Located in Western Michigan, on the sunset shore of Lake Michigan is the small and charming village of Pentwater, Michigan. For years, there was a common bumper sticker seen around town that read “Where the hell is Pentwater?” Anyone who has spent time here is certain to fall in love with the area and return again and again, so the town’s continued obscurity seems to be an enduring mystery. Most people in Michigan are still completely unaware of this coastal gem.
Allow me to introduce you.
Visitors to Pentwater arriving from the more popular southern route are initially greeted by Pentwater Lake as the road winds along its north shore, dotted with quaint and charming cottages, the silhouettes of fisherman, and the occasional swan or family of ducks. As the road winds right, and then left, and then approaches the village, the view opens to a mast filled harbor, lined with active marinas and charter boats, truly reminiscent of the coastal towns of Maine or Massachusetts. This is New England, but much closer to home.
Next, the road turns sharply to the north and becomes Main Street Pentwater, perfectly lined with art galleries featuring the creations of local and national artisans, numerous antique shops, boutique clothing stores, and restaurants with open-air patios offering live music, delicious seafood and cold cocktails. It’s always happy hour here, if not officially, at least in spirit. This is a scene to inspire Norman Rockwell himself, complete with the white church steeple at the edge of town. People drive slowly; they take a deep breath, and they smile, because in Pentwater you feel as if you are on vacation, even when you are not.
Near the end of town, our village tour turns to the west, continues a few blocks, and then dead-ends into the main attraction: the fresh-water shores of Lake Michigan. Guests who have never been to the Great Lakes are always pleasantly surprised, and locals born and raised here never grow tired of it. An endless water horizon featuring the most beautiful sunsets in the world, warm sand between the toes, dune grass swaying in the breeze, the sound of rolling surf, seagulls, kites, and ice cream cones; this is Pentwater, not California, not Maine, not Carolina or Hawaii, but Michigan! And after a long stroll at water’s edge, to the end of the pier, around the lighthouse, and back, you are in love with Michigan’s secret beach town. You’ll be back again and again.
It’s waiting, just down the road, to welcome you and yours this summer season.
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