Knollwood – Kalamazoo, MI

The Knollwood neighborhood of Kalamazoo sits at the west side of the downtown area next to the campus of Western Michigan University. This small neighborhood consists mainly of apartment complexes and commercial businesses that service student needs. Residents enjoy easy access to campus facilities, restaurants where they can quickly grab a bite to eat between classes, and major highways and expressways that travel through and out of the city. While Knollwood provides a well-maintained and safe place to live, its proximity to the campus mainly attracts students whose priorities include location and convenience.

Schools in Knollwood

School data provided by GreatSchools

Restaurants & Nightlife

Stadium Drive runs along the southern border of Knollwood and houses all the fast food restaurants you could want. Grab a latte at Starbucks, or pick up a late-night meal at McDonald's. Mixed in with this typical fare are several local establishments worth a visit. Gallagher's Eatery and Pub on Stadium Drive provides upscale family dining and a large selection of beers. Choose from over 200 types of bottled beer and 40 beers on tap. Drink specials change every day, so be on the lookout for something special like the Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewery, which Gallagher's only releases for consumption 10 years after it has been bottled. This classic Irish pub also features plenty of big screens for game day, pool tables and a full menu of traditional pub food. For a hearty meal that goes great with any beer, order the fish and chips and enjoy flaky fried cod fillets with tangy tartar sauce. The Sweetwater Donut Mill should also be at the top of the list of must-visit eateries. Stop by in the morning to pick up a dozen fresh doughnuts, and decide later if you want to share. This local institution has been in business since 1983 and bears the distinction of having been voted "Best Donuts in America." Pick up a few classic glazed donuts, but don't miss out on house favorites, including the German chocolate donut or the Dutch crumble, which has a great nutmeg taste. With the University so close by, entertainment options abound. There are a list of theaters to choose from with shows almost every night of the week. The University Theatre and the Kalamazoo State Theatre all host Broadways shows, performers, and comedians throughout the year. Other night life options are catching a movie at the Goodrich Quality Ten theater, or spending the evening bowling at Pinz.

History & Culture

The Kalamazoo area was originally inhabited by Hopewell Indians who receive credit for giving the town its unique name. During the War of 1812, British troops built both a prison and a smithy in the area. After the war, Titus Bronson was the first person to officially settle the area, although he was eventually run out of town as trouble-making eccentric. Over the coming decades, the fertile land attracted many New England farmers to Kalamazoo, and entrepreneurs set up shop. In 1903, Western Michigan University was founded and began attracting students from around to state. Visitors can learn about the history of the aviation and the automobile industries at the Air Zoo, which houses dozens of classic airplanes and special exhibits throughout the year. The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, West Michigan Glass Arts Center, and the Kalamazoo Nature Center also sit within a short drive of the Knollwood neighborhood.


Knollwood residents have a variety of convenient options for getting around the city and the state. Drivers can take Stadium Drive east to the intersection of major routes Interstate 94 and Highway 43. Highway 131 also sits just past Knollwood's western border and provides a quick north/south thoroughfare. Drivers don't have to worry about hunting for parking spots in commercial areas of the neighborhood, but most residential sections have limited visitor parking, so drivers may have to walk a couple blocks to visit friends. Hailing a cab can be relatively easy along some of the busier streets, and Uber provides another convenient option for passengers looking to locate a ride. The city also has a extensive public transportation system with frequent stops and regular routes. The Knollwood neighborhood features plenty of sidewalks for residents to take an evening stroll or walk to the local coffee shop. Bicyclists also enjoy a few major roads with dedicated bike lanes that head to the WMU campus.


The cost of living in the Knollwood neighborhood runs below that of the rest of the city and much of the state. A one-bedroom apartment rents for $555 per month, and gas prices trend 12 percent below national averages. Catch a ride on a public bus, and pay just $1.25 each way. A beer at one of the local bars costs $3 for a domestic bottle.


The nearby Crossroads Mall offers quite a few major retail chains. But, for a more unique shopping experience and a taste of what Kalamazoo can provide, head downtown. Sydney Fashions on West Michigan Avenue carries dozens of unique brands that sell both men's and women's clothing. Many of the designers hail directly from Michigan. The available clothing ranges from hip skirts and tops for a night out on the town, to dressy men's shirts and Michigan themed t-shirts. Shoppers can build an entire outfit or find that perfect piece to add to their wardrobe. Price ranges also vary, providing both affordable and high-end options. Shoe lovers should not miss out on the chance to visit the V&A Bootery. This family owned store carries everything from sandals and boots, to dress shoes and slippers. Stock up on insulated footwear for the cold winter months, and purchase high-quality, handmade leather boots at great prices. Visit the local Meijer and Save-a-Lot locations to stock up on groceries, and take advantage of the area's many orchards and farmers markets to buy fresh produce throughout the year. Both the Bronson Winter Farmers' Market and the Indoor Flea and Farmers Market host vendors all year round.


The Knollwood neighborhood enjoys easy access to a small green space with soccer fields, open spaces to toss the Frisbee or play a game of touch football. Locals often gather here to play games, socialize and let their dogs run off some excess energy. For a more natural setting, residents can head a few miles south to the Asylum Lake Preserve. This location features hiking trails, lake access and a nature center. Visit the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary on the second Wednesday of every month for their Coffee & Birds walk for guided birdwatching. Locals can use all the parks free of charge, so don't miss out.
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