THE AREA

  • Summer Activities
  • Winter Activities
  • Winter Activities
  • Restaurants
Summer Activities

Ludington State Park

Bounded by Lake Michigan on the west and Hamlin on the east with Sable River running between it's an ideal place for all kinds of water sports. Kayaks, canoes, tubes and paddle boats are available to rent at the concessions area on the Hamlin beach. On land there are 18 miles of trails through forest, marshes, dunes and along the river.


Golf

Ludington is home to three golf courses with more courses in the surrounding area. Also see Disc Golf.

Beaches

Catch the rays of the sun at Ludington Beaches. The state park has sandy beaches both on Lake Michigan and Hamlin Lake. In town there is Stearn's Park which includes the pier and the North Breakwater Lighthouse. Across the harbor is Buttersville Park, a little smaller and quieter place to relax. (Note Buttersville Park is dog-friendly so you may see a few K-9 friends).


Local History

Interested in local history? Visit Historic White Pine Village to see historical buildings and artifacts from Mason County past. Also learn of the maritime shipping and car ferry history at our new Maritime Museum.


Explore the Ludington lighthouses.

Hike or bike out to the Big Sable Lighthouse located in Ludington State Park. Visitors can climb the tower and explore the information center and gift shop. This is about a two mile hike. Several days during the summer months there are bus shuttles going out to the lighthouse. The North Breakwater Light is accessible from Stearn's Park close to the downtown area.


Go fishing!

On your own you can fish off the pier, or head to Pere Marquette River. There's also docks on Lincoln Lake in Cartier Park. Or take it up a notch and go charter fishing. Ludington has a number of captains with boats just waiting for your call! Here is the info on one of these boats, Reel Obsession.


Take a cruise

Maybe your looking for a nice cruise on the water. Be your own captain and rent a pontoon boat on Hamlin Lake. Or kayak or canoe on the Pere Marquette River. Several of the charter boats offer a cruise and you can let someone else show you around the lake. Or take a 4 hour cruise across the Lake to Manitowoc Wisconsin on the SS Badger car ferry.


Shop for produce

Ludington is also orchard and farm country. Buy fresh produce right from the farm! Some of our favorite places to shop are The Jam Farm, Orchard Market, Kistlercrest Farms and Christoffersen Farms. Cherries, apples, peaches, berries and maple syrup are examples of the wonderful produce from the Ludington area.



Winter Activities

Hiking, Snowshoeing, cross country skiing

The state park is wonderful for hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. There are 18 miles of trails. Some are specifically designated for cross country skiing. The park is beautiful when decked in the snow. It’s so quiet. When on the higher trails such as the Skyline Trail one can see for miles across the lake or over the dunes. Coming soon? Check the weather forecast.

Snowshoe-making class

In November Ludington State Park offer snowshoe-making classes. Participants work on their shoes at the warming shelter and spend the day making a quality pair of snowshoes.

Night hikes at the state park

A fun and free evening activity takes place on selected nights in January and February when the trails are lit with lanterns. Experience the park at night. During the walk hikers will find a warming shelter where they can take a break with other hikers and enjoy a steaming cup of hot chocolate. Mmmm.

Noordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area

Noordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area is also a beautiful place to hike but note that trails are not groomed in winter. If snow is deep the trails may be difficult to find and navigate. The Big M Trail and the Pentwater Pathway are favorites for cross-country skiing.

Indoor ice skating

If you enjoy gliding across the ice, Indoor skating is available at the West Shore Community College, (see skating at WSCC .)

Sledding

"For fun in the snow with just your sled or toboggan, try your luck at various hills and dunes within the Ludington State Park, or Water Tower Hill on South Staffon and Melendy Streets in Ludington." visitludington.com

Skiing

About an hour north is Crystal Mountain and  Caberfae Peaks for downhill skiing and snowboarding.

Horseback riding

Head south to New Era (about 32 miles) and try horseback riding, a hay ride or sleigh ride at Rainbow Ranch. These activities of course should be booked ahead since winter hours are often reduced. And if you're going to New Era, schedule a tour of Country Dairy to see the operations and taste some of their awesome ice cream.

