A Ludington Summer Getaway: 15 Things to Do, Taste, See & Experience

Summer in Michigan is an experience all its own, but add the beauty and lake effect of one of its coastal towns to the mix, and voila ♥ pure magic!  The days that stretch between Memorial Day and Labor Day are long and hold endless possibilities for new adventures or lazy lake days.  Whatever you choose, we invite you to visit our coastal town and experience a Ludington summer, where every precious moment is savored!
We’ve put together our thoughts on the best ways to spend your summer days here in Ludington.  Consider it our version of lake life at its best.  We hope you’ll be inspired to create your plan of the best Ludington Summer Getaway!
  1. Spend a day on the water • From Lake Michigan to Hamlin Lake, to the Pere Marquette River, there are plenty of places to fish, canoe, kayak or sail.  If you’re looking to charter a fishing boat and crew or enjoy a scenic sail along the coast, check-out these packages!  You may also click here to learn more about kayak or canoe rentals and to plan your day on the water.
  2. Order a scoop or cone, or make your own sundae During the Summer of ’16, Ludington’s own House of Flavors broke a Guinness World Record for the longest ice cream dessert when they made a 2,970-foot-long sundae.  This third-generation, family run business knows a few things about great ice cream!  • If creating your own sundae with nearly limitless topping options is your idea of heaven, visit Krave Frozen Yogurt & Candy Shoppe in downtown Ludington.
  3. Hike a dune (or scale one in a dune buggy) • Declared the most popular state park in all of Michigan and just 12 minutes out our front door, Ludington State Park offers 5,300 acres of natural resources and unmatched beauty.  The dunes within the state park are worth the climb, as the views of the Lake and surrounding areas are stunning! •  Drive 20 minutes south to Silver Lake Sand Dunes to see one of the largest deposits of living dunes on the shores of Lake Michigan, where you can hike up on your own, or rent a dune buggy!
  4. See Lake Michigan from atop a lighthouse • As of June, 2018, the North Breakwater Light at Stearns Park is the #1 lighthouse to visit in Michigan…and The Weather Channel voted it “one of the top 10 lighthouses to see in the U.S.“!  Enjoy a leisurely walk along the pier to see this landmark, and then head North to Ludington State Park and hike out to Big Sable Point LighthousePsssst…guests of The Lamplighter B&B receive a complimentary pass to climb one of the lighthouses in the area!  
  5. Sip some vino & tour local vineyards • As part of the Northwest Coast of Michigan, Ludington is proud to be part of Michigan Wine Country!  Our Ludington bed and breakfast is centrally located to many Oceana, Mason, and Manistee County vineyards and wineries including our local Love Wines and nearby Oceana Winery, Jomagrha Vineyards & Winery, The Fox Barn Market & Winery, Douglas Valley Winery and Krolczyk Cellars.  During the summer months, several locations offer extended tasting room hours as well as live music…Salute!
  6. Try a new summer craft brew • With three breweries and the infamous Mitten Bar (voted one of the best beer bars in America) all minutes away from each other, you can easily spend a day tasting your way through Ludington and other “brewed in Michigan” flights.  Click here for more details on local breweries and craft brew stops in Ludington.
  7. Happy trails • Whatever your schedule may be, there’s a trail for you – whether its an hour, afternoon or entire day, lace up your hiking shoes and get going!  Ludington State Park offers 18 miles of trails, or you can venture off the beaten path in the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness and enjoy 14.5 miles of trails that are known for being less populated.
  8. Go for a spin • Bring your bikes (or travel light and rent from Spindrift Cycle Sports or Trailhead Bike Shop) and plan to bike your way through the many parks and scenic spaces Ludington offers.  We highly recommend the Hart-Montague Bike Trail.  The paved rail-trail spans 22.5 miles and over 225 acres between Hart and Montague – beautiful!
  9. Dine al fresco • The moment the weather turns, we start serving breakfast at our Ludington, Michigan B&B outside on our deck and patio.  There’s just something special about a great meal enjoyed in the fresh air!  Many of the restaurants in Ludington offer outdoor dining, or you can grab a picnic or to-go meal and head for the parks and beaches.  Looking for the most amazing fresh fish (smoked or fried) you’ve ever tasted?  Head to Bortell’s Fisheries and take your meal across the street to Summit Park…truly the best!
  10. Enjoy the arts • We’re proud to say many talented artists and photographers call Ludington home, and we’re just as thankful they share their artwork with us!  Be sure and visit the many galleries and studios while you’re in town, and plan your stay around the West Short Art Fair or Gold Coast Artisan Fair.
  11. Listen to live music • Enjoy a great dinner downtown and then head to Waterfront Park or Rotary Park to check out a variety of great local musicians, or head to one of the local pubs, bars or restaurants to see who’s playing!
  12. Get cultured • Ludington is known for its 28 miles of pristine beaches and stunning outdoor spaces.  Most aren’t aware of its rich cultural history and the fact that you can tour multiple “cultural trails” throughout Mason County including The Agricultural Trail, The Barn Quilt Trail, The Sculpture Trail and The Lumber Heritage Trail.  Spend a day exploring these trails and you’ll be an expert on Ludington’s history and culture!
  13. See the S.S. BadgerThe last coal-fired, steam powered passenger ship still sailing Lake Michigan, the Badger enters its home port of Ludington, Michigan each evening (mid-May through mid-October) just before 7PM.  Head to Waterfront Park to watch the 410′ carferry enter port and dock… a charming site that never seems to get old!  Settle in on a park bench, or walk around the port and enjoy the marina.
  14. Take in the beauty of a Lake Michigan sunset • Heading out to enjoy a sunset is like pressing the ‘pause’ button.  It allows time for reflection on the day’s events.  Gives you a moment to lock the memories away so you can recall them after you’ve returned home.  Head for the ideal spot – Ludington’s North Breakwater Light Pier, a bench or spot on the beach at Stearns Park, or atop a dune at Ludington State Park – and enjoy!  Visit here to check-out sunset times so you can plan your schedule accordingly.
  15. Enjoy a beach bonfire • On June 28, July 26 and August 23, 2018 head to Stearns Park from 8-10PM for a sunset beach bonfire and live music.  Seriously…it doesn’t get any more “summer” than this!!

Plan your Stay – Join us at our Ludington, Michigan Bed and Breakfast

When you visit Ludington, consider staying with us at The Lamplighter Bed & Breakfast of Ludington.  Our cozy bed and breakfast in Ludington, Michigan is loaded with old world charm and is walking distance to shops, restaurants and miles of Lake Michigan beachfront!  We have 5 rooms that offer a variety of amenities based on your needs, and also provide a full, hearty breakfast each morning.  Give us a call or drop us a note and begin planning your visit to Ludington, Michigan today!


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