The North Edition of the Shoreline Visitors Guide covers the areas of White Lake, Silver Lake Sand Dunes/Hart, Pentwater, Ludington, Manistee, Bear Lake, Arcadia, Benzie County, Leelanau County and Traverse City.

The White Lake Area

The giant weathervane perched between Whitehall and Montague in the White Lake Area not only shows you which way the wind is blowing, it’s always pointed in the direction of family fun! Whether you’re headed north, south, east, or west, you’ll find an astonishing array of attractions and activities.  Head north, and you’ll find yourself on the Hart-Montague Trail State Park.  Going South? You’ll run into White Lake, the historic White River Light Station and maritime museum, and one of Michigan’s most popular attractions, Michigan’s Adventure Amusement and Water Park.  Head east from the weathervane, and you’ll cruise into picturesque Whitehall with its gift shops, galleries, restaurants, and and  historic theater. Going west? Stop in quaint Montague to browse art galleries, boutiques, and eateries before continuing your journey westward for golfing on the lakeshore, canoeing and kayaking on the leisurely White River, and frolicking on the vast white-sand beaches of Lake Michigan.

Silver Lake Sand Dunes Area/ Hart-Mears-Shelby

See for yourself why the Silver Lake Sand Dunes Area was named one of the “Best Little Beach Towns in America” by Travel + Leisure magazine.  From effortless afternoons to action-packed adventure and everything in between, you’ll find activities that everyone will enjoy.  Choose a relaxing day at the beach playing in the sun and surf or take an exciting off-road-vehicle (ORV) ride to the top of a sand mountain.  Or you can play family-friendly golf courses, hike trails through the dunes, go boating or fishing on Lake Michigan or on inland lakes and rivers, bike the 22.5-mile-long Hart-Montague Rail Trail State Park, enjoy local culture, history, and festivals, or shop for fresh produce at area farm markets.  Whatever you choose, you’re guaranteed to leave with memories that will last a lifetime!


From the shimmering blue of the lakes and golden ribbons of sand, to The Village Green and its white-washed band shell, the village of Pentwater offers a slice of Americana not found much anymore.  This charming lakeside resort town harkens back to days of yore with its stately Victorians, homey family cottages, and historic downtown buildings.  One of the best features of Pentwater is that its sun-soaked beaches, marinas, and popular state park are within walking and biking distance from the heart of town. You can park your car and walk or pedal to restaurants, shops, and community activities. The Village Green at water’s edge is the center of summertime merrymaking – concerts, festivals, and special events.  And you can stroll along the break walls out to the harbor lights – great spots to watch ‘sunsational’ sunsets.


Lakes, lighthouses, and lazy summer days converge in Ludington for great summertime fun.  Enjoy the city’s spectacular half-mile-long white-sand public beach on Lake Michigan (Stearns Park Beach), the nearly seven-mile-long Lake Michigan beach in Ludington State Park, intriguing attractions, sensational sunsets, the unspoiled wilderness of the Manistee National Forest, and a slew of summertime soirees that will make vacation memories to last a lifetime.  Explore Historic White Pine Village, fish for lake salmon aboard a charter fishing boat, play golf on a championship golf course, admire stunning 19th century Victorian homes on Ludington Avenue, and marvel at the larger-than-life murals downtown.  At Waterfront Sculpture Park you can walk among whimsical bronze sculptures that grace the park’s manicured lawn, watch a blazing sunset over Lake Michigan, and see the S.S. Badger pulling into port or heading out of the harbor.

Manistee County

History is alive and well in Manistee – Michigan’s “Victorian Port City.”  A lumber boomtown more than a century ago, Manistee’s streets are lined with beautifully-restored Victorian-era mansions, public buildings, shops, and two historic theatres. The city’s scenic River Walk along the Manistee River winds through the heart of town offering prime vantage points for watching sailboats, power boats, and Great Lakes freighters, and also offers river-side access to downtown shops and restaurants. Generous golden-sand Lake Michigan beaches, championship golf courses, museums, art galleries, concerts and theatrical productions, a full-service casino, boating, fishing, festivals, and more round out your choices for a marvelous Manistee vacation.


