Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Ludington, MI

  • Published 2022/05/22

Ludington is the gateway to a plethora of fun.

The background of the majestic Lake Michigan will make you fall in love with the place.

Ludington has something for everyone, whether it be a family trip or a honeymoon.

With an abundance of natural beauty and a perfect tinge of history, the city can be one of the best ideas for your next vacation.

Here are the best things to do in Ludington, Michigan:

Check Out the Big Sable Point Lighthouse

Scenic view of Big Sable Point Lighthouse

Frederick Millett /

Ludington is incomplete without this beautiful work of art.

The Big Sable Point Lighthouse is undoubtedly the most attractive tourist spot in the city.

One of the most prominent Michigan lighthouses, the Big Sable Point Lighthouse holds a special place in the hearts of the people living in the community.

Close up of Big Sable Point Lighthouse

haveseen /

The path you take to go to the lighthouse might not be an easy one.

It’s a 1.8-mile path that includes a lot of hiking.

There are 130 steps to be taken, too.

The Big Sable Point Lighthouse, Ludington State Park, and the North Breakwater Light are the three Ludington delights that need to be covered on the first day of your trip.

All three are close to each other, and you can hike from one place to another.

Take a Trip to Ludington State Park

Tall grasses at Ludington State Park

ehrlif /

Ludington State Park is one of the most beautiful places in Ludington.

You can see some of the most picturesque lakes in Michigan, the Big Sable Point Lighthouse, and the North Breakwater Light all in one huge state park.

Shorelines of Lake Michigan at Ludington State Park

ehrlif /

Spanning 5,300 acres, the state park has some of the best views of Lake Michigan and Lake Hamlin.

You can even hike up along the shoreline and go camping.

Fishing is a popular activity in Ludington State Park as well.

Vibrant sunset at Ludington State Park

ehrlif /

Make Your Way to the North Breakwater Light

Lighthouse at North Breakwater Light

Craig Sterken /

The North Breakwater Light located within Ludington State Park.

This place will not disappoint you.

The lighthouse is located in a scenic region where Lake Michigan meets the Pere Marquette River, creating a picturesque scene.

The sunset is a sight that needs to be cherished from this spot.

Gorgeous sunset at North Breakwater Light

Kenneth Keifer /

You can see the S.S. Badger setting sail from here as well.

There are three decks in this tower, along with several lantern rooms.

Walk around the tower to take in all the beautiful sights.

Sail Away on the S.S. Badger

S.S. Badger passing close to the pier

Kenneth Keifer /

Want to set sail on a massive ferry and get to the Great Lakes?

Ludington provides a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Sailing from the city right till Manitowoc, the S.S. Badger is the most popular ferry around the area.

Tourist enjoying their ride in S.S. Badger

Aaron of L.A. Photography /

Did you know this ship is over 400 feet tall?

It can hold almost 600 passengers on board and can even accommodate vehicles.

You won’t ever get bored on the S. S. Badger, for there are a lot of games onboard.

Closer view of S. S. Badger

Aaron of L.A. Photography /

Want watch a movie?

There are big screens onboard, too.

Two restaurants are present here, both serving lip-smacking dishes.

Explore the Museums at Historic White Pine Village

Historic White Pine Village is another Ludington attraction that keeps the tourists interested and takes them on a whole new journey.

The museum is situated outdoors.

Most history buffs might already know about this historic location’s existence.

The site is filled with pure beauty, proudly overlooking the mesmerizing Michigan Lake.

There are almost 30 museums included within Historic White Pine Village.

The admission building contains many books about Mason County.

Make sure not to miss out on the ice cream at the Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor.

Cherish a Meal at Old Hamlin Restaurant

Exterior of Old Hamlin Restaurant

See page for author, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Old Hamlin Restaurant has been in Ludington for a long time.

It’d be a shame if you left the city without trying some of their excellent dishes.

The restaurant serves a unique mix of Greek, Italian, and Mexican cuisines.

