Often times, we talk about the best things to do in town for people who are new to the area. But, what are the things that people HAVE to experience before leaving the Kalamazoo area?

It was a question posed on Reddit by u/public_monkeybars (these Reddit user names always kill me). More specifically the question asked, "What are some things in Kalamazoo one should see before moving somewhere else?"

A few locals shared a variety of ideas:

1. Air Zoo 

TSM/ Chelsea Rose

This suggestion comes from Reddit user billy_pickles said: Air Zoo just to see the black bird. I'm assuming that user is talking about the Stealth Bomber currently on display at the Air Zoo. I will say its an impressive sight to see. Plus, getting to tour the area where the planes are restored is incredible. Definitely a great suggestion. Check out everything the Air Zoo has to offer here.

2. State Theatre

TSM/ Chelsea Rose

Reddit user ridemore82 asked: Have you been to the State Theatre downtown? Pretty cool place, great vibe. They’re showing the Big Lewbowski this Saturday. I've yet to see an actual show at the State Theatre (I know. Shame on me.) but I was lucky enough to get a grand tour. See the theater's schedule here.

3. The Gibson Guitar Factory

Via/ Google Maps

"How about where Gibson guitar was born?" asked user j001977. Another great suggestion. I only learned that the legendary guitars were made in Kalamazoo for 100 years after moving to the area. While the factory is no longer in working order, they do offer tours. You can find out more here.

4. The State Parks

TSM/ Chelsea Rose

I could not believe just how many parks/nature trails/nature preserves are in this small area. They're definitely worth a visit. However, Reddit user forest_dale_99 said: Not K-zoo but definitely the best part about living in SWMI and then shared links for both Grand Mere State Park and Saugatuck Dunes State Park. Those are just two of the many parks around SW Michigan. You can find a full list here.

5. The Farmer's Market 

Catalin Petolea

This is eye opening because this is yet another suggestion from a local that I have NOT experienced. Reddit user Katmeow17 said: If you’ll be around thru the weekend head to the farmers market!! You could also use this week to do a coffee tour and hit up a different spot everyday! Don't forget, the Kalamazoo Farmers Market recently changed locations. Find their hours and that new location on their website.

These suggestions were fantastic but...I KNOW there's so much more to do in Kalamazoo. See something that definitely needs to be on this list? I'd love to do a Part 2. Send us a message using the chat feature on the KFR app!

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