Picturesque Pere Marquette Beach in Muskegon is greatly underrated, but the bar that is located adjacent to the property is getting noticed nationwide.The Deck Bar in Muskegon has made a list of the top beach bars in the nation. The bar was the only Michigan entry on the list, a fact that the web site Thrillist found surprising when honoring the restaurant on its list of the 21 Best Beach Bars In America.

For a state blessed with an abundance of gorgeous shoreline, actual beach bars are in relatively short supply in Michigan, with marina-set drinkers and dockside boozing far outnumbering places where you can just kind of amble over to the sand (or, if you’re in the Upper Peninsula, the rocky shores of Lake Superior). Muskegon’s The Deck, though, sits right on the the beautiful Pere Marquette Park beach, where the smoke that instills its house-made BBQ with flavor wafts over to the waters of Lake Michigan, beer is paired with live music, and the sunsets serve as their own show. Also, there’s a landlocked pontoon. This is a lower-Michigan beach bar, after all, and a rare one at that. Just be sure to wait 30 minutes to swim after your meat and three.

Beach bars in short supply in Michigan? Ummm, I can only speak for myself, but I can think of ten off the top of my head, and that's just between here and Ludington. I can think of two in Grand Haven alone. I don't know how technical they're getting with the term 'beach bar'.

The Deck Bar is one of the few that is literally 'on the beach', that much is sure. Their location has been home to a long line of bars/restaurants, many of whom have struggled. Mainly because the winters are long in West Michigan, and not many seek the beach as a cold weather drinking and dining experience.

But The Deck has appeared to buck that trend, and since they are currently owned by a group that owns several West Michigan restaurants, I assume they can absorb the seasonal nature of the beach bar business. The Deck is closed in the winter.

Like many of its predecessors, The Deck wins by embracing the beach vibe with tropical drinks, live entertainment and a casual menu.

I can remember a bar called 'Bobby's On The Beach' in that location when I lived along the Lakeshore, which got into trouble with the health department at one time because they served live goldfish in their shots of liquor. There was even a fish handshake you would do after downing the fish with the liquor.

So head out and experience the wonderful Pere Marquette Beach, and The Deck, and a good time to do that is during the Burning Foot Beer Fest on the beach later this month.