A pleasant getaway in mid-Michigan awaits

Mt. Pleasant Area CVB
May 7, 2024

Situated smack dab in the middle of Michigan is Mt. Pleasant—accessible via M-20 and US-127, just a few hours' drive from some of the state’s largest cities. A getaway here is as delightful as the name suggests. This spirited college town offers a charming downtown, educational opportunities, outdoor adventures and an impressive entertainment lineup. 

Read on for five things to plan to do during your trip to Mt. Pleasant.  

Stroll down Main Street 

Mt. Pleasant's downtown is just what you'd expect from an enchanting college town. Stop by the aptly named Pleasant City Coffee where you can pick up your usual coffee order or try something new, like the banana nut latte or jalapeño lemonade. Stroll down the road for a few minutes and you'll come across Sleepy Dog Books, an inviting bookstore perfect for perusing the shelves to find your next read. Across the street you'll find the Art Reach of Mid Michigan, where mainly Michigan-made art from over 150 artists is available for sale (think items like pottery, jewelry, wall art, etc.).

Photo credit: Mt. Pleasant Area CVB

With its farm-to-table meats and bread sourced from Michigan companies, Max & Emily’s is a beloved local lunch hub known for experimenting with its sandwiches. Pair some soup (their broccoli and cheese is a favorite, made with a splash of hot sauce and Dijon mustard) with one of the dozens of unique sandwiches on the menu, like "The Copy Cat" or "The Linebacker."

Another local legend and late-night spot is Dog Central, once featured on Travel Channel's television show "Man v. Food." The menu includes regionally inspired hot dogs like a Chicago dog and a Detroit dog, as well as specialty items like "The Goober Dog," made with shredded pickle, chili, crushed Fritos and peanut butter.


Unwind outside 

The Bundy Hill Preserve is home to the highest point in Mt. Pleasant's Isabella County with an elevation of about 1,270 feet. There are a couple of miles of trails available to hike, including the challenging Bundy Hill Summit trail that will bring you to the top. 

Photo credit: MI Playground

The Chippewa River runs through the Mt. Pleasant area. On a warm summer's day, it's the ideal spot to cool off. You can rent a kayak, canoe or tube from Chippewa River Outfitters, where they'll help you set out at one of their launching points for a relaxing float or paddle on the river's leisurely current. The Deerfield Nature Park has 8 miles of hiking and biking trails, swinging bridges, disc golf courses, cross-country skiing trails and a sledding hill for year-round fun.


Enjoy a lively entertainment lineup  

The Soaring Eagle Casino, located a few miles east of downtown, attracts travelers from around the region. Its 210,000-square-foot gaming floor is one of the largest in the Midwest, featuring blackjack, roulette, bingo and more. There's also a wide array of dining options, whether you want to grab something quick from the café or enjoy an evening dining in. Start your day with a beverage and pastry from The Native Grind Coffee Shoppe. For a quick lunch or dinner, opt for one of the four establishments recently added to the Food District: Bonanno's New York Pizza Kitchen, Bubbakoo’s Burritos, Chicken Guy! and Ike’s Love & Sandwiches. The Siniikaung Bistro offers delectable dinner dishes Wednesday-Sunday like fire grilled salmon, citrus pork belly and croque monsieur, plus 50% off bottles of wine on Sundays. New this spring, the restaurant has expanded to serving breakfast and lunch daily.

Perhaps the resort's best-known draw is a packed lineup of big-name artists who make their way to town every year. The resort has both an indoor entertainment hall that seats over 3,000 people and an outdoor concert venue (perfect for summer nights) that seats 12,500. Upcoming 2024 performances include Mötley Crüe on June 23, Miranda Lambert on July 6, The Offspring on July 26 and Keith Urban with Morgan Wade on Aug. 24. 


Honor heritage and tradition  

The Ziibiwing Center, located south of Soaring Eagle, is a cultural museum that aims to educate the community about the Indigenous Saginaw Chippewa Indian tribe, as well as other Great Lakes Anishinaabe tribes. The center has a permanent exhibit called Diba Jimooyung—which translates to "Telling our Story." It also features a continuously changing exhibit of art and artifacts from North America.

Photo credit: Mt. Pleasant Area CVB

The 40th annual Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Powwow will take place July 26–28. The event, held at the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Campgrounds, serves as a celebration and preservation of the culture through music, dancing, food and more. Visitors are invited to attend and learn more; brush up on the proper etiquette ahead of time—like what to bring and when not to take photos.  


Sport your maroon and gold  

Mt. Pleasant is home to Central Michigan University's 480-acre campus. Visitors are welcome to take a walk on the beautiful campus grounds, which are particularly nice in the fall once the leaves start to change color (and really fit in well with the school's colors, maroon and gold). 

Photo credit: Central Michigan University

Don't be alarmed if you hear someone yell out "Fire Up, Chips!"a greeting on campus especially popular during the fall football season. The Chippewas' home opener is against Central Connecticut State on Aug. 29. The Kelly/Shorts Stadium sits on campus and holds 30,255 people, making for lively and spirited home games.


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