Whether you’re visiting Central Michigan University and the Mt. Pleasant area for a sporting event, commencement, or just the weekend, you must check out these top hot-spots when you meet Mt. Pleasant.

Must-see Spots on Campus

Bovee University Center 

Get a taste of college life at CMU by stopping by the Bovee University Center. Populated by students studying, eating, or hanging out, Bovee is a one-stop shop for everything on campus. Don’t forget to stop by the CMU Bookstore on the second floor, the best place to get all your maroon and gold apparel. Owned and operated by Central Michigan University, every penny spent here stays on campus to help fund campus programs and course material scholarships. While there be sure to pick up your very own “CMU Parent” car decal before driving back home. You can also swing by one of the various dining options for a bite to eat like Starbucks or Central Eats, a food court located downstairs.

University Art Gallery 

CMU is home to the University Art Gallery located right outside of the Bovee University Center and across from the Park Library. The gallery is free and open to the public and showcases contemporary art by emerging and established regional, national and international artists, and also features 12 exhibitions a year. Check out the University Art Gallery’s hours here.

Fabiano Gardens

Located towards the south end of campus, the Fabiano Gardens feature corn, beans, squash, sage, and other plants that represent the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe and the legend of the Three Sisters. Not to mention it also makes for a great family photo-op underneath the gazebo.

Kelly/Shorts Stadium

In the fall, cheer on the CMU Chippewa football team and hear the Chippewa Marching Band at Kelly/Shorts Stadium, the largest on campus stadium in the Mid-American Conference. Keep your eye on the video board for replays, Mt. Pleasant Trivia, and other segments. Cheer the CMU Chippewas on at their first home opener on August 29, 2024. Tickets can be purchased here.

Student Activity Center

Located right next to Kelly/Shorts Stadium, the Student Activity Center, or SAC, is a great place for people looking to get active and have fun. The facility offers a six-lane lap pool and hot tub, six racquetball courts, a brand-new Esports gaming area and more! CMU students who are currently enrolled in courses receive free memberships, and visiting family members can either purchase day passes or enroll in a family membership period.

Area Atractions

Soaring Eagle Casino

Roll the dice at one of the biggest gaming floors in the Midwest. The Soaring Eagle Casino features over 70 gaming tables, bingo, and a variety of dining options. Looking for more nightlife options? See big-name entertainment at their outdoor summer concerts or indoor shows!


Explore historic downtown Mt. Pleasant with businesses lining the streets and picturesque parks. Take a stroll or bike through Island Park and view the jewel of central Michigan, the Chippewa River. In the summer months, we highly recommend tubing, kayaking, canoeing, or paddle boarding down the river.

Grab breakfast or lunch in the heart of downtown at Max and Emily’s Eatery. With over 80 combinations of veggies, meat, and cheese, you are sure to find your next favorite sandwich. We recommend the Caesar Wrap (#86) or their famous Max and Emily’s Grilled Cheese (#99). For late night, enjoy a sip of college nightlife at the Bird Bar & Grill. Known for their stuffed cheese and Italian spiced moon bread and Bird Burger, you will quickly find out why ‘The Bird is The Word’ in town.

Shop for Michigan-made products at Art Reach of Mid Michigan, where you can find pottery, jewelry, clothing, candles, wood works and so much more in their consignment gift shop! Or visit Trillium Fine Clothing, located just down the street from Art Reach. Trillium brings you classic fashion as well as brands like Estee Lauder and Vera Bradley.

Experience downtown and campus on scooter. New to the area, visitors and locals can ride motorized scooters on sidewalks or roads in permitted areas. To use a scooter, scan the QR code, enter your credit card, and enjoy scootin’! Learn more about scooter regulations here.

Ziibiwing Cultural Center

Visit the Midwest’s premier American Indian museum and cultural center, the Ziibiwing Center, and learn about the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe’s culture, heritage, and history of the Anishinabek people of the Great Lakes. While you are there, make sure to observe the various collections of art and artifacts from the North America exhibit, which changes annually!

Where to Eat

Built from an old Mt. Pleasant Railroad Depot, Mountain Town Station is known for its modern yet cozy atmosphere and food. Enjoy award winning ribs, hand-crafted brews, and a cookie skillet on the patio overlooking the Chippewa River.

Check out Wood Shop Social, the newest gastropub in central Michigan. Featuring American cuisine, Sunday brunch, original cocktails, and curated selection of bourbon and wine, the laid-back atmosphere is perfect for families, college students, and everyone in between.

Looking for somewhere hearty to grab breakfast in the morning with family and friends? Check out Stan’s Restaurant! Famous for their hash browns and breakfast menu, Stan’s is a true hidden gem tucked away in the heart of downtown Mt. Pleasant on Broadway Street.

Grab lunch at Dog Central, a true college town staple that is even founded and operated by a CMU grad! Featured on Travel Channel’s Man v. Food, Dog Central is known for its famous dogs, legendary late nights, and its abundance of hot dog toppings including Fritos, mac n’ cheese, shredded pickle and so much more! We’re positive your CMU student will have no problem bringing you to Dog Central for a bite to eat.

Year-round Events

The Mt. Pleasant area is home to year-round events like the Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival, Art Walk Central and Special Olympics State Summer Games, just to name a few. In addition to community events, CMU hosts over 500 events throughout the year. Want to see what’s happening during your visit? Check out our full events calendar here.


The Mt. Pleasant has a variety of lodging options to accommodate your stay in central Michigan. Whether looking for pet-friendly rooms, close proximity to CMU’s campus, or an indoor pool, the Mt. Pleasant area is sure to have a lodging option that fits your needs. Check out hotels, bed & breakfasts and short-term rentals here.

Meet Mt. Pleasant

Looking for more activities to keep you busy while in the Mt. Pleasant area? Check out our Play Page, where you can discover everything to do, from outdoor adventure to family fun. Remember to follow the Mt. Pleasant Area CVB on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok to stay updated on all things Mt. Pleasant, and be sure to use #Meetmtp when you visit the area!

Image Credits: Mike Buck (Max & Emily’s, Chippewa River, Art Reach of Mid Michigan)