Kalamazoo is a city of extreme weather that can quickly ruin a trip if you are unprepared. The temperatures can be bitterly cold from late October to February and extremely hot from July to September. If travelling during the cold weather months, you will certainly need to bring heavy boots and a coat that are suitable for temperatures that drop low enough to freeze your skin. July to September is also the peak of hurricane season for the region. The best time to visit Kalamazoo is April to mid-July as this is the season of most favourable weather.
Kalamazoo is an American college town with a strong academic presence. Many of the students go home at the end of the school year in May and return in September, making those months ideal times for finding cheap travel deals to Kalamazoo. Hotel discounts can be found near the airport and college neighbourhoods from April to June, catering to prospective new students and their families.
Kalamazoo has an active arts and cultural presence that serves the Western Michigan University community. The Kalamazoo Valley Museum is a beautiful building in the centre of Kalamazoo. It houses a children’s landscape arena, a planetarium and a theatre, in addition to the expected historical artefacts and interactive displays. The museum is open year-round and most of the events at the museum are free. The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts houses a large collection of American painting, sculpture, ceramics and photography that include the works of notable American artists such as William Merritt Chase, Helen Frankenthaler and Andy Warhol. Recently the collection has expanded to include pre-Columbian, African, Oceanic and East Asian art. The gallery also hosts events and travelling art exhibits throughout the year.
Kalamazoo is a city that is well served by small independent restaurants and shops. Stop for a coffee or sit down for lunch and you are likely to find yourself enjoying the guitar and song performances of local artists. Larger concerts at the State Theatre often feature more established artists and comedians.
For outdoor activity, visit the Kalamazoo Nature Centre where multiple trails wind through scenic mid-west forests and lead to observation decks that overlook the Kalamazoo Valley.
Kalamazoo has a reliable public transit system. Taxis are available and service is usually summoned by telephone.
The area is served by the Kalamazoo-Battle Creek International airport (AZO), at the south end of Kalamazoo. Cars can be rented at the airport by visiting one of the rental kiosks at the baggage claim area. The parking area is located right outside the baggage area so there is no need to find an airport shuttle. To get to Kalamazoo, take Portage Avenue out of the airport and turn onto the highway I-95 North. Taxi service is minimal and should be reserved before your trip. Buses stop at the airport once an hour during the day from Monday to Saturday.