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12 Things for Your Pure Ludington Vacation Bucket List

Whether you’re looking for a quiet beach or bustling community event, this lakeshore town is a fantastic place to land for a summertime vacation. We’ve narrowed down a list of the best things to do during your trip to make your planning easier!

1. Attend a Beach Bonfire

Catch one of the Sunset Beach Bonfires planned this summer at Stearns Park Beach. Mark your calendars for June 24, July 22 and August 26 and join us for a celebration of our beautiful beaches and stunning sunsets! The best part is, they are free to attend. Just remember to bring your beach chairs and blankets!

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2. Try SUP boarding

With Lake Michigan and several inland lakes close by, there are plenty of places to try this trendy paddle sport. Try the Sauble River inside Ludington State Park or the Pere Marquette River. For rentals or board purchases, visit one of our outfitters.

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3. Cruise the Big Lake

Take a Lake Michigan cruise on the SS Badger. Taking a trip on the historic carferry is always a treat, and it also offers special evening shoreline cruises, like the July 22 Pirates of Lake Michigan sail. Enjoy food, drinks, games, lounging on the deck and watching the sunset.

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4. Kayak the Pere Marquette River

This national scenic river is perfect for paddlers looking for a fun, easy paddle. There are several points of access and rentals along the river. Grab some friends and hit the river!

5. Follow the Lumber Heritage Trail

Explore the area's history along the Mason County Lumber Heritage Trail. This self-guided, interactive tour of Ludington's lumber baron homes and historic locations is a great way to explore new places and learn about our rich history.  

6. Take a Charter Fishing Trip

Take a fishing trip on Lake Michigan with one of our experienced charterboat captains. Known as the #1 Salmon Fishing Port in Michigan, fishing in Ludington is a great experience for groups and families looking for some adventure. Fishing on the "big lake" is a memorable experience, and our fleet of charterboat captains is all about hospitality and sending you home with a big catch. Once you get your fish cleaned up, take it to one of our Catch-n-Cook restaurants, where they will prepare a meal with your catch.

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7. Hike to the Lighthouse

If you love lighthouses, lace up your shoes and head to Big Sable Lighthouse. This is definitely an iconic place to visit. Plus, it's a great excuse to check out one of Michigan's top state parks, Ludington State Park. Take the nearly 2-mile hike out to this historic landmark and enjoy the views. You can even climb to the top of the lighthouse for a small fee!

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8. Go Beer Tasting

Try a flight of Michigan's craft beers at The Mitten Bar. Recognized as one of the Top 50 Beer Bars in the US three years in a row by DRAFT Magazine, this craft beer destination is a must-see and do when visiting Ludington. The Mitten has 13 drafts of Michigan's finest craft beers on tap at any given time. This is also a great place for food and live music too!

9. Visit a Park

Grab an ice cream cone and watch the kids play at Waterfront Playground. Located just blocks from Waterfront Park, you must stop at House of Flavors for an ice cream cone. It is the perfect sweet treat before heading to the park for some time at the playground.

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10. Check out our Restaurants

Grab some grub on the deck at one of our many outdoor dining options. Summer is all about outdoor dining, and our restaurants have some great views to enjoy. Choose from rooftop decks to decks overlooking the harbor.

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11. Shop our Downtown District

You will love our quaint downtown, where you can find a variety of eclectic retail stores, confectionary shops, Ludington souvenirs, clothing and shoes. Stop in the Reeds' gallery to find a scenic Pure Ludington photograph to take home!

12. Head to the Beach

Relax at any one of our beautiful beaches. Vacation in Ludington wouldn't be complete without some relaxation and rejuvenation at the beach. With many beaches to choose from, you are sure to find the perfect place to park your chair and stick your toes in the sand.

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