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Portage is a small city 8 miles south of Kalamazoo in south western Michigan. The Kalamazoo-Portage metropolitan area and outlying region prides itself on being an arts, cultural and educational center plus a destination for outdoor sports and activities. Pfizer pharmaceutical and Stryker Corporation have large manufacturing facilities in Portage. The Air Zoo aviation museum and indoor amusement park, with a collection of historical and rare aircraft, proffers an afternoon of fun next to the Kalamazoo-Battle Creek International Airport in Portage.
As of August 2017, the average apartment rent in Portage, MI is $552 for a studio, $665 for one bedroom, $888 for two bedrooms, and $1,349 for three bedrooms. Apartment rent in Portage has increased by 3.0% in the past year.
With a small population, Portage has little in the way of nightlife except for a few bars, although microbreweries and brewpubs are plentiful. There are many good area restaurants, and most residents head to Kalamazoo for the nightlife.
The owners say “Come for the pie, stay for the food,” at The Grand Traverse Pie restaurant. The modern atmosphere, with a European influenced touch, has comfortable booths and features an outdoor patio. The menu includes a cherry-smoked bacon BLT, a Mediterranean veggie wrap and Reuben and Cuban sandwiches. But the pie is the draw: cherry, apple, blueberry — all freshly made from Northern Michigan fruit — plus lemon meringue and farmers market peach.
Since its beginning as a bottle club 66 years ago, the private dining Beacon Club has been serving an upscale menu in a vintage, seven dining room house full of history and character. For a $100 yearly membership, guests dine on beef fillet, walleye, perch, liver and crab legs with sides such as Lyonaisse potatoes and broccoli salad. Try the tenderloin tips wrapped in bacon with a plum sauce and green onion garnish or the scallops with lemon blanc sauce. Select from homemade pies and cakes for dessert, and be aware that the dress code is strictly enforced.
The Centre Street Tap-house features over 30 craft beers on tap plus a menu featuring more than the usual pub fare. Dishes include duck tacos, Cuban pork sandwiches, oven roasted turkey on flat bread and many seafood selections. Be sure to have the homemade S’mores brownie dessert or the brownie squares with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.
Before French-Canadian explorers, trappers and fur traders began arriving in the early 1800s, Potowatami Indians inhabited the territory where they hunted, fished, grew corn and resided in wigwams. Early European settlers mistakenly believed, due to abundant swampland, that the area was unfit for cultivation, but it was soon discovered that the rich soil was ideal for growing celery, thus earning Portage the title of “Celery City.” Celery farming continued until the middle of the twentieth century before moving to California for the longer growing season.
With the presence of Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo College in neighboring Kalamazoo and The Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo (which includes Portage), the community thrives on educational and artistic opportunities. Outdoor sports and activities including hunting, fishing, hiking and snowmobiling, making the Portage area a major destination for recreational enthusiasts.
Public transportation in Portage is available via the Metro Transit bus system. Amtrak,Greyhound, Indian Trails and Metro transit all share facilities at the regional transportation hub in adjoining Kalamazoo. Amtrak’s The Pere Marquette, connecting Chicago and Grand Rapids; The Blue Water, running from Chicago to Lake Huron; and the Wolverine, from Chicago to Detroit, all stop at the station.
The Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport, located in Portage, has American Eagle flights connecting to Chicago and Delta Connection providing flights to Detroit and Minneapolis/St. Paul. The next major airport would be The Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids 50 miles away.
If you're looking for taxi service, you'll need to call ahead for pickup. Uber offers ride-sharing services usually dispatched from Kalamazoo.
Portage is a small city so the neighborhoods remain walkable and bicycle friendly. The Portage Bikeway System provides 55 miles of both off-road trails and designated bicycle lanes throughout the area.
The cost of living is equal to the Michigan average and 10.2 percent less than the national average with the average one-bedroom apartment renting for $542.
The area features a moderate cost of living, with gas costing 3.4 percent lower than the national average while coffee sits 19.9 percent lower than the national average. A bottle of beer costs $4.25 with a draft costing $5 to $6.
A reasonable $1.50 fare will get you one-way passage on the Metro Transit buses, while children and seniors pay 75 cents.
Portage is known for its many, historical parks and extensive network of trails and waterways used for cycling, walking and boating. The Portage Bikeway system provides over 50 miles of trails.
Millennium Park in downtown Portage contains a refrigerated outdoor ice rink suitable for all ages. In the spring and summer the rink converts to a reflecting pond.
The 200 acre Portage Creek Bicentennial park features two play areas, picnic tables, barbecue grills, walking and hiking trails and fishing. Feel free to bring your leashed pet along for the outing.
The 5-acre Bark Park Dog Park and Dog Day Camp provides off leash play with separate areas for large and small dogs. It is $5 a day for general play and $22 a day for the Dog Day Camp.
The Crossroads Mall is the largest shopping center in the area. However, options for more local shopping experiences also abound.
Founded in 1978 by Pierre Medawar from a nearly century's old legacy of watch-making and master craftsmanship, Medawar Jewelers is a source for designer collections, engagement rings, timepieces and jewelry. Pierre is a watchmaker, master jeweler and provider of heirloom jewelry offering exclusive designs and renowned customer service.
Games, music and movies can be found at 2nd Chance, an outlet for used and vintage video games, CDs and DVDs. Avid film buffs and video game players browse through the racks of DD's and video games to find those hard-to-get titles. Second Chance also stocks used consumer electronics, including game devices like iPad and iPod Touch.
The main chain grocery stores in Portage include Kroger and Meijer. Independent grocer, D & W Fresh Market, provides local produce and a huge cheese selection. While Portage does not have its own farmers market, many locals head to Kalamazoo every summer for its market filled with produce and crafts.
Apartments for Rent in Portage, MI
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