Category Archives: Summer

Craft Beer is Brewing in Ludington, MI

Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, just between Grand Rapids and Traverse City, Ludington is making an even bigger mark in the beer scene as of lately. With a new brewery opening this Spring, a micro-brewery expanding into canning operations, a Michigan-only craft beer bar and great beer festivals throughout the year, Ludington is a beer lovers destination.

Let’s start where it all began in Ludington, which is at Jamesport Brewing Company. This month they are celebrating 17 years of business! Located on South James Street, their deck offers great views of Ludington’s harbor and everyone’s favorite, the SS Badger! With 12 taps of their own beer, you are bound to find something you enjoy. Favorite Summer seasonal beers include the Blueberry Wheat and the Badger Brown. Jamesport also boasts a full menu of American fare.

Next on the scene was The Mitten Bar, which opened its doors in July of 2011 in heart of downtown Ludington on Ludington Avenue. This beer bar is faithful to Michigan-only. Meaning they only serve Michigan craft beer, wines and spirits. But honestly, why would they need to serve anything else? It’s a great place to hang with the locals, enjoy a brew and some really great live music!!
In 2015, Starving Artist Brewing Co., opened as a production-only nano-brewery. After winning the 2015 Momentum Business Plan Competition, they used the $50,000 prize to double their square footage, in turn doubling production capacity. Expanded distribution now includes the entire west side of Michigan from the Mackinaw Bridge to the Indiana border. Just last week, Starving Artist released cans of two of their popular brews, Conspiracy IPA and Hop Marley. You can stop by the brewery for cans, growlers and tours by appointment. You can also find their brews at Blu Moon Bistro downtown, Chuck Wagon, The Mitten Bar and many others locally.

The new kid on the block, as of this Spring, will be Ludington Bay Brewing Company. Just down the block from Jamesport Brewing Company, this brand new space will be located on South James Street and features a massive brewing and distribution space, a spacious tap room, and a gorgeous outdoor patio.  Ten taps are set for the brewery’s debut, with more to come once they are up and running. Be sure to keep an eye out for the grand opening of this long awaited addition to the craft beer scene.

Our favorite picks for places to pick up craft beer for the beach or river:

  • Biercamp Market in Downtown Ludington- Located just blocks from the beach and the marinas, this is a great stop for beer and snacks on-the-go. Not only do they have a great selection of craft beer, but you can even grab a drink from their 6 taps while you shop.
  • Bottle & Can in Scottville – If you are heading to the Pere Marquette River, mak a quick stop on Main Street to nab some great craft beer selections.

For upcoming beer events, save the date for the Suds on the Shore, which features over 50 brewers in Rotary Park in downtown Ludington in mid-August. Tickets go on sale in May.

With so many beer activities, Ludington may be your one-stop-destination for a true Pure Michigan experience. While you are in the area, check out our amazing parks and beachesDon’t forget to share your photos with us on Instagram and Facebook using #PureLudington. For more travel information, visit

This Weekend: 2016 Suds on the Shore


The popular Suds on the Shore Craft Beer and Wine Festival is upon us this weekend and is a must stop for beer and wine enthusiasts!

For anyone not familiar with this event, it is hosted in Rotary Park on the outskirts of Downtown Ludington, just blocks from Stearns Park Beach and Lake Michigan. The shady park makes for a great backdrop to all of the fun that is Suds on the Shore. The event is a fundraiser for United Way of Mason County, which means it is also for a great cause. Tickets are $30 at the gate and include a commemorative tasting glass and 8 drink tokens. You can find more information at

If you are on the fence about whether or not to come, check out this line-up:

