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8 Best Things To Do In Ludington MI | Fun Things to Do in Ludington Michigan

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8 Best Things To Do In Ludington MI: The Pere Marquette River

The city of Ludington is a classic harbor town, nestled on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan and surrounded by the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. 

It offers visitors a relaxing, laid-back way to spend summer vacation. Ludington is beautifully situated between two state forests (Manistee and Pere Marquette), with miles of long sandy beaches.

In addition to bicycling, running, or walking along the shores of Lake Michigan, visitors can fish, canoe, or kayak from public docks and beaches, swim during the summer months, or ice-skate in winter at the Pere Marquette Park Ice Arena.

8 Best Things To Do In Ludington MI

Visit and Climb The Big Sable Point Lighthouse

5611 N Lighthouse // +12318457417

The Big Sable Point Lighthouse marks the entrance to Lake Michigan on the western side of the Lower Peninsula. The lighthouse can be reached from Ludington State Park with a two-mile hike through the woods.

The tower it’s housed in is considerably shorter than its counterparts on Lake Michigan, but looking out over the dunes to Lakes Michigan and Huron from its top position makes it well worth the trip.

8 Best Things To Do In Ludington MI: The Big Sable Point Lighthouse

The lighthouse is accessible during sunrise hours. The rest of the day, visitors can tour history museums, go fishing or shopping, or picnic in Ludington State Park.

Join the Community Beach Bonfire

Your Michigan adventure does not have to be expensive. Whether you plan a day trip from Grand Rapids or are spending the weekend in Ludington, it is easy to find free beach bonfire shows and other events around the area. As you plan your trip, there are many free activities you can enjoy in the area that will allow you to not only save money but also have a blast on your vacation.

8 Best Things To Do In Ludington MI: Bonfire Ludington

You can buy wood from the city and start your own fire (or stop by early and find wood already collected). Then, sink into a beach chair in front of the fire while live music fills your ears. Or join to sing along with other attendees and musicians.

Visit Sandcastles Children’s Museum

129 E Ludington Ave, Ludington, MI 49431 // +12312339326

In the beginning, Sandcastles Children’s Museum was started as a one-room summer sampler museum in 2006. Today, it has become a great place with many ways to learn and play. Over 20,000 visiting children every year are proof of that popularity. 

Many interested parents and organizations are making regular donations toward keeping the museum’s works going on. The most experienced experts and volunteers help to arrange many workshops that focus on the growth of children’s skills, imagination, and abilities.

Various engaging events can be enjoyed there by children, some of which are Stop Motion Animation, Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicles, Mud Painting, Campfire Stu, Puppet Show, and many more.

All kinds of different stations for activities were present there, such as pretend play, dress-up, and crafting, but the most favorite for kids definitely are the mini pizzeria, Play-Doh table, and the grocery store.

Visit The Historic White Pine Village

1687 S Lakeshore Dr, Ludington, MI 49431 // 231-843-4808

For history enthusiasts, an ideal way to spend an entire day would be by visiting the Historic White Pine Village. It is situated on 13 acres overlooking Lake Michigan and comprises 30 “museums” featuring Mason County artifacts and historical items. 

You will begin your tour at the Visitor Center, which houses souvenirs, art exhibits, and an art gallery of local artists, as well as information on the history and culture of the region. The grounds contain more than 30 historic buildings and museums, which feature items such as household items from the turn of the century.

The Admission Building is the only one to charge a fee, but you can view many other museums for free. Hours of operation are from early May through late October, Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9 am to 5 pm, and Sundays from 12:30 pm to 5:30 pm.

Port of Ludington Maritime Museum

Port of Ludington Maritime Museum // +12318434808

This Ludington museum is a place where people can dive back into the past and not just learn, but experience the entire history of its maritime history. Located in a former U.S. Coast Guard Station, now serving as a landmark historic building, the museum unravels all sorts of knowledge with captivating fashion.

There are three main attractions, one of which is the scale model diorama of the Elberta railyard, then a 110-foot panorama painting of Pere Marquette Lake from the 1800s, and a life-size diorama of Ludington Harbor as it appeared in the early 20th century.

When I visited Ludington Port Maritime Museum I went and walked along the harbor, saw the lighthouse, and then stopped at the Coast Guard station to look around and learn some of the histories of this unique place with lots of waterfronts. 

It was exciting when I found this site because it is a portal into the past, teaching us all about the maritime history – from an old railroad diorama (Elberta) to a 110-foot panorama painting of Pere Marquette Lake in the 1800s; you get to dive back into the past of Ludington.

Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness

6496 W Nurnberg Rd Free Soil // +18008216263

The Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness is a unique landscape that can be compared to a small desert or ocean shore. Its dunes and oak, pine, and cedar forests all contribute to the awe-inspiring atmosphere of the place. 

Even with over 3,500 acres of land area, the dunes still take up most of the visual landscape. This is because the vegetation tends to fix itself in bunches or clumps instead of spreading evenly throughout the wilderness.

It is a great place to unwind and also engage in various outdoor activities. Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness is the largest body of freshwater dunes in the world. Unique and spectacular views are offered by this wilderness area, which includes extensive forests and a four-mile stretch of Lake Michigan shoreline. 

You are going to enjoy the view on the shoreline!

Visit The Father Marquette National Memorial

592 Boulevard Dr // +19066438620

The memorial pays enormous tribute to the 17th-century French Priest, missionary, and explorer, Jacques Marquette. He was the first European to explore and map the northern portion of the Mississippi River Valley and introduced the French culture to Native Americans who lived in North America. Father Marquette National Memorial has a deeply rooted history that shows the birth of a new culture in the northern part of the Michigan area.

{image} Father Marquette National Museum {image}

The first thing that drew me to this memorial is its history. Father Jacques Marquette was a Jesuit missionary who arrived in New France in 1666 and was guided by Miami, Ottawa, and the Ojibwe tribes. His legacy holds a deep meaning for Lydon County, which is why it’s a shame that not many people have heard about him.

Jamesport Brewing Company

410 S James St // +12318452522

The Jamesport Brewing Company is the place to visit if you want to taste the best beer in town. Sitting in the basement of the building, the brewery has existed on this site since 1864. The original owner was the James Taylor Family and it began as a simple exchange of horse corn for bread and beer. From that humble beginning, it has grown into the first microbrewery in NW Michigan and one of the oldest in the state.

Now, the Jamesport Brewing Company has a restaurant and a bar where you can enjoy food and drinks. 

You also may watch and learn as brewers craft the most popular beers enjoyed by the locals. You may also catch sight of brewers like Head Brewer Pat Saxton as he gets busy creating beer.

Also if you are hungry check out the Best Restaurants in Ludington Michigan article which will definitely help you satisfy your hunger need while visiting here!

Although it is not often considered a tourist destination by outsiders, Ludington has so much to offer. If you are in for a relaxing vacation that includes all of the outdoor fun Michigan has to offer, Ludington is definitely a city for you.

Since you are reading this article, I can assume that Ludington is a city that has never been on your list of places to visit. You might not have heard about all the fun things to do here, but that’s about to change. I am here to offer you great suggestions and help you find a fun thing to do right away!


Which of these things to do in Ludington MI do you want to try first? Let us know in the comments section below!

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