Because the city's name sounds so exotic, T-shirts are sold in the area, touting, "Yes, there really is a Kalamazoo." Yet, despite the unusual-sounding name, the atmosphere in Kalamazoo is pretty laid-back. There are all different types of people with different styles, music, and hangout choices. In terms of food, there are a lot of locally-owned and -run restaurants with unique food options and interesting décor. Some restaurants are college themed, and others are your typical chain restaurant.
The downtown area is definitely a place to check out during the day and night, as there is a great variety of things to see and do. Kalamazoo is known for its art deco style of architecture, with examples including the Bank of Kalamazoo Building (e.g., the American National Bank Building) on East Michigan Avenue. In the downtown area of Kalamazoo, you can also find concerts, bars, clubs, fine dining, shopping centers, comedy shows, dance clubs, and relaxed coffee shops. If you're looking for a good time, downtown is the place to be after hours.