Incredible Ludington Michigan: Best Things to Do, Hotels, Restaurants, State Park, Beach (Interactive Map with Directions) to Maximize Your Mi Vacation 

Experience Ludington Michigan: Best Things to Do, Top Hotels, Restaurants and Beach! | Sherry Trautman | Traveling Michigan

This fantastic Michigan beach town has so many thing to do! It's a great Michigan vacation for couples and families.

Watch the famous SS Badger Lake Michigan Car Ferry come into port (it really is amazing to watch), explore the downtown area, dine in fantastic restaurants, go camping, and of course, spend time at scenic Ludington State Park.

Need Directions or a Map?

Our interactive Map shows all the great places to see, things to do and places to go. Be sure to click this Google Map so you have a real time map as you drive!

***Remember to use the Ludington Michigan interactive map link for LIVE connection to Google Maps!!

We created this Ludington Map of Things to do to help with Ludington directions so you find your specific stops and aid in planning your trip. 

Helpful Map Tips:

  • Click on the plus and minus in the left corner to zoom in or out of the map.
  • Click on the icons for more info, addresses and photos of the stops.
  • Click on the map to drag and move it to view surrounding areas.
  • In the Header, click on the rectangle in the upper left of the map to see a menu of all of our stops. Click on anything that looks interesting to see where it is on the map. To hide the menu, click the rectangle in the header. 
  • In the Header, click on the "square" icon in the upper right side to expand the map for better viewing. 

Visit Breathtaking Ludington MI State Park-One of the Best Michigan State Parks!

Address: 8800 W. M-116, Ludington, MI 49431

Ludington State Park (in our opinion,) is the best Michigan State Park due to the extreme diversity of things to do.

Ludington Mi State Park has over 18 miles of breathtaking, well marked hiking trails that passes through several "hollows." 

You will pass marshes, climb up sand dunes, go over bridges, walk through dense forests, experience sandy beaches, and meander along boardwalks either over a lake and soaring above the trees.

Love Camping? There are also several Ludington Michigan Campgrounds at the State Park. If you love camping, definitely consider this option!

What is there to do at Ludington Mi State Park?

  • Climb sand dunes
  • Kayak
  • Sun at the beach
  • Hike 
  • Go Camping
  • Fly a kite
  • Discover the Hamlin Dam
  • Go fishing

Where to Stay in Ludington -Recommended Ludington Mi Hotels 

We recommend staying four nights in Ludington Michigan so you can spend two full days at Ludington State Park, a full day exploring the downtown area and restaurants, and another day hitting the beach, bike riding and relaxing. 

The sunsets are incredible!  There are so many things to do in Ludington! 

Comfort Inn Ludington

Comfort Inn Ludington - This Ludington Mi hotel is close to Historic White Pine Village and the Big Sable Point Lighthouse is a 5 minute drive. 

  • Heated indoor pool
  • Hot tub
  • Gym 

Cartier Mansion

Cartier Mansion - This Ludington Mi hotel is incredibly beautiful and historic, check it out!  As a bonus, the Cartier Mansion offers an American or vegetarian breakfast (our favorite part, lol!).

The Cartier Mansion has such a quaint, well appointed rooms! Great Ludington Mi Hotel.

Best Western Ludington

Best Western Ludington - Rated 8.5 on, this nice Ludington Mi hotel is only a 10 minute drive to Lake Michigan's beach!  

More recommended Ludington hotels are here!

Hike to Big Sable Light House

Grab your hiking shoes because you will need to walk to Big Sable Light House. As you can see in the map above, you will need to take the Lighthouse Trail (Brown) from the Beach House Historic Site and walk north. 

The path has great views so take time to explore the area. The pathway is very nice and easy to walk. 

  • The lighthouse is open for tours daily from early May to the end of October. It's fun to climb to the top and also visit the gift shop. 

There is a small donation fee to climb the lighthouse tower.

On selected Saturdays through the summer, buses transport visitors from the park rangers house located just inside Ludington State Park to the lighthouse and back for an additional transportation fee. Visit for more information such as hours and pricing.

Stearns Park + Walk to the Scenic Ludington Breakwater Lighthouse

Address: 420 N Lakeshore Dr, Ludington, MI 49431

Stearns Beach has a lovely, large beach with a nearby breakwall that leads to the scenic Ludington Breakwater Lighthouse. There's even a playground for children to play. 

In the summer, you can climb to the top of the lighthouse. The park has a great picnic area with lots of trees for shade, restrooms and a concession stand. The sunsets are absolutely breathtaking at the beach.

And the best part?  There's free parking! Plus, the park is walking distance to hotels and downtown shopping!

Sterns Park is also home to the Ludington Skate Park.

Where to Eat in Ludington Michigan (Yummy Ludington Restaurants)

Fusion Bistro Sushi! Ludington, MichiganFusion Bistro Sushi! Ludington, Michigan

Blu Moon Bistro

Address: 125 S James St, Ludington MI 49431

We had a fantastic dinner at Blu Moon Bistro - Sushi and Cocktails. I fully enjoyed this incredibly fresh sushi!  Chris got the Steak Burger and said it was one of the best he has had!  Whoot!

And the best part?  This Ludington Mi restaurant has a very intimate outside deck to enjoy your meal in the summer and a very nice outside bar.  Check it out!

