A drive north of Silver Lake took us to Pentwater, Michigan. Pentwater is Oceana County’s only port connecting Pentwater Lake directly to Lake Michigan. The town was founded in 1853 and sits on the western shore of Michigan. As with Silver Lake, almost everything is within walking distance of the marinas and public beach. Pentwater's motto is "where phones take a back seat to fireworks. Where a seat at the Thursday night band concert is better than a seat in the boardroom. Where the only "waves" you’ll make are with a boat. Where your biggest scheduling conflict is between fishing, sunning, and shopping. Where you can "do lunch" with your family instead of your co-workers."
While in Pentwater, we enjoyed a meal at both Gull Landing and the Village Café. Gull Landing sits on Pentwater Lake with indoor and outdoor seating. The French dip sandwich was great. The Village Café sits across the street from the Gull and the lake, offering the same indoor and outdoor seating. I will say Gull Landing offered much better service than the Café, so much so that I would return to Gull. Meals are moderately priced at both locations. There are a variety of specialty shops lining the streets as well as any kid's favorite, the Dollar General store.
Pentwater is advertised as a four seasons vacation area with fishing year round. During the winter, ice shanties sit on the lake while fisherman catch perch and other types of fish. There is also a cross country skiing path just south of town. In the spring, there are flowers, birds, and fishing. The fall brings turning leaves and fishing, and of course the summer brings swimming, boating, and more fishing. There are also miles of bicycle trails throughout the area to enjoy during many of the seasons.
Charles Mears is the one recognized for building the channel to Lake Michigan and called the area Middlesex. Mears started a ferry service in 1858 to cross the channel and also built a pier onto Lake Michigan so large boats bringing lumber could dock. Mears's daughter Carrie gave 600 feet of the beach to the state in 1920, which started the Charles Mears State Park.
Pentwater is easy to find from Silver Lake, just take the B-15 north and in 20 minutes, you’ve arrived.