Full-service vacation rental management in Pentwater, Hart, Mears, Silver Lake, Shelby, New Era, and Stony Lake.

Pentwater, Michigan Travel Guide

Pentwater, Michigan is a hidden gem nestled along the shores of Lake Michigan. This guide will introduce you to the unique attractions, outdoor activities, and local treasures that make it a must-visit destination on Michigan’s west coast. Whether you’re looking to relax on the shores of Lake Michigan, explore historical landmarks, or enjoy the local cuisine, Pentwater welcomes you with open arms. Get ready for an unforgettable experience in this idyllic lakeside community.

What Is Pentwater, Michigan Known For?

The quaint village of Pentwater is known for its charming small-town atmosphere, clear blue water, picturesque landscapes, and marinas. Its vibrant art scene, boutique shops, sandy beaches, and historic charm make it an ideal destination for any traveler.

Getting There

Pentwater is in Michigan’s Oceana County. It’s approximately 45 miles north of Muskegon and 17 miles south of Ludington. 

Driving: The Village of Pentwater is three miles west of exit 154 (Monroe Rd.) when driving north on US-31. If you’re coming from the north on US-31, take exit 158 (US-31 BUS/Oceana Dr). Turn right off the exit and US-31 BUS will take you into the village.

Boat: Pentwater offers three marinas for cruisers and sailors. All are conveniently located a short distance off Lake Michigan on Pentwater Lake within walking distance of restaurants, shops, and other conveniences. Snug Harbor is a full-service marina with a public laundromat. Charlie’s Marina is also full-service. There’s also a municipal marina that offers transient and seasonal slips and amenities. In addition, we offer a house for rent on Pentwater Lake with a private dock for up to a 60-foot boat.

Air Travel: The Manistee County Blacker Airport (MBL) is the closest airport to Pentwater. It’s about a 42-mile drive away and offers inexpensive flights from and to Chicago O’hare Airport. The Muskegon County Airport (MKG) is another option about 52 miles away, and the Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR) in Grand Rapids is 95 miles away. 

Downtown Pentwater Map

Accommodations

We offer vacation rentals in Pentwater and the surrounding area. Houses and cottages are added frequently. If you don’t find what you’re looking for contact us as we may have something coming up or we’ll be able to guide you to alternative options. 

Other lodging options in the area include the Channel Inn, Days Inn Wyndham, bed and breakfasts, and several campgrounds. There are also hotels in the nearby cities of Hart and Ludington. 

Where to Eat in Pentwater, Michigan

There are year-round and seasonal dining options in the walkable Village of Pentwater. Check out our comprehensive guide to restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and ice cream shops in Pentwater.

Wineries: Check out our guide to wineries near Pentwater or reserve one of our wine tours.

Things to Do in Pentwater, Michigan

There are many things to do in and near Pentwater, Michigan year-round. This vibrant community has something for everyone, from sandy beaches to quaint shops and local eateries. Join us on a journey through the top things to do in the area.

Check out our comprehensive area event calendar for up-to-date local happenings.

Beaches

You’ll find miles of Lake Michigan shoreline in Pentwater. There are three public beaches within Pentwater. 

  • Charles Mears State Park is within walking distance of the Village of Pentwater’s downtown. The state park has a large sandy, accessible public beach, a dog beach, bathrooms, a large parking lot, and a campground. 
  • Cedar Point County Park is just south of Pentwater. It’s a small, quiet stretch of shoreline. There are many wooden stairs to get to and from the beach. There’s a small parking area and porta-johns are available during the summer.
  • Bass Lake Outlet at 6821 Mack Rd. in Pentwater is a pet-friendly beach with no facilities. You have to walk over a dune to get to the water, and there are a few parking spaces.

Bringing your dog along? Visit the best dog beaches near Pentwater.

Hiking and Biking

Pentwater Pathways trail system includes about 15 miles of trails for hiking and mountain biking. It goes through the Pere Marquette State Forest and can be accessed in Pentwater at 52nd St. and Railroad Ave.

If you’re looking for a short, but picturesque hike, the Old Baldy Trail is a great option. It’s in the Charles Mears State Park campground but is open to non-campers. The one-mile interpretive trail involves climbing stairs up a sand dune, which leads to a deck with panoramic views of Lake Michigan. 

Nearby, you’ll also find the popular Hart-Montague Trail, accessed at 9679 W. State Park Rd., Mears, MI. It’s a 22-mile paved trail that has scenery and picnic areas for walkers, joggers, bikers, and cross-country skiers through the cities of Hart, Mears, Shelby, Rothbury, and Montague. There are future plans for it to connect with the Pentwater trail.

Water Sports

With access to Lake Michigan, Pentwater Lake, and Bass Lake, water sports are a big deal in Pentwater. There are three marinas in the village to rent a slip for a motorboat or sailboat. There are also boat and kayak launches. 

Pontoon boat and jet ski rentals are available from 3rd Coast Rentals, located at Charlie’s Marina.

Stand-up paddleboard rentals are available at the Charles Mears State Park beach house from Memorial Day through Labor Day. 

Did you know? Pentwater is an ideal stop on the Great Loop.

Fishing

Fishing in Pentwater Lake, Bass Lake, and the big lake (aka Lake Michigan) is popular year-round. If you’re fishing from shore, Long Bridge on Pentwater Lake and the channel and piers on Lake Michigan are good spots.

For those coming in for the day to fish by boat, launching in Pentwater Lake is the only way to get a boat into Lake Michigan within Pentwater. 

The following public boat launches are available in Pentwater: 

  • Pentwater Lake Access: 191 Lake St., Pentwater, Michigan
  • Pentwater Lake Access: 90-degree Bend Site on Longbridge Rd., Pentwater, Michigan
  • Pentwater River Access (river fishing boats, kayaks, and canoes only): Monroe Rd. before the Pentwater River Bridge
  • Bass Lake Access: West end of Marrison Rd., Pentwater, Michigan
  • Bass Lake Access: Bass Lake Blvd, Pentwater, Michigan

Charter fishing boats are available. You’ll find them parked in the municipal marina in the village near the bathrooms. 

Parks

Pentwater offers a variety of parks that include green spaces, picnic tables, basketball courts, pickleball courts, and tennis courts. 

  • Bell Park, 327 South Hancock St., is a small grassy park in downtown Pentwater.
  • Channel Lane Park, 200 Channel Lane, sits along the channel and has picnic tables and bathrooms. It’s the perfect place for a picnic lunch while watching boats go by. There are some parking spaces at the park or you can walk to it from downtown or Mears State Park.
  • Charles Mears State Park, 400 West Lowell St., has a playground, beach, bathrooms, picnic tables, benches, and a boardwalk.
  • Chester Street Park, 1 Chester St., is at the south pier head. There’s limited parking, but a great way to walk or fish the south pier.
  • The Village Green, 231 South Hancock St., is in the center of downtown and a great place to meet up with friends or take a break from shopping. Festivals, the Monday and Thursday Farmer’s Market, concerts, outdoor movie nights, and more take place here.
  • Basketball courts, tennis courts, and pickleball courts are located on North Hancock St. There are also two pavilions and a porta-john at the park.

Golf

Golden Sands Golf Course is approximately 12 miles south of Pentwater. They have a 9-hole, par 4 course with great greens. There’s also a restaurant and bar on the property.

Silver Lake Sand Dunes

The Silver Lake Sand Dunes are a popular recreational area just south of Pentwater. Learn what you can do, see, and eat with our Silver Lake Travel Guide.