Old Hamlin Restaurant serves breakfast all day, too.

Don’t miss out on their delicious pies, either.

Take a Walk around Downtown

Street view of Ludington Downtown

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Downtown Ludington is in perfect harmony with the city’s modern amenities.

You’ll always see all tourists and locals walking around or eating here.

The areas are lit up.

Antiques gift shop at Downtown Ludington

Wirestock Creators /

Downtown Ludington is a haven for shopping.

If you were looking for somewhere to shop for items to take back home with you, this is the place to do so—and at a low price.

There are a lot of restaurants downtown, so make sure not to head back to your hotel without treating yourself to a meal here.

Bakery at Downtown Ludington

The original uploader was SuperDude115 at English Wikipedia., CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Some of the best times to visit are in the summer and on New Year’s.

Summers are pleasant, and it remains open for a long time.

Meanwhile, on New Year’s Eve, a party goes on in the area.

Glimpse the Famous Bull Elk at Amber Elk Ranch

Though Amber Elk Ranch’s main attraction is a world-class bull elk, it has a zoo for kids, too.

The interactive is home to cute farm animals, and you can go and pet them.

The bull elk, however, undeniably grabs everyone’s attention, and you need to catch a glimpse of this amazing creature when you are in Ludington.

Amber Elk Ranch has 130 acres of green land, and you can even ride a wagon to explore the area.

Many farm animals roam around freely.

Taste the Best Beer in Town at Jamesport Center

Everyone in Ludington knows that Jamesport Center serves the best beer in town.

Want to unwind a bit after sightseeing?

MakeJamesport Center your next stop.

There is something surreal about the place.

It also has a restaurant, but the bar gets more attention from both locals and tourists.

The unique thing about this bar is you get to see how they make the different beers.

Pat Saxton is Jamesport Center’s head brewing chef here, and getting to see his art is truly a matter of luck.

The chicken pot pie is another menu item that deserves a special mention.

Treat Yourself to Wine and Cheese at the Fox Barn Market & Winery

If you are not much of a beer person, how does a glass of wine sound?

Wine deserves a serene atmosphere and some great views, and the Fox Barn Market & Winery is just the place for this.

The wines that you get here are traditional and high-quality.

Paired their luxurious wines with delicious cheese and fruits.

Enjoy all this on the winery’s patio while watching the sunset, and you’re in for a memorable experience.

Snap Pictures at Father Marquette National Memorial

Every history buff knows Jacques Marquette.

He was one of the finest explorers of his time.

But did you know that the Frenchman was a priest, too?

When he came to the lands of Ludington, he realized that the native Americans were going to need his help.

For this reason, he decided to teach them the basics of the elite French culture.

The Father Marquette National Memorial was built to pay respect to the great man.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources owns this memorial and all the grounds surrounding it.

There are even trails all around the area.

Go Camping at the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness

Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness

Paul Emch /

The Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness has a unique environment that is quite indescribable.

Located parallel to the shore of the great Michigan Lake, it has a lot of things worth boasting about.

These freshwater dunes have some of the best views and great camping sites.

A man enjoying a sunny day at Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness

Adam Jaenke /

Most people choose to spend a night or two here for the thrill.

Getting to see a starry night sky amid some sand dunes is absolutely lovely.

The Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness is spread across 3,450 acres, and the backdrop of the Manistee National Forest makes things even more delightful.

Snake passing through the grass at Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness

Eric Poulin /

Enjoy the Pere Marquette River

Pere Marquette River during dusk

Big Joe /

The Pere Marquette River is a sanctuary for those who want to enjoy the waters.

The vast river is exceptionally scenic.

You won’t ever run out of things to do in the area.

Take a day to enjoy and explore this huge river.

Tranquil water at Pere Marquette River

Karen M Miller /

The river stretches over 66 acres, but that does not indicate that it is very deep.

In fact, it is quite shallow, being only 2 feet deep.

