Mt Pleasant Michigan Guide: Top 9 Things to Do + Favorite Restaurants, Maps, Interactive Walking Tour of CMU, Soaring Eagle Casino, Waterpark, Kayaking and Best Hotels

Mt Pleasant Michigan: Best Things to Do, Restaurants and Where to Stay | By Sherry Trautman | Travel-Mi.Com | Updated October 14, 2022

Welcome to Mount Pleasant, home of the Chippewas and Central Michigan University! 

We've got some awesome Mount Pleasant entertainment, destination ideas and fun activities for your entire family! Plus, lots of outdoor adventures in Mt Pleasant MI, free things to do, top notch golf courses and outstanding restaurants to try.

What is Mount Pleasant Famous For?

What is Mt Pleasant famous for?  Mt Pleasant is known as a bustling college town, home of Central Michigan University (CMU)'s Chippewas.  Of course, the city is also known for Soaring Eagle Casino and Soaring Eagle Waterpark and Hotel, where you can game, swim, enjoy spa treatments and see a fantastic concert! 

We love that Mt. Pleasant is home to several green parks offering scenic biking, walking and jogging. One of our favorite parks is here! If you love water activities, you'll love paddling down the Chippewa River-see our shenanigan's below! 

Where in Michigan is Mount Pleasant?

Mount Pleasant Michigan is located directly in the middle of Michigan.  It is the home of Central Michigan University. 

  • Distance from Mount Pleasant to Detroit is 2 hours, 22 minutes
  • Distance from Mount Pleasant to Lansing is 1 hour
  • Distance from Mount Pleasant to Grand Rapids is 1 hour, 30 minutes

Be Sure to Utilize Our Interactive Map of Mt Pleasant Michigan to Help You Find Your Destinations!

  • Zooming in: Click on the plus and minus buttons at the bottom left of the map to narrow in or out of the map. Or scroll with your mouse or use two fingers on your phone.
  • Moving the Map: If using a mouse, click on the little hand icon to move the map around. 
  • More Info: Click or touch the colorful pins to obtain more information about the event or schedule. 
  • Drop Down Menu: Click or touch the square with the small arrow on the upper left side of the map for a drop down menu to find particular events or locations.
  • Expanded Map View: Click the grid marks on the upper right of the map to expand the map.

Got Questions? Visit the Mt. Pleasant Area Convention & Visitors Bureau!  They have the answers!!

113 W Broadway, Suite 180, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858

Our 9 Favorite Fun Things to Do in Mt Pleasant Michigan! (+Free Things to do!)

Are you ready for some serious fun? Let's Go!!

1. Visit Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort: Play the Slots, Swim, Dine and Enjoy a Concert!

Soaring Eagle Casino Address: 6800 Soaring Eagle Blvd, Mt Pleasant, MI 

If you are looking for a Michigan weekend getaway or entertainment, check out the Soaring Eagle Casino! 


There's so much more to do than just playing the slots! 

Without leaving Soaring Eagle Casino, you can go to the spa, dine in numerous restaurants, play games, grab a snack at the cafes or diners and enjoy a concert!  Miranda Lambert and Keith Urban are just a couple big names that have rocked sold out shows at the Soaring Eagle Casino.

The Soaring Eagle Hotel is also quite beautiful but my favorite spot to hang out is near the pool on the their sundeck! The fountains, lovely lounges and beautiful buildings help you unwind and clear your mind.

Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort FAQ's

1. Which popular attractions are close to Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort?  

Nearby attractions include Ziibiwing Center (right across the street), Mount Pleasant Discovery Museum, Pohlcat Golf Course and several great walking trails/parks listed below. 

2. What are some of the property amenities at Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort?  

Soaring Eagle Casino offers a fitness center, spa, Kids Quest, indoor pool (which holds 66,000 galloons of water, 1/2 million glass tiles from Italy and underwater music and lights!).  There's also an indoor and outdoor jacuzzi. 

