Ludington Hermitage Guidebook

Richard & Cary
Richard & Cary
Ludington Hermitage Guidebook

Natural beauty spots

The "Queen" of state parks in Michigan! 5,300 acres of nature at its finest. Wonderful beach, stunning views of Lake Michigan and sand dunes, 20+ miles of trails, Hamlin Lake (little kids may enjoy this inland lake if the waves are too large at Lake Michigan) with public boat launch, Big Sable Point Lighthouse. We love the 1/2 mile boardwalk of the Skyline Trail for breathtaking views.
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Ludington State Park Beach
8800 W. M-116
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The "Queen" of state parks in Michigan! 5,300 acres of nature at its finest. Wonderful beach, stunning views of Lake Michigan and sand dunes, 20+ miles of trails, Hamlin Lake (little kids may enjoy this inland lake if the waves are too large at Lake Michigan) with public boat launch, Big Sable Point Lighthouse. We love the 1/2 mile boardwalk of the Skyline Trail for breathtaking views.
FREE beach just blocks from downtown Ludington. Home to Ludington North Breakwater Lighthouse. You can walk the 1/2 mile break wall to the 1924 lighthouse for a scenic view. Climb to the top for a small fee. The park also has 2 concession stands (excellent hamburgers at the South stand) and 2 public restroom facilities.
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Stearns Park
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FREE beach just blocks from downtown Ludington. Home to Ludington North Breakwater Lighthouse. You can walk the 1/2 mile break wall to the 1924 lighthouse for a scenic view. Climb to the top for a small fee. The park also has 2 concession stands (excellent hamburgers at the South stand) and 2 public restroom facilities.
The best! Wonderful views overlooking Pere Marquette Lake. Check out the sculpture trail depicting Ludington's rich history. Lots of photo opps! Great picnic spot with FUN playground area. The perfect spot to watch the S.S. Badger arrive at 7pm from Manitowoc. Two covered pavilions in case you want to enjoy the water view in shade.
Waterfront Park
391 S William St
The best! Wonderful views overlooking Pere Marquette Lake. Check out the sculpture trail depicting Ludington's rich history. Lots of photo opps! Great picnic spot with FUN playground area. The perfect spot to watch the S.S. Badger arrive at 7pm from Manitowoc. Two covered pavilions in case you want to enjoy the water view in shade.
Beautiful spot to bird watch (and rock hunt)
Lake Bluff Bird Sanctuary
2890 Lakeshore Rd
Beautiful spot to bird watch (and rock hunt)
Hike to this from within the State Park. You will be mostly in sun during the walk so be sure to use sun block and take a water bottle. THE VIEWS at end are worth it. A nice place for a picnic away from the crowds.
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Big Sable Point Lighthouse
5611 N Lighthouse
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Hike to this from within the State Park. You will be mostly in sun during the walk so be sure to use sun block and take a water bottle. THE VIEWS at end are worth it. A nice place for a picnic away from the crowds.
Breath-taking beauty and an easy day trip in the car.
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Sleeping Bear Dunes
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Breath-taking beauty and an easy day trip in the car.
Lovely paths (mostly in the shade) with potential for wildlife sightings. There's a pavilion near Lincoln Lake, perfect for a picnic.
Cartier Park Pathway
1101-1203 North Rath Avenue
Lovely paths (mostly in the shade) with potential for wildlife sightings. There's a pavilion near Lincoln Lake, perfect for a picnic.
Fantastic trail! End up at Lake Michigan, typically having a spot on the beach all to yourself. Very private and beautiful.
Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area
Fantastic trail! End up at Lake Michigan, typically having a spot on the beach all to yourself. Very private and beautiful.
Beautiful hidden gem in our area. A tranquil nature path rolls through this impressive landscape and leads to a Picnic Area and Disc Golf Course entrance.
Mason County Campground
5906 West Chauvez Road
Beautiful hidden gem in our area. A tranquil nature path rolls through this impressive landscape and leads to a Picnic Area and Disc Golf Course entrance.
Disc golf just down the road!
Leviathan
Disc golf just down the road!
Within the Ludington State Park, canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts love the Hamlin Lake Canoe Trail--a marked waterway which makes for a wonderful 2-4 hour diversion. So peaceful! The Hamlin Lake Canoe Pathway begins and ends at the Hamlin Lake Watercraft Rental/Dune Grass Concessions area near the swimming beach. At the concession you can rent paddle boats, canoes, kayaks, tandem kayaks, stand up paddle boards and rowboats.
Hamlin Lake
Within the Ludington State Park, canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts love the Hamlin Lake Canoe Trail--a marked waterway which makes for a wonderful 2-4 hour diversion. So peaceful! The Hamlin Lake Canoe Pathway begins and ends at the Hamlin Lake Watercraft Rental/Dune Grass Concessions area near the swimming beach. At the concession you can rent paddle boats, canoes, kayaks, tandem kayaks, stand up paddle boards and rowboats.