Double your northwest Lower Michigan vacation fun in Onekama (oh-NECK-ah-ma). Snuggled between the shores of two magnificent lakes, this “Two Lake Town” offers you and your family the best of both worlds: the quiet inland harborage of Portage Lake and the commanding waters of Lake Michigan. Walk miles of pristine Great Lakes beach. Stroll along the Portage Lake breakwall to watch the sun set. Canoe and kayak. Sail and paddleboard. And test your angling skills on inland and Great Lakes waters. In fact, mark your calendar now for Onekama Marine, Inc.’s Memorial Weekend “Shake Down” Fishing Tournament, May 25-27, where contestants are on the hunt for salmon and trout.

With two lakes and countless acres of wooded dunes and a national forest nearby, outdoor recreational opportunities abound in Onekama – and they abound for everyone. Onekama has recently completed two Explore the Shores projects, which improved accessibility to its two public beaches – one on Lake Michigan and the other on Portage Lake. By mid-summer, an Explore the Shores universally-accessible kayak and canoe launch site on Portage Lake will open as well. There are also some great hiking and biking trails in the vicinity, including the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, Big M, Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore, and Betsie Valley Trails; not to mention golfing at more than 15 area golf courses.


Arcadia is a nature-lover’s delight offering sandy beaches, Lake Michigan access channel, deep water port, hiking and biking trails, and excellent fishing and boating. As you make your way along the beautiful scenic highway M-22 you will find yourself “on top of the world” when you reach the Arcadia Overlook (known as Inspiration Point). Once you reach the parking area, put on your walking shoes and travel up the 120 steps to the picturesque lookout that defines “Pure Michigan.”

Benzie County

You’ll treasure every moment you’re in beautiful Benzie County.  The southern gateway to one of the nation’s great national treasures, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (voted by viewers of Good Morning America as “the most beautiful place in America,”), Benzie County offers 30 miles of spectacular Lake Michigan shoreline and beaches, more than 50 inland lakes, 200 miles of rivers and streams, great fishing, and mile-upon-mile of hiking and biking trails.  It’s no wonder the area is know as “the best place in Michigan for outdoor sports and recreation.” But Benzie County offers more than just great natural beauty – it also offers great cultural beauty with artists’ galleries and studios, gourmet restaurants and craft-brew pubs, and numerous festivals and musical and theatrical productions in its quaint collection of vacation villages and towns including Benzonia, Beulah, Elberta, Frankfort, Honor, Lake Ann, and Thompsonville.

Leelanau County

The Leelanau Peninsula, the little finger of Michigan’s marvelous mitten, is big on bounty, beauty, and blue.  Embraced on three sides by Lake Michigan and its many bays and beaches, the Leelanau Peninsula is also located in the heart of northern Michigan wine country.

A drive along the peninsula’s breathtaking, shoreline-hugging M-22 offers sweeping views of endless blue horizon, the windblown dunes of Lake Michigan (including renowned Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore),  and countless orchards and vineyards as it threads its way through the quaint coastal towns of Suttons Bay, Omena, Northport, Leland, Glen Arbor, and Empire. Short jaunts off M-22 lead to the sleepy little villages of Cedar, Maple City, and Lake Leelanau.

Home to many talented artisans, you’ll find one-of-a-kind creations on display in galleries and studios in towns tucked away among the shoreline.  And exhilarating outdoor adventures await for boaters and anglers on Lake Michigan and the area’s inland lakes and streams, and on the scenic hiking and biking trails that wind through the dunes along the lakeshore.

At casual and find-dining restaurants throughout the county you can dine on local cuisine and sample regional vintages.  Choose from waterfront dining rooms, brew pubs, and colorful cafes that feature dishes prepared using locally-grown and produced ingredients.

Local Information

White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce

Silver Lake Sand Dunes-Hart Visitors Bureau

City of Hart

Pentwater Chamber of Commerce

Ludington Convention & Visitors Bureau

Benzie Convention & Visitors Bureau

Glen Arbor Chamber of Commerce

Approximate Driving Times

Muskegon to White Lake Area
20 minutes

White Lake Area to Silver Lake Area
25 minutes

Silver Lake Area to Pentwater
10-15 minutes

Pentwater to Ludington
15-20 minutes

Ludington to Manistee
30 minutes

Manistee to Benzonia
30 minutes

Frankfort to Sleeping Bear Dunes
40 minutes

Sleeping Bear Dunes to Suttons Bay
30 minutes

Benzonia to Interlochen
25 minutes

Interlochen to Traverse City
20-25 minutes

Suttons Bay to Traverse City
20-25 minutes

Dining Guide

View the North Shoreline Visitors Digital Edition for more information. Page  11.