Pentwater is a historic little town that was founded in 1853. Its history does include some pretty major tragedies – three ships sinking during a November snow storm, the boiler in the furniture factory exploding, the logging mill burning down, and a big fire in town, too. After reading that, we were getting a little nervous about our stay here! However, it has some great old houses, many bed and breakfasts, nice sandy beaches, and friendly and helpful marina staff.
The center of town is the village green gathering area that has band concerts in the summer time. A nice little shopping area is located on Hancock Street that is within walking distance of the three marinas in town. There’s a marine antique store (which is also well stocked with marine supplies), some souvenir shops, sweater stores, a small book store, a few water and skateboard type sports stores, and three ice cream shops. A couple of notable stores are:
· ‘Cenzos – a full service grocery store with A LOT of local produce and locally made food items across from the Snug Harbor Marina.
· Durand Wine Company (www.durandwinecompany.com) which has a whole wall of Michigan-made wine and also has Michigan coffee
· Art on the Town Gallery (www.artonthetowngallery.com), which is a co-op of local artists who produce, pottery, paintings, decorated glass, jewelry and woven baskets. Bernie purchased a tea basket with a birch lid made by Luddington artist Cass Schorsch at this gallery.
· House of Flavors (www.pentwaterflavors.com) which is the ice cream store that we frequented. It has regular food too and a sense of humor. (One of the meals on the menu is described as “Shrimp fresh-caught from Lake Pentwater – well, not really”.)
Although we missed the Pentwater Farmer’s Market on Thursday, there is a Chicago link: one of the Green City Market participants – Liberty Family Farms – participates in it and was one of the founding farmers.
Other Pentwater events included:
· Bernie saw an otter while out on her morning jog (yes, she did get lost but found her way back to the boat.)
· A planned two-hour bicycle ride turned into a five-hour Challenge Excursion. The Pentwater City Council’s definition of an “Avenue” is very similar to Bernie’s definition of “deserted cow path through a loose-sand dune”. Lesson learned – STAY AWAY FROM 60TH AVENUE IF ON BICYCLE.
· Bernie rowed Phil’s butt around Lake Pentwater in the dinghy.
· They sound a very loud siren at noon, at 5:00pm, when there is a fire, when there is a weather warning (this is why the siren sounded at 4:00am this morning, it was not the signal that all the bars were officially closed), and possibly when someone just feels like sounding a loud siren.
· In the other Michigan cities we’ve been to on this trip, it has gotten light later in the morning (7am) and stayed light until 9pm. Here. It gets light early (before 6am) and stays light just as late – around 9pm. That gives a lot of day to fill up with sightseeing and relaxing.