The Q Smokehouse

Address: 225 S James St, Ludington, MI 49431

We are obsessed with ribs and brisket so we were happy when The Q Smokehouse delivered!  They have slow-smoked barbecue plates with lots of tasty homestyle sides. Fantastic Ludington restaurant!

Ludington Michigan's Waterfront Park is Incredible to Explore During the Summer

Waterfront Park, located in Ludington, Michigan (see map at the top of the post) is a fantastic free park to wander and enjoy the day.

Go for a walk along the paved sidewalk, learn more about the numerous sculptures in the park and sit under a shady tree to watch the boats glide in and out of the picturesque marina.

Ludington Municipal Marina Is So Scenic!

Ludington Municipal MarinaLudington Municipal Marina

Discover Cool History at the Ludington Maritime Museum!

Address: 217 South Lakeshore Drive, Ludington, MI 49431

Prepare to be entertained and inspired while learning more about Ludington's Maritime history! 

The Ludington Maritime Museum is located in the former U.S. Coast Guard Station and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places! You and your family will love this three-story museum as it overlooks Lake Michigan’s shoreline shoreline.  You can see Ludington’s North Pier Light and the car ferry, the USS Badger. 

SS Badger Lake Michigan Car Ferry

Address: 701 Maritime Dr, Ludington, MI 49431.

See the Badger come into port at the end of the day.  Amazing sunset views.

Take a Wagon Ride and See Elk at the Amber Elk Ranch

2688 W Conrad Rd, Ludington, MI 49431-9314

Amber Elk Ranch is located 7 miles east (about 10 minutes) of Stearns Park or downtown Ludington.  The ranch has a petting zoo, wagon tours, gift shop, Saturday BBQ.

Tours last for nearly an hour, and begin at 11:30 AM. Please call for more info.  It's fun to see 130 acres of pastureland on the wagon ride where you can see cows, cute calves and bull elk.

Ludington Beach-Catch the Sunset or Some Rays!

We brought a couple folding chairs and a blanket to Ludington Beach to watch the sunset.  It was honestly one of the best things to do in Ludington!  The beach has soft sand, the waves lap gently against the shore and watching the sun set is a perfect way to end your Ludington vacation.

Ludington Pumped Storage Plant Observation Deck Offers Great Views!

Address: 3525 S Lakeshore Dr, Ludington, MI 49431

What is the Pumped Storage Plant?

Ludington's Pumped Storage Plant is one of the world's largest electric "batteries." The 27 billion gallon reservoir, which measures 2.5 miles long and one mile wide, can generate up to 1,872 megawatts of electricity!

The plant can be reached by driving south on Lakeshore Drive, off Old US-31.

Can I visit Ludington's Pumped Storage Plant?

Yes! You can climb the observation deck, which overlooks the plant's 842-acre reservoir. What an awesome view! Stearns Beach and the Ludington North Breakwater Light are visible on clear days. 

The observation deck is open Memorial Day-Labor Day. It's free!

Take a Step Back in Time at the Historic White Pine Village

1687 S Lakeshore Dr, Ludington, MI 49431

Historic White Pine Village is an incredible replica of a 19th century pioneer style village.  The original courthouse still sits on the 23-acre site.

Historic White Pine Village is a great place to see how people lived in the  late 19th to early 20th century. You can tour and see 30 historic exhibit buildings, one of which includes the original 1849 Mason County Courthouse that is now on the State Register of Historic Places. 

You family will love seeing a steam locomotive, working sawmill and other artifacts describing the lumbering history of the region.

When is Historic White Pine Village Open? 

Historic White Pine Village is open early May through October and you need about 2 hours to thoroughly tour the village.

See the Father Marquette Memorial Cross

883 S. Lakeshore Drive, Ludington, Michigan

Be sure to stop by this historical landmark that is at the top of a small hill.  This monument on the hills above the Pere Marquette Lake is dedicated to a Jesuit missionary.  It's free!

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About the Lead Author | Sherry Trautman

Thanks for stopping by!

Our Words of Wisdom: “Never follow anyone else’s path. Unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path, then by all means follow that path.”

"Sherry & Chris"

We're Sherry and Chris the founders of one of Michigan's most comprehensive and Top Travel Blogs!

    Sherry Trautman is a seasoned business owner and a multifaceted content creator, deeply entrenched in the world of travel in Michigan. With her extensive background in writing, editing, photography, marketing, website design, web mastering, social media, and publishing, she is the driving force behind the acclaimed Michigan Travel site "" A lifelong Michigander, Sherry's journey began in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan led her to St. Joseph during her formative years, and further to Kalamazoo for her higher education. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design and Fine Art from Western Michigan University. Her career initially blossomed in Battle Creek, where she contributed significantly to aviation, marketing, and the art industry.

    In 2018, Sherry, alongside her husband Chris, embarked on a passionate endeavor with the inception of This venture was not just a business but a full-time commitment to exploring and celebrating the diverse landscapes and communities of Michigan. Together, they tirelessly traverse the state, curating unique experiences, capturing stunning visuals, and weaving engaging narratives that showcase Michigan's rich cultural tapestry and natural beauty. From her early experiences in different Michigander locales to her extensive professional background, Sherry's life and work epitomize a deep-rooted expertise in Michigan travel, making her an authoritative voice in this niche.

Sherry & Chris are at the Inn at Bay Harbor and looking out at the lake.
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