3. What food & drink options are available at Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort? 

Soaring Eagle Casino offers so many choices for evening entertainment, drinking and restaurants!  They offer a sports bar, night club, steak restaurants, buffet, deli, café, diner and coffee shops.  You won't go hungry there!

4. Is parking available at Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort?

Yes, there is tons of parking at the Soaring Eagle Casino and it's free!

5. Are there opportunities to exercise at Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort?

Absolutely! Soaring Eagle Casino has a fantastic indoor pool and fitness center. 

6. Is Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort accessible?  Yes! There is wheelchair access throughout the casino. 

2. Kayak the Chippewa River for Fantastic Kayaking and Tubing! Fantastic Outdoor Adventures in Mt Pleasant MI!

If you love kayaking or tubing, you will absolutely love paddling or floating down the Chippewa River in Mt. Pleasant Michigan.  If you are searching for outdoor adventures in Mt Pleasant MI, this is it!  Such fun for the entire family!

We recommend two kayaking outfitters in Mt Pleasant. Buckley's and Chippewa River Outfitters.

Give them a call to reserve your time slot, equipment and ride to the drop off spot up river.  Both canoe and kayak rental places are super friendly and accommodating, so book early as they become very busy throughout the summer. 

A. Fun Kayaking with Buckley's Mountainside Canoe in Mt Pleasant Michigan

Canoe & kayak rental service in Isabella County, Michigan - Address: 4700 W Remus Rd, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858 

Get ready to spot turtles, fish and several species of birds along the river!  Chris and I had a blast!  

Our friends invited us on this adventure and lots of shenanigans ensued along the way!  There may have been a tipped kayak and other "adventures" but giggles and smiles were had by all. 

B. Fun Kayaking with Chippewa River Outfitters in Mt Pleasant Michigan

I just wanted to say, the owners of Chippewa River Outfitters are so kind and helpful!

They excitedly told us all about each of their scenic river trips and the vast array of critters we needed to keep an eye out for along the way.

You can choose between a 2, 3, or 4.5 hour adventures.  We chose the 2 hour which was a little under that time by about 15 minutes because we didn't get out of the kayaks to swim. It's the perfect amount of time with kids or to get a taste of kayaking. 

Isn't the Chippewa River gorgeous?  This shady spot was my favorite area along the river as small rapids and overhanging trees made for interesting paddling and a break from the sun.

Oh, and we saw several turtles, a muskrat, osprey and a heron along the river!  

And we made it back!  We were all smiles after a lovely day on the river! We even made new friends!

3. Explore Central Michigan University's Campus with a Fun Walking Tour!  It's One of Our Favorite Free Things to Do!

Visit our "Tour Central Michigan University" page for a PDF and interactive walking tour of Central Michigan University! 

There's even a botanical gardens and spoiler alert...the library has 33 miles of ??...(go check it out!)

Oh and grab some CMU swag before touring the Central Michigan University Campus!  

This super comfy CMU sweatshirt is perfect for guys or girls.  It is 50% Cotton, 50% Polyester so it will hold it's shape and look great!

4. Soaring Eagle Waterpark and Hotel: Splash, Swim and Play!

Soaring Eagle Waterpark and Hotel is a blast! It's only a short drive from Soaring Eagle Casino, so after a day of gaming you can zip down waterslides, traverse a rock climbing wall, float down the lazy river and try your skills on the Flowrider!

Come spend the weekend at Soaring Eagle Waterpark and Hotel! So many fun things to do in Mt Pleasant Michigan!

5. Mill Pond Park, Mt. Pleasant Michigan: Fantastic Biking, Walking and Exploring!

It was a beautiful day, so we brought our bikes and parked at Mill Pond Park.  From there, we explored either on foot or on bikes, Nelson, Mill Pond and Chipp-a-Waters parks.  They are all connected so you can continue riding between all of them!  See the map above!

