Port of Ludington Maritime Museum

Opens May 1 for 2021 Season


Residents and visitors alike are invited to step back in the past and learn about Ludington's rich maritime history at the Port of Ludington Maritime Museum. Located in the former US Coast Guard Station, a landmark on the National Register of Historic Places, the museum entertains, enlightens, and instructs.

Visitors can pilot the famed carferry Pere Marquette 22 into Ludington’s harbor, meet holograms of both Captains Nels Palmer and Andy Van Dyke, and enjoy several interactive exhibits.

Admission to the museum is $12 for Seniors (60 & Up), $13 for Adults, $11 for Children 4-13 years of age and free for children under 3.

Within the Maritime Museum

The museum focuses on Ludington's harbor history, our carferries, and the Coast Guard. There are three major "hooks" to the museum--one being a 110-foot panorama painting of Pere Marquette Lake and how it looked in the 1800s. There is also a tribute to the Pere Marquette 22 carferry... featuring the pilothouse itself. The third attraction is a scale model diorama of the Elberta railyard, built by blueprint designer Art Gerritsen and donated by his wife to honor his memory. Since the building which houses the museum was once the Ludington headquarters for the Coast Guard, this is considered a "museum within a museum" and will pay tribute to the men and women who serve on our lakes.

S.S. Badger Carferry Exhibit

captain quarters
An exhibit specifically on the story of the Badger and its service from Ludington is located on the 3rd floor of the maritime museum and tells the fascinating history of the Badger as the last of the carferries and a National Historic Landmark, as well as a cultural treasure of Ludington's maritime heritage.

Maritime Museum Fundraising Continues

The museum opened in June of 2017 but fundraising efforts continue. So far, the campaign has raised over $5 million, with many local businesses contributing, including a $100,000 donation from the Ludington Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. The community has shown that there is overwhelming support for the Port of Ludington Maritime Museum.

Donations Accepted

Please help support this project, so that generations to come can enjoy and learn about Ludington's rich maritime history.

To donate, call Mason County Historical Society at (231) 843-4808, or email Rebecca Berringer at rebecca@mchshistory.org. You can also visit www.LudingtonMaritimeMuseum.org for more information.

Maritime Museums Around the Great Lakes

Interested in discovering more maritime museums around Lake Michigan? See our story about the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc.

More History in the Ludington Area...

For more activities & attractions, check out these additional links for Things to Do in West Michigan:

West Michigan Map
Ludington Activities & Things to Do -- Play on a beautiful beach, take a tour at Historic White Pine Village, or explore the barn quilt trail, murals or sculptures in the county--Ludington offers many fun things to do for the entire family!
Have Fun in Manistee, Michigan -- Explore Manistee's historic downtown district and riverwalk, hike the Manistee National Forest, canoe on the Manistee River, and more.
Hamlin Lake -- Just 4 miles north of Ludington, Hamlin Lake is a great destination for boating, fishing and climbing dunes! The Hamlin Lake shoreline is also part of the Ludington State Park.
Silver Lake Sand Dunes -- Visiting the Silver Lake Sand Dunes makes for a terrific vacation because you can take your off-road vehicle for a spin on the scenic sand dunes overlooking Lake Michigan and Silver Lake.
Things to Do in Pentwater, Michigan -- Nothing is quite like the quaint, artsy, harbortown village of Pentwater. Don't miss the popular Charles Mears State Park beach on Pentwater's Lake Michigan shoreline.
Lots of Activities in Scottville, Michigan -- Explore the Riverside Park along the National Scenic Pere Marquette River.
Canoeing or Fishing on the Pere Marquette River -- Many boat liveries offer canoe rentals.
Also, check out West Michigan Guides and our locally produced WestMichigan.MichBiz.com directory for our largest lists of Things to Do in West Michigan.
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Last Updated: 03-20-2021 01:06 PM ID: 1064