With summer officially here, visitors still have time to plan a summer trip to the beachfront resort community of Ludington – and plenty to do once they arrive, despite some modifications due to precautions from COVID-19.
“We know there is pent up demand to travel again, and the Ludington area offers a perfect getaway on one tank of gas from most major Midwest cities,” said Brandy Miller, executive director of the Ludington Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. “As a convenient driving destination, Ludington doesn’t take a lot of pre-planning, nor is it costly since gas prices are low and families don’t have to incur flight or car rental costs. Plus we have put many safety precautions into place to help visitors navigate their experience.”
Like many tourist destinations across the country, Mason County has had to modify its offerings – including cancelling some large events like the Fourth of July Freedom Festival Parade and Fireworks, and closing some attractions that don’t allow social distancing
Below is a list of Ludington’s signature events and attractions continuing as planned, followed by those that have been modified, cancelled or closed. Also, unless noted below, events in August and later are still being reviewed as to their status. Click here for a full list of events, and check event websites directly before making travel plans.
Events Continuing as Planned (With some modifications for COVID-19)
- Ludington Farmer’s Market (Fridays 3-7 p.m., now through Sept. 18)
- Live in the Plaza – live music (Thursdays 5-8 p.m., now through Aug. 29)
- NEW OUTDOOR MUSIC SERIES – FNL Unplugged – live music (Fridays 6-9 p.m., now through Sept. 3)
- S.S. Badger Shoreline Cruises – July 4 Cruise, July 22 – Pirates of Lake Michigan, Aug. 12 – Bon Voyage to Summer – capacity reduced by 50 percent; plated dinner versus buffet
- Ludington Area Center for the Arts Summer Concert Series (July 22-Sept. 2)
- Sunset Beach Bonfires (July 23, Aug. 27) – No June bonfire date
- Run The Beach 5K (Aug. 1)
- Downtown Ludington Sidewalk Sales (July 31-Aug. 2)
Modified Events/Attractions (Significantly altered operations to accommodate safety precautions)
- Mason County Historical Society properties – Historic White Pine Village opened June 20 for Saturdays through October; Port of Ludington Maritime Museum opens July 4 for Saturdays through October
- Ludington Offshore Classic & Big Boys Tournament (July 13-19) – Drive-through fish weigh-in for anglers (no on-site public watch event/beer garden); weigh-in and award program can be seen on Facebook Live
- Big Sable Point Lighthouse – Tower climbs, concerts and Bus Days cancelled, but gift shop open weekends July 10 through Sept. 27)
- 35th Annual Gold Coast Artisan Fair, Rotary Park (Aug. 10-11)
- Coast-to-Coast Gravel Grinder + 100-Mile Bicycle Race – Rescheduled for Oct. 3 (from June 27)
- Friday Night Live (July 24, 31 and Aug. 7) – Cancelled but replaced with FNL Unplugged outdoor music (see above)
- Fourth of July Freedom Festival Parade and Fireworks (July 4) – Postponed until July 4, 2021
- Friends of Ludington State Park Summer Concert Series
- Ludrock (July 11-12)
- West Shore Art Fair (July 6-7) – Postponed until July 3-4, 2021
- West Shore Bank Rhythm & Dunes concerts – Postponed until July 24 and 31, 2021
- Suds on the Shore (Aug. 15) – Postponed until Aug. 21, 2021
- Ludington North Breakwater Light – Closed for 2020 season
- Sandcastles Children’s Museum – Closed until further notice, though virtual events and online activities are offered weekly. Check Sandcastles’ Facebook page for details.
In addition to organized events and activities, Mason County offers plenty of outdoor recreation spaces that allow safe social distancing:
- Beaches – Ludington has 28 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, with top beaches including Stearns Park Beach, Ludington State Park with seven miles of shoreline, and dog-friendly Buttersville Beach.
- Waterways – Mason County has 2,000 miles of streams, three rivers and more than 40 inland lakes in addition to its Lake Michigan shoreline.
- Trails – Ludington has more than 40 miles of trails, from Cartier Pathway, to 25+ miles in Ludington State Park, to Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area. Cyclists have 10 miles of single-track mountain biking in the city limits.
- Fishing – Ludington is the #1 salmon fishing port in Michigan, with more than 45 licensed charter boats available for hire through the Ludington Charter Boat Association.
- Golf – Ludington features three golf courses in the city and more in the surrounding area: Hemlock Golf Club, Lakeside Links and Lincoln Hills Golf Club, a semi-private country club on Lake Michigan.
- Disc golf – Mason County boasts six disc golf courses: Mason County Park with three 24-hole courses, including Goliath (3rd largest course in the world); Leviathan in Ludington School Forest with two courses; Scottville Riverside Park with The Edge; and WSCC with par-3 Labyrinth.
- Scenic drives – Mason County has a series of self-guided cultural trails: Agriculture, Barn Quilt, Lumber Heritage, Music Heritage, Maritime Heritage and Sculpture.
Stay Safe Mason County Visitor Information
A Stay Safe Mason County campaign provides visitors with online information about how businesses in Ludington and surrounding Mason County are implementing safety practices in light of COVID-19. The campaign’s web portal, staysafemasoncounty.com, provides safety information about businesses such as lodging, dining & drinking, shopping, attractions and services.
Located on the shores of Lake Michigan with miles of beachfront and water access, Ludington offers a quintessential “Up North” experience close by. Ludington and Mason County deliver the perfect combination of unspoiled natural resources and unrivaled outdoor recreation with quaint, small-town charm – all within easy reach located at the intersection of U.S. 31 and U.S. 10. For information on the Ludington area including lodging, events, and other tools to help plan a Ludington getaway, visit PureLudington.com, facebook.com/ PureLudington, @PureLudington on Instagram and @Pure_Ludington on Twitter; or call 800-542-4600.