Mount Pleasant, Michigan is a charming city with a wide variety of attractions and activities for visitors. Located in Central Michigan, it has a small-town vibe but plenty of entertainment options.
In this article, I will share the top 12 things to do in Mount Pleasant so you can make the most of your trip to this Midwestern destination. Whether you love the outdoors, history, arts and culture, or just exploring a new place, Mount Pleasant has something for you.
1. Visit the Clarke Historical Library
Address: 250 E. Preston St, Mount Pleasant, MI 48859
One of the top things to do in Mount Pleasant is visit the Clarke Historical Library on the campus of Central Michigan University. This library houses extensive regional historical collections with over 1 million photographs, books, maps, manuscripts and papers.
Some key collections cover Native American history, the fur trade, logging, and the history of Michigan’s counties and towns. You can do research with the guidance of the helpful library staff.
2. Shop and Dine Downtown
Downtown Mount Pleasant has a great collection of locally-owned boutiques, antique stores, cafes, and restaurants. Stroll down Broadway Street to find shops like Maple Creek Art Gallery which sells work by Michigan artists and Precious Memories with antiques and collectibles.
Stop for a coffee at Pleasant City Coffee or a craft beer at Hunter’s Ale House. Grab lunch at one of the many charming eateries like Blue Ginger Sushi or taste authentic Italian at LaBelleza. With its quaint storefronts, downtown is perfect for strolling and shopping.
3. Hike the Chippewa Trail
For outdoor enthusiasts visiting Mount Pleasant, one of the top things to do is hike the scenic Chippewa Trail. This 4-mile paved recreational trail follows the Chippewa River through woodlands.
As you walk or bike the trail, you can take in views of the river, wildflowers, and wildlife. Keep an eye out for red-tailed hawks, pileated woodpeckers, and whitetail deer. The trail has several access points around Mount Pleasant and is suitable for all skill levels. It’s a peaceful place to walk surrounded by nature.
4. Tour the Historic Broadway Theatre
Address: 216 E Broadway St, Mount Pleasant, MI 48858
If you love old theaters, make sure to visit the Historic Broadway Theatre on downtown’s main street. This theatre originally opened in 1904 and still hosts performances today with actors and musicians.
Visitors can take a guided tour to see the beautifully restored interior with its original ornate tin ceiling, seating, and antique projectors. Learn about the theatre’s long running history in the community.
5. Go for a Paddle on the Chippewa River
One of my favorite activities during any visit to Mount Pleasant is kayaking or canoeing down the Chippewa River. The river is a designated National Scenic River that winds through the forests and wetlands of Central Michigan.
You can rent kayaks and canoes from O’Neill’s Canoe & Kayak Livery and spend a peaceful day paddling down river and spotting turtles, herons, and other wildlife. The slower currents make it suitable even for beginners. Paddling the Chippewa River allows you to experience the beauty of Michigan’s rivers.
6. Tour the Mushroom Houses
An unusual attraction in Mount Pleasant are the Mushroom Houses – a collection of small rounded cottage-like houses built using construction techniques resembling mushrooms. Local resident Earl Young built these strange whimsical homes in the 1930s-50s using locally sourced materials like river stone and timber.
You can take a guided tour to see the handful of Mushroom Houses on S University Ave and learn more about their unique design.
7. Relax at Island Park
Address: 300 N. Main St, Mount Pleasant, MI 48858
If you’re looking for things to do in Mount Pleasant with kids, head to Island Park, a lovely community park situated on the Chippewa River. Spanning 77 acres, the park has nature trails, playground equipment, picnic areas, and a petting farm.
Walk across the pedestrian bridge to the island section of the park where you’ll find open green spaces, benches, and river views. Island Park is a great place for families to spend a relaxed sunny day.
8. Play Disc Golf at Nelson Park
Address: E. Campus Dr, Mount Pleasant, MI 48858
For some active fun during your Mount Pleasant trip, play a round of disc golf at Nelson Park. This free 18-hole disc golf course winds through the woods surrounding Nelson Pond.
The terrain varies from open field shots to technical wooded holes with some elevation change to make it interesting for beginners and experienced players alike. Bring your own discs or rent them on-site. After your round, enjoy a picnic by the scenic pond.
9. Tour the Central Michigan University Campus
Address: 1200 S Franklin St, Mount Pleasant, MI 48859
Central Michigan University is the big school in town with a lovely campus perfect for taking a stroll. Visitors can pick up a self-guided walking tour map of campus highlights like the historic Warriner Hall, the Museum of Cultural & Natural History, and the geology museum with its Michigan gemstone collection.
Be sure to also check out the sculpture garden near the art museum. With leafy quads and historic buildings, CMU’s campus has plenty of beauty.
10. Spend a Day at Soaring Eagle Waterpark
Address: 5665 E Pickard St, Mount Pleasant, MI 48858
A top option for family fun in Mount Pleasant is Soaring Eagle Waterpark operated by the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort. This indoor park features a wave pool, lazy river, slides, hot tubs, and a kid’s area.
Spa services and food are also available. Passes can be purchased for the day. With its fun slides and attractions, Soaring Eagle Waterpark is ideal for families looking to beat the heat.
11. Experience Native Culture at Ziibiwing Center
Address: 6650 E Broadway Rd, Mount Pleasant, MI 48858
The Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture & Lifeways provides a valuable opportunity to learn about Native American and Ojibwe culture. Interactive exhibits showcase Native history, arts, storytelling and more.
The gift shop has Native crafts and books. Programs like craft classes, lectures, and oral history presentations also take place. It’s an enriching look at Michigan’s indigenous people.
12. Catch a Baseball Game
Baseball fans visiting in summer will want to catch an enjoyable game at Fletcher Field, home of the minor league baseball team the Great Lakes Loons. This team is an affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Enjoy an afternoon in the sun watching future major league stars play. Kids can meet mascot Lou E. Loon and run the bases after Sunday games too. It’s fun, affordable family entertainment.
So there you have it – the top 12 things to do in Mount Pleasant, Michigan! From museums and galleries to parks and trails, this Midwestern town truly has something for everyone.
Outdoor lovers can hike and paddle, history buffs can explore museums and architecture, and families will find plenty of kid-friendly activities. No matter what brings you to Mount Pleasant, using this list will ensure you experience the best the town has to offer.