Sightseeing

Lots of great info, brochures, and maps right in the heart of downtown Ludington.
Ludington Downtown Visitor's
226 West Ludington Avenue
Lots of great info, brochures, and maps right in the heart of downtown Ludington.
Head to Stearns Park Beach or walk along Waterfront Park or the channel to watch the S.S. Badger depart for it's cross-lake trip. A perfect spot to watch is also at the North Breakwater Lighthouse. Then stick around for an amazing sunset.
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S.S. Badger Lake Michigan Carferry Service
701 Maritime Dr
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Head to Stearns Park Beach or walk along Waterfront Park or the channel to watch the S.S. Badger depart for it's cross-lake trip. A perfect spot to watch is also at the North Breakwater Lighthouse. Then stick around for an amazing sunset.
Tour 30 buildings from Mason County's past.
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Historic White Pine Village
1687 S Lakeshore Dr
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Tour 30 buildings from Mason County's past.
They have a HUGE selection of tourist guides and maps!
Mason County Airport (KLDM)
5300 U.S. 10
They have a HUGE selection of tourist guides and maps!
A REAL family farm, 4th generation family-owned. Must try the chocolate milk!
Country Dairy Farm
A REAL family farm, 4th generation family-owned. Must try the chocolate milk!
Just a half hour drive. A lovely day trip. Check out what's playing at the Historic Vogue Theatre.
Manistee Riverwalk
43-79 Jones St
Just a half hour drive. A lovely day trip. Check out what's playing at the Historic Vogue Theatre.
Go for the views! Nice short walks for two different views. There is a parking lot about a mile north of the plant. Walk to the top of the reservoir for a beautiful view and interesting facts on how the station operates.
Ludington Pumped Storage Plant
3525 South Lakeshore Drive
Go for the views! Nice short walks for two different views. There is a parking lot about a mile north of the plant. Walk to the top of the reservoir for a beautiful view and interesting facts on how the station operates.
The color of the water here is amazing! And fantastic rock hunting. Explore nearby Frankfort.
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Point Betsie Lighthouse
3701 Point Betsie Road
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The color of the water here is amazing! And fantastic rock hunting. Explore nearby Frankfort.

