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Oceana County Information

Oceana County was organized in 1855, it was named after its long shoreline on lake Michigan. The first known white settlement was a saw mill site built in 1849 at the mouth of Whiskey Creek. The county grew during the lumber era, with the development of Pentwater, Shelby, and Hart, the county seat. When the lumber boom came to a halt, farmers found the area an excellent place for orchards. Today, farming in Oceana County is very prosperous, holding the second largest fruit tree acreage in the state. Oceana County is famous as the “Asparagus Capital of the World” for its high production of asparagus. The annual National Asparagus Festival includes a parade and crowning of the Asparagus Queen. This is a source of great pride for those who are so crowned.



The City of Hart is home to a historic downtown area with great shopping, eating, and entertainment. It’s also home to Michigan’s first rail-trail, which provides 23 miles to be used for different recreational activities. 

Asparagus is known in Oceana County for its high production rate and is even home to the National Asparagus Festival. | West Michigan Guides Stock Photo


The 23-mile trail continues through the neighboring town of Shelby. The town is also home to several recreational parks and playgrounds — check out the newly developed, $5.3 million community park, too! 


Walking through downtown, you’re struck by the colorful storefronts that beckon you inside to explore their unique items…perfect for your home or that special gift. Discuss the day’s news inside one of Pentwater’s cozy restaurants, or take an ice cream cone and sit on the soft grass on the Village Green. The cool breezes off Lake Michigan will refresh you, and it’s fun to watch the boats come in and out of Pentwater marinas.

New Era

Home to the 700-acre Lewis Farms makes New Era a highly visited destination. At Lewis Farms, farm-goers can visit the petting zoo, fruit orchards, and more than 46 attractions to participate in!


Experience a selection of scenic trails for hiking and biking in Rothbury. Pay a visit to JJ Resort for a waterpark, winter tube sliding and more when you visit Rothbury. 


Tourism plays a vital part along the county’s coastline. Pentwater is a major summer resort, as is the Little Sable Point area, with Silver Lake and the sand dunes, one of the few places in the nation offering first class dune scooter rides to view the pristine sandy coastline along the Big Lake. Inland, many recreational spots abound in the Manistee National Forest, which dots the county. There are also great canoeing and fishing along the White River beginning at Hesperia. For sightseeing, fruit picking, or just plain outdoor fun, Oceana County is where you want to be!

Oceana County Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,307 square miles (3,384 km²), of which, 540 square miles (1,400 km²) of it is land and 766 square miles (1,985 km²) of it (58.64%) is water.

County Government

The county government operates the jail, maintains rural roads, operates the major local courts, keeps files of deeds and mortgages, maintains vital records, administers public health regulations, and participates with the state in the provision of welfare and other social services. The county board of commissioners controls the budget but has only limited authority to make laws or ordinances. In Michigan, most local government functions–police and fire, building and zoning, tax assessment, street maintenance, etc.–are the responsibility of individual cities and townships.

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