I just saw a list of, what is supposed to be, the best restaurant patios in Michigan and the only 2 in West Michigan was Founder's Brewery in Grand Rapids and the Curragh in Holland.  Really?  Really? Well I can tell you there are plenty of cool outside eating areas right around here.  These are the Mike & Karla McKelly favorites...

5. The Lake House, Muskegan.  I know it's not in S.W. Michigan but we found it kinda by accident.  It's right next to one of the coolest hotels anywhere the Shoreline Inn and they're both right on the water.  BTW, the Lake House menu is outstanding and expensive but it's worth a splurge.

Google Street View

4. Martell's, Kalamazoo.  We like Martell's because it's such a cool looking place in the middle of a neighborhood.  You can sit overlooking the lake or sit on the side amongst the trees.

Google Street View

3. Fieldstone Grill, Portage.  What makes the patio so cool here is you can sit under the roof provided or you sit out in the open close to the marsh overlooking the golf course.

Google Street View

2. Griffin Grill & Pub, Battle Creek.  This is such a simple space that just seems so inviting.  You're nestled between buildings and there are trees for some shade.  It's cozy and you don't want to leave.

Google Street View

1. Casa Bolero, Kalamazoo.  We like this outside area for a couple reasons.  Sitting along a downtown Kalamazoo road reminds us of the places we go to when we're in New York.  Also, there's overhead coverage and if it gets too chilly there are heat lamps in the ceiling.

Google Street View

Bonus Video:  Eric Meier's Latest Foodamazoo