Things to do in Ludington

Ludington is a western Michigan lake town with big things to offer— from pet-friendly beaches to great local food, it offers beautiful scenery coupled with small-town vibes. Here are our picks for the best things to do in Ludington.

Photo by Rachel Kramer

Big Sable Point Lighthouse

The Ludington State Park is worth a trip north of the city in its own right— the park has clear blue waters, pet-friendly sandy beaches, and plenty of trails to trek. But for those craving a more active form of recreation, the Big Sable Point Lighthouse is a must-see. Take a hike to see the lighthouse that was honored with the Featured Lighthouse of the Year award.

The S.S. Badger 

The S.S. Badger is the largest car ferry on the Great Lakes, traveling from Ludington to Manitowoc, Wisconsin. The ferry offers two restaurants, a video arcade, shopping, movie screenings, and more. If you take an evening trip, don’t miss the beautiful Lake Michigan sunset!

The Jam Farm

Located outside of Ludington in the countryside, the Jam Farm is the best place in the area to find homemade jam. The fruit used in the tasty creations is always seasonal, fresh, and local. Don’t worry— you won’t find any artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives in these home-grown treats.

Amber Elk Ranch

For a memorable day, visit the Amber Elk Ranch. Go on a wagon ride around the property to get a close look at the cows, spikers, calves, and bull elk. The ranch also has a petting zoo.

Photo by John Anes

Sterns Park

Located in the downtown area, Ludington’s Sterns Park is the largest beach in the city. Enjoy free parking, concessions, and a playground. The park features the city’s second lighthouse, the North Breakwater Light, which is just a short walk from the main beach.

Sandcastles Children’s Museum

A must-see if you have children in tow, Sandcastles Children’s Museum offers educational and entertaining exhibits designed for young minds. Current exhibits include Egypt, Take Flight, Puppet Theatre, and more.

Port of Ludington Maritime Museum

Introduced this year, the Port of Ludington Maritime Museum teaches visitors about the ships that have come to the city’s shores and how the harbor has evolved over time, as well as the many men and women who spent most of their lives on Lake Michigan.

Jamesport Brewing Company

As a full-scale restaurant and brewery, Jamesport Brewing Company offers great food and and a memorable experience. Be sure to get a tour of the brewery before or after your meal to get a behind-the-scenes look at how their signature craft beer is made. The restaurant offers remixes on classics such as their cherry bourbon sirloin and lobster mac and cheese. For lighter options, try the Michigan cherry pecan salad or the Jamesport Cheese Ale Soup. Don’t forget to order a brew with your meal— with Scottish and German-inspired beers like Altbier to seasonal creations like Blueberry Wheat, there’s plenty to try.

House of Flavors

Photo by Jen

As Michigan’s largest ice cream manufacturer, House of Flavors is the perfect place to get the frozen treat. With over 3,000 different ice cream recipes, the shop has something for everyone. House of Flavors offers classics like vanilla as well as Michigan-inspired flavors like Michigan Pot-Hole (featuring thick fudge and chocolate asphalt) and Mackinac Island Fudge. Along with ice cream, the shop also has a full food menu, with sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, salads, soups, sides, and all-day breakfast.

The Mitten Bar

The Mitten Bar is your one-stop shop for Michigan-made beer, wine, and spirits— in fact, they don’t sell anything else. With a commitment to celebrating our great state’s culture and community, the owners will gladly teach you all you need to know about Michigan-made beverages. The bar features live entertainment and special events weekly.

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