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.
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 Michigan – Buttersville 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.
Marinas – Harbor 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.
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)
Cottage Works (lakefront retail shop plus cottage and boat services)
Gordy’s Skate Company (clothing plus custom screen printing and embroidery)
Purple Monkey Children’s Boutique (children’s clothing and toys)
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 Bistro – sidewalk seating
Cafe 106 - sidewalk seating
Luciano’s Ristoranti – sidewalk seating
Ludington Pub – back patio
Q Smokehouse – outdoor order window and outside patio
Table 14 – sidewalk seating
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)
Lighthouse Motel - Three pet-friendly rooms for dogs under 20 pounds
Lakeview Cottages – One pet-friendly cottage for “well-behaved” dogs
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
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):
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.
And don't forget to share pictures of your pets enjoying vacation in Ludington by using #PureLudington on Instagram.