The Best Things to Do in Ludington, MI on a Kid-Free Getaway

I’ve previously visited Ludington, Michigan with family but I discovered that it’s also a great destination for a girlfriend getaway or an adults-only visit.

One of the best things about revisiting a destination kid-free is that you get to enjoy it at a slower pace. You can see, eat, and do the things you want to do, on your own timeline.

friends in downtown Ludington Michigan

This article is written in partnership with Pure Ludington. This article contains affiliate links.

We had an incredible visit to Ludington for a girlfriend getaway. All of us had previously visited Ludington with our families, but going without them was almost like visiting this popular destination for the first time, in a good way.

friends at the beach at Ludington State Park

One of my favorite things about our visit was that it checked all the boxes in the best ways.

We enjoyed outdoor recreation, delicious food and drinks, beach time, inland lakes, and shopping.

I love variety when I visit a destination; we experienced the perfect fusion of adventure and relaxation.

 beach at Ludington State Park

Explore Ludington State Park

8800 M-116, Ludington, MI

Ludington State Park is a MUST during a visit to the area. The park consists of 5,300 acres and offers so much when it comes to year-round outdoor adventure including the fall, a GORGEOUS time to visit!

Ludington State Park

After a visit to Ludington State Park, it’s easy to see why it’s one of the most popular state parks in Michigan.

Ludington State Park

Is there an entry fee for Ludington State Park?

The park does require a Michigan State Park Recreation Passport for entry.

I’ve found the annual pass to be a better value than the day pass as a nonresident of Michigan. Plus the annual pass gives you an excuse to visit other state parks in Michigan throughout the year.

stand up paddleboard on Hamlin Lake Ludington State Park

Things to Do at Ludington State Park

There are so many fun things to do at Ludington State Park when it comes to recreation.

sand dune at Ludington State Park

Ludington State Park activities include:

  • Camping
  • Hiking Trails – more than 20 miles!
  • Canoe Trails – both a four-mile, intermediate-level trail in Hamlin Lake starting at the swimming beach, and a new two-mile beginner trail north of Hamlin Lake around Lost Lake
  • Fishing (You can purchase your fishing license online)
  • Boating
  • Tubing
  • Kayaking
  • Bike Paths
  • Stand Up Paddleboards
  • Canoeing
  • Row Boats
  • Pedal Boats
  • Sand Volleyball
  • Sand Dunes to Climb
  • Special Events With Live Music
  • Educational Programs
kayak rentals at Hamlin Lake Ludington State Park

Rentals at Ludington State Park

The Hamlin Lake Concession building has watercraft rentals available from Memorial Day weekend through the end of September.

The Cedar Camp Store offers bike rentals by the hour or by the day and watercraft rentals when the Hamlin Lake Concession isn’t open.

stand up paddleboard at Hamlin Lake Ludington State Park

Enjoy Hamlin Lake at Ludington State Park

Hamlin Lake is a 5,000-acre lake that’s more than 12 miles long with a portion of the western shore that’s located within the state park.

Hamlin Lake is a great alternative to Lake Michigan if the water is super cold or the waves are rough.

stand up paddleboards at Hamlin Lake Ludington State Park

We brought our own inflatable Stand Up Paddleboards but there are seasonal watercraft rentals available at the concession nearby.

Fair warning: if you visit Hamlin Lake on a windy day, it’s super easy to paddle out, but it’s a bit of a workout to fight the wind on your way back.

There is also a nice swimming beach area in the state park if you prefer to swim in warmer temperatures.

If you prefer fishing, Hamlin Lake is a great spot. Anglers also enjoy fishing at Hamlin Dam during the fall salmon run.

Float Down Big Sable River to Lake Michigan

Float Down the Sable River to Lake Michigan at Ludington State Park

A one-mile float trip down the Sable River to Lake Michigan is a very popular activity in the summer. The float trip starts below Hamlin Dam.

friends on float trip on Big Sable River to Lake Michigan

The water moves SLOW on the river which makes it a great way to spend a few hours on the water if you don’t have any time constraints.

Float Down Big Sable River to Lake Michigan

This is a very popular spot for tubing for both guests visiting for the day and staying overnight at the state park.

The float trip typically takes around 2- 2.5 hours to reach Lake Michigan because there is almost no current. We used our inflatable stand-up paddleboards and used our oars which made our float trip go much faster.

If you’re using tubes you may want to connect a few of them with rope and bring a few paddles.

float trip on Big Sable River to Lake Michigan

The beach along the shoreline of the channel before reaching Lake Michigan is a popular spot to wade because it’s shallow and the water is much warmer.