Wagon and sleigh rides

Take an afternoon or daytrip north to Fantail Farm, near Benzonia, MI. It's about 60 to 75 miles north of Ludington, depending on the route. Trails on the 120 acre farm wind up the hills through the woods and around the fields. Owner Susan recommends calling ahead to schedule a sleigh or wagon ride, and then keep in touch on facebook. where they post weather updates. Michigan weather is not always predictable so be flexible. Plan about an hour and twenty minutes at the farm to experience the ride and meet the horses in the barn. They have several wagons and sleighs and up to 4 available time slots per day. While you're in the area take time to drive through the little towns of Frankfort and Elberta, Benzonia and Beula. You'll find shops and restaurants--keep in mind that they are seasonal towns and not everything will be open but you should find a place to eat. Visit the Point Betsie lighthouse in Frankfort..

Fantail Farm : 4700 Wallaker Rd Benzonia MI 49616, tel: 231 930 7216.

Winter sunsets

In late afternoon don't miss an opportunity to take in a winter sunset with the North Breakwater lighthouse in the scene, right down the street at Stearn’s Park. The ice on the pier, heavy clouds with the sun poking through, waves crashing against the pier--no two sunsets look the same. But please be careful, do not walk on the pier when it's icy or the waves are high.

Sit by the fireplace and relax in the parlor

Sit by the fireplace with a warm beverage. Put on some music. Read or play some games. We’ll have hot chocolate, coffee, tea, and cookies available. We also have a few board games and plenty of table space for playing games. We have books on local history, photography and history of the Cartiers, the family that built this house. Magazines and local newspaper are available as well. Feel free to order take-out and use our dining room. We can supply the dishes and utensils needed.

So you can see, with a little planning the non-summer seasons can also provide a lot of fun in Ludington. Come and stay with us!

Winter Activities

Hiking, Snowshoeing, cross country skiing

The state park is wonderful for hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. There are 18 miles of trails. Some are specifically designated for cross country skiing. The park is beautiful when decked in the snow. It’s so quiet. When on the higher trails such as the Skyline Trail one can see for miles across the lake or over the dunes. Coming soon? Check the weather forecast.

Snowshoe-making class

In November Ludington State Park offer snowshoe-making classes. Participants work on their shoes at the warming shelter and spend the day making a quality pair of snowshoes.

Night hikes at the state park

A fun and free evening activity takes place on selected nights in January and February when the trails are lit with lanterns. Experience the park at night. During the walk hikers will find a warming shelter where they can take a break with other hikers and enjoy a steaming cup of hot chocolate. Mmmm.

Noordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area

Noordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area is also a beautiful place to hike but note that trails are not groomed in winter. If snow is deep the trails may be difficult to find and navigate. The Big M Trail and the Pentwater Pathway are favorites for cross-country skiing.

Indoor ice skating

If you enjoy gliding across the ice, Indoor skating is available at the West Shore Community College, (see skating at WSCC .)

Sledding

"For fun in the snow with just your sled or toboggan, try your luck at various hills and dunes within the Ludington State Park, or Water Tower Hill on South Staffon and Melendy Streets in Ludington." visitludington.com

Skiing

About an hour north is Crystal Mountain and  Caberfae Peaks for downhill skiing and snowboarding.

Horseback riding & sleigh rides

Head south to New Era (about 32 miles) and try horseback riding, a hay ride or sleigh ride at Rainbow Ranch. These activities of course should be booked ahead since winter hours are often reduced. And if you're going to New Era, schedule a tour of Country Dairy to see the operations and taste some of their awesome ice cream.

Winter sunsets

In late afternoon don't miss an opportunity to take in a winter sunset with the North Breakwater lighthouse in the scene, right down the street at Stearn’s Park.

