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Grand Rapids or Kalamazoo area for weekend stay?

Milwaukee, WI
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606 posts
42 reviews
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Grand Rapids or Kalamazoo area for weekend stay?

We are heading up from Indiana and will be looking to do some of the Michigan wine trail, maybe some canoeing near Mendon, biking (road or trail -- not mountain), etc. Most of the lake destinations seem limited for lodging, and if weather is not optimal for outside excursions, which city would you suggest we base ourselves at and things to do beyond the ones I listed. Any suggestions for restaurants (we like unique, not chains) or cocktail spots would be appreciated as well.

Northern Michigan
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for Petoskey, Michigan
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1. Re: Grand Rapids or Kalamazoo area for weekend stay?

Kabahr,

If you can swing a downtown stay, I'd definitely go with Grand Rapids...the downtown scene there is great, with tons of great restaurants, bars, etc. Of course the Amway Grand Plaza is my top choice, but the Days Inn Downtown has some specials from time to time and is a great location.

As for food/drink, here are a few favorites...

San Chez...great tapas bistro with a fun, funky atmosphere...best sangria ever!

The BOB...several restaurant options as well as good bars...a very happening spot.

Charlie's Crab...great seafood right on the Grand River

Vitale's...The original, not the sports bars...it's on Leonard...great authentic Italian.

For more, check out these threads:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g42256-i881-k13749…

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g42256-i881-k13560…

Detroit, Michigan
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981 posts
14 reviews
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2. Re: Grand Rapids or Kalamazoo area for weekend stay?

I second deadhead - GR is a better choice over K-zoo. Lots more to do during the day also, should the weather not cooperate - like the Van Andel Museum, the new art museum, the Gerald Ford Museum is very nice - we enjoyed it, well done.

Great breakfast place downtown is the Sundance Grill on Pearl St. Wonderful Tex-Mex inspired eats.

Jackson, Michigan
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6,156 posts
13 reviews
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3. Re: Grand Rapids or Kalamazoo area for weekend stay?

Just to chime in for K-zoo. Its not as big as GR but it is home to Western Michigan University and also has plenty to do. Also if you don't like chain restaurants I actually think K-zoo may be a better fit than GR. Ole Peninsula is a neat restaurant downtown. Bells Brewery is also a spot to hit if you like micro brews.

Detroit, Michigan
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4. Re: Grand Rapids or Kalamazoo area for weekend stay?

Sorry, Jam... not trying to diss K-zoo --- Bells is great and the city has a lovely little art museum!

Detroit, Michigan
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5. Re: Grand Rapids or Kalamazoo area for weekend stay?

YOu know, Kabahr could micro-brewpus their way across Western Michigan, right - Bells, New Holland... what else?

Detroit, Michigan
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981 posts
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6. Re: Grand Rapids or Kalamazoo area for weekend stay?

Ooops!!! that's brew pub... with a B! :-)

Jackson, Michigan
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7. Re: Grand Rapids or Kalamazoo area for weekend stay?

No prob Addie Bee. I loved my time in K-zoo so I'm a bit partial. Arcadia would be another micro-brewery to visit.

Phoenix, Arizona
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8. Re: Grand Rapids or Kalamazoo area for weekend stay?

If you are anywhere in the area of Paw Paw, head downtown and stop in to The Bistro (official name, The Bistro 120, I think) for a meal or just a drink in their pub at the front. THE most amazing food for a local run place in SW Michigan. Everything is very fresh, local produce, etc. Fantastic food, desserts are incredible. Super friendly place.

We used to live in Michigan (GR area) and would drive an hour and a half just to dine at the Bistro in Paw Paw, YES it's THAT good!!!

West Chester, Ohio
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775 posts
6 reviews
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9. Re: Grand Rapids or Kalamazoo area for weekend stay?

Ditto on the great food at the Bistro in Paw Paw. Their soups and desserts are wonderful and their Paw Paw steak is "to die for". They have a restaurant side and a pub side. We prefer the pub side because it's cozier. You might consider spending a day around Paw Paw, starting with brunch at either the Red Arrow Cafe just east of town or The Breakfast Place in Lawton just south of town. Then you could visit the St. Julien and Warner wineries in town, visit the few shops in Paw Paw and Lawton, then have dinner at the Bistro.

Enjoy, BB

Michigan
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for South Haven, Saugatuck
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10. Re: Grand Rapids or Kalamazoo area for weekend stay?

Just to add to the Bistro, you may consider spliting a plate. Last time we were there the portions were, let's say, generous.

Back up to GR, has the new Marriott across from the Amway opened yet? It reminds me of the Marriott Harbor towers in San Diego.