However, it should be noted that the river outlet is not part of Ludington State Park’s designated beach area, and river currents can be strong at this river mouth and have been known to sweep people out to Lake Michigan.

Visitors should always follow the park’s flag warning system and watch for posted warnings about any current restrictions, and always wear PFDs.

We also moved our second vehicle near the bridge by the entrance of the state park for when we finished our float trip.

I kept my cell phone in a floating waterproof phone pouch and our car keys inside my dry bag and attached the dry bag to my board.

From previous rafting trips, I can vouch that a floating phone case is definitely worth it anytime you’re spending time on the water and don’t want to lose your phone!

Big Sable Point Lighthouse in Ludington State Park

Visit Big Sable Point Lighthouse

8800 W M-116, Ludington, MI

The iconic black and white striped lighthouse is definitely worth checking out during your visit.

Big Sable Point Lighthouse was built in 1867 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

view from the top of Big Sable Point Lighthouse

How to Get to Big Sable Point Lighthouse

You can’t drive to Big Sable Point Lighthouse so you’ll need to choose your own adventure when it comes to the hike to get there.

Big Sable Point Lighthouse

It’s around 4 miles, round trip with either option from the state park entrance.

beach walk to  Big Sable Point Lighthouse in Ludington State Park

Option A: You can walk along the scenic shores of Lake Michigan to the lighthouse.

Big Sable Point Lighthouse

With this option, you may either get your feet wet on the firm sand or get more of a workout on the thicker powdery sand away from the water.

trail from Big Sable Point Lighthouse

Option B: You can walk along the sand/gravel trail to the lighthouse.

The landscape on the hike includes more greenery and sand dunes. This is an easier hiking option because of the flat grade that also works for mountain bikes.

We walked along the beach to the lighthouse and chose the gravel trail on the way back for two different vantage points.

*There are select days in the summer when the state park offers bus transportation to the lighthouse for a fee. Check with the Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association for a current schedule of Bus Days. 

woman on steps to top of Big Sable Point Lighthouse

Climb the Stairs to the Top of Big Sable Point Lighthouse in Ludington State Park

It’s 130 steps to the top of the tower of the lighthouse. You have access to the stairs by purchasing a lighthouse tour.

Lighthouse tours are available daily from 10 am-5 pm, Tuesday-Sunday from early May – late October for a fee. (Check the lighthouse tour dates online for operating dates in May and October)

There are lighthouse tower climbs available at both Big Sable Point Lighthouse and North Breakwater Light.

We can appreciate the lighthouses in Ludington today thanks to the Sable Points Lightkeepers Association which is dedicated to preserving, educating, and promoting the lighthouses.

views from stairs in Big Sable Point Lighthouse

On your way to the top of the tower, there are porthole windows that give you different vantage points of the area.

stairs to top of Big Sable Point Lighthouse in Ludington State P

This also gives you an excuse to take a breather on your way to the top while other guests pass by as they travel back down the stairs.

Ironically we went WAY slower on the way down because we could see through the metal grates and needed to be more mindful of our steps.

friends at the top of Big Sable Point Lighthouse

Enjoy the View from the Top of Big Sable Point Lighthouse

The top of Big Sable Point Lighthouse is the perfect spot to enjoy 360-degree birds-eye views of both Lake Michigan and the surrounding area.

On a clear day, you can see up to 17 miles away from the lighthouse tower!

Big Sable Point Lighthouse in Ludington State Park

Don’t forget your honorary sticker before you climb back down the stairs.

After your climb, there is a picnic area near the lighthouse if you choose to pack a lunch.

gift shop at Big Sable Point Lighthouse

Shop in the Original Keeper’s Quarters

I highly encourage you to check out the gift shop at Big Sable Point Lighthouse before or after your tour.

You’ll find unique items you can’t find at other stores for a very reasonable price. Your purchases also go to a good cause to help with lighthouse operating experiences.

gift shop at Big Sable Point Lighthouse

I would recommend bringing a backpack to the lighthouse in case you find anything you want to purchase because you’ll need to carry your items for 2 miles on the trail back.

friends on the trail near Big Sable Point Lighthouse

Take it from the gals who carried apparel along with oversized soup bowls and coffee mugs in plastic shopping bags on the trail after shopping.