Angry Orchard/Truly Spiked and Sparkling
Arbor Brewing Co.
Arcadia Ales
Austin Brothers’ Beer Co.
Bardic Wells Meadery
Bell’s Brewery
Blake’s Hard Cider Co.
Blue Moon Brewing Co.
Brewery Terra Firma
Brewery Vivant
Cascade Winery/Jaden James Brewery
Cellar Brewing Co.
Cheboygan Brewing Co.
Cranker’s Brewery
Crispin Cider Co.
Dutch Girl Brewery
Farmhaus Cider Co.
Fetch Brewing Co.
Founders Brewing Co.
Goose Island Beer Co.
Gravel Bottom Craft Brewery
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Great Lakes Wine and Spirits
Hop Lot Brewing Co.
Jamesport Brewing Co.
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales
Love Wines
Ludington Beverage Co.
Mountain Town Brewing Co.
New Holland Brewery
Newaygo Brewing Co.
North Peak Brewing Co.
Northern Oak Brewery
Perrin Brewing Co.
Pigeon Hill Brewing Co.
Railtown Brewing Co.
Redd’s/Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co.
Ridge Cider Co.
Roak Brewing Co.
Rochester Mills Productions Brewery
Sam Adams
Saugatuck Brewing Co.
Schmohz Brewing Co.
Short’s Brewing
Starving Artist Brewing Co.
Stormcloud Brewing Co.
Summit Brewing Co.
Tapistry Brewing Co.
The Mitten Brewing Co.
Traveler Beer Co./Coney Island Beer Co.
Tri-City Brewing
Uncle John’s Hard Cider
Vander Mill
Walldorff Brewpub and Bistro

IMG_3572So if that didn’t convince you, you can make a weekend of it and check out two of Ludington’s favorite craft beer stops in Downtown Ludington, which include Jamesport Brewing Company and The Mitten Bar.

Cheers to another fun weekend in Ludington and don’t forget to tag your photos #pureludington. We love to follow along on your adventures!

7 Things to Do this 4th of July Holiday Weekend in Ludington

s Happening fireworks

Photo by Todd & Brad Reed Photography

If you are looking to celebrate the 4th of July, Pure Ludington must be on your list. This small town does 4th of July big!  To make your trip easier, we have put together a list of things to be sure to check out if you are in the Ludington Area this holiday weekend: 

1. Kick off the holiday weekend in Downtown Ludington. These is always something new to see and do in Downtown Ludington, which is why if you are in town this weekend, you must take stroll along Ludington Avenue and South James Street to see what is new. Stop by the North James Street Plaza on Thursday evening (June 30) for live music! There are great outdoor dining options and quaint shops for you to find something to take home to remember your trip to Ludington.

2. Spend a day at one of Michigan’s top beaches. Summer is finally here and a trip to Ludington isn’t complete without a day at the beach. Known for our award winning sugar-sand beaches, there are plenty of places along the shoreline for you to enjoy the sun, sand and fresh water of Lake Michigan.


Photo courtesy of Ludington Area Center for the Arts

3. Enjoy the West Shore Art Fair. July 2 & 3, the Ludington Area Center for the Arts will be hosting the West Shore Art Fair at Rotary Park (formerly City Park), an annual tradition in Ludington for 48 years. This open-air, juried fine art and fine crafts show features 100-plus fine artists in a variety of media, including clay, drawing, fiber, glass, jewelry, painting and photography. The show features live music, food stations and a children’s activity area.

4. Catch the Hamlin Lake fireworks on Saturday evening. If you are all about the fireworks, you can catch 2 nights of fireworks in Ludington this weekend starting with the show over Hamlin Lake on Saturday, July 2. An annual fireworks tradition at Hamlin Lake since the 1970s, this fireworks display is best viewed by boat in the Upper Lake from Indian Pete Bayou west to Victory Park, or on the south shore of the Upper Lake. If you don’t have a boat, you can rent a boat from places like Hamlin Lake Boat Rentals for you and the family to enjoy a spectacular view of the fireworks. If you would rather stay on land, Wilson Hill Park is a great place to watch from and there is an ice cream social prior to the display. It doesn’t get much sweeter than that.

5. Take part in the Freedom Festival Children & Pet Parade. Get the kids and your four legged friends dressed in their best patriotic garb and celebrate the holiday weekend in style. This family-friendly event takes place on Sunday, July 3 and begins at the corner of Loomis and Ferry Streets and proceeds to the Waterfront Park Pavilion, where prizes will be awarded.

4th of july -92

Photo by Todd & Brad Reed Photography

6. Take part in the tradition by attending the Freedom Festival Grand Parade. The Freedom Festival Grand Parade is one for your weekend list of must-do’s while here for the 4th of July. This small town knows how to put on a big parade. You will want to find your seat along Ludington Avenue between Madison Street and Lakeshore Drive early, but the parade doesn’t begin until 2pm. The kids will be able to see firetrucks, classic cars, animals and of course the Scottville Clown Band! You can follow the parade to the beach and enjoy an afternoon picnic on the beach until the fireworks later in the evening.

