Photo by Todd & Brad Reed Photography
There are so many Ludington beaches to discover! You’ll find miles of clean, sandy beaches along Lake Michigan and Hamlin Lake, just minutes from wherever you are in the area. Stearns Park is the most popular beach, with FREE parking, concessions, playground, Skate Park, mini golf, and shuffleboard. Whether you enjoy swimming, skiing, tubing, boating, or fishing- Ludington’s beaches and lakes provide hours of relaxing enjoyment and exhilarating adventure.
Midwest Living magazine voted the Ludington State Park the #1 state park in the Midwest, with seven miles of Lake Michigan shoreline. Enjoy camping, boating, fishing, swimming, or hike on one of eight marked trails that wind through the park and bring you face to face with nature’s beauty. Two highlights of the Ludington State Park are the Hamlin Lake Dam and the Big Sable Point Lighthouse. While you’re at the Lake Michigan Beach be sure to visit the Beach House for concessions and a great view or head over to Hamlin Beach and rent a canoe, kayak, paddleboard or paddle boat for hours of fun.
Ludington is the home port of the largest carferry to sail the Great Lakes. The S.S. Badger carferry makes its voyage from Ludington to Manitowoc, Wisconsin mid-May to mid-October. This 410′ ship carries up to 620 passengers and 180 vehicles. Onboard you can play Badger Bingo, watch a movie, shop, or enjoy a meal in one of their two restaurants. Kid’s activities include a video arcade, coloring contests, and playroom. The best part of the journey is sitting on deck and enjoying the view–including spectacular sunsets. The S.S. Badger is on the National Register of Historic Places. Read about the best places to watch the carferry sail and helpful hints when arriving by the carferry.
Anglers from all over know that Ludington is the #1 salmon port on Lake Michigan. Numerous Ludington charter captains have years of experience on the big lake and are eager to take you on a fishing excursion. Check out current and archived Fishing Reports for Lake Michigan charter fishing. Ludington area inland lakes are wonderful for fishing as well. Hamlin Lake is full of northern pike, bass, perch, and bluegill or ice fish in the winter for panfish and walleye. There’s also great fishing in nearby Pere Marquette Lake and the Pere Marquette River.
Ludington is famous for it’s summer events but also offers many events in the “quiet season” that keep people coming back all year long!
Farmers Markets run from May-September in downtown Ludington’s Legacy Plaza. One of the best fall events in Ludington is Octoberfest which offers beer, great food, and live music. And Friday Night Live has been revamped to run on the last Friday of each month from April-September and renamed “Final Friday Experience“. Thousands of people descend on downtown Ludington for the annual New Year’s Eve Ball Drop where they enjoy an entertainment tent and the Ball Drop at midnight with fireworks to follow.
As for summer, there’s definitely no shortage of events to keep visitors and locals alike entertained. If you’re into running, the Ludington Lakestride offers a 5k, 10k, or Half Marathon in June. For those artsy folks, Ludington hosts two popular Arts & Crafts Fairs in Rotary Park each summer. The West Shore Art Fair is held in July and the Gold Coast Artisan Fair is held in August. Easily one of Ludington’s most popular events, the Ludington Area Jaycees Freedom Festival, is held on July 3rd-4th.