Sit by the fireplace and relax in the parlor

Sit by the fireplace with a warm beverage. Put on some music. Read or play some games. We’ll have hot chocolate, coffee, tea, and cookies available. We also have a few board games and plenty of table space for playing games. We have books on local history, photography and history of the Cartiers, the family that built this house. Magazines and local newspaper are available as well. Feel free to order take-out and use our dining room. We can supply the dishes and utensils needed.

So you can see, with a little planning the non-summer seasons can also provide a lot of fun in Ludington. Come and stay with us!

Restaurants


Ludington and the surrounding area has many great eating experiences. We've listed most of them along with their menus, features and a few of our recommendations. Enjoy your dinner!

Guide to restaurant features:

(L) lunch, (D) dinner, (O) outdoor seating (A) serves alcohol,

(E) occasional live entertainment, (B&E) Bob and Ellen Recommended

Ludington restaurants within walking distance

Luciano's Ristoranti 103 W. Ludington Ave. (corner of Ludington Ave. and James St.), (231) 843-2244,

(6 min.) L, D, A, O menu

Barley and Rye, 107 W Ludington Ave., (231) 425-4390, (6 min.) L, D menu

The Mitten Bar, 109 W Ludington Ave., (231) 843-7616 (6 min.) L, D, E B&E

Sportman’s Irish Pub, 111 W Ludington Ave., (231) 843-2138. Veteran Irish-style bar offering thin-crust pies and other grub in a convivial atmosphere. (6 min.) L, D, A, B&E menu

Old Hamlin Restaurant, 122 W Ludington Ave., (231) 843-4251. Iconic, circa-1942 American spot for Greek dishes and a salad bar amid photo-covered walls. Pie seems to be another favorite here. (6 min.) B, L, D

Thai Mango, 106 N James St. Thai food carry-out. ( 6 min.) L, D B&E

The Blue Moon Bistro 125 S James St., (231) 843-2001, Warm, family-owned restaurant with global (American, French and Japanese) flavors, sushi, cocktails and rooftop dining. (6 min.) L, D, A, O, E B&E menu

The Ludington Pub, 209 S James St., (231) 843-3663. Locals favorite, good Sunday night entertainment (7 min.) L, D, A, E

Ludington Bay Brewing Co 515 S. James Street, 231.239.6690 Microbrewery. " where people can share memorable experiences over a well poured pint." L, D, A, O, E B&E

The Q Smokehouse, 225 S James St., (231) 425-3933. Superb smoked BBQ and southern home-style sides and sauces. (7 min.) L, D, B&E menu

Chef John’s Bakery and Café, 110 W Filer St., (231) 843-3327, www.chef-johns.com. Open for breakfast and lunch ‘till 4 p.m. (8 min.) Amazing sandwiches and we love the dill havarti soup. B, L B&E menu

Jamesport Brewing Company, 410 S James St., (231) 845-2522, . Gastropub/Microbrewery in a Victorian store front serves diverse beers and hearty grub in warm, rustic surroundings. Outdoor seating available. (10 min.) L, D, A, O, E B&E menu

Timbers 320 S James St., 231-425-9111 Gastropub, menu spans steaks, chicken, fish, pasta and great gourmet hamburgers L, D, A, O, E menu

House of Flavors, 402 W Ludington Ave., (231) 845-5785. American favorites like roasted turkey and homemade ice cream served amid retro, 1950s-style decor. (13 min.) B, L, D, B&E menu icecream menu

PM Steamers, 502 W Loomis St., (231) 843-9555. Waterfront (marina) eatery featuring seafood from the Great Lakes, as well as local meats and produce. (15 min.) L, D, A, O, E

Table 14 130 W. Ludington Ave.Ludington, MI 231-843-6555. Chef Howard says, "the main focus of Table 14 is Charleston, S.C.-inspired dishes." D, A, O, E, B&E $$ * menu

Restaurants within a short drive from the Ludington House

James Port Brewing Company, 410 S James St., (231) 845-2522, Gastropub in a Victorian storefront serves diverse beers and hearty grub in warm, rustic surroundings.