7. Take in the amazing Fireworks over Lake Michigan. This 20 minute display brings 20,000 people to the Lake Michigan shoreline in Ludington. Before dusk, make your way to Stearns Park Beach and dig yourself a cozy spot in the sand to lay back and take in the amazing colors and sounds of the show. It is the perfect ending to a 4th of July done right in Ludington!

Come explore the Americana traditions and celebrations of Independence Day here in Pure Ludington

Grab A Spoon, Take Part in World Record Attempt for Longest Ice Cream Dessert

12697018_10153728277280804_2787719327708035679_oHouse of Flavors of Ludington invites any and all ice cream lovers to belly up to a half-mile long ice cream sundae on Ludington Avenue between Park and Harrison Streets in downtown Ludington and eat House of Flavors ice cream to help win the Guinness World Record for the Longest Ice Cream Dessert. The attempt will take place at 6pm on June 11, and is one of the many family-friendly events happening as part of ‘Love Ludington’ Weekend.

Fun Facts About the Longest Ice Cream Dessert Guinness World Record Attempt:

  • Length of dessert: Half mile – 2,640 feet; 31,680 inches; more than eight city blocks
  • Amount of ice cream: 855 gallons from 285 three-gallon containers served into 12,825+ scoops
  • Toppings and amounts: 800 pounds of chocolate syrup, 600 cans of whipped cream and 2,000 maraschino cherries from Michigan Cherryworks (aka CherryMan) in Hart, Mich.
  • Container: A continuous metal trough constructed from seamless house gutter by Superior Seamless Gutter and Square Deal Building Supply in Ludington, Mich.
  • Number of people involved: 7,500+: 6,400+ to eat ice cream, 550 scoopers and 550 volunteers
  • World Record qualifications: Dessert must be one continuous food item, entirely edible (and consumed), and have at least one extra topping in addition to ice cream.

More than 6,000 people are needed to consume two scoops of ice cream each, and eaters should arrive by 5 p.m. at any point along the eight-block stretch to watch construction of the ice cream trough and building of the dessert before they eat at 6 p.m. The trough will be a serving dish from which ice cream will be scooped into individual bowls for consumption. No registration is necessary to eat at the event, but participants can RSVP at the event Facebook page where they can also follow event details.

Those wishing to volunteer as a ‘scooper’ can register at


Love Ludington Weekend Kick’s Off Summer Season


While the first official day of summer isn’t for a few more weeks, Ludington is celebrating it early as it declares June 11-12 a “Love Ludington” weekend full of summertime festivals and activities to get residents and visitors in the spirit of summer.

The weekend will feature favorite annual traditions like the Ludington Lakestride Half Marathon and Pirates of the Caribbean Shoreline Cruise on the S.S. Badger, plus incorporate new traditions like a Guinness World Record attempt for the Longest Ice Cream Dessert, sunset beach bonfire on Lake Michigan and craft show at Historic White Pine Village.

Here is the scoop on all of the weekend’s festivities:

Friday, June 10

Ludington Lakestride “Fun Run” (6 p.m. start): The 36-year running event tradition of Ludington Lakestride opens Friday evening with a one-mile family fun run departing from the west end of Ludington Avenue in a half mile out-and-back run to the Marina Park Playground. The event is free, and families can show up that evening to participate (no pre-registration necessary).

Saturday, June 11

248827_199401066773519_82367_nLudington Lakestride (8 a.m. start): This 36-year tradition provides runners a beautiful running race near Lake Michigan, with options for a 5K, 10K and half marathon. Races begin at 8 a.m. starting at 612 N. Lakeshore Dr. (Nader’s Lakeshore Motor Lodge) and finishing at Stearns Beach on Lake Michigan. The half marathon passes through Ludington State Park featuring a run down a sand dune plus return route with views of the dunes and Lake Michigan. Registration fees range from $32 for the 5K to $42 for the half marathon. A free children’s “fun run” also is available Friday night (see above). Packet pick-up and late registration is available Friday June 10, 5 to 8 p.m. at Lakestride Race Central at the center of Stearns Park Beach, and Saturday June 11, 7 to 8 a.m. at the same location.

