Best of Ludington & Outdoor Adventures

Ludington is a popular vacation destination, and it's no wonder why. What other town has a carferry, two lighthouses, the #1 state numerous parks and golf courses? Below we've listed what's best about Ludington and what fun you can have in the great outdoors.

State Park
Ludington State Park - It's the #1 State Park in the Midwest, and here's why! Campgrounds, lighthouse, dam, beaches, hiking and biking trails, and informative summertime programs give visitors so much to do. Woods, water,'ll find it all at the Ludington State Park.

Car Ferry
Lake Michigan Carferry - This iconic 410' steamship is the largest carferry to sail Lake Michigan, and has been in operation for over 60 years. During the summer you can make the 4-hour cruise across the lake to Manitowoc, Wisconsin and have a mini-cruise experience.

Stearns Park
Stearns Park Beach - This expansive beach right at the end of Ludington Avenue has everything you want. Dig your feet into the soft, sugar-like sand...or use one of the two accessible walkways from the concession area down to the shoreline. Enjoy a picnic in the shaded grassy area, play mini-golf, or take a walk out to the North Breakwater Light.

Big Sable
Two Lighthouses - Yes, Ludington has not just one but two magnificent lighthouses! The North Breakwater Light at Stearns Park Beach sits at the end of the half mile breakwall and is open in the summer for tours. Big Sable Point Lighthouse is inside the Ludington State Park and offers a one-of-a-kind view from the top.

Waterfront Park
Downtown Waterfront - Once just home to numerous carferry docks, the waterfront has been transformed into a beautifully landscaped park with two marinas. Waterfront Park features a playground, tables and benches, and an amphitheater for outdoor summer concerts, such as the Rhythm & Dunes concert series. The Channel Walkway takes you from the city marina all the way to Stearns Park Beach.

Festivals & Events - There's always something to do or someplace to go in Ludington. Popular summertime events include the Lakestride Half-Marathon, 4th of July Freedom Festival, Friday Night Live, Movies in the Park, and the Western Michigan Fair. Autumn brings not only vibrant colors to the area, but fall festivals and Halloween events. Thousands come to Ludington on New Year's Eve for the Lighted Ball Drop and fireworks display.

Places to Visit - While you're in Ludington, be sure to stop into the Ludington Area Center for the Arts, located right downtown. Throughout the year you can take an art, music or dance class, view interesting exhibits, or catch a performance. There are writing and craft workshops and even a gift shop on the main floor. If you have kids, you must take them to Sandcastles Children's Museum. Children absolutely love the hands-on exhibits and activities. There's even a real Cessna airplane and a replica of the S.S. Badger. If history is more your thing, stroll through Historic White Pine Village and see what life was like in Mason County during the late 1800s. Set upon 13 acres overlooking Lake Michigan, you can visit over 30 museums, including the original Mason County Courthouse.

Outdoor Adventures

Beaches & Parks - What could be more enjoyable than a day at the beach? If your idea of a perfect summer day is swimming, sunning, or people-watching, then you've discovered paradise. About a dozen pretty parks are scattered throughout the region--some along the lakeshore--others among wooded regions. Most parks have picnic tables, grills, and playgrounds.
Bike Trails- The Ludington area has many safe and scenic areas in which to bike. You can choose to ride along the downtown waterfront, bike through a wooded forest, or take a trip out to the Ludington State Park. Either way, you'll enjoy fresh air, exercise, and wonderful views.

Golf - Beautifully landscaped golf courses are plentiful here in West Michigan. Swinging a golf club is relaxing and great exercise, and when you've got fresh air and gorgeous surroundings, why wouldn't you want to head out on the links?

Disc Golf - Disc golf shares many similarities with traditional golf, but instead of a ball, players toss a disc down a course and try to get to the target in as few throws as possible. The winner is the player who completes the course with the lowest score.

Fishing - Whether it's fishing for salmon on Lake Michigan, trout in the PM River, or walleye in Hamlin Lake--we've got the best variety here in Ludington. And local tournaments give anglers a chance to add a little money to their pocket in addition to the fish in their bucket.

Camping - Camping is becoming a very popular activity for families and couples. It's inexpensive, and with all the forests and natural woodlands in West Michigan, there's never a shortage of campgrounds.
Nothing is better than sitting around a campfire with those you care about and enjoying all the activities within the campground; such as swimming, biking, hiking, and fishing.

Fall Color Tour - Autumn is one of our most beautiful seasons here in West Michigan. The trees turn glorious colors, and the landscape is awash in golds, reds and oranges. Driving down one of our back roads is both relaxing and pleasing on the eye. It's also a good time to check out the

Winter Fun - There's no need to hibernate during the winter months in West Michigan-not with all the great outdoor activities that use the snow for fun! For those who love snowshoeing or cross country skiing, you won't have to travel far to enjoy your sport. Anglers actually love the cold winter months, as they can get out their shanties and try their luck at ice fishing. Some record-breaking fish have been caught on both Pere Marquette and Hamlin Lakes.

For more activities & attractions, check out these additional links for Things to Do in West Michigan:

West Michigan Map
Ludington Activities & Things to Do -- Play on a beautiful beach, take a tour at Historic White Pine Village, or explore the barn quilt trail, murals or sculptures in the county--Ludington offers many fun things to do for the entire family!
Have Fun in Manistee, Michigan -- Explore Manistee's historic downtown district and riverwalk, hike the Manistee National Forest, canoe on the Manistee River, and more.
Hamlin Lake -- Just 4 miles north of Ludington, Hamlin Lake is a great destination for boating, fishing and climbing dunes! The Hamlin Lake shoreline is also part of the Ludington State Park.
Silver Lake Sand Dunes -- Visiting the Silver Lake Sand Dunes makes for a terrific vacation because you can take your off-road vehicle for a spin on the scenic sand dunes overlooking Lake Michigan and Silver Lake.
Things to Do in Pentwater, Michigan -- Nothing is quite like the quaint, artsy, harbortown village of Pentwater. Don't miss the popular Charles Mears State Park beach on Pentwater's Lake Michigan shoreline.
Lots of Activities in Scottville, Michigan -- Explore the Riverside Park along the National Scenic Pere Marquette River.
Canoeing or Fishing on the Pere Marquette River -- Many boat liveries offer canoe rentals.
Also, check out West Michigan Guides and our locally produced directory for our largest lists of Things to Do in West Michigan.
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Last Updated: 12-23-2019 02:35 PM ID: 1777