Food scene

Red Rooster Coffee & Community
207 S James St
Iconic! All-time favorite! Super fun 1950's diner decor and vintage memorabilia.Breakfast, lunch, dinner or of course an ice cream cone! Try the "Pig Dinner" - LOTS of ice cream (plenty to share) - and get the Pig Pin of the year.
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House of Flavors Restaurant
402 W Ludington Ave
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Iconic! All-time favorite! Super fun 1950's diner decor and vintage memorabilia.Breakfast, lunch, dinner or of course an ice cream cone! Try the "Pig Dinner" - LOTS of ice cream (plenty to share) - and get the Pig Pin of the year.
Outside patio!
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Ludington Bay Brewing Co
515 S James St
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Outside patio!
You will love the pie! Coconut creme is fantastic! Soups and sandwiches.
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Chef John's Bakery & Cafe
110 W Filer St
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You will love the pie! Coconut creme is fantastic! Soups and sandwiches.
This is our absolute hands-down favorite pizza ANYWHERE! You will not believe how much topping they put on their pizzas! They give you paper plates and plenty of napkins so you can take to go and have a beach picnic.
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Chuck Wagon Pizza
971 N Lakeshore Dr
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This is our absolute hands-down favorite pizza ANYWHERE! You will not believe how much topping they put on their pizzas! They give you paper plates and plenty of napkins so you can take to go and have a beach picnic.
Looking for fresh sushi? You will find it here.
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Blu Moon
125 S James St
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Looking for fresh sushi? You will find it here.
Super fresh doughnuts and good popcorn and slushies.
Wesco
301 West Ludington Avenue
Super fresh doughnuts and good popcorn and slushies.
We really like their BBQ. Sometimes the hours are inconsistent and they may run out of popular items - so perhaps call ahead.
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The Q Smokehouse
225 S James St
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We really like their BBQ. Sometimes the hours are inconsistent and they may run out of popular items - so perhaps call ahead.
Michigan made beer, wine and spirits. Sometimes offer live music - the space is small though so be prepared to stand when it's a busy night.
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The Mitten Bar
109 West Ludington Avenue
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Michigan made beer, wine and spirits. Sometimes offer live music - the space is small though so be prepared to stand when it's a busy night.
The pie! Worth the drive.
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The Cherry Hut
211 North Michigan Avenue
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The pie! Worth the drive.
Good breakfast
Scotty's
5910 U.S. 10
Good breakfast
Sunset Side Concessions (South Beach)
The burgers are good!
Who doesn't love Southern specialties! A bit pricier. Nice spot for special occasions. Outdoor seating available.
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Table 14
130 W Ludington Ave
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Who doesn't love Southern specialties! A bit pricier. Nice spot for special occasions. Outdoor seating available.
A family start-up food-window on James Street Plaza. If you like seafood, check it out! Good to eat it while fresh, since much is fried. The plaza offers seating! Closed Wednesdays.
Keeper's Fish Shack
106 North James Street
A family start-up food-window on James Street Plaza. If you like seafood, check it out! Good to eat it while fresh, since much is fried. The plaza offers seating! Closed Wednesdays.
A hidden gem! Cash only. To go only. There is a park with a fantastic view of Lake Michigan within a minute from this place. Perfect for a delightful picnic. We like the smelt dinner.
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Bortell's Fisheries
5528 South Lakeshore Drive
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A hidden gem! Cash only. To go only. There is a park with a fantastic view of Lake Michigan within a minute from this place. Perfect for a delightful picnic. We like the smelt dinner.
Ludington's only waterfront kitchen/bar opened in 2021. Dueling pianos on Saturday nights at 7pm. Reservations taken only for parties of 8+
Crown and Cork
502 West Loomis Street
Ludington's only waterfront kitchen/bar opened in 2021. Dueling pianos on Saturday nights at 7pm. Reservations taken only for parties of 8+
The baked goods and pies! They also have BLTs and burgers. And BBQ ribs on Fridays from 3-8pm. They also carry Sander’s meats!
Country View Bakery
The baked goods and pies! They also have BLTs and burgers. And BBQ ribs on Fridays from 3-8pm. They also carry Sander’s meats!