Historic White Pine Village Craft Show/Mason County Day (10 a.m. –  4 p.m.): Historic White Pine Village is debuting a new handmade craft show from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during Mason County Day. The craft show will feature hand-made items including jewelry, clothing, pottery, food, wooden and leather items, painting and drawing, and textiles. Additional events throughout the day include the Ludington Mariners Old Time Base Ball Team Open House from 1 to 3 p.m. and Blessing of the Vintage Cars at 1:30 p.m. Admission to Historic White Pine Village is $9 for adults 18 and older, $6 for youth ages 6-17 years, and $25 for a family rate for two adults and dependent children 17 and under. Children ages 5 and under are free.  Mason County residents get in free June 11 for Mason County Day, and Manistee, Lake, and Oceana County residents receive $1 off adult admission and $2 off family admission.

Guinness World Record Attempt – Longest Ice Cream Dessert (5 p.m. arrival; 6 p.m. start): Ice cream lovers can belly up to a half-mile long ice cream sundae on Ludington Avenue between Park and Harrison Streets in downtown Ludington and eat House of Flavors ice cream to help Ludington and House of Flavors (official event applicant) win the Guinness World Record for the Longest Ice Cream Dessert. More than 6,000 people are needed to consume two scoops of ice cream each, and eaters should arrive by 5 p.m. at any point along the eight-block stretch to watch construction of the ice cream trough and building of the dessert before they eat at 6 p.m. The trough will be a serving dish from which ice cream will be scooped into individual bowls for consumption. No registration is necessary to eat at the event, but participants can RSVP at the event Facebook page where they can also follow event details. Those wishing to volunteer as a scooper can register at

shoreline_2015_06_06_little_pirates_resizedPirates of the Caribbean Shoreline Cruise, S.S. Badger (8:30 – 10:30 p.m.; boarding begins at 7:45): Passengers can wear pirate costumes and speak in pirate lingo on this festive Lake Michigan cruise along Ludington’s shoreline aboard America’s last coal-fired steamship. In addition to the two-hour cruise, the ticket price of $39 includes a Badger Party Buffet with desserts and soft drinks, and live music by “Two Dudes in Flip Flops” featuring guitar, steel pan and vocals. A cash bar also is available with drink specials. Children 5 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased in person at the ticket office or by calling 800-841-4243.

Sunset Beach Bonfire with International Pirate Performer Michael Beans (8 – 10 p.m.)Todd Reed_8322_Wednesday_July 2_2014_Lighting Up Ludington_Toned and Redone on 3_03_2015_watermarked

For those who opt to stay on land instead of boarding the S.S. Badger, Ludington will offer its inaugural sunset beach bonfire of the season, on the shores of Lake Michigan at Stearns Beach – also a vantage point to see the S.S. Badger pass by. The first in a series of free community bonfires this summer, this one will offer a special pirate-themed twist in honor of the S.S. Badger’s pirate cruise. Part musician, part showman and part sailor, Grand Haven native Michael Beans will take the stage with a pirate-inspired musical performance in a two-hour set he dubs “”Happy Arrr” complete with music, stories, sing-a-longs and audience interaction.

Top 5 Places to catch a Pure Ludington Sunset

One thing we are almost always guaranteed of when spending time outdoors is a picturesque landscape of lightly painted colors in the sky. Sunsets on the horizon here in Ludington mark the close of a successful day on the lakeshore. Listed here are a few of the best places to find yourself with a nice view.

  1. Brad Reed_Day 141 of 365-May 21_2010_square crop_watermarkedLudington Waterfront Park

Wandering among the bronze sculptures telling of Ludington’s history and highlights, the view of the S.S. Badger sitting proudly in the channel after a day on the water, a bench calls you over to sit back and relax while you take in the beauty of the sunset against the boats nestling into the marina at the close of their adventurous day.

  1. Walking the beach

Your toes burying into the warm sand, the breeze coming in off of the water as the heat from the sun gets a bit milder. As you are walking along the beach with the waves washing up onto your feet the reflection of the suns glow slowly fading away into the water.

  1. Todd Reed_3366_Summer Light_square crop_watermarkedNorth Breakwater Lighthouse

For another post to wave hello to the passengers on the S.S. Badger and take in a gorgeous view of Lake Michigan, the City of Ludington and a striking piece of maritime history, The North Breakwater Lighthouse is a half mile walk down the pier so you can enjoy a city stroll to the view and reward yourself with the end of the day sky show.

  1. Deck of beach house in state park

Expansive decks nestled amongst the sands of the Ludington State Park have a perch that is perfect for a picnic and a relaxing place to unwind. The reflections of the clouds and vividly marked horizon will paint the sky for your own show. Take in the beauty amidst one of the most handsome beaches in Michigan.

