Up Front

Five Faves – Places to take your best selfie

Where to go to snap yourself
This iconic artwork tells traveler they have arrived at their destination.

© 2019 Encore Publications/Jordan Bradley

The Space Needle. The Golden Gate Bridge. The Arch in St. Louis. You see these iconic landmarks in a selfie and you know right where the person is. (Seattle, San Francisco and St. Louis, just in case you had a geographic memory lapse). The greater Kalamazoo area has its own iconic landmarks to pose in front of that will announce to all your social media buddies that you are HERE. Here are five of our favorite spots to snap yourself:

You Are Here

Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport
Located in the gate area of the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport is a 3D reproduction of artist and former Kalamazoo resident Stephen Hansen’s original print You Are Here, with its helpful Kalamazooan employing the native habit of using the right hand as a map of Michigan to show his spot in the state. The sculpture is an iconic way to tell those coming and returning to the area that they have arrived at their destination.

Bates Alley

Between Portage and Edwards streets
Colorful during the day, magical at night, Bates Alley is the newest pedestrian promenade in downtown Kalamazoo. The pavement is an abstract river of blues and greens, with outdoor seating for the restaurants along the strip. At night, the alley’s long rows of bistro lighting offer the perfect twinkly, festive backdrop.

Kalamazoo Sign

Kalamazoo Transportation Center, 459 N. Burdick St.
Just in case you didn’t know that Kalamazoo is almost smack at the halfway point between Chicago and Detroit, this sign at the Kalamazoo Transportation Center is a handy reminder that Kalamazoo really isn’t in the middle of nowhere. The beautiful, historic architecture of the center, built in 1887, makes a snazzy background to boot.

Heritage Hall

Western Michigan University’s East Campus Oakland Drive
There’s a reason why Western Michigan University’s first buildings were placed atop this hill: the view. A selfie taken at the back of this historic building and toward the east will provide a backdrop that catches buildings rising up from downtown Kalamazoo and, if you time it right, a wonderful sunrise to boot. If you turn around and snap a picture, you can capture the historic building’s majestic columns.

West Lake Drive-In

9138 Portage Road
With a retro orange-and-white canopy and a location overlooking its namesake lake, West Lake Drive-In is both scenic and tasty. Grab one of its deluxe olive burgers or bluegill sandwiches and a frosty homemade root beer and pose with your lunch by the lake. This spot also offers a divine opportunity for a stunning sunset shot.