Ludington, Michigan, located on the scenic shores of Lake Michigan, is a beautiful and vibrant community that offers a diverse range of activities and attractions for residents and tourists alike. The city boasts a rich history, beautiful landscapes, and a thriving arts scene, providing visitors with plenty of exciting things to do. In this guide, we’ll explore 25 of the best things to do in Ludington, MI.
Ludington State Park
Ludington State Park is a 5,300-acre park featuring a stunning blend of sand dunes, forests, and wetlands. The park offers numerous recreational activities, such as hiking, swimming, fishing, and wildlife viewing. Don’t miss the iconic Big Sable Point Lighthouse, located within the park.
Stearns Park is Ludington’s most popular public beach, featuring a large, sandy shoreline, playgrounds, picnic areas, and a skate park. Relax on the beach, take a refreshing swim in Lake Michigan, or catch a picturesque sunset.
Big Sable Point Lighthouse
Located in Ludington State Park, the historic Big Sable Point Lighthouse is a must-visit attraction. Climb the 130 steps to the top for breathtaking views of Lake Michigan and the surrounding landscape. The lighthouse also hosts various events throughout the year, including moonlight climbs and music concerts.
Sandcastles Children’s Museum
The Sandcastles Children’s Museum is an interactive, hands-on learning center for kids of all ages. The museum features over 30 exhibits, ranging from science and art to history and culture, providing hours of educational fun for the entire family.
Ludington North Breakwater Light
Take a leisurely stroll along the Ludington North Breakwater and visit the historic Ludington North Breakwater Light. Climb to the top for panoramic views of Lake Michigan and the city of Ludington.
Port of Ludington Maritime Museum
The Port of Ludington Maritime Museum showcases the rich maritime history of the area. Housed in a former U.S. Coast Guard station, the museum features interactive exhibits, artifacts, and educational displays that celebrate Ludington’s nautical heritage.
Downtown Ludington offers a charming, walkable area full of shops, restaurants, galleries, and historical buildings. Explore the downtown area and discover unique local treasures, from handmade crafts and souvenirs to delicious food and drink options.
Mason County Sculpture Trail
The Mason County Sculpture Trail is a collection of outdoor sculptures scattered throughout Ludington and the surrounding area. The trail features works by local and regional artists, showcasing a variety of styles and themes that reflect the area’s culture and history.
Located along the shores of Lake Michigan, Waterfront Park is a beautiful green space offering walking paths, picnic areas, playgrounds, and stunning views of the lake. The park is also home to the Ludington Area Center for the Arts, which hosts various events and performances throughout the year.
Ludington Area Center for the Arts
This community-driven arts center offers a variety of events, workshops, and performances, ranging from visual arts exhibitions to theater and music performances. The center also provides art classes and workshops for all ages.
S.S. Badger Carferry
Take a trip on the S.S. Badger, the last coal-fired passenger steamship in operation in the United States. The historic carferry offers daily trips across Lake Michigan between Ludington and Manitowoc, Wisconsin, providing a unique and relaxing way to travel.
Ludington Charter Fishing
Ludington is a popular destination for charter fishing, with numerous companies offering guided trips to help anglers of all skill levels reel in their catch. Experience the thrill of catching salmon, trout, and other freshwater fish species in the waters of Lake Michigan and Pere Marquette Lake.
Pere Marquette River
The Pere Marquette River is a designated National Wild and Scenic River, offering excellent opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. The river is home to a variety of fish species, including salmon, steelhead, and trout, making it a popular destination for anglers.
Cartier Park is a beautiful 68-acre park featuring walking and biking trails, a disc golf course, picnic areas, and playgrounds. The park also offers access to Lincoln Lake, perfect for kayaking, canoeing, and fishing.
Historic White Pine Village
Step back in time at Historic White Pine Village, an outdoor museum featuring over 30 historical buildings and exhibits that showcase the history and culture of Mason County. Explore a one-room schoolhouse, a blacksmith shop, a general store, and many other fascinating buildings while learning about the area’s rich heritage.
Ludington Disc Golf Course
Located in Leviathan Park, the Ludington Disc Golf Course offers an 18-hole course for disc golf enthusiasts. The challenging course features a mix of wooded and open terrain, providing a fun and exciting experience for players of all skill levels.
Amber Elk Ranch
Amber Elk Ranch is a working elk farm that offers guided tours, providing visitors with a unique opportunity to learn about and interact with these majestic animals. The ranch also has a gift shop where you can purchase elk-related souvenirs and products.
Ludington Splash Pad
Cool off on a hot summer day at the Ludington Splash Pad, a popular water play area located in Copeyon Park. The splash pad features various water jets and fountains, providing hours of fun for kids and adults alike.
Mason County Eastern Trail
The Mason County Eastern Trail is a 13-mile rail trail that offers scenic views of forests, wetlands, and farmland. The trail is perfect for walking, jogging, or biking, and is also open for snowmobiling in the winter.
Ludington Area Jaycees Mini Golf
Enjoy a fun round of miniature golf at the Ludington Area Jaycees Mini Golf course. The 18-hole course offers a variety of challenging holes, making it a great activity for families and friends.
Wine and Beer Tasting
Ludington is home to several wineries and breweries, offering visitors the chance to sample locally-produced wines and craft beers. Visit Love Wines, Ludington Bay Brewing Company, or Jamesport Brewing Company for a tasting experience that showcases the flavors of the region.
The Mitten Bar
The Mitten Bar is a popular local establishment that offers a wide selection of Michigan-made craft beers, wines, and spirits. Enjoy live music, trivia nights, and other special events while sipping on your favorite beverage.
Ludington Pub Crawl
Explore Ludington’s vibrant nightlife scene by participating in a pub crawl. Visit various bars and pubs throughout the city, sampling local brews and meeting new people along the way.
Ludington Farmers Market
The Ludington Farmers Market, held from May through October, offers a wide variety of fresh, locally-sourced produce, meats, and artisan goods. Support local farmers and vendors while enjoying delicious, farm-fresh food.
Outdoor Concerts and Festivals
Throughout the year, Ludington hosts a variety of outdoor concerts and festivals, such as the Friday Night Live street parties, the Ludington Waterfront Art Fair, and the West Shore Art Fair. These events provide a lively atmosphere, showcasing local talent, arts, and culture while offering a fun and engaging experience for visitors of all ages.
With its beautiful landscapes, rich history, and thriving arts scene, Ludington, Michigan offers a wide array of activities and attractions that cater to a diverse range of interests. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, history buff, or art lover, there’s something for everyone in this charming city. From exploring the scenic Ludington State Park to embarking on a fishing adventure on Lake Michigan or the Pere Marquette River, Ludington offers countless opportunities for an unforgettable experience. So pack your bags and get ready to explore the best that this vibrant lakeside community has to offer!