  1. Canoeing on Hamlin Lake

Brad Reed_Day 174 of 365-June 23_2010_square crop_watermarkedAfter a day of hiking through Ludington State Park and seeing the lovely scenery there is to offer, it’s great to work in an arm work-out as well. With a Canoe or Kayak you are able to access Hamlin Lake and enjoy the serene canoe trail within the park and the access points to Hamlin Lake. There are many points within the paddling area where you can sit in total solitude and enjoy the peace of nature and an exquisitely painted sky.

July Event Round-Up

 July is a busy month full of festivals and events to enjoy. Mark your calendars!

3 Hamlin Lake Fireworks @ Dusk
4 Ludington Area Jaycees Grand Parade, 2:00pm
4 S.S. Badger Shoreline Cruise, 9:00pm
4 Ludington Fireworks @ Dusk
4-5 West Shore Art Fair @ Ludington City Park
10 Friday Night Live, Downtown Ludington, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
10-11 Scottville Summerfest Car Show in Scottville
11 Breakfast on the Farm @ Stakenas Farms, 9:00am – 1:00pm
11 Old Time Baseball Tournament @ Historic White Pine Village, 10:00am – 5:00pm
11 Big Sable Point Lighthouse Bus Day, 12:00pm – 5:00pm
12 Scottville Summerfest Chicken BBQ & Rubber Duck Race
12 19th Annual Garden Walk 1:00pm – 5:00pm
12 Mason County Saddle Club Open Horse Show @ Mason County Fairgrounds
16-19 Ludington Offshore Classic Fishing Tournament @ Waterfront Park,
17 Friday Night Live, Downtown Ludington 
18 Children’s Day @ Historic White Pine Village, 10:00am – 5:00pm
18 8th Annual Buccaneer Bash @ Ludington Boat Club, 4:00pm – 10:00pm
18-19 West Michigan Horse All Breed Summer Cizzler Horse Show @ Mason County Fairgrounds
23 Sunset Bonfire @ Stearns Park Beach, 8:00pm – 10:00pm
24 Friday Night Live, Downtown Ludington
25 West Shore Bank’s Rhythm & Dunes Concert @ Waterfront Park
25 Gordy’s King of the Beach Skate Competition @ Ludington Skate Plaza, 5:00pm – 8:00pm
25 Big Sable Point Lighthouse Bus Day, 12:00pm – 5:00pm
31 Friday Night Live, Downtown Ludington
31 Movie at the Band Shell @ Scottville Clown Band Shell
31- Aug 2 Summer Sidewalk Sales, Downtown Ludington

For the full detailed schedule click here!

Five Rainy Day Destinations to Brighten Your Day

If the rainy weather is keeping you and the family from being outside, don’t worry, there are many other activities you can dive into that will occupy your interests. Here are a few suggestions to get your rainy day plans started.

Sandcastle Children’s Museum

For those of you waiting around for that must-see marathon of your favorite show; get away from the TV. Instead, bring your kids and come join us at the Sandcastles Children’s Museum. Here you can discover what it’s like to explore the world’s offerings with the whole family. Make a day out of it and come experience a one of a kind learning environment. At Sandcastles Children’s Museum there is a plethora of wonderful hands on activity that will stimulate creativity, curiosity, and of course the love of learning.

West Shore Community College Recreational Center

You may not be able to enjoy the beach, but rainy days don’t have to stop you from enjoying some swim time. The Recreation Center at West Shore Community College as a go-to option for your rainy day schedules. This recreational pool is conveniently close to the Ludington area, and will exceed all expectations as a rainy day activity.

The Historic White Pine Village

17From school field trip’s, to weekend adventures, Historic White Pine Village is a must-see historical experience. You can tour 30 buildings that represent and display a glimpse of Mason County’s past. This is a self-guided tour that will be remembered as a great educational experience for the whole family. Make it a rainy day tradition and visit Historic White Pine Village!

The Ludington Area Center for the Arts (LACA)

11013014_10153315052358189_1849658384086004731_nIf you are looking for something to brighten up a rainy day, we suggest checking out the Ludington Area Center for the Arts. When the weather is less than desirable for the beach, LACA is a great place to explore the center and take in some fantastic art. Their gallery space hosts many exhibits and events throughout the year and if you catch the right day you may even be able to take a class or watch a theater performance.