Looking for free things to do or outdoor adventures in Mt Pleasant MI?  This is it!

There are many beautiful lookouts along the paved or boardwalk trails. Bring your binoculars if you love bird watching!

The bridges spanning the numerous ponds are so scenic!  We greatly enjoyed this park.

6. Island Park, Mount Pleasant, Michigan: Great Place to Bike, Walk or Jog!

Island Park in Mt Pleasant is a great place to bike, walk or jog as the paths are scenic, paved and there's lots of shade trees!  How beautiful is this!!!

Restrooms are located near the parking areas and pavilions.

7. Chipp-a-Waters Park, Mt Pleasant Michigan: Bring Your Bikes!

The numerous scenic, shaded and tree lined paths continue at Chipp-a-Waters Park in Mt Pleasant.  The views are just breathtaking!  Park entrance and parking is free.

This park is yet another free thing to do and great outdoor adventures in Mt Pleasant MI!

8. Love to Golf? Check Out a World Class Golf Course in Mt. Pleasant!

Check out these popular Mt Pleasant Golf Courses:

PohlCat Golf Course is a championship-style course played over, and around, the scenic 100-foot wide Chippewa River in Mt. Pleasant, MichiganPohlCat Golf Course is a championship-style course played over, and around, the scenic 100-foot wide Chippewa River in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan

PohlCat Golf Course is a championship-style golf course played over, and around, the scenic 100-foot wide Chippewa River in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.

PolhCat Address: 6595 E Airport Rd, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858. 

There are scenic bridges (I was in love!), rolling hills and wide open vistas to enjoy while playing golf. Oh, and grab a meal or a drink on the shaded veranda of the log cabin style clubhouse. You will love PohlCat golf course as it is a premium Michigan golf course!  Book your tee time on their website.

Bucks Run Golf Club: I was very impressed with Bucks Run Golf club during my visit.  Everyone was friendly and the grounds so immaculate and scenic.  There was lots of parking and the club house was very nice!

Bucks Run Golf Club Address: 1559 S. Chippewa Rd, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858

Definitely check out this premier Mt Pleasant Michigan golf course, you will be impressed with the grounds and clubhouse!

Riverwood Resort and 989 Bar and Grill: Enjoy great golfing, obtain lodging packages and go bowling!

Address:1313 E Broomfield Rd, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858

9. Visit the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture

Address: 6650 E Broadway Rd, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858

Learn about the culture and spirit of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan. See their several exhibits, shop the gift shop, and walk through the Ziibiwing Center grounds June through September.

Best Mt Pleasant MI Restaurants

Summit Smokehouse, Max and Emily's (reviewing soon) and Mountain Town Station are three of our favorite Mt Pleasant restaurants.  I'm sure we will discover more in our upcoming adventures, so stay tuned!

Summit Smokehouse and Taproom + Mountain Town Brewing Company- Freakin' Awesome BBQ in Mt. Pleasant!

Address: 3068 Jen's Way, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858

So if you love fantastic, home made bbq, you gotta check out the Summit Smokehouse in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.  This place is legit good. 

We ordered the beer batter onion rings (pictured above) and I'm not lying when I say these may be the best onion rings I have ever had. The beer batter was crispy on the outside and cakey (is that a word?) on the inside. 

I'm usually not an onion ring fan but dang...these were incredible.  Chris asked me to pick up a batch on my way home the next time I am in the area!         

For our main meal, we shared the "Hearty Meat Sampler Platter" because well, how could you not?  We wanted to try everything and a sample platter is the way to go!

When our server delivered our piping hot plate of meaty deliciousness our jaws literally dropped! 

Juicy brisket, tender pulled pork, crispy chicken wings, sweet tender ribs, and succulent sausage, oh my!  Just so you know, the corn bread was soft, sweet and melt in your mouth delicious. 

