Lansing Mom’s Guide to Pentwater

As you get off your exit, you drive around a scenic curve which feels like forever. Are you ever going to get there? Then you see it. Water that sparkles, a historic downtown with adorable shops, and the bustle of people with sun kissed skin and smiles. You’ve made it to a Michigan paradise, Pentwater. Pentwater is a special secret that anyone who has been there claims as their own. You can’t blame them with its channel that extends to Lake Michigan, endless beach views, and many options making this the perfect vacation experience. With everything Pentwater has to offer, vacationing elsewhere seems pointless. To find out all our favorite spots read on in our Guide to Pentwater.

Where to Eat

The Brown Bear| Location: 278 S. Hancock St. Pentwater, MI 49449

If you are in the mood for a rustic bar with excellent burgers, this needs to be added to your list of go-to places. The Brown Bear is famous for their Bear Burger which is enough to feed a small village, or very hungry belly. If you want to get a great view of downtown, enjoy sitting on the upstairs patio.

Gull Landing| Location: 438 S Hancock St, Pentwater, MI 49449

A giant patio with live music makes this a fun place to eat dinner and enjoy drinks. Their menu is fantastic with numerous tasty options. You also can’t beat the view of Lake Pentwater and downtown.

What to Do in Pentwater

Pentwater Chamber of Commerce

Old Baldy| Location: Mears State Park, Pentwater 49449

Old Baldy is a gorgeous trail that takes you up a stair trail that ends on the top of a sand dune overlooking Lake Michigan.

Pentwater Pierhead| Location: Mears State Park, Pentwater 49449

Pentwater has a channel that takes you to Mears State Park, Lake Michigan. This scenic view is enjoyable during the day as large boats drive into the channel or for a perfect sunset after 9pm.

Pentwater Village Green| Location: 327 S Hancock St, Pentwater, MI 49449

Pentwater Village Green hosts many fun and free options. The Farmers Market is held on Mondays and Thursdays along with Thursday night bands.

AJ’s Adventureland| Location: 8915 US-31 BUS, Pentwater, MI 49449

AJ’s has you covered with a beautiful mini-golf course in addition to fast and fun go-carts and arcade games. They also have a pavilion for picnics as well as a playground for the kids to release their vacation energy.

Charles Mears State Park| Location: Park 400 W Lowell St, Pentwater, MI 49449

The best thing about Pentwater is the access to Lake Michigan. Walking distance from downtown, Mears State Park is a gorgeous beach. The beach includes a snack bar with tables, playground, pier for walking, and a dog park.

Where to Stay in Pentwater

Pentwater Chamber of Commerce

The Channel Lane Inn| Location: 10 Channel Ln, Pentwater, MI 49449

This inn is located along the Pentwater channel which means you have walking access to the downtown area as well as Lake Michigan. There are 6 rooms which include 2 queen beds, one full bathroom, and a kitchenette. They do allow pets for a fee.


There are a ton of houses to rent. Another option is to search apartment and condos. We always stay at the Spinnaker Condominiums which are located downtown. I love it, because we don’t have to drive all week. Between the downtown eateries and shopping, in addition to the beach, there is no need to venture anywhere else.

Where to Grab Dessert

House of Flavors| Location: 210 S Hancock St, Pentwater, MI 49449

House of Flavors is known for their delicious ice cream as well as lunch and dinner options. Feel free to grab your treat to go or enjoy a seat inside. Be prepared for a line, because this little shop gets a big crowd.

Pentwater Dari Creme| Location: 1 N Hancock St, Pentwater, MI 49449

On your way to the beach, you need to make a stop at Pentwater Dari Creme. They have delicious flurries, sundaes, soft and hard serve options. If you are in the mood for a heartier meal, enjoy funnel cake or chicken with French fries.

Cosmic Candy Co| Location: 168 S Hancock St, Pentwater, MI 49449

This sweet spot has it all. Family run, Cosmic Candy Co, sells candy, popcorn, and ice cream. They are conveniently located in the middle of the Pentwater shopping scene which makes them an easy and tasty mid shopping treat.

Where to Get Souvenirs

The Glove Apparel| Location: 60 S Hancock St, Pentwater, MI 49449

This is a constant when I go to Pentwater. They have a ton of Michigan collectables such as cute hoodies and tees, coasters, car decals, and much more.

Sassafras Tees| Location: 298 N Hancock St, Pentwater, MI 49449

Sassafras has Pentwater branded clothing for all age ranges. Whether you prefer hoodies, tees, sweatpants, or lightweight beachwear, you’ll find something cute here.

Beach Nut of Pentwater| Location: 560 S Hancock St, Pentwater, MI 49449

Tasty souvenirs such as jams, chocolate covered peanuts, and coffee can be found at Beach Nut of Pentwater. They even feature Cherry Republic and Sanders branded items, too.

Where to Grab a Coffee

Green Isaac’s Coffee and Tea Location: 240 S Hancock St, Pentwater, MI 49449

This trendy coffee shop is opened year round. In addition to coffee concoctions, they have breakfast tacos (yum), sandwiches, vintage sodas, and baked treats. They open at 7:30 and close at 4:30 and have wifi.

Bonus Tips

  • Travel time is 2 hours and 15 minutes from Mid-Michigan.
  • Free parking throughout town.
  • Public restrooms are located downtown and at the beach.

Looking for a little break before you head out on your trip to Pentwater? Check out Lansing Mom’s Guide to Staycation in the Lansing Area.

Jessica Walter
I am a working mom who left the education world after 7 years to pursue my business career. I work as a product developer at a local insurance company and love it. My husband and sons are my world. We struggled for 3 years with fertility prior to adopting our first son. Later, we really wanted him to have a sibling so pursued IVF using donor embryos (because we firmly believe love makes a family) and were then blessed with our second son. When I’m not working or playing the wife/mom role, I love to run, read, bake, write, and tinker with photography. We all have a story to share and I hope some of my experiences will help others.


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