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What's the first thing people notice about Kalamazoo? The name, of course. Sure, Kalamazoo sounds a little bit like Timbuktu. But so what? It's thanks to its name that Kalamazoo has intrigued and captivated so many travelers.
Although the name "Kalamazoo" comes from a Native American language, its direct translation is somewhat of a mystery. It's something to do with water, either "boiling water" or "the mirage of reflecting river." Not surprising since the city is surrounded by lakes, rivers, and greenery. Kalamazoo also has a bustling downtown area, which has been the subject of a number of improvements over the past few years. The outdoor pedestrian mall (originally created in 1959) was the first one in the United States. In recent years this mall has been open to one lane of automobile traffic, but the pedestrian atmosphere remains intact.
For much more information about Kalamazoo's history, visit