Within the downtown Ludington region, several murals grace the façades of local area businesses, telling stories of the area’s rich history.
Early morning in downtown Ludington | Mark Steigenga
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.
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.
Downtown Parks & 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...
The Ludington Skate Plaza is a popular spot for kids with skateboards or in-line skates, and also draws spectators to Stearns Park.
Just blocks from the beach is the heart of downtown Ludington, where you can shop, dine, and enjoy summertime events.
Mason County is home to several trails that tell stories with fascinating histories. Explore these self-guided tours to learn about each one!
Children can create, explore, and discover by playing with the numerous variety of exhibits of Sandcastles Children’s Museum.
Ludington is home to several different museums for people of all ages! Highlighting our area’s careers, businesses, history, and culture!
Ludington’s North Breakwater Light is the number one lighthouse to see in Michigan! Take a trip along the breakwater path to see it up close!
Discover all of the different trails and tours that Ludington has to offer! Discover a water path, hiking trail, or an art work stop!
No matter your experience level, Ludington area charter captains will guide you in what to bring and what to expect on the big lake.
The S.S. Badger Carferry is a fun and relaxing shortcut across Lake Michigan between Ludington, Michigan and Manitowoc, Wisconsin.