AJ’s Family Fun Center

If you are looking for some fast paced fun during that gloomy rainy day, AJ’s Family Fun Center is the place for you. AJ’s is the perfect setting for all members of the family to do something that they enjoy, while spending the day together. AJ’s features multiple attractions such as, mini golf, bumper boats, laser tag, arcade games, and so much more.

For more rainy day activities and suggestions, download the Pure Ludington mobile app.

12 Things for Your Pure Ludington Vacation Bucket List


1. Catch one of the Sunset Beach Bonfires planned this summer at Stearns Park Beach. Mark your calendars for June 25, July 23 and August 27 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!

2. Try SUP Boarding. With Lake Michigan close by and several inland lakes, there are plenty of places to try this new trendy paddle sport.

3. Watch the 4th of July Fireworks from aboard the SS BadgerTaking a trip on the historic SS Badger is always a treat, but the 4th of July Shoreline Cruise is pretty special. It’s a great celebration on the ship capped off with a spectacular view of the fireworks over Lake Michigan!

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!

IMG_19125. Get your Picture in front of the #LoveLudington logo. Located on the SE corner of the intersection of Ludington Avenue and Robert Street, this new artwork added last summer is the perfect backdrop for your vacation pictures! Be sure to tag your photo on social media #loveludington.

6.Explore the area’s history along the Mason County Lumber Heritage TrailThis self-guided, interactive tour of Ludington’s lumber baron homes and historic places is a great way to explore new places and learn about our rich history. Download the Pure Ludington mobile app for more self-guided tours with directions (Apple & Android keyword: Pure Ludington).

7. Take Charterboat fishing trip on Lake Michigan. 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 are 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.

8. Hike to Big Sable Lighthouse at Ludington State Park. If you love lighthouses, this is definitely one to visit. Plus its a great excuse to check out one of Michigan’s top state parks, Ludington State Park. Open daily through October, you can climb to the top and take a memento home from the gift shop. If the 2 mile hike to the lighthouse isn’t your thing, mark your calendars for one of the Bus Days, where for a small fee you can get a lift out the lighthouse and back.

9. Try a flight of Michigan’s craft beers IMG_1913at 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. They have 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!

10. 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 park for some time at the playground.

11. 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. Take your pick from rooftop decks to decks overlooking the harbor.

12. Relax with your toes in the sand 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.

SS Badger Sets Sail

The SS Badger is setting sail on her maiden voyage of the 2015 season on the 15th of May. There are some new and exciting things on the majestic 7-story Badger this year, one of them being a new ash conveyor system which will allow for a more environmentally friendly approach to dispose of the coal ash produced.

LighhouseSince getting her belly wet in Lake Michigan on September 6th of 1952, and setting sail in March of 1953 she has had many jobs; starting out as a ferry for rail cars she earned the name of “Queen of the Lakes” during the golden era of ferry boats in the late 1950s. The SS Badger has been working diligently since the 1970s to extend travel adventures for families and provide cross-lake access for anything from bicycles to wind turbines.

 After what was thought to be the end of her reign as the “Queen of the Lakes” in 1990 when she tied up at the dock in Ludington at the end of the sailing season in November; the belief and financial support from Charles Conrad helped what can now be considered the SS Badger reinvention with about 490 crossings per season; the 4 hour, 60 mile cruise from mid-May through mid-October has been a staple of regularity for the Ludington and Manitowoc areas now since 1992.

Notable accomplishments for the SS Badger have been awarded since 1996 when the Badgerpropulsion system aboard the ship was elected as a “mechanical engineering landmark” by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. She has been recognized since 1997 for her historical acclaims as a “Registered Historic Site” by both Michigan and Wisconsin; and also designated as a “Michigan Centennial Business” by the Historical Society of Michigan. In 2002 the Steamship Historical Society named her “Ship of the Year” and most recently, in 2009 the Badger was placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of Interior.

With great contribution from the current owners; Bob Manglitz, Don Clingan, and Jim Anderson as well as the amazing people that work proudly on the front lines as well as behind the scenes to make the Badger shine brightly against that beautiful blue Lake Michigan. Whether you are on the break wall waving to those heading out on the horizon or greeting those coming home, we are lucky to have her stately presence sitting proudly every time she docks here in Ludington. Have a smooth sail and wonderful season in 2015.


Maddison DeBaarWritten by: Maddison Tongue

Maddison recently move to Ludington with her husband after years of vacationing in the area year-round. As avid outdoors people they enjoy hiking, camping, fishing and finding any excuse to be near the water.