Mt. Pleasant: Small Town Feel, Big City Amenities

By Meet Mt. Pleasant October 10, 2023
Building in downtown Mt. Pleasant, MI

To some, Mt. Pleasant may seem like a quaint, small town where everybody knows everybody. But to others, central Michigan is home to some of their favorite entertainment venues and sporting events. Truth be told, Mt. Pleasant really offers the best of both! Keep reading to learn more about how this small town stands out for its big city amenities.

Historic Downtown

Visit unique bars, restaurants, boutiques, an art gallery, and so much more, all in one central hub in downtown Mt. Pleasant! Step inside Art Reach of Mid Michigan where you will be greeted by a staff member or local volunteer, and browse pieces from local artists that can’t be found anywhere else. Just a few steps from Art Reach, Trillium Fine Clothing, a one-of-a-kind boutique, features quality clothing and fine goods like Estee Lauder and Vera Bradley.

Local Bars and Restaurants

There are many other local hot-spots sprinkled throughout Mt. Pleasant. There’s always a special to find at The Cabin, home to trivia nights, karaoke, live music, pool and darts, and mouthwatering Cabin Stix and pizza. Visit the Green Spot Pub, a casual pub with tasty Bloody Mary’s and fan-favorite steak hoagies. Or dine in at Jon’s County Burgers, an old-school drive-in that has been a landmark in Mt. Pleasant for over 50 years!

Venture west on M-20 and you’ll run into The Barn Door. This family-fun restaurant serves a full menu of classic bar food as well as beers brewed at Mountain Town Station, a local Mt. Pleasant brewery. Travel south to the Village of Shepherd and grab a bite to eat at The Shepherd Bar, a popular spot for locals and visitors alike, offering a variety of American comfort dishes and a welcoming staff with small town hospitality.

Ease of Exploring on Foot

One of the best qualities of a small town like Mt. Pleasant is how pedestrian-friendly it is! Visitors can easily walk through downtown along Broadway Street, or venture over to Central Michigan University’s campus, just a short 10-block journey lined with lighted sidewalks. Also close to downtown is the city park system. Five city parks are all connected through the GKB Riverwalk Trail, a wide cement pathway perfect for walking, running or biking! This trial is mostly shaded and offers excellent views of the Chippewa River.


The state of Michigan is home to a variety of agriculture, and the Mt. Pleasant area itself is one of the top agricultural cities in Michigan. Isabella County maintains many farms from organic and U-picks like Heirloom Grove, which features sunflower and blueberry fields, to educational and family-friendly farms such as Papa’s Pumpkin Patch to satisfy all of your fall flavor needs. Learn more about locally grown products here.

May through October, the Mt. Pleasant Farmers Market is a great place to by fresh, local produce from central Michigan farmers!

Rustic Adventure

Whether looking for a challenging hike or a relaxing paddle on the river, you’ll find it in Mt. Pleasant. One of the most popular outdoor destinations is Deerfield Nature Park. This 500-acre park features over eight miles of hiking and biking trails, two disc golf courses and canoe/kayak launches. The park is also home to a variety of wildlife and a diverse bird population.

If you’re looking for a place to camp, central Michigan has several to choose from. In addition to Deerfield Nature Park, other campsites include Coldwater Lake Family ParkHerrick Recreation CenterIsabella County Fairgrounds CampgroundSoaring Eagle Hideaway RV Park, and Weidman KOA.

Take on the Bundy Hill Challenge at Bundy Hill Nature Preserve where you can climb to the tallest point in Isabella County, with an elevation of 1,270 feet about sea level. Bundy Hill is a popular destination for hiking, birding, nature photography, and mushroom hunting. In addition to Bundy Hill, Isabella County is also home to 18 other nature preserves through the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy.

Soaring Eagle Casino

With all of its small-town charm, you would never know that Mt. Pleasant is home to a four-diamond casino resort complete with the largest gaming floor in the state of Michigan. Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort is owned and operated by the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe and boasts over 3,000 slot machines and 100 table games, as well as waterpark, entertainment venue, and a full-service spa.

Speaking of live entertainment, Soaring Eagle hosts big-name performers during their outdoor summer concert series like Carrie Underwood and Disturbed. Concert-goers in Mt. Pleasant can relish in the convenience of enjoying a concert and arriving back at their hotel within a half hour.

Central Michigan University

D1 athletic school Central Michigan University offers strong academic programs, a vibrant campus life, and is home to year-round events! Located just 10 short blocks from downtown, visitors are encouraged to explore CMU’s campus, including the CMU Bookstore, the university art galleries, or Kelly/Shorts Stadium during a fall football game!

Central Michigan Golf

Golfers of all abilities should have no problem finding course options to suit their game. With 11 courses within a 30-minute drive of Mt. Pleasant, there is a wide variety of layouts including undulating link-style courses and wooded fairways. Play a highly-ranked championship course like Bucks Run Golf Club, or visit a hidden gem with long-standing history in central Michigan like The Pines at Lake Isabella.

Ziibiwing Center

Visit the Ziibiwing Cultural Center, the Midwest’s premier American Indian Museum, to learn about the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe and other Great Lakes Anishinaabe Tribes. Conveniently located next door to the Soaring Eagle Casino, the Ziibiwing Center is here to educate and enrich others on rich Native American heritage, and is dedicated to preserving and sharing the culture of the Anishinaabe people. The museum features a variety of exhibits such as traditional clothing, art, and sculptures, as well as preserved artifacts and replicas. These exhibits are informative and engaging, and are suitable for all ages!

Upscale Dining

While there is no shortage of small-town bars that would make any visitor feel like a local, Mt. Pleasant is also home to several upscale restaurants with fine-dining flair.

  • The Brass Café, located downtown, offers a modern take on American cuisine, with a focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients. Enjoy the upscale atmosphere inside or take your meal and craft cocktails outside on the charming patio.
  • Camille’s Prime, located inside Mountain Town Station, another fan-favorite, is a 65-seat intimate restaurant featuring Certified Prime Grade Black Angus Steaks, fresh seafood and upscale comfort food. Camille’s is perfect for a romantic evening out or for Sunday brunch to enjoy S’Mores French Toast, Short Rib Omelet, and a refreshing mimosa.
  • STIR Craft Cocktails & Modern Kitchen is a one-of-a-kind find in Mt. Pleasant, featuring a big-city cocktail and dining menu that includes dishes such as Ginger Orange Sticky Ribs and Great Lakes Walleye Francaise. STIR is open Thursday through Saturday evenings.
  • Midori Sushi and Martini Lounge is the perfect spot to dine if you are craving seafood. Midori, the Japanese word for green, reflects their commitment to using the freshest ingredients and implementing practices that are environmentally responsible. Some favorites include Firecracker Shrimp, the Midori Roll, and their seasonal cocktail menu. Patrons of Midori love to sit outside on their patio that overlooks Broadway Street downtown.
  • Ruth’s Chris, Mt. Pleasant’s newest dining addition, has perfected their broiling method and seasoning techniques to ensure each cut of USDA Prime beef they serve arrives cooked to perfection. Located inside the Soaring Eagle Casino, Ruths Chris is the perfect place to dine before hitting the gaming floor.

This article was originally posted on Meet Mt. Pleasant. Check it out here