Oh sweet mother, this is good!  (that's my happy face...or rather, "get in my belly" face).  After a morning of kayaking and exercise, these meaty treats seriously hits the spot!

Perhaps if you want a vegetable to compliment your platter o'meat (your mamma is watching...), try the smoked asparagus. 

It's a game changer. 

Summit Smokehouse - Freakin' Awesome BBQ in Mt. Pleasant!Summit Smokehouse - Freakin' Awesome BBQ in Mt. Pleasant!

We love that you can sit inside or outside at Summit Smokehouse. Since it was a lovely day, Chris and I choose to dine outside and it was an excellent choice!

As Michiganders we have such a short outside dining season so we like to seize every possible opportunity!

I feel like Guy Fieri when I say,  "We're takin' you on a road rockin' trip down to Flavortown!"

Like beer?

Summit Smokehouse and Mountain Town Brewing Company have a fantastic Railyard Raspberry fruit beer that is really tasty! 

It's funny, as later that evening we spoke to another couple at our hotel around the fire pit and they also went here and had the same fruit beer! 

What are we trying next? Their honey smoked salmon.  Drool.

Mountain Town Station Restaurant & Brew Pub in Mt Pleasant Michigan

Mountain Town Station Restaurant & Brew Pub: Awesome Restaurant in Mt Pleasant MichiganMountain Town Station Restaurant & Brew Pub: Awesome Restaurant in Mt Pleasant Michigan

Address: 506 W Broadway St, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858

Isn't Mountain Town Station Restaurant & Brew Pub such a neat place?  It's so scenic!  After a morning of exploring, we just wanted to relax and share a delicious stone fired pizza. 

We ordered The Matterhorn stone fired pizza that was delivered to our table with a delicious red sauce topped with their house cheese blend, herbed ricotta cheese, tangy Italian sausage, roasted mushrooms & garlic, caramelized onion and topped with parmesan cheese.

We gobbled up every hot and cheesy slice! YUMMY!

Mountain Town Station Restaurant & Brew Pub's expansive menu also offers pasta, seafood (try the Ohana Salmon!), salads, St. Louis style ribs, steaks (try The Station Sirloin) and a delicious macaroni and cheese utilizing Cavatappi noodles baked in their own house-made cheese sauce. YUMMO!

The Courtyard Marriott: Recommended Mt Pleasant MI Hotel

We love staying at Courtyard Marriott hotels during our exploration trips. We have stayed over 400 nights in hotels in the 5 years!  This Courtyard Marriott in Mt. Pleasant is truly a great place for a Michigan getaway! 

The lobby and business center was so colorful and beautiful! I love the Central Michigan University mural along the wall behind the computers.  Go Chippewa's!  (My dad graduated from CMU!)

The Courtyard Marriott hotel is very close to Central Michigan University's stadium, so it's a great place to stay after games. It's also conveniently located to several fantastic restaurants. 

Don't you just love how the rooms are so clean, beautiful and modern?!  They come with a microwave and mini refrigerator also.  Some rooms have balconies and different configurations, so you will definitely find a room perfect for your stay!

The bathroom was lovely too, we loved the nice touch with the rolled towels and pretty soaps. It had everything we needed during our stay.

Right after dinner we enjoyed some outside time to let our food settle before hitting the gym and indoor pool...we like to experience it all when visiting new hotels.  The chairs were super comfortable and the setting sun felt so good on our backs! I wanted to curl up like a cat! 

We went for a swim in the large indoor pool, relaxed in the hot tub for a bit and then, since it was a beautiful evening, we headed back to the fire pit.  I mean, how can you not?!

How divine is this?  

Chris and I will definitely be back this winter for a Michigan getaway as you can eat dinner within a couple miles of the hotel and then come back to exercise, swim and relax.

We think it will be a great way to beat the winter blues!

Keep Reading! So Much Fun Within An Hour Of Mt. Pleasant!

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About the Lead Author | Sherry Trautman

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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.”

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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.

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