I Dream of Pentwater

Guest Blogger Kelsey DeBruin shares her Pure Michigan moment, an annual camping trip with her family, and the feeling that so many of us can relate to when anticipating that time away from home on one of Michigan’s Great Lakes.

Flickr Photo Credit - Ellen MulderEvery year, my extended family and I spend a week on Lake Michigan at the Charles Mears State Park in Pentwater. This tradition started 40 years ago with two families, and over time has expanded to 10 families and growing!

The excitement for Pentwater starts building in the beginning of January, when we spend a couple days waking up early, calling the state park so we can reserve all the campsites we need for the Fourth of July weekend. The excitement continues to build as the months pass and everyone tries to find that perfect bathing suit and hits the gym to get that perfect beach body. As the weather starts to warm up, I start dreaming of the beach where I’m laying out in the sand, soaking up the sun, enjoying a book, swimming out to the sandbar to cool off, and playing a friendly game of keep away in the water.

And then…

Flickr Photo Credit - Daniel SchroederThe day finally comes! All the beach towels are packed, the pets are taken care of, and our employers know we won’t be around for the next week. Then the best week of the year unfolds and includes many awesome activities like trips to the beach, food-filled happy hours, breath-taking sunsets, and star gazing camp fires. We spend our days walking and fishing off the pier, riding bikes up and down the main strip to visit all the different shops, and taking boat trips to find sand dunes.

And as the saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun. Before you know it we’re packing up and saying our goodbyes, another Pentwater vacation has come and gone. Even with all the years we have spent at the state park, we still have things that we never get to on our to-do list. Luckily we’re never too depressed because…there’s always next year right!?

Kelsey DeBruin of Vicksburg shared the story of this Pure Michigan camping trip as a submission through our Guest Blogger link.


11 thoughts on “I Dream of Pentwater

  1. Grew up around Silver Lake, played in the Pentwater Civic Band (62 and 63). Always had a great time in Pentwater. Great ice fishing. Summer fishing off Long Bridge. Now my cousin has married into a family with long ties to Pentwater and he gets to enjoy it too. I moved from Michigan to Washington 33 years ago, but try to get back from time to time. Love going to the band concerts the most. Still love the Stars and Stripes Forever. Thanks for the memories. Doug Clark

  2. We spend a week on Lake Hamlin every summer. We make the trip to Pentwater several times! What an awesome town! We go to Charlevoix, Traverse City, Manistee, and the Leelanau peninsula for the excellent wineries. I spent my childhood going to Charlevoix to visit family and I carried on the tradition with my children. Now that they are grown up they want to go to Michigan every summer too! We always rent a pet friendly cabin, and a boat, and my husband just loves fishing Lake Hamlin day and night! We always have to get fresh fried whitefish at the fish place on the Lakeshore Rd. MMMMMMMM. A dune ride on the Mac Dunes trucks is ALWAYS fun! Hope to see the Clown band this year. We are going the last week of June to celebrate our 25th Anniversary. We usually go around the first week of August. I hope we can still go pick blueberries. They are the best!

  3. Oh, so many fond childhood memories of camping at Mears with my family and Homecoming! We continued the tradition with our kids and now we are taking our grandkids. Even though we stay in cottages now, we ride our bikes nightly through the campground to enjoy the sounds and smells that conjure up wonderful memories of marshmallows, lines to the shower and meeting new friends, some of whom we still see. What an amazing tradition that my parents started. And I can still see my dad standing on the rocks at the end of the breakwater fishing. I go out there every summer to just tell him hi and to let him know I miss him. Though the town has changed over the years, it is still a great place to experience.

  4. Grew up near Pentwater spending many, many summer days fishing off the pier for perch or in Pentwater Lake for speckled bass and blue gills. Lived the last 45 years in southern Ohio, but I’ve never forgotten what a blessing it was to grow up in one of the most beautiful places on earth. Have spent virtually every summer of that 45 years camping somewhere in MI; lately more of it in the UP

  5. This guest blogger nailed it! Never a bad time at Mears… especially when walking tacos, capture the noodle and long distance spoons are involved.

  6. I couldn’t imagine not living in Michigan when I read things like this – it’s one of those things that make it so special! We always go to Mio, MI and tube down the AuSable River – an experience in itself & with 40+ people it gets better and better! I’m a Michigan Kid & I want my kids to be Michigan kids!

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