It was totally worth it and thankfully we didn’t break anything along the way.

women holding salmon caught on Lake Michigan in Ludington

Go Fishing on Lake Michigan

Did you know that Ludington is considered the #1 salmon fishing port in Michigan?

woman fishing on Lake Michigan in Ludington

If you have the opportunity to fish on Lake Michigan, I highly recommend doing it!

view of lighthouse from boat on Lake Michigan in Ludington

Fishing on the Great Lakes is a one-of-a-kind experience.

friends fishing on Lake Michigan

We went fishing during the evening with friends and caught several salmon that we were able to take home to enjoy later.

sunset on Lake Michigan in Ludington

The beautiful sunset was also a nice bonus during our time fishing on Lake Michigan.

fishing charters in Ludington Michigan

Fishing Charters in Ludington, Michigan

If you don’t have a boat or a friend with a boat there are plenty of local charter boats available for hire in Ludington.

There are more than 25 local fishing charters in Ludington, MI to choose from.

fishing at night on Lake Michigan in Ludington

Fishing charters tend to go out in the morning for optimal results.

In my opinion, it’s worth asking the charter companies if they offer an evening option if you prefer late nights instead of early mornings, with the bonus of seeing a sunset.

If you plan on keeping your fish, you can purchase a styrofoam cooler and ice at the local grocery store or gas station in town.

fish and chips at Crown and Cork

Michigan Catch & Cook Program

If you don’t want to wait until you get home to enjoy your fish from a local charter, you can take it to one of Ludington’s local restaurants that participate in Michigan’s “Catch and Cook Program.”

The Michigan Catch & Cook Program is offered exclusively for charter fishing clients who catch fish in Michigan’s Great Lakes. The program gives the clients the opportunity to enjoy their fish prepared by a local participating restaurant.

*The charter captain and the participating restaurants both have to adhere to safety guidelines and responsibilities to ensure that the fish are stored and prepared properly.

Stearns Park Beach in Ludington Michigan

Enjoy Stearns Park Beach

420 N Lakeshore Dr, Ludington, MI

It’s easy to understand why Stearns Park Beach is one of the favorite spots of locals and tourists alike. The park boasts the largest beach in the city of Ludington with 2500 feet of sandy shoreline and FREE parking.

This waterfront park offers so many fun things for visitors to do.

Stearns Park Beach in Ludington Michigan

An Accessible Beach

If you’re traveling with anyone who has mobility issues you’ll be happy to learn that Stearns Park Beach was voted the fifth most accessible walkway in the United States.

accessible walkway Stearns Park Beach in Ludington Michigan

The park has three wheelchair-accessible walkways leading to accessible picnic tables near the water’s edge and first-come first-serve beach wheelchairs available for guests to use during their visit to the park.

Ludington North Breakwater Lighthouse

Walk to Ludington North Breakwater Light

(Access from Stearns Park)

The Ludington North Breakwater Light is more accessible than Big Sable Point Lighthouse if you’re short on time.

Ludington North Breakwater Lighthouse

The tower technically isn’t a lighthouse because it’s never had a house attached to it.

sign for Ludington North Breakwater Light

It’s an easy walk .5 mile walk to the light.

Ludington North Breakwater Lighthouse

If you choose to tour and climb to the top of the lighthouse it’s 53 steps to the top.

Ludington North Breakwater Lighthouse

Public lighthouse tours are available from late May -September 3, 10 am-5 pm, Tuesday-Sunday, from 10 am-5 pm for a fee.

*Due to weather conditions and staffing, you may want to call ahead before you go (231) 845-7417 or follow the Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association on Facebook.

Stearns Park in Ludington Michigan

The park also has a nice stretch of green space if you want to pack a picnic or take advantage of the two concessions with great food in the park.

18-hole Jaycees Mini Golf Course Ludington

If you want to tap into your competitive side there are shuffleboard courts, a skatepark, and an 18-hole mini golf course at the end of the park that supports local community projects.

woman at the beach in Ludington Michigan

Enjoy a Day at the Beach

During the summer months, you can enjoy crystal clear waters and sandy beaches along miles of the Lake Michigan lakeshore.

beach at Ludington State Park

Of course, a day at the beach is one of the top things to do in Ludington in the summer. It’s also one of the best places to relax and unwind.

Locals know that West Michigan has the BEST beaches on Lake Michigan.

Ludington State Park

Ludington State Park and Stearns Park Beach both have accessible walkways on the sand to make it easier for guests to walk, travel via wheelchair or carry their beach gear to their preferred area.

Pere Marquette River

Float on the Pere Marquette River

This is another great option for kayaking.

