competition with nearly two dozen other cities across West Michigan, and needed to catch the attention of the Michigan Legislature. Kalamazoo was ultimately selected for the school, and the building, which sits atop Prospect Hill, was completed in 1905.
Once the jewel of the city park system, Crane Park must have commanded a superb view of the city when the trees on the north side of Westnedge Hill were younger. The park is situated on South Westnedge Avenue, and despite the many trees in the park, you can still catch a glimpse of the city below. –Kalamazoo Public Library
Cozy up by a fire
If you’re keen on taking your beverage cuddled up outside to enjoy the crisp fall air, head to HopCat, an eclectic craft beer bar. Their outdoor patio is strung with twinkly lights, plenty of seating and of course, a fire pit. You can also enjoy live music and order drinks directly from a 1970’s-era Airstream travel trailer turned bar!
Take a Haunted History of Kalamazoo tour
The Haunted History of Kalamazoo Walking Tour begins and ends at Bronson Park, covers just over a mile and takes approximately 2 hours. Hear about the following stories on the tour:
The ghost of “Thelma”
Bronson Park’s dark past
The music legend who roams the Radisson Hotel
And over 10 more haunted locations!!