Ok, the fact that the harbormaster took the time to write a letter thanking us for visiting isn’t the only reason why White Lake and the twin-cities of Whitehall and Montague rock, but it certainly illustrates the hospitality and service we’ve experienced during all of our stays at the White Lake Municipal Marina.
They’ve got a great thing going there, and they don’t have a lot of traffic. If you’re planning a trip along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, make a stop in White Lake. You’ll enjoy a restful stay in a quiet marina with clean, modern facilities and a helpful staff.
While you’re there, be sure to walk the pedestrian/bike path from Whitehall into the neighboring town of Montague. Not only can you stock up on groceries, but you can indulge in one of the best chocolate malts at Lipka’s Old-Fashioned Soda Fountain, reportedly one of the oldest continuously operated soda fountains in the state. You’ll get first-class treatment from Peggy, who’s been working there since her teens when her father, a pharmacist, owned the building.
Down the street a couple doors is The Book Nook & Java Shop, a hip little bookstore with a coffee bar, reading area, and a pretty consistent lineup of evening performances. Grab a coffee and hangout in a comfy chair with your iPad or a good book for an hour or two.
Back in Whitehall there are a few shops and eateries along the main street downtown. There’s a hardware store and a Napa Auto Parts if, like us, you need a few odd supplies: denatured alcohol for the stove, vinyl hose for a ruptured water line, or whatever. For a total trip, visit Armstrong’s Bait and Tackle Shop just through the park by the marina. What an experience! The place has been owned by the same family since the 40s – and they’ve been collecting inventory ever since. Inventory of all kinds – radio-controlled cars, boats, and planes; camping and archery gear; boating equipment; oh, and fishing tackle – is stacked floor to ceiling, leaving little hobbit-like paths through the piles.
We spent a few days in White Lake this summer and indulged in more than a couple delicious chocolate malts from Lipka’s, walked the path between Whitehall and Montague several times, and wandered in and out of the downtown shops. We also stocked up on worms for the boys, who put them to good use catching scores of bluegill, perch, sunfish, and even a couple bass.
Whitehall is one of our standard stops on our trips along the coast. It’s located just south of Little Sable Point and 11nm north of Muskegon. If you’re headed by, stop in for a day at least. If anchoring is more your style, there is good holding in most areas.