The Pere Marquette River is a wide, smooth river that is fairly easy to navigate, running 63.9 miles through Mason County and into Lake Michigan.  There are many put-in and take-out spots along the river, and outfitters can rent you a canoe if you don’t have your own. 

For an easy route that doesn’t require spotting a car or scheduling a pick-up, try the Pere Marquette River Loop starting at Suttons Landing, where the slow water flow makes it possible to return to the starting point in a loop.

It takes approximately two hours to paddle, depending on wind direction and frequency of your paddling, but it’s a great trip for a novice canoer or kayaker. The river is around 30 feet wide and only around 2-4 feet deep in most areas.

If you’re looking for a tube, kayak, raft, or canoe rental, Pere Marquette Expeditions is conveniently located across the street from the kayak launch at 1649 S Pere Marquette Hwy, Ludington, MI.

The Pere Marquette River does require a watercraft daily permit managed by the US Forest Service but if you rent from Pere Marquette Expeditions, your permit is included.

drinks at HumaniTea in Ludington MI

Drink for Cause at HumaniTea

The Port, 222 W Ludington Ave, Ludington, MI

HumaniTea is a tea shop with a mission to help to raise awareness and generate funds for anti-human trafficking efforts.

HumaniTea Ludington MI

Their teas are sourced responsibly and their shop is filled with hand-crafted gifts made by survivors or collaborations that are part of trafficking prevention.

During our visit, we enjoyed the ginger kombucha on tap and the matcha tea. There is hot chocolate, farm-crafted sodas, brewed tea, milk steamers, lemonades, and coffee on the drink menu too.

Trailhead Bike Shop in Ludington MI

Go For a Bike Ride

You’ll find that Ludington is very bike friendly with flat roads that are easy to ride on with your own bike or a bike rental.

If you ride from Trailhead Bike Shop in downtown Ludington to the state park entrance, it’s over 8 miles, 16+ miles round trip.

Ludington also offers mountain bike trails in addition to paved trails.

Stix Ludington

Dine and Play at Stix Ludington

1963 N Lakeshore Dr, Ludington, MI

Stix Ludington is a restaurant that doubles as an entertainment center with 12 state-of-the-art bowling lanes, a beautiful beer garden patio and pier, indoor and outdoor event spaces, and a venue that hosts live music (typically on weekends.)

This is the perfect place to spend the evening with friends or a date.

outdoor space at Stix Ludington

I would recommend checking their hours before your visit because you’ll want to allow extra time to truly be able to relax and appreciate the Insta-worthy setting at every turn.

friends at Stix Ludington

Stix is one of the best spots to visit for a meal or drink because there is something that appeals to everyone.

If you’re celebrating a special occasion, you may want to inquire about their areas for private events or private parties or their indoor and outdoor event spaces for large groups.

dining area  Stix Ludington

Indoor Dining at Stix

Stix has an upper and lower lounge area available for inside dining with a larger selection of menu items to choose from that’s a great environment for a date night or evening with friends or family.

The elegant nautical decor displays wooden boats from the ceiling as light fixtures and is showcased in the outdoor patio area.

bar at  Stix Ludington

The beautiful bar offers great drinks ranging from craft cocktails in addition to wine, good spirits, and craft beer. Read more about our meal at Stix here.

outdoor area at Stix Ludington

Outdoor Dining at Stix

The outdoor area for Stix is a VERY popular spot for hanging out, especially during busy summer months.

*We visited on a Monday evening closer to closing time which is why it wasn’t as crowded in my pictures.

outdoor seating at Stix Ludington

If you want to dine in more of a fast-casual environment, the outdoor patio area is a great option.

Backyard BBQ at Stix Ludington

There are plenty of picnic tables, Adirondack chairs around the fire pit areas, outdoor heaters, outdoor games including a cornhole area, and additional tables.

picnic tables at  Stix Ludington

One of the best things about the outdoor patio area is the relaxed vibe.

bowling alley at Stix in Ludington Michigan

Dining at the Bowling Alley

If you want to eat or drink while you bowl, there are cocktails and American classics available on the menu at Stix. You can check out the bowling menu here.

sand candle at House and Harbor Ludington MI

Create a Custom Candle at House & Harbor

222 W Ludington Ave, Ludington, MI (Located inside The Port)

You can create a custom candle as a great souvenir from your visit to Ludington.

 making a soy candle at House and Harbor in Ludington MI

The hand-poured artisan soy candles are safe from toxins, 100% natural, sustainably sourced, and cruelty-free.

soy candle at House and Harbor in Ludington MI

You choose your container and scent of choice.

