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9 Reasons to Explore Ludington this Winter

As the big, white flakes fall to the ground, winter sports enthusiasts flock to the Ludington area. Here, we head outdoors, embrace the season and enjoy all that the area has to offer; but if you are looking for a warm, cozy place, Ludington has those too! 

Here are 9 reasons we feel the Ludington Area is a splendid winter destination!

1. New Year’s Eve Ball Drop

The biggest ball drop in West Michigan comes to Ludington every December 31, complete with an outdoor beer garden, lighted commemorative cups and fireworks display to ring in the New Year. This family-friendly event in Downtown Ludington takes place in the town’s square, as the streets are closed to traffic and an immense crowd gathers for a night of New Year’s Eve revelry. Enjoy a hot chocolate and visit downtown businesses, who are open late, then head to the North James Street Plaza for the festivities and ball drop at midnight!

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2. Ludington State Park

The Ludington State Park is THE winter recreation destination for locals and visitors alike. Here you will find 20 miles of trails with 8 loops and beautiful dunes to explore while hiking, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. The park offers year-round camping, but you can also meander the trails any time without staying overnight. Park rangers even offer snowshoe guides in January and February, as well as lantern-lit snowshoe hikes or cross-country ski trips during scheduled evenings.
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Thanks to the Friends of Ludington State Park, 50 pairs of snowshoes are available for free use on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you have your own gear, even better! 

3. Fat Tire Biking

Another way to explore snow-covered trails in the area is on a fat tire bike. This sport has grown in popularity over recent years, and in Ludington, cycling enthusiasts will find a number of trail systems to try. Enjoy scenic routes along M-116 dunes, or the wooded areas of Cartier Park, Ludington State Park or the Lake Michigan Recreation Area. Ludington is known for being a four season biking location!

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4. Pure Ludington Brrrewfest

This is one winter event in Ludington you don’t want to miss! Bundle up and head to Downtown Ludington’s