Kalamazoo, Michigan...

...is a midsize southeastern Michigan town that has a lots of fun surprises. From upscale hotels to quaint Bed and Breakfasts, rental houses near Lake Michigan shores to cabins in the woods, Kalamazoo has many options for a nice weekend trip or short business stop over. From Chicago, it is an approximately two and one half hour drive on I-80/I-90E I-94E; or take your time and travel along Indiana's Routes 20/12 Red Arrow Hwy and hook up with the Blue Star Memorial Route 12 in Michigan for some excellent back road adventure and neat towns to explore.

 Our trip to Kalamazoo was a mix of micro- brewery, winery tours and romantic stay at a really great B&B.; Kalamazoo House B&B; A Queen Anne Victorian style property that is rich in history with the all the details and comfort levels duly noted. We stayed in Room # 7, is the top floor Premium Whirlpool suite, equipped with an Elegant King size bed, plush cotton robes, separate shower and 2 person whirlpool tub.  It was a pleasant way to spend a snowy day in February weekend.

 As  far as exploring the town, from your starting point, most things are within walking distance. The House has several resources on their website to help you find your way to shops, breweries and restaurants nearby. 

The Kalamazoo House has a new couple who took over the operations in 2014. I trust that the former operators, Terry and Laurel Parrot's choice to move on was a hard decision. I am looking forward to visiting the new operators, Mr. and Mrs. Gibson, to see their style for ourselves.

One place that is a must do experience during your stay in the Kalamazoo area is the Chef's Table at Zazios restaurant.  Zazios is a modern restaurant located on the lobby level of the Radisson Plaza Hotel in downtown Kalamazoo. The Chef's Table is a ' to die for'  five- course meal (with wine pairings) interactive culinary dining experience. Each menu is chosen monthly from a different region in Italy and originally created by world renowned Chef John Korycki. All courses are freshly prepared and plated in front of the audience with ingredients showcasing the local farm fresh produce. Comfortable stadium seating for up to 36 people with professionally placed close- circuit cameras and viewing screens makes this up close action dining one that you'll want to share with your friends. Opentable reservations (Please make sure that you note the chef table option when making reservations or call directly) on Thursdays at 6:30 pm and Fridays and Saturdays at 5:30 pm and 8:30 pm (times subject to change). The Chef’s Table is available Monday through Wednesday for your private party and custom menu options.                                                        

 Go to this link for the monthly theme menus and to make reservations Chef's Table.                      

 (Note: Chef Korycki has moved on to be the Director for Culinary education for Kalamazoo Valley Community College.)

                                                                                   Best of Luck to John!

Looking for activities, well look no further! Michigan is full of things to do all year long. From high energy biking, hiking and skiing to the slow paced relaxed traveles to plenty of wineries and breweries. Starting in Kalamazoo or going to Kalamazoo, you can bike / hike the Kal-Haven Trail. It is a 33.5 mile biking / hiking trail that runs, as named, that connects Kalamazoo to South Haven, near the Lake Michigan shores. Bring energy snacks and plenty of water if you take the adventure on this trail. There are towns along the way, but sleepy ones at best. And remember, you have to plan to get picked up or ride / walk back to your car, there are no public transportations between the towns. We have adventured the entire The Kal-Haven trail on bikes both ways! It is really nice!! 

If you want to go the opposite direction try the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail. Check out the link for details.

Want to check out the wineries, breweries, outlet shops,lighthouses or casinos?

 Southwest Michigan has a great website to find trips, stays and stops for a day trip or a weekend getaway.

Here's a interactive trip planning map from www.michigan.org

Enter your search terms below.