House & Harbor also gives back $1 from every candle purchase going to anti-human trafficking efforts.

sand for candles at House and Harbor in Ludington MI

You Can Make a Custom Sand Candle

I’ve previously made candles on several trips but the sand candles were something unique that I hadn’t seen before.

The sand candles are made with 100% soy wax and you have the option to keep it scent-free or add your fragrance of choice.

scents for candles at House and Harbor in Ludington MI

It’s as simple as pouring layers of colorful sand into a jar. Slender wooden rods are available to use to create a design within the sand if you’re feeling creative.

sand candle at House and Harbor Ludington MI

I can’t take full credit for the design of my beach-inspired sand candle.

I noticed a similar one on display and immediately wanted to make one of my own to bring home.

House and Harbor Ludington MI

How Long Does It Take to Create a Custom Candle?

Sand candles can be made pretty quickly and taken with you when they’re complete.

The hand-poured candles take 2-3 hours to set and can be picked up on the same day depending on what time you make the candle.

candle scents at House and Harbor in Ludington MI

The longest part for the hand-poured candle may be selecting your container and scent of choice.

You can choose your scent or create your own blend with a fusion of several of your favorite scents.

 House and Harbor in Ludington MI

If you don’t have time to make a candle, there are plenty of candles and other items in the shop that make great gifts.

shop in downtown Ludington Michigan
Grateful Heart and Home

Check Out the Shops in Downtown Ludington

If you’re accustomed to shopping in bigger tourist towns, you’ll find the prices in Ludington to almost be shocking in a good way.

We discovered that the prices were generally lower than in other tourist towns in Northern Michigan.

wood shaped decor Ludington Michigan
Avenue’s End Mini Mall

Some businesses even prefer cash over credit card and will reward you with a discount for using cash.

vintage shop in downtown Ludington Michigan
The Sexy Nomad

Many of the downtown shops reside inside historic buildings that have lots of beautiful features.

local shop in Ludington MI
Sister Bees

With such affordable prices, you can stretch your budget even further and support more local businesses.

The Hangar local shop in Ludington MI e1691374114553
The Hangar

And let’s be honest, if you’re traveling with a large group of people or kids, shopping isn’t typically very fun. I loved that we were able to take our time and browse at our own pace.

I found several gifts for others and a few gifts for myself that I designated from my husband for the WIN!

shops in downtown Ludington Michigan

You find decor, apparel, vintage, boutique, specialty shops, and more in downtown Ludington.

custom t-shirts in Ludington MI
Gordys Skate Co

If you have a design preference or if you’re celebrating a special occasion with friends, Gordys Skate Company can even print on demand.

You can find the full list of shops in Ludington here.

S.S. Badger Lake Michigan Car Ferry

Watch the S.S. Badger Lake Michigan Car Ferry Pass By

391 S William St, Ludington, MI 

 *NOTE: The S.S. Badger has suspended operations for the rest of the 2023 season and will be back for the 2024 season. Typical sailing seasons are mid-May- early October.

You have two daily opportunities to watch the S.S. Badger Lake Michigan Car Ferry pass by in Ludington. The car ferry leaves Ludington in the morning around 9 am and arrives in Ludington around 7pm.

S.S. Badger Lake Michigan Car Ferry

Waterfront Sculpture Park is a popular spot to watch the S.S. Badger pass by on its way to or from Wisconsin on Lake Michigan to or from Pere Marquette Lake.

After you watch the ferry go by you can check out the bronze sculptures located throughout the five-acre park.

It takes 4 hours for the car ferry to travel from Ludington, MI to Manitowoc, WI. There is also a time change, Ludington is EST and Manitowoc is in the Central time zone.

flight of beer at Ludington Bay Brewing Company

Try Local Craft Beer

Beer lovers have two local options for craft beer in downtown Ludington.

friends drinking beer at Jamesport Brewing Company

Both restaurants have an assortment of craft beers and great food with ample indoor and outdoor seating.

Outdoor seating at Jamesport Brewing Co in Ludington MI

As an added bonus, they are also conveniently located within walking distance of each other.

beer flight at Jamesport Brewing Company

You can have a great time discovering your favorite styles at each brewery with your flight of choice.

wine flight at Pere Marquette Winery

Wine Tasting at a Local Vineyard in Ludington

1914 S Lakeshore Dr, Ludington, MI

If you enjoy wine tasting at a local vineyard, Pere Marquette Winery is a great option for your afternoon.

friends at Pere Marquette Winery

The winery features a variety of red and white wines made from grapes at their vineyard onsite.

bananas foster french toast at Cafe 106 in Ludington

Looking for More Great Places to Eat and Drink in Ludington?

