Discover Battle Creek Michigan: 7 Top-Rated Things to Do, Best Restaurants, Events and Hotels (See Where to Stay!)

Battle Creek Michigan | By: Sherry Trautman | | Last updated: September 18, 2022

Discover fun things to do in Battle Creek Michigan! Hiking along nature trails, fabulous botanical gardens, Binder Park Zoo, awesome restaurants, events, and so much more await you! 

We've got your days packed full of fun and adventure while traveling Michigan!  I lived in Battle Creek for several years so all of these ideas are first hand experiences I recommend!

Best Battle Creek Events

When is the Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show and Balloon Fest? 

This fun event is held over the 4th of July celebration! Grab the updated date for the Field of Flight Air Show on our July Michigan Events Page! See the air show, hot air balloons, rock bands, hot air balloon illumes, fireworks and carnival. 

When is the World's Longest Breakfast Table?

Battle Creek's World's Longest Breakfast Table is held in June! See the updated event date on our June Michigan Events Page!

-For more Battle Creek events, visit the Battle Creek Chamber of Commerce.

Visit Binder Park Zoo!

Seriously...I ADORE Binder Park Zoo. For starters, they have prairie dogs (squeal!), free roaming peacocks, a tram to Africa where you can feed the giraffes, tons of walking trails and lots of shade trees!

Plus there's lots of yearly events for kids AND adults! It's one of my favorite things to do in Battle Creek!

Where to Eat in Battle Creek-Best Restaurants

We Love Clara's on the River!

Clara's on the River is so picturesque, it's my go-to Battle Creek restaurant while exploring the downtown area. Not only is this quaint restaurant located on the river but you can eat outside on their beautiful patio surrounded by flowers and a fountain!  

I enjoyed a salmon and zucchini dish that was prepared excellently and my friend really liked her tacos with avocado and black beans.  The menu is really extensive so there's something for everyone!

Lucky Rooster Kitchen and Cocktails

Known for it's locally sourced Italian meals with great drinks, my friend and I decided to give them a try.  She's a vegetarian with dietary restrictions and I lean toward farm-to-table healthy options so we were thrilled this restaurant checked all of our boxes! 

First, I wanted to say the hostess and our server were very very friendly, making our dining experience that much more pleasurable. To get things started, I ordered a fantastic dry Mendoza Malbec and Elizabeth ordered a California sweet Moscato. 

I then ordered a short rib flatbread and the absolutely best tomato bisque I have ever had. Let me just say, I am a tomato bisque aficionado and this was divine. My friend ordered a vegan burger that she devoured. We loved seeing the open kitchen and appreciated the freshly prepared meals. 

Address: 1299 E Columbia Ave, Battle Creek, MI

Go Walkin at Leila Arboretum

Wow! What beauty and intrigue! Leila Arboretum is 85 acres of beautiful paved walkways, gardens and 2,500 marked trees and plants.  Lush rolling hills of flowering trees, blooming flowers and waving grasses beckons you to grab your water bottle and head out for a stroll. 

And the best part?  The enchanted Fantasy Forest! If you walk softly, you’ll encounter wise wizards, wonderous trees, whimsical characters and fire breathing dragons!  Oh, and you if you are lucky, you just might meet Groot!

Address: 928 W Michigan Ave, Battle Creek, MI 49037

Hours: Daily from dawn to dusk

Admission: Free!

Accessibility: Wheelchair and stroller accessible outdoors as there are many paved walkways. Restrooms - portajohns

Kingman Museum

The beautiful Kingman Museum is a natural history museum and planetarium located on the grounds of Leila Arboretum in Battle Creek. So after you explore the gardens, take a walk through Michigan habitats, learn how the human body works, and see exotic animals and insects from around the world.

Check out dinosaurs, outer space, and planet Earth!  There are 20 planetarium shows and night sky talk under the stars, so don't miss out on the fun!

Address: 175 Limit St, Battle Creek, MI 49037

Hours: SAT & SUN 10 am-4 pm.

Admission: Kingman Museum is now free to the public on weekends

Love Hiking? Check Out Ott Preserve - Top Nature Trail in Battle Creek

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*Hidden gem alert! I went to visit my friend Elizabeth in Battle Creek this past week and we went for a walk at this fantastic place! It's called Ott Preserve and it's absolutely gorgeous. She has lived in Battle Creek her whole life (I lived there 5 years) and we never knew about this place!! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We walked over several beautiful bridges like this one and passed a lake from a very high elevation which made us feel like we were in Virginia or the like! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #walkingtrails #battlecreek #battlecreekmi #battlecreekmichigan #nature #getoutside #livetoexplore #Michigan #puremichigan #michigantravel #greatlakesstate #michiganstate #travelingmichigan #greatlakesstateofmind #puremittenpride #lovemichigan #michiganders #exploremichigan #puremittigan #greatlakesstate #greatlakesstateofmind #greatlakeslocals #getlost ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #midwestmoment #michiganders #onlyinmichigan#puremichiganders #naturalmichigan #mittenstatelove #photooftheday

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Ott Preserve is a wonderful place to walk your dog, trail walk or simply explore the great outdoors!  We were in absolute awe of the beauty of the marshes, lake overlook, wooded trails and well-kept boardwalks.  The preserve is free with ample parking and well marked trails. 

