From relaxing beach days to exciting adventures, Pentwater offers memorable experiences for travelers of all interests. Here are the top 12 things to do in Pentwater Michigan.
1. Spend a Day at Pentwater Municipal Beach
No trip to Pentwater is complete without spending time at the town’s beautiful public beach. Stretching for nearly a mile along the Lake Michigan shoreline, Pentwater Municipal Beach features soft sand dunes, grassy areas ideal for picnicking, volleyball courts, playground equipment, and convenient parking.
The beach is staffed with lifeguards during summer. Relax on the sand, go for a swim, play beach volleyball, or build sandcastles with the kids. With its family-friendly amenities, this is one of the top attractions in Pentwater.
2. Paddle Pentwater Lake
For a fun outdoor adventure, rent a kayak, canoe, paddleboard or rowboat at Stony Lake boat livery and spend the day paddling on Pentwater Lake. This large shallow 475-acre inland lake is connected to Lake Michigan by a channel and offers calmer waters perfect for beginners.
Glide along the shoreline while taking in views of cottages and sandy beaches. Paddle through the channel out to Lake Michigan if you’re looking for some waves and don’t mind stronger winds.
Explore the marshy areas to spot turtles, frogs, herons, and other wildlife. With convenient rentals and pleasant scenery, paddling Pentwater Lake is a favorite summer activity.
3. Hike the Pentwater Pathway
For a scenic nature walk just minutes from downtown, hike along the Pentwater Pathway. This 2.5 mile trail follows the Pentwater River through diverse ecosystems including woodlands, wetlands and dune habitats.
Starting from the Charles Mears State Park, the wide gravel trail is great for walking, jogging or leisurely biking as it meanders through beautiful scenery. Stop at interpretive signs that describe the local plants and wildlife.
Listen for songbirds and keep an eye out for deer, turtles, hawks, and butterflies. With its manageable length and terrain, the pathway is ideal for hikers of all levels.
4. Camp at Pentwater Township Park
Experience Pentwater’s natural beauty by camping at Pentwater Township Park Campground. Tent and RV sites are nestled among towering trees along the shore of Pentwater Lake.
Amenities include hot showers, restrooms, laundry facilities, picnic tables, fire pits and a swimming beach. Go fishing for bluegill, bass and pike on Pentwater Lake, take the kids to the playground, or play volleyball with new friends.
With affordable rates and a spectacular setting, this campground is a top choice for an outdoor getaway. Reservations are recommended.
5. Go Fishing on Pentwater Pier
No visit to a Lake Michigan town is complete without casting a line! Pentwater’s lengthy 700 foot fishing pier extends into Lake Michigan, offering unmatched access to popular game fish.
Try catching salmon, trout, perch, or bass right off the pier. You’re almost guaranteed to reel in something.
Or take an offshore charter fishing trip for an opportunity to catch prized chinook and coho salmon, lake trout, steelhead, and more. Stop at a local bait shop to get gear and helpful tips. With its fantastic location, Pentwater is a fisherman’s paradise.
6. Bike the Hart-Montague Trail
Just 30 minutes from Pentwater, the Hart-Montague Bicycle Trail State Park offers 34 miles of smooth paved trails along a former railroad corridor. Bring your own bike or rent one in Hart or Montague to explore this unique state park.
The traverses through peaceful forests, meadows, quaint towns, and past lakes, rivers, and wetlands rich in wildlife. Stop at trailside attractions like antique shops, restaurants, orchards, and wineries. The trail’s relatively flat terrain and mileage options make it suitable for cyclists of all abilities.
7. See the Historic Village of Hart
Located right along the Hart-Montague Trail, the quaint Victorian village of Hart offers a step back into 19th century Michigan. Here you’ll find one of the state’s best preserved historic downtowns, with over 30 buildings from the 1800s filled with shops and eateries.
Visit the Hart Historic Museum Complex to see the fully restored components of a lumber town, like an old school, jail, general store, post office, and chapel. Stroll around downtown to take in all the architectural charm. Hart makes for a great side trip when biking the trail.
8. Enjoy a Show at the Pentwater Bandshell
On summer evenings, the bandshell in Pentwater’s village green comes alive with free outdoor concerts. Listen to live music under the stars from rock, folk, blues, jazz and big band groups.
Concerts take place Thursday nights from 8-9:30pm between June and August. Bring lawn chairs or a blanket and enjoy fantastic bands coupled with warm nights.
Check the schedule online before your visit to see the lineup. With its idyllic setting and toe-tapping tunes, this is a beloved local tradition.
9. Grab a Pint at Pentwater Brewing Company
After a day of adventures, unwind with craft beer and brick oven pizza at this popular brewpub located right downtown. Pentwater Brewing Company crafts a stellar lineup of beers like their signature Pentwater Pale Ale, Saugatuck Dunes IPA, and rotating seasonals.
Grab a beer flight to sample them all, along with wood-fired pizzas, paninis, salads and appetizers. When the weather’s nice, sit outdoors on the patio under twinkly lights. With its tasty fare and laid back vibe, this is the perfect spot to cap off the day.
10. Rent Electric Bikes
For an effortless way to explore Pentwater, rent e-bikes from Pentwater Bicycles. These electric-assist bicycles make pedaling easy, allowing you to zip around town without breaking a sweat.
Visit beaches, parks, restaurants and shops as you cruise along the sidewalks and paved Lakeshore Drive.
Daily and multi-day rentals are available. It’s also a fun way to traverse the 2.5 mile Pentwater Pathway. With the wind at your back, you’ll be able to cover more ground and see more sights.
11. Enjoy a Show at the Howmet Playhouse
The Howmet Playhouse Theater offers professional live theater productions in downtown Whitehall, just 20 minutes from Pentwater. Housed in a renovated 1930s movie theater, this intimate venue puts on comedies, dramas, musicals, and Broadway favorites May through October.
Enjoy favorites like Beehive, The Odd Couple, and Driving Miss Daisy. Affordable tickets make this community theater accessible to all.
Come early to browse exhibits in the on-site museum. With its talented casts and charming setting, the Howmet Playhouse makes for a memorable evening out.
12. Drive the Lake Michigan Circle Tour
Embark on an epic Lake Michigan road trip along the official Lake Michigan Circle Tour scenic driving route. This 1,000+ mile route follows highways along the shoreline and encompasses top attractions in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin.
From Pentwater, you can drive portions offering spectacular lake views and access to beaches, towns, parks, and more.
Drive west along the coast all the way to Wisconsin or head south to Muskegon, Grand Haven, Holland and other western Michigan towns. The route allows you to experience the diversity of the entire Lake Michigan region.
With its natural beauty, recreation opportunities, historic charm, shopping, dining and more, Pentwater truly offers something for everyone. Use this travel guide to experience the best of this delightful Lake Michigan town on your next getaway.