Learn more in my comprehensive guide for the best places to eat and drink in Ludington.

Ludington State Park

Additional Adventures for Outdoor Lovers

Here are additional options for enjoying the outdoors during your visit.

  • Amber Elk Ranch – 2688 W Conrad Rd, Ludington, MI – Guided tours on the 130-acre ranch, small petting zoo, and BBQs on select Saturdays from July- Labor Day.
  • Waterfowl Observation Tower – 5499 W Conrad Rd #4801, Ludington, MI – Wildlife viewing and birding
  • Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area – 3,450 acres of National Forest System lands consisting of dunes, trails, and Nordhouse Lake.
heart sculpture for locks in downtown Ludington

Activities for Art Lovers

Here are additional options for art lovers including art galleries, studios, and maker spaces.

Port of Ludington Maritime Museum

Stops for History Lovers

History buffs will enjoy the following attractions:

Legacy Plaza in Ludington Michigan

Annual Events in Ludington, Michigan

These are a few of the annual events in Ludington that you’ll want to add to plan ahead for. Check the website for specific dates.

Mitten Flats in Ludington Michigan

Where to Stay – Mitten Flats in Downtown Ludington

(Ludington Ave. – 4-minute walk/ 1 block to Lake Michigan/ beach)

During our visit, we stayed at The Mitten Flats #5. This is a great place to stay in downtown Ludington with multiple people.

living area at Mitten Flats Ludington MI

Our unit was located on the second floor and had two bedrooms, two baths, a kitchen area, a living area, a shared deck area, and a sleeping capacity of 10.

Kitchen area at Mitten Flats Ludington MI

The kitchen has dishes and utensils, a picnic table, a stove/oven, a full-sized refrigerator, a coffee maker, and a microwave.

bedroom at Mitten Flats Ludington MI

Each of the bedrooms had a queen-sized bed and a bunk bed with a twin over a full-sized bed.

bedroom at Mitten Flats Ludington MI

We had 4 adults, 2 in each bedroom during our visit and it worked out perfectly.

bathroom at Mitten Flats Ludington MI

The large vanity outside the bathroom in each room made it easy for multiple people to get ready at the same time.

I loved how convenient this location was for walking to the beach and downtown restaurants and shops.

I do think that it would be a bit crowded if you had 10 adults staying in the unit vs a few small children.

sculpture in Ludington MI

Additional Accommodation Options Around Ludington

You’ll find a variety of lodging options in Ludington for every preference including campgrounds, hotels, bed and breakfasts, and vacation rentals. You can compare and find the lowest prices on vacation rentals and hotels here.

Cartier Mansion Bed and Breakfast is a popular bed and breakfast that offers unique experiences for guests.

If you prefer larger chain hotels, Holiday Inn Express & Suites is a great option.

Campsites at Ludington State Park can book out pretty far in advance. There are three modern campgrounds and one rustic campground within the park along with three mini cabins available to rent.

If you can’t get into the state park, Buttersville Park Campground is a great alternative, along with Cartier Park Campground which is just a few miles south of the state park entrance.

You can find a full list of Pure Ludington accommodations here.

SS Badger car ferry in Ludington MI

Plan Your Visit to Ludington, Michigan

You have a few options for getting to Ludington, Michigan.

Car Ferry – You can take the S.S. Badger Carferry from Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

Fly – There are a few regional airports within a reasonable drive.

The closest airports to Ludington are:

Drive – Ludington is a reasonable drive from a multitude of Midwest cities, accessible via the expressway.

Silver Lake Sand Dunes

Driving Distances to Ludington, MI

Ludington can be a great destination for day trips or multi-day getaways.

  • Silver Lake, Michigan to Ludington, MI – 27.9 miles – 31 min
  • Grand Rapids, MI to Ludington, MI – 96.9 miles – 1 hr 24 min
  • Traverse City, MI to Ludington, MI – 93.6 miles – 1 hr 51 min
  • South Bend, IN to Ludington, MI – 178 miles – 2hr 57 min
  • Chicago, IL to Ludington, MI – 241 miles – 3 hr 38 min
  • Detroit, MI to Ludington, MI – 255 miles – 3hr 37 min
  • Indianapolis, MI to Ludington, MI – 324 miles – 5hr 13 min
  • Cincinnati, OH to Ludington, MI – 423 miles – 6 hr 18 min

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