No matter your experience level, Ludington area charter captains will guide you in what to bring and what to expect on the big lake.
Visit Downtown Ludington
Early morning in downtown Ludington | Mark Steigenga
Check Out Downtown Ludington, Just Blocks from the Beach!
Just blocks from the beach is the heart of downtown Ludington, where you can shop, dine, and enjoy summertime events. Several downtown businesses have late night shopping hours on Fridays & Saturdays during the summer months; shop til 9pm!
Shop Our Specialty Stores
Every town has their specialty shops, and Ludington is no different. Unique items can be found in various stores, as well as clothing that features the “Ludington” name. Jewelry, gift shops, photo galleries, and consignment shops are just a sampling of the businesses that are eager to serve you. You’ll enjoy the personal, friendly service that Ludington area shopkeepers are known for. There’s parking in front, or use the large lots behind the businesses on the north side of Ludington Avenue.
Shopping can make one hungry, so take a break from the heat and pop into a downtown Ludington restaurant. Homestyle cooking, bistros, ice cream, Italian, sports bars…whatever your preference, you’ll find just the place for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Head down south James Street for even more restaurants. North James Street Plaza is closed to traffic, and has tables set up for eating alfresco. Outdoor dining is also available in front of several downtown restaurants during the summer months.
Take a look at the menus of Ludington restaurants in our Lakeshore Menu Guide.
Farmer’s Markets & Downtown Festivals
From May-October, Legacy Plaza (formerly James Street Plaza) is the venue for the Ludington Farmer’s Market, open Fridays from 3-8pm. Purchase some produce fresh from local farms, or pick up some baked goods, jewelry, or handmade craft items. Final Friday Experiences (formerly Friday Night Live) take place the last Friday of each month from May-September. Food vendors, music, kid’s games, and entertainment make this event very popular with visitors and residents alike. Other festivals that take place downtown throughout the year are the Ludington Area Jaycees July 4th Freedom Festival, Octoberfest, and the New Year’s Eve Lighted Ball Drop.
Don’t Miss the Local Art & Galleries
Need a bit of culture in your life? The Ludington Area Center for the Arts is located just off Ludington Avenue on South Harrison Street, and is the venue for concerts, writer’s forums, and theater productions. Ludington’s Waterfront Park has a collection of unique sculptures you won’t want to miss. There are also painted murals on the facades of nine downtown businesses, making for an interesting walking tour. Ludington is home to many galleries featuring the talents of local artists including photographers, painters, potters, jewelers, crafters, and more.
Family-Friendly Parks and Recreation
Three parks are within walking distance of the downtown area. Waterfront Park is nestled between our two marinas, and features a modern playground, sculptures, tables, and amphitheater. Rotary Park (formerly called Ludington City Park) is located between the beach and downtown, and is the home of the Arts & Crafts Fairs held twice during the summer. Stearns Park is at the west end of Ludington Avenue, and features an expansive beach, concessions, a grassy area with grills and tables, mini golf, shuffleboard, playground, and skate park.
Come spend some time with the friendly folks in downtown Ludington. You’ll leave with a satisfied appetite, a new treasure, and a smile.
More Activities & Attractions in Ludington...
Step back in the past and learn about Ludington’s rich maritime history at the Port of Ludington Maritime Museum.
Disc golf is a big deal here in the Ludington area, with up to 20,000 people per year visiting one of our six courses.
Ludington has miles of beautiful beaches, the Ludington State Park, and all the activities that take place in Mother Nature’s playground.
Discover small town life in the late 1800s and early 1900s at Historic White Pine Village in Ludington, overlooking Lake Michigan.
The three accessible walkways installed at Stearns Park Beach in Ludington allow everyone to make their way to the water and sand.
The bronzed sculptures in Ludington’s 5-acre Waterfront Park sets it apart from other parks. The park is situated on the Lake Michigan inlet.
The Lumber Heritage Trail, highlighting Mason County’s rich lumbering history, is one of four that comprise the Mason County Cultural Trails.
Both beginners and experienced cyclists will enjoy the variety of trails available to explore in Ludington!
The Mason County Sculpture Trail was launched in 2012 and includes nine sculptures in Ludington, Scottville, and Fountain.