Shops

Excellent photography of the area. Exceptionally beautiful art.
Todd & Brad Reed Photography
114 W Ludington Ave
Excellent photography of the area. Exceptionally beautiful art.
This store carries many basics. They have ice cold beverages and you can get ice for your cooler here. They also have a deli and lunch/dinner specials: ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, meatloaf, etc.!
Lower Hamlin Grocery
3611 N Jebavy Dr
This store carries many basics. They have ice cold beverages and you can get ice for your cooler here. They also have a deli and lunch/dinner specials: ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, meatloaf, etc.!
Nice selection of books + smoothies, frappes, lattes, coffees. Many nice gift items as well.
Book Mark
201 South Rath Avenue
Nice selection of books + smoothies, frappes, lattes, coffees. Many nice gift items as well.
Fabulous local artist print shop, carrying on the traditions of legendary natural artist Gwen Frostic. Bonus: an alpaca farm is just up the road!
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Gwen Frostic Prints
5140 River Rd
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Fabulous local artist print shop, carrying on the traditions of legendary natural artist Gwen Frostic. Bonus: an alpaca farm is just up the road!
A nearby town with plenty of charm.
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Pentwater
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A nearby town with plenty of charm.
A super fun and quirky shop to browse! Right on the Avenue, situated in a converted Gas Station.
Maude's Garage
302 West Ludington Avenue
A super fun and quirky shop to browse! Right on the Avenue, situated in a converted Gas Station.
A fantastic place to browse (especially on a rainy day). Like an old-timey hardware/general store. They carry a little bit of everything and the prices are, well, just bargains!
Just Bargains
142 South Pere Marquette Highway
A fantastic place to browse (especially on a rainy day). Like an old-timey hardware/general store. They carry a little bit of everything and the prices are, well, just bargains!
New and used books + lots more! Friendly and helpful staff. Support local!
The Windowsill Used & New Books
107 South James Street
New and used books + lots more! Friendly and helpful staff. Support local!
Have fun browsing! Find some real "treasures" here.
Sunset Bay Antiques
404 S James St
Have fun browsing! Find some real "treasures" here.
If you are into disc golf, check it out! A guest shared info on this spot and said it's run by a young couple who are really sweet.
Grip N Rip Disc Golf LLC
5770 U.S. 10
If you are into disc golf, check it out! A guest shared info on this spot and said it's run by a young couple who are really sweet.

Stadsadvies

Wat je mee moet nemen

Beach towels! And of course sunblock, visor/hat, swimsuit

Other helpful beach items: sunglasses, backpack or beach tote, beach chairs, beach umbrella, water shoes/flip flops, ice packs, thermos, cooler. You may also want to bring your comfy slippers or house shoes. We kindly request guests remove shoes while in the house. This helps to keep floors clean and comfortable for you.
Wat je mee moet nemen

Walking/hiking shoes! And insect repellent for nature walks!

There is a first aid kit with basics on hand. Other items to consider bringing: head-ache relief, calamine lotion/aloe vera, anti-itch cream/spray. Although there are a couple umbrellas and rain ponchos on hand, you may want to pack your own.
Wat je mee moet nemen

Consider bringing a flashlight with extra batteries

There are outdoor lights on the house yet it can be nice to have your own flashlight when walking around in the evening. Phone "flashlights" work well too - remember your charger! Starry starry nights. You are in the woods - not the city.
Wat je mee moet nemen

What helps with meal clean-up convenience?

Some guests prefer to bring along paper (disposable) products and zip-top bags/foil for greater ease. There is a starter supply on hand.
Wat je mee moet nemen

Campfire comfort? Feel free to bring your fave camp chair

There are benches, a few chairs, and some wood stump stools near the campfire - yet some guests prefer to bring along their own comfy portable camp chairs.
Wat je mee moet nemen

Your favorite book! And of course your reading glasses

There is a selection of books in the house that you are welcome to read, as well as puzzles and games to enjoy together.
Manieren om te besparen

The library is awesome! Baskets of free magazines!

They also often have free paperback books - perfect for the beach.
Manieren om te besparen

Frequent FREE concerts in parks and at James Street Plaza

You may want to check the tourist guides for dates/times
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A beautiful sunset at one of the beaches!

The shoreline along M-116, which leads to Ludington State Park, offers miles of sandy shoreline for beach goers to enjoy. Referred to as "First Curve" by locals, this stretch of beach along Lake Michigan is a quieter, more natural setting. Keep an eye out for the parking areas on the west side of the road.
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Farmers Market: Fridays 3-7pm May-Sept

James Street Plaza in downtown area
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Friday Night Live - Live music, food, FREE family activities

Downtown Ludington is blocked off for family fun! This event runs 6-9pm during many Friday nights in July & August Check local listings for exact dates.
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Maritime Heritage Trail

Get the official destination guide for Ludington & Mason County for a city detail map with the stops and points of interest.
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Buttersville Beach

If you like to "treasure hunt" for rocks, check out this beach.
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Sunset Bonfires! at Stearns Park Beach

Live music, bonfire, and amazing sunset viewing. Take a chair or blanket. Check local events for specific dates - typically once a month in June, July and August from 8-10pm