Southwest Michigan is the ideal location for those who love to experience a combination of culture, fine eateries and outdoor activities—all within a short driving distance. Learn more about what this region has to offer by exploring the tabs below.
What’s it like to live in Southwest Michigan?
- 5 community colleges, 3 private colleges and universities and 1 research university all call this region home.
- Western Michigan University, one of the largest universities in the U.S., consistently ranks among the top national universities.
- The Kalamazoo Promise and the Legacy Scholars Program offer high school graduates the opportunity to attend post-secondary education—on up to a 100% covered tuition scholarship.
- CNN Money named Kalamazoo County as one of the top 25 counties in the country for “Where the Jobs Are.”
- Home to more than 40 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, outstanding wineries, craft breweries and distilleries, four-season activities, and world-class golf.
- Some of the best beaches in the country are along the “fresh coast” of Lake Michigan.
- As part of the 1,000-acre Grand Mere State Park, Grand Mere Nature Area is a favorite spot for birders—offering a variety of settings for studying the outdoors.
- On the shores of Lake Michigan, the Golf Club at Harbor Shores is a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course and home to the 2016 Senior PGA Championship.
Where do people work in Southwest Michigan?
Southwest Michigan offers plenty of opportunities in a wide variety of occupations.
- DENSO CORPORATION
- Meijer Companies, Ltd.
- U.S. Security Associates, Inc.
- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
- Lakeland Hospitals At Niles and St. Joseph, Inc.
- Whirlpool Corporation
- Government of The United States
- State of Michigan
- Kellogg Company
- Bronson Health Care Group, Inc.
- Transportation Equipment Manufacturing
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What do people do for fun in Southwest Michigan?
Full of quaint beach towns, local U-pick farms, wineries, and a host of museums, outdoor activities and sporting events, there’s always something to do in Southwest Michigan.
Places to see, things to do
- The Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail is host to vineyards galore with more than a dozen wineries and tasting rooms within a short drive of each other.
- The region’s craft beer industry is thriving. Take a one-of-a-kind journey into Michigan beer with West Michigan Beer Tours.
- The annual Field of Flight Air Show and Balloon Festival is one of the biggest hot-air balloon festivals in the country.
- Southwest Michigan is lined with bike-friendly paths—currently under construction, the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail will connect more than 140 miles of trails.
- Open year-round, Warren Dunes State Park offers 1,507 acres of dunes and lakefront camping, plus cross-country skiing in the winter.
- Feed the giraffes and spend the day exploring the animals of Wild Africa at the Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek.
- Experience live Broadway productions, comedy acts and music performances by checking out one of the region’s many theater and performance venues.
- The Kalamazoo Air Zoo features more than 50 rare and historic aircraft, amusement park-style rides, and full motion flight simulators.
- Michigan’s No. 1 historic auto site, the Gilmore Car Museum, features more than 300 extraordinary cars and motorcycles.