Image of two graduate students in downtown Kalamazoo

WMU Graduate Discovery Guide

Welcome to our discovery guide to Kalamazoo for graduate students! Whether you're new to the area or have been here a while, we've curated a list of things to do that will help you make the most out of your time at WMU. From exploring local restaurants and breweries to attending cultural events and outdoor adventures, there's something for everyone on our list! 

Meet our ambassadors

Don't just take our word for it. Here are a few things that our graduate student ambassadors have to say! 

Welcome to WMU! I'm Kemmel.

On a summer day, I enjoy exploring the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail. It covers more than 20 miles of different types of terrain! It’s a great place to get some fresh air and explore the nature side that Kalamazoo has to offer. 

Hey there, I'm Lindsay.

There are so many things I like to do in Kalamazoo like walking my dogs on local nature trains (Asylum Lake Preserve and Kal-Haven Trail are fantastic) and exploring breweries using the Give A Craft Beer Trail virtual passport. I also joined social sports leagues to stay active and meet new people outside of school!

  • It's nice to meet you! I'm Melissa.

    My favorite things to do on a day trip are heading to Lake Michigan or visiting John Ball Park Zoo. Also heading to nearby cities like Grand Rapids, Grand Traverse, Mackaniaw Island, or Chicago (you can even make a weekend out it)!

  • Hi fellow Bronco, I'm Kelsea.

    My favorite on-campus event by far is Bronco Bash because it's fun for anyone, no matter if you're and undergraduate or graduate student! I also really enjoy tailgating at WMU football games, watching hockey games at Lawson Arena, and catching a show at Miller Auditorium (pro tip: we get a student discount to all of these).

  • I'm so happy you're here! I'm Margarita.

    I love doing things around Kalamazoo like finding new parks to take walks with my dog, exploring the shops around the Kalamazoo Walking Mall, visiting my favorite restaurants, and shopping at the vintage market during the summer or looking at the lights downtown during the holidays.

Cozy Coffee & Study Spots

Whether you need a quick cup of joe or a nice quiet place to study, Kalamazoo has you covered. Check out Table of Contents Café, Water Street Coffee, Factory Coffee, Fourth Coast Cafe & Bakery, Something’s Brewing, Café Casa, or Chocolatea.

What To Do On a Rainy Day

Make candles at Kalamazoo Candle Company, rock climbing at Climb Kalamazoo, bowl at Revel & Roll, ride go-karts at Airway Fun Center, do an escape room at Escapology, visit Kalamazoo Valley Museum, explore the Air Zoo.

Special Night Out

Casual Eats

  • One of the best breakfast spots in the Vine neighborhood. Get there early, because there is always a wait to get into this delicious spot!

  • The best burger joint in Kalamazoo!

  • Dog-friendly patio area in the summer! Also, the cosmic fries are delicious.

  • The best and most affordable falafel wraps and hummus platters in town!

  • Amazing and fresh sushi to satisfy your cravings.

  • Traditional Thai cuisine including a variety of noodle dishes in a quaint space with a homey ambiance.

  • Kalamazoo's first dedicated Poke Restaurant.

  • Japanese restaurant serving sushi & teppanyaki dishes in a trendy space with traditional accents.

  • Taco Tuesday!!! 50% tacos. Enough said.

Arts & Entertainment

Bars, Breweries, & Nightlife

  • Absolutely fantastic service! A sense of elegance mingles with a retro, vintage, and eclectic ambiance.

  • Really fun must try experience if you like retro arcade games!

  • Beautiful patio for dining outside and they even sell adult juice boxes!

  • Great outdoor seating in the warmer months. Has both outdoor and indoor venues for live music.

  • Very sophisticated, complex, inspired cocktails finessed by a master mixologist!

  • Laid-back fun restaurant brew-pub combined with a pinball arcade.

Explore the Great Outdoors

Shop Local

  • Michigan's first Zero Waste Shop & Refillery, offering locally-made and sustainably sourced products for your everyday routine.

  • Artisan soy candles as honest and hardworking as the city that inspired them. You can even mix and match scents to make your own candles!

  • A gender-neutral collection of casual denim, flannels, sweaters, and plaids.

  • Mason Jar Plant shop is a family owned business that sells house plants and decor, specializing in rare exotics and hard to find gems! Plus, you can build your own terrarium.

  • This is a Bookstore cares about offering the best in new books that breathe and grow alongside our community! It's the coziest bookstore around town.

  • Rocket Fizz is Kalamazoo's wacky, sugary, soda-y, dad joke loaded emporium of all things sweet & weird.

Ethnic Grocery Stores

Watch for yourself!

For a full list of things to do in the Kalamazoo area, visit Discover Kalamazoo!