At the most, it is 4 feet deep in some areas.

Huge fish at Pere Marquette River

Matt Jeppson /

Salmon is the best here, and fishing is allowed all year round.

You can even camp along the river banks and go hiking in the nearby trails.

Spend an Evening at Waterfront Park

Here’s another location for you to check out after a long day of sightseeing.

The sunsets in Ludington are especially breathtaking, and Waterfront Park is one of the city’s best viewing points.

Located downtown, the park is home to nine beautiful bronze sculptures.

Each of them portrays a significant part of Ludington’s history.

The park is a great place to kick back, relax, and snap beautiful photos.

Visit The Jam Farm

Before you leave Ludington, don’t miss out on a visit to The Jam Farm.

This family farm has earned quite a name for its homemade jams and dips.

In the beginning, they were only making delicious jams from the berries they grew on their properties, but as time went on, The Jam Farm expanded their business.

Now, you can even get some delicious warm bread to pair up with your jam, dips, or even granola.

The recipes they use for making these delicacies have been passed down through generations, promising only the best quality.

Located very close to Lake Michigan, The Jam Farm is one of Ludington’s top attractions.

Have Your Kids Explore Sandcastles Children’s Museum

Sandcastles Children’s Museum began as a summer sampling museum in 2006 but has now grown into a fantastic learning and play facility.

Its increasing popularity is shown by the over 20,000 yearly tourists.

Various seminars and initiatives for children are made possible thanks to many organizations’ generous contributions and efforts.

Activities include dress-up, pretend play and more at several stations.

The play-doh table, little pizza, and grocery shop are favorites with the little ones.

Enjoy a Fun Day in the Sun Stearns Park Beach

You can enjoy different activities with the 2,500-foot stretch of Stearns Park Beach in Ludington.

You may take a refreshing dip in the lake, relax on the beach, play a ball game, make sandcastles, or walk down the shore and take in the breathtaking views.

Families with strollers, visitors in wheelchairs, and others may quickly get to the beach thanks to three accessible paths throughout the park.

This park has been recognized as one of the easiest to get to.

Swimming, fishing, tubing, and sailing are all water-based sports.

Unwind in the shade of the park’s big grassy area and picnic at the park’s picnic tables.

Public toilets, water fountains, free Wi-Fi, and free parking are just a few of the park’s perks.

In addition to a skating area, the course features shuffleboard courts and a play area for children.

Explore the Exhibits at Ludington Area Center for the Arts

One of the main goals of the Ludington Area Center for the Arts (LACA) is to build community connections via art.

The center hosts a wide range of seminars, lectures, exhibits, and performances at the core of the local art scene.

Participate in various art classes and learn new talents while having a good time.

There are many ways to become involved in the arts, from attending concerts to watching movies to participating in art critiques.

Exhibits of visual arts are also held at the center regularly.

Join Art Classes at Art By Mary Case Gallery & Studio

You may see a wide variety of exquisite art pieces in this gallery.

Mary Case and other carefully chosen artists from both the local region and throughout the country created the pieces.

Many of the one-of-a-kind items are for sale.

You’ll find everything from paintings to sculptures to ceramics to woodwork to leatherwork to prints in the gallery.

In addition, you may sign up for a wide range of art classes and workshops.

Go Camping at Buttersville Park

Buttersville Park, spanning 18.5 acres, is perched high on the cliffs above Lake Michigan.

The park’s lake and beach are close by, and visitors may also stroll through the area’s lovely woods.

Electrical hookups and showers are all present and correct in the camping area.

Fire pits and tables and chairs make outdoor eating a cinch.

If you opt to just have a day tour, you may meet the friendly resident deer, appreciate the views, and picnic.

You can even let your kids wild in the play area, available to guests.

Final Thoughts

In addition to its picturesque museums and restaurants, Ludington boasts an excellent marina, brewery, and Lake Michigan beaches.

Get away from it all in the picturesque lakefront town of Ludington, Michigan.

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