Ginkgo Tree Inn: Stay in town on a river

If you’re traveling north or south on US-127 through mid-Michigan, Ginkgo Tree Inn is a great place to break your journey for a night or two. First time you stay, you’ll declare it a wonderful destination all on its own.

Admiring its ten beautiful rooms in two adjacent houses and the large patio overlooking the Chippewa River, you might imagine Ginkgo Tree Inn has a suburban or rural location. You’d be wrong. You can easily walk to downtown Mt. Pleasant shops, restaurants, and public buildings. At the same time, you can drop one of the inn’s inner tubes or your kayak into the river and meander through a 50-acre park.

Exterior of Ginkgo Tree Inn
Not seen: Chez Mimi, the adjacent house, which has four of the inn’s guest rooms.

Each morning of your stay, the innkeepers serve breakfast at individual tables (shown above). Can you name another bed and breakfast that has a trained, talented in-house pastry chef? When you see and taste her cakes, cookies, crepes, muffins and pies, you’ll never want to go back to cardboard cookies and toaster waffles at a chain hotel.

Since January, the B&B’s original innkeepers, Jean and Dave Prout, have thrown themselves enthusiastically into improvements in rooms, food service, and the grounds following a hiatus, during which some prospective buyers operated it. Together, Jean and Dave have a combined 30 years of hospitality experience.

Display wedding cake made for Ginkgo Tree Inn.
Candy’s Creations, pastry chef to Ginkgo Tree Inn, made this display cake so prospective bridal customers can see what the inn is capable of producing.

Located at the mid-state crossroads of the Lower Peninsula, Mt. Pleasant offers world-class entertainment year-round, or you can try your luck at Soaring Eagle Casino, the largest gaming floor in Michigan. Many guests stay at Ginkgo Tree Inn while in town for events at Central Michigan University.

People often choose Ginkgo Tree Inn for weddings, celebrations, and other events because it offers several choices of event spaces and also has a commercial kitchen and liquor license. Says Jean, who was busy preparing for a wine tasting event, “We do a lot of weddings and have lots of ideas for couples of any age! ‘Locking-your-love’ from our riverside patio is a tradition that everyones loves.”

Asked about other things guests can do and see while staying at Ginkgo Tree Inn, Jean produced an impressive list:

  • Tour the Mountain Town Station brewery.
  • Rent a tube, paddle board, kayak or canoe for fun on the Chippewa River.
  • Climb Bundy Hill.
  • Bike the trails from city park to park. (The Mt. Pleasant area has over 1,000 acres of parkland.)
  • Pick blueberries at Moody’s or Rhynard’s Blueberry Farm.
  • Find fresh fruits and vegetables, handmade soaps, baked goods, and more every Thursday and Saturday at the Farmers Market downtown, in season.
  • Look for food trucks to try a variety of authentic menus and creative cuisine.
  • Attend a cultural or sporting event at Central Michigan University. Use Ginkgo Tree Inn as your home base during a college visit with your teenager.
  • Shop at the Greentree Cooperative for local and organic meats, vegan and vegetarian items. They have a grab-n-go deli, craft beers, gluten-free options, and unique gifts.
  • Stop into Cops & Doughnuts, which has a central precinct store in Mt. Pleasant.
  • Hit the links. The area has 11 golf courses within minutes of the inn.
  • Take the family to the waterpark. Yes, Ginkgo Tree Inn is family-friendly.
  • Impress the locals with your talent for trivia or karaoke at The Cabin, The Brass, or Hunter’s Ale House.
  • Take a paint and pour class at Art Reach.
  • Cat lovers, book in advance to visit Karma Kat Cafe. Enjoy favorite cafe beverages with cats. The Yoga with Cats sessions will have you purring, too.
  • Come to the inn for the holidays. The Mt. Pleasant Christmas celebration spreads holiday cheer, including an illuminated parade through downtown.
  • A February highlight is the annual Man vs. Mountain Competition, a winter obstacle course.
  • The Maple Syrup Festival in nearby Shepherd in late April caps off maple sugaring season. At other times of year, for maple candies, sugar, butters, jams and more, visit Doodle’s Sugar Bush in Blanchard.
  • Pause to give thanks at the Michigan Vietnam Veteran Memorial in Island Park. Sixteen plaques feature the names of 2,705 of Michigan’s casualties, MIAs and POWs in that war. A Memorial Day parade passes the memorial.

Clearly, if you’ll never be bored during a stay at Ginkgo Tree Inn in Mt. Pleasant.

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Although you might find Gingko Tree Inn on one of those giant online booking sites, you’ll have the maximum choice of rooms and dates if you make sure to check availability on the B&B’s own website. And those big booking sites do NOT offer the lowest rates.