Tool around this former lumber baron boomtown-turned-quaint resort village on a bicycle built for two. You can rent one by the hour at Pentwater River Outfitters (42 West Second St., 231-869-2999, pentwaterriveroutfitters.com). Pedal along the water and past the sugar-sand beach at Charles Mears State Park. Now it’s over to the darling and aptly named Snug Harbor, where you can watch the boats putt-putt into the marina. Pick up sandwiches from the deli at ‘Cenzo’s market (40 Sixth, 231-869-4044), with its selection of gorgeous local fruits, fresh-cut meats and wines. Grab a batch of Mrs. R’s brownies, butter cookies or peanut butter no-bakes – homemade local secrets that never stay on the shelves for long.
Sift through retro starburst barware, or leaf through a copy of Better Homes and Gardens from the 50′s at Carriage House Antique Mall (50 Second, 231-869-0222). Nooks overflow with vintage hats, quilts and every kind of trinket from ships in bottles to bowling trophies.
The smell of gourmet Pentwater Popcorn pulls customers in the door at Cosmic Candy Company (168 S. Hancock, 231-869-4852, pentwaterpopcorn.com), and the tantalizing array of nostalgic candies keeps them there. Grab a tin of multicolored Cosmic Crunch or Caramel Chocolate Drizzle popcorn to take home, and waltz out the door with a blue plastic flower of pink lemonade shave ice. Pop in next door at Gifts of the Times (168 S. Hancock, 231-869-5162) for home accessories and fresh garden decor. Once you’re all shopped out, treat yourself to a bowl of creamy squash soup and a steaming plate of Thai chicken pasta at Gull Landing (438 S. Hancock, 231-869-4215). If you’re in town on a Thursday, top off your day with some lively tunes at the Village Green. All the locals and plenty of tourists spread out on the grass to take in the sunset and the melodies of the Pentwater Civic Band.
Katie Holland was an intern at Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine.
Note: This article was first published in June 2007, and was updated for the web February 2008.