Another nature trail in Battle Creek to check out is the Woodland Park and Nature Preserve located at 2518 Gethings Rd, Battle Creek

Fort Custer Recreational Area is also a great place for mountain biking, hiking and camping: 5163 Fort Custer Dr, Augusta, MI

Visit Nearby Marshall Michigan!

Visit nearby Marshall Michigan!  So many fun things to do including an incredible boardwalk, dam, outstanding ice cream, city-wide walking trails, great shopping, historic home tours and one-of-a-kind museums!

FireKeepers Casino

If you enjoy gaming, check out the FireKeepers Casino in Battle Creek.  Several restaurants and tons of games will keep you entertained for hours on end. Smoking is allowed in the casino. 

Address: 11177 E Michigan Ave, Battle Creek, MI 

Where to Stay (Best Hotels-Battle Creek)

Hotels Near FireKeepers Casino in Battle Creek, Michigan: 

  • Stay at the Firekeepers Casino Hotel! Why not stay right where the action is? If they are booked, which they can be all through the summer, check out the Quality Inn and Suites next door.

Hotel Near Binder Park Zoo, Shopping and Restaurants in Battle Creek

  • Holiday Inn - Read reviews, see photos and book the Holiday Inn on Trip Advisor. Oh, and they have a nice pool and fitness center! I used to live in Battle Creek and I like the location of this hotel as it's right in the heart of restaurants and things to do. Plus it's a straight shot to Binder Park Zoo without getting on the highway.
  • Hampton InnRead reviews, see photos and book the Hampton Inn on Trip Advisor!  Like I said above, I lived in this area and I like the safe location of this hotel. It's right in the heart of restaurants and things to do. Plus it's a straight shot to Binder Park Zoo without getting on the highway.

We post all the fun on our Instagram page, join us!! 

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I was just rambling on yesterday about our exciting find called Ott Preserve in Battle Creek. Here's another view of the absolutely stunning preserve. I have a serious love affair with wetlands/marshes and such. So I was happy as a clam when we passed over this marsh. Probably stems from living in Savannah, GA for a while for a job. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This place is so exquisite! Great preserve to go walking or biking with dirt trails winding over boardwalks, bridges, tons of shade trees and outstanding vistas. Yes, all of this is in Battle Creek! Whoot! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #walkingtrails #battlecreek #battlecreekmi #battlecreekmichigan #nature #getoutside #livetoexplore #Michigan #puremichigan #michigantravel #greatlakesstate #michiganstate #travelingmichigan #greatlakesstateofmind #puremittenpride #lovemichigan #michiganders #exploremichigan #puremittigan #greatlakesstate #greatlakesstateofmind #greatlakeslocals #getlost ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #midwestmoment #michiganders #onlyinmichigan#puremichiganders #naturalmichigan #mittenstatelove #photooftheday

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About the Lead Author | Sherry Trautman

Thanks for stopping by!

Our Words of Wisdom: “Never follow anyone else’s path. Unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path, then by all means follow that path.”

"Sherry & Chris"

We're Sherry and Chris the founders of one of Michigan's most comprehensive and Top Travel Blogs!

    Sherry Trautman is a seasoned business owner and a multifaceted content creator, deeply entrenched in the world of travel in Michigan. With her extensive background in writing, editing, photography, marketing, website design, web mastering, social media, and publishing, she is the driving force behind the acclaimed Michigan Travel site "" A lifelong Michigander, Sherry's journey began in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan led her to St. Joseph during her formative years, and further to Kalamazoo for her higher education. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design and Fine Art from Western Michigan University. Her career initially blossomed in Battle Creek, where she contributed significantly to aviation, marketing, and the art industry.

    In 2018, Sherry, alongside her husband Chris, embarked on a passionate endeavor with the inception of This venture was not just a business but a full-time commitment to exploring and celebrating the diverse landscapes and communities of Michigan. Together, they tirelessly traverse the state, curating unique experiences, capturing stunning visuals, and weaving engaging narratives that showcase Michigan's rich cultural tapestry and natural beauty. From her early experiences in different Michigander locales to her extensive professional background, Sherry's life and work epitomize a deep-rooted expertise in Michigan travel, making her an authoritative voice in this niche.

Sherry & Chris are at the Inn at Bay Harbor and looking out at the lake.
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