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Celebrating 150 years for the city of Ludington, where beaches, shopping, outdoor recreation are aplenty

Ludington: It’s the perfect Michigan getaway. Not only is it a fabulous beach town. It’s also a city with a rich history, and in 2023, it celebrates its 150th year.

LUDINGTON, Mich. — Ludington: It’s the perfect Michigan getaway. Not only is it a fabulous beach town. It’s also a city with a rich history, and in 2023, it celebrates its sesquicentennial with events throughout the year. 

The marquee event, Love Ludington Weekend, happens June 9-11. The celebratory weekend will kick-off with a downtown street party taking over Ludington Avenue for an evening of live music, family activities, food, and fireworks. The rest of the weekend will include historic home and B&B walking tours, appearances of the Budweiser Clydesdales, and signature Ludington events like the Lakestride Half Marathon, 10k and 5K.

  • Ludington has many other cultural and historical sites to experience its rich history, from lumber to maritime heritage:
  • Historic White Pine Village – third largest living history village in Michigan
  • Lighthouses – two historic lights!
  • Ludington State Park – with the iconic 1867 Big Sable Point Lighthouse, Lake Michigan Beach House built in 1935 by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and three stone trail shelters also built by the CCC
  • Mason County Cultural Trails – Six self-guided driving tours
  • Mason County Research Center – New downtown welcome center, ticket office and gift shop for the Mason County Historical Society’s two museums
  • Port of Ludington Maritime Museum – Interactive museum located in the 1934 U.S. Coast Guard Station
  • S.S. Badger – last coal-fired steamship in the United States

 With 28 miles of sugar-sand Lake Michigan shoreline, Ludington’s Mason County is a beach-lover’s dream. Even with Lake Michigan’s rising water levels over the past few years, Ludington still has plenty of sandy shoreline for beach-goers, with a beach for every personality.

 For Convenience/Amenities: Stearns Park BeachConsistently rated one of the Midwest’s top beaches, this beach offers a half mile of sandy beach along Lake Michigan while walking distance to downtown – with a bathhouse, volleyball courts, food concession, picnic tables and grills – plus adjacent shuffleboard courts, mini golf course and skate park. This free city beach also features a walkable pier to the Ludington North Breakwater Light, plus free Sunset Beach Bonfires.

For Nature-LoversLudington State Park Beach. This 5,300-acre gem offers seven miles of undeveloped Lake Michigan coastline bordered by grassy dunes along scenic M-116  to find your nook (and you’ll sound like a local if you refer to the points along the drive by the geography like “First Curve” and “Second Curve”). If you prefer a spacious beach with more amenities, hit the Lake Michigan beach past the park booth – complete with a historic circa-1935 beach house that houses a concession, restrooms and Great Lakes-themed exhibits. A south section of the beach allows dogs.

For Dog Owners: Buttersville Beach. Ludington offers a couple of great spots to let your dog enjoy the beach too – the biggest being Buttersville Beach just south of downtown, also offering a more secluded and natural setting in this smaller beach (note: no facilities).

For Warm-Water Fans: Hamlin Lake Beach. If you’re looking for calmer (and warmer!) waters, Hamlin Lake Beach in Ludington State Park has warm, shallow waters and lots of shady areas. Restrooms and food concessions also make the park convenient. For a day of fun, rent a pontoon boat or a non-motorized boat like a pedal boat, kayak, canoe or Stand-Up Paddle Board.

The Mason County area offers lots of outdoor recreation for just about any lifestyle.

  •  Waterways – Mason County has 2,000 miles of streams, three rivers and more than 40 inland lakes in addition to its Lake Michigan shoreline. Great opportunities for fishing, paddling and floating.
  •  Trails – Ludington has more than 40 miles of trails, from Cartier Pathway, to 25+ miles in Ludington State Park, to Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area. Cyclists have 10 miles of single-track mountain biking in the city limits.
  •  Fishing – Ludington is the #1 salmon fishing port in Michigan, with more than 45 licensed charter boats available for hire through the Ludington Charter Boat Association.
  •  Golf – Ludington features three golf courses in the city and more in the surrounding area: Hemlock Golf Club, Lakeside Links and Lincoln Hills Golf Club, a semi-private country club on Lake Michigan.
  •  Disc golf - Mason County boasts six disc golf courses: Mason County Park with three 24-hole courses, including Goliath (3rd largest course in the world); Leviathan in Ludington School Forest with two courses; Scottville Riverside Park with The Edge; and WSCC with par-3 Labyrinth. 

 For all that’s happening in Ludington this summer, visit www.pureludington.com.

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