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Ludington: Gone to the Dogs

Need help finding Fido-friendly spots while you’re on vacation in Ludington? We’ve got you covered. This handy pet primer tells where you can take your pooch in Mason County.


Outdoor Spaces

Ludington has many dog-friendly spaces where you can stretch your pup’s legs. Just be sure to read posted rules.

Dog Park – Central Bark, a one-acre, fenced-in dog park in the northeast corner of Cartier Park, is Ludington’s ultimate dog-friendly park. As the only off-leash park in the city, it features separate large and small dog areas plus a bag dispenser and trash cans, as well as benches to watch Spot run.

Beaches Ludington has three dog-friendly, on-leash beaches on the shores of Lake MichiganButtersville Beach on Buttersville Peninsula south of Ludington, the beach south of Loomis Street Boat Launch, and a new dog beach in Ludington State Park, between the Beach House and the Sable River, featuring a bag dispenser and trash can.  

Trails Take your leashed dog for a walk or run on Ludington’s many trails, from the paved, one-mile Cartier Park Pathway (featuring bag dispensers and waste cans), to five miles of Ludington School Forest Trails, to 20-plus miles of trails at Ludington State Park.

Parks – Enjoy a day at the park with your leashed pet at James Street Plaza (a bag dispenser is located at the north end), Rotary Park and Waterfront Park, all in downtown Ludington.

MarinasHarbor View Marina and Ludington Municipal Marina allow leashed dogs on docks and marina areas and offer “pet way stations” with bags on a roll and trash cans. Harbor View Marina is so fond of its first-mate pets that it has a “Dog Days of Summer” Photo Contest. Snap a photo with Fido at the marina by Aug. 12 for a chance to win up to $100!

Downtown Scottville – The city of Scottville installed 10 bag dispensers throughout downtown Scottville as well as at Riverside Park to make the region dog friendly.

Dog friendly water bowls.jpeg

Retail Shops

 Many Ludington Area stores welcome furry visitors – look for a “Dog Friendly” sticker in the window and water bowls outside, thanks to Mason County Mutts

ABC Kidz (consignment children’s clothing)

Avenue’s End Mini Mall

Todd & Brad Reed Photography

Cedar Chest Consignment Shop

Cottage Works (lakefront retail shop plus cottage and boat services

Gordy’s Skate Company (clothing plus custom screen printing and embroidery)

Home Depot


Ludington Yacht Sales

Purple Monkey Children’s Boutique (children’s clothing and toys)

Red Rooster Coffee & Community

Salon 22

Snyder’s Shoes

Spindrift Cyclesports

Tractor Supply

Trailhead Bike Shop

Windowsill Used & New Books



While state health codes prevent your pet from joining you inside a restaurant, a recently passed Michigan law allows dogs on outdoor patios. Many Ludington-area restaurants have pet-friendly patios and outdoor spaces where you can enjoy a meal with your furry pal:

Blu Moon Bistrosidewalk seating

Cafe 106 - sidewalk seating

Luciano’s Ristorantisidewalk seating

Ludington Pubback patio

Q Smokehouseoutdoor order window and outside patio

Table 14sidewalk seating

James Street Plaza – outdoor open space with seating near Thai Mango and Krave



Ludington has a number of lodging options that welcome pets, from cottages to hotel complexes. Check individual websites for pet fees and restrictions.

Best Western Lakewinds (includes a dog walk area)

Comfort Inn

Holiday Inn Express 

Lighthouse Motel  - Three pet-friendly rooms for dogs under 20 pounds

Lakeview Cottages – One pet-friendly cottage for “well-behaved” dogs

Motel Lakewood

Nader’s  Motel and Suites – Pets allowed in standard ground floor rooms 

Parkview Cottages – Some cottages are pet-friendly

Patterson Homes – Daily, weekly or monthly vacation and executive condominium rentals

Peaceful Acres Resort

Rodeway Inn


Transportation – S.S. Badger

Planning to arrive or depart Ludington via the S.S. Badger? The vintage car ferry welcomes pets at no additional charge. Animals may be kept in a well-ventilated portable kennel on the car deck or transported in the owner's vehicle. (Due to security restrictions, no pets other than service dogs are allowed in passenger areas.) See information about bringing your pet on the Badger here.


Pet Services and Supplies

Does your doggie need a bath or clip while in town? How about a last-minute trip to the vet? Following are Ludington-area pet services and supplies (all of which also welcome pets inside):

Food and suppliesLove 4 Paws (themed gifts and supplies), Cosmic Canine Creations (home-baked treats, gift baskets and merchandise), Tractor Supply, Wags to Wiskers (food, treats and supplies)

Groomers 4 Pawz Pet Salon & Doggie Daycare, K9 Cutz & Kennels, Laura's Groom Center, Love 4 Paws

KennelsAnderson Creek Kennels, Country Kennels (at Country Vet Clinic), K9 Cutz & Kennels

Daycare/sitters/walkers Teresa’s Dog Walking and Pet Sitting, 4 Pawz Pet Salon & Doggie Daycare

Veterinarians – Animal Hospital of Ludington, Country Veterinary Clinic, Veterinary Medical Center.

In the event of an emergency, call any of the three vet practices or Parkdale Animal Hospital in Manistee to be directed to the local veterinarian on call for the evening or weekend (all four rotate emergency on-call status).


Regardless of where you roam with your pets in Ludington, please be prepared when bringing your pet on vacation. Our friends at Mason County Mutts remind visitors to have a plan for your dog during the day, including bringing food and water (especially in hot summer weather). Also, be sure to ask about pet rules before arriving at a hotel, restaurant or other attraction so you know what to expect and can keep your pet safe.

Learn more about Ludington’s pet-friendly places on Downtown Ludington’s information page or at Mason County Mutts, a local nonprofit whose mission is to make Mason County more dog-friendly.

And don't forget to share pictures of your pets enjoying vacation in Ludington by using #PureLudington on Instagram.

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