A Michigan resident all my life, I grew up going camping around the state. Outdoor camping is social distancing friendly– it encourages seclusion and isolating your family unit in the outdoors. Whether you tent camp, camp in a camper, or really glamp it up, camping is a summer tradition that will build lifelong memories.
Pentwater is where my mother took us as kids to experience some of the best that west Michigan has to offer. Situated between Ludington (Big Sable Point Lighthouse) to the north and Silver Lake Sand Dunes (Little Sable Point Lighthouse) to the south, Pentwater is the perfect beach town to experience life on Lake Michigan.
3 FAVORITE RESTAURANTS
Brown Bear | 278 N Hancock St, Pentwater, 231-869-5444
Definitely worth waiting for! Be sure to put your name on the list while you walk around and they will notify you when your table is ready. May be carryout only due to COVID-19. The burgers are killer!
Pentwater Pizza and Grinders | 20 3rd St, Pentwater, 231-869-6664
Family friendly pizzeria. Call ahead and order for carryout and delivery.
Gull Landing | 438 S Hancock St, Pentwater, 231-869-3160
Currently operating as order-ahead and pickup only. There is seating on picnic tables nearby.
3 FAVORITE FREE ATTRACTIONS
Mears State Park | 400 W Lowell St, Pentwater, 231-869-2051
Pentwater’s State Park boasts a campground, playground, and fishing pier. It is a short walk into town and has its own concessions stand and restrooms. There is wheelchair access to this beach, which is my favorite on Lake Michigan.
Little Sable Point Lighthouse | 287 N Lighthouse Dr, Mears
A short drive from Pentwater to the south, Silver Lake offers many worthwhile attractions of its own.
Ludington State Park | 8800 W M-116, Ludington, 231-843-2423
Ludington State Park is expansive and offers trails, camping, beaches, and, when open, Little Sable Point Lighthouse. Plan to spend a good amount of time checking out all it offers.
3 FAVORITE PAID ATTRACTIONS
Historic White Pine Village | 1687 S Lakeshore Dr, Ludington, 231-843-4808
Go back in time and explore a historic, turn of the 19th century village
AJ’s Family Fun Center of Pentwater | 8915 US-31 BUS, Pentwater, 231-869-5641
Fun for kids of all ages! There is a playground, game room, picnic area, mini-golf, and go-karts.
Mac Wood’s Dune Rides | 629 N 18th Ave, Mears, 231-873-2817
Masks are required due to COVID-19. Check out the ice cream place next door while you visit!
FAVORITE PLACES TO STAY
Days Inn by Wyndham Pentwater | 7576 S Pere Marquette Hwy, Pentwater, 231-869-8000
If the outdoors isn’t your thing, this hotel has a pool and is a great option to stay in Pentwater.
Hill & Hollow Campground | 8915 N Business 31, Pentwater, 231-869-5811
Whether you prefer pitching a tent, pulling a pop-up, or have a camper that sleeps the whole family, Hill & Hollow is hands-down the best campground in Pentwater. Family owned and run for over 30 years, I have so many fond memories of my childhood here and have made memories with my kids here as well.
Vacation rentals in Pentwater and the surrounding area are abundant. Use your favorite site like AirBnB or VRBO to browse availability.
FAVORITE PLACE FOR SWEET TREATS
Pentwater Flavors | 210 S Hancock St, Pentwater, 231-869-4009
This is the ultimate ice cream experience in Pentwater! They also have a full menu. Call ahead to check if dine-in is available due to COVID-19.
FAVORITE PLACE FOR SOUVENIRS
Decors By Sandra | 264 S Hancock St, Pentwater, 231-869-7961
Great place to browse, so much to see inside!
FAVORITE PHOTO OP
Storybook Village | 560 S Hancock St, Pentwater, 231-869-3120
This is a must-visit when in Pentwater with kids. They also do storytimes during the week, so check out their site for times.
FAVORITE COFFEE SHOP
The Village Cafe and Pub | 347 S Hancock St, Pentwater, 231-869-4626
The pub may be closed, but the cafe is still serving food and coffee.
BONUS TIPS TO PENTWATER
- Approximate travel time is three hours from southeast Michigan.
- Visit during Homecoming August 13-16, 2020, with special events like a parade, sand castle contest, and fireworks on the beach.
- Weekly farmers markets Mondays and Thursdays and Music on the Village Green.
- Public restrooms are well maintained and have changing stations.
- Free parking.
Where is your family’s favorite vacation spot in Michigan? Our team will be sharing some of our favorites in a summer-long series! Stay tuned for more!