Photo by Todd & Brad Reed Photography 

The Communities in West Michigan Provide a Thriving Arts Scene

Art can be complicated to explain, due to the diverse range of activities that are involved, including painting, photography, music, dance, theater, and more. The communities within West Michigan are alive with an array of cultural events that take place throughout the year. Combined with the beauty of lake views and richly forested land, this area of West Michigan has emerged as a venue for those who truly love all kinds of art.

Instrumental Music & Sound
Antler Bar and Grille


Nothing brings people together more than music, and there is certainly no shortage of concerts and performances in West Michigan. Summer music fills the air with events such as the Pentwater Civic Band concerts, Thursday night concert series in downtown Ludington, and live music during the Final Friday Experience events. Many of the local bars and restaurants host live music throughout the summer, as well. Not a week goes by that you can’t find a musical performance somewhere in West Michigan.

Our very own West Shore Community College presents its Performing Arts Series which includes entertaining plays, jazz and choir concerts, and unique artists gifted in piano, guitar, saxophone, and numerous other instruments. The hilariously funny and talented Scottville Clown Band has been entertaining crowds for well over 100 years. Members of the band come from all walks of life and all across the country. They are definitely the highlight of summer parades throughout the state.

Plays & Theater Performances

A movie is a nice escape from life, but a good live performance is hard to beat. Here in West Michigan we have three venues for outstanding plays. The Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts is where the famous actor James Earl Jones got his start and features top-notch performances by the Manistee Civic Players. West Shore Community College and the Ludington Area Center for the Arts also showcase local talent in their theater productions. Outdoor theatre performances of Shakespeare and other classical works come alive each summer during the Stratford on the Avenue Theatre Festival in downtown Ludington’s Rotary Park.


Amateur and professional photographers love the beauty of West Michigan and its spectacular scenery to create digital memories. Places like the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness,  the Manistee National Forest, and Ludington State Park provide the perfect backdrop for memorable vacation photos.

Summer Art Fairs

Small towns are known for arts and crafts fairs, and Ludington has two separate events during the summer. The first, the West Shore Art Fair, is a juried fine arts fair held in early July. The second event is the Gold Coast Artisan Fair held in mid-August. Pentwater has its Fine Arts Fair in mid-July on the Village Green, and other local communities such as Manistee also hold Art Fairs.

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    West Michigan Activities & Attractions

    Manistee National Forest

    Manistee National Forest together with the Huron National Forest occupies almost a million acres of land in Michigan’s lower peninsula.

    Lake Michigan Water Temperatures

    Before you make a splash in Lake Michigan, check out the water temperatures for beaches from Manistee, Ludington, Pentwater, and Silver Lake.

    Silver Lake State Park

    The Silver Lake State Park is 3,000 acres and is situated between Silver Lake and Lake Michigan, offering boating, fishing, swimming, & ORV.

    Grand Traverse Lighthouse

    The Grand Traverse Lighthouse is situated at the end of the Leelanau Peninsula within, about eight miles north of the town of Northport.

    Biking in West Michigan

    Much of West Michigan is bicycle-friendly, and you’ll find many nice paths on which to ride. It’s great exercise with great scenery to enjoy.

    Manistee’s Riverwalk

    The Manistee Riverwalk follows the Manistee River from Jones Street, under the US-31 bridge, behind downtown, and ends at First Street beach.