Being from Kalamazoo, one of the hardest things to do is to explain to someone where Kalamazoo is, and if you're really lucky enough you have to give directions to our marvelous city. It's a little easier speaking to someone from the state, most Michiganders are familiar with at least one city in Southwestern Michigan which provides a starting point. Then it gets a little tricky with those from the Midwest, some may know of a Lansing or Grand Rapids which helps, but much like the rest of the country and the world, most only know of Detroit.

Yes, Michigan does have somewhat of a cheat sheet when describing to others where we live, but as someone with first hand experience this doesn't always work or help. I've tried to use my hand to point to exactly where Kalamazoo is and they will say "Where?" or "Oh so by Detroit?" and that irks my nerves. Then trying the same with Grand Rapids and Lansing to no avail, and that's where the abstract ideas come to play.

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Approaching From The North

When heading From North to South, things aren't too complicated, you may have to merge onto one or two different highways, but that's about the worst of it. Grand Rapids is probably the easiest city from the North to travel from. Once you merge onto US-131, its a straight shot to Kalamazoo, only having to exit once you reach the city. Now remember Grand Rapids because 9/10 when coming from the North you're going to go through Grand Rapids first.

Traverse City, which is about as North as it gets on the west side of the lower Peninsula, a beautiful place to visit and much like Grand Rapids doesn't take too many merging highways or turns to reach your destination. First getting onto US-31 and coasting down which turns into M37, merging onto M115, which will almost lead you to the promise land. After riding along M115 for a little bit, you'll merge onto US-131 and cruise to Kalamazoo.

Entering From The East

Coming from the East is much like coming from the North,  no matter where you start you must past through one town before reaching the town limits of Kalamazoo. Coming from the North its Grand Rapids, while approaching from the east its the Cereal City, Battle Creek. With Battle Creek being only 25-30 minutes down the road, a simple trip down I-94 or M96 and you'll run right into Kalamazoo before you know it.

I would talk about Detroit to Kalamazoo, but that's just as simple as Battle Creek just adding about an hour and a half to two hours to your road trip. Meanwhile, Lansing provides some spice to the travel plans. After starting on I-69 and traveling south, you reach I-94 and ride this to the city for about 45 mins, while others will choose to take US-127 south and once merging onto I-94 will travel about an hour before reaching Kalamazoo.

Whipping From The West

Yeah, you guessed it, just like the East and North, when coming in from the West, you must past through a small town known as Mattawan before you reach Kalamazoo. Not much goes on there, but you should expect tons of through traffic for Kalamazoo. Mattawan being the exact opposite of Battle Creek, is about 20-25 mins away from Kalamazoo on I-94. This is the last stop before you reach Kalamazoo, so stop if you need to because you're next stop is a while.

Obviously the most fun to talk about is Chicago, this is a road trip I've taken so many times, and its a simple one, its much like Detroit, its a straight about 2 to 2 1/2 hours shot on I-94, no need to merge any highways or travel on backroads. This is also most the route to take to most of western Indiana. This is an odd one to throw in there, but St. Louis, Missouri is technically to the West of Kalamazoo. This is also a fun, scenic road trip to indulge on. Starting on I-55 and taking that all the way to Chicago, making possible merges on to I-80 or I-90 which will lead you back to I-94 and all the way to Kalamazoo.

Swerving From The South

This is where traveling to Kalamazoo gets fun, unlike the other three directions, there are multiple ways to get to Kalamazoo from the South with some leading you to eventually pull up to town from the East. Firstly, keeping things simple, there is an entire line of towns such as Schoolcraft, Three Rivers, Constantine, and White Pigeon, along US-131 that simply take a journey on the "backroads" highway to Kalamazoo.

Now, the fun part. Fort Wayne to start off short and sweet, hop on I-69 take this all the way to I-94 and after the merge you coast for about 35 minutes and you'll see the skyline of Kalamazoo. Now to add on, Cleveland starting on I-80 or I-90 and riding this all the way through Ohio, and merging onto I-69, which merges to I-94, all the way to Kalamazoo. Lastly, Columbus, might be one of the most average drives ever. You're not super impressed with what you see, but it's also fairly simple and not to far. Start off on I-70 traveling west, Merging onto to I-75 north, and taking this up to Toledo. Once in Toledo, merge on I-80 or I-90 and take this to I-69, which will guide you to I-94, which you cruise to the wonderful city of Kalamazoo.

Getting to and from Kalamazoo isn't as hard as people think, the hard part is knowing where Kalamazoo is. Honestly it's very simple and outside of traveling from the south, there's only one way into the city from each direction. The highways either lead to each other, or straight to Kalamazoo, and provide awesome scenery for your drive. Take a road trip to Kalamazoo, not only is the city fun, but so is the family road trip here.

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