Outdoor seating available. (.5 mile, 3 min.) L, D, A, O, E, B&E

House of Flavors, 402 W Ludington Ave., (231) 845-5785. American favorites like roasted turkey and homemade ice cream served amid retro, 1950s-style decor. (.5 mile, 2 min.) B, L, D, B&E menu B&E menu icecream menu

PM Steamers, 502 W Loomis St., Ludington, (231) 843-9555, www.pmsteamers.com. Waterfront eatery

featuring seafood from the Great Lakes, as well as local meats and produce. (.7 mile, 3 min.) L, D, A, O menu

Scotty’s, 5910 US-10, (231) 843-4033. Casual, fine dining featuring lake perch and prime rib (.7 mile, 2 min.) L, D, A menu

Mancino’s, 5588 US-10, (231) 845-6666. Simple chain featuring pizzas and grinders made with house-baked rolls. Love their salads too! (1.2 miles, 3 min.) L, D B&E menu

Hunan Gardens, 5569 U.S. 10, (231) 845-0646. Chinese cuisine, eat in or carry-out (1.3 miles, 3 min.) L, D menu

House of Flavors, 402 W Ludington Ave., (231) 845-5785. American favorites like roasted turkey and homemade ice cream served amid retro, 1950s-style decor. (13 min.) B, L, D B&E menu

Chuck Wagon Pizza, 971 N Lakeshore Dr, (231) 843-2852, chuckwagonpizza.net. Local's favorite, they really pile on the toppings! (1.9 miles, 7 min.) D, A, B&E menu

El Rancho, 4743 U.S. 10 #1, (231) 843-6700, Mexican cuisine. (2.3 miles, 5 min.)L D A menu

Barnhart’s Marina and Pirate’s Pub, 6006 Barnhart Rd, (231) 843-8246. Located on Hamlin Lake. A mix of excellent Caribbean and New Orleans food, relaxing atmosphere and tropical cocktails. Innkeeper’s note: Barnhart’s can be very busy on weekends with cottagers. Service can be slow. Use the time to relax and enjoy cocktails on the deck. (9.4 miles, 15 min.) L, D, A, O B&E . menu

Bortell’s Fisheries, 5528 S Lakeshore Dr, between Ludington and Pentwater, (231) 843-3337. Fresh fish market that fries your selection to order. Picnic tables on site and at Summit Park, overlooking Lake Michigan, across the street. (10.3 miles, 15 min.) L, D, O B&E

A bit further out...

North

Doc’s Sauble River Inn, 9121 US-31, Free Soil Township, MI 49411, (231) 464-5556. A roadside tavern with great hamburgers and portobello mushroom “fries” . (19.2 miles, 25 min.) L, D, A B&E

The Boathouse Grill, 440 River St, Manistee, MI 49660, (231) 723-2300. Upscale-casual waterfront eatery offering American food, plus craft beer, wine and patio seating. (29 miles, 36 min.) L, D, A menu

Blue Fish Kitchen and Bar, 312 River St, Manistee, MI 49660, (231) 887-4188, bluefishkitchenbar.com.

(29 miles, 36 min.) L, D, A menu

South

The Brown Bear, 278 S Hancock St, Pentwater, MI 49449, (231) 869-5444. Neighborhood bar known for

it’s burgers, especially the one-pound Bear Burger. (15 miles, 22 min.) L, D,

Cottage Garden Cafe, 40 3rd Street, Pentwater, MI 49449, (231) 869-8188. Quaint and homey cafe on the river. (15 miles, 22 min.) B, L, O

Gull Landing, 438 S Hancock St, Pentwater, MI 49449, (231) 869-4215. Sunday night Jazz.

(15 miles, 22 min.) L, D, A, O menu

Antler Bar, 283 N Hancock St, Pentwater, MI 49449, (231) 869-2911. (15 miles, 22 min.) L, D,

Big Hart Brewing Co showcasing the bounty of Hart and Oceana County in our beverages and cuisine. menu (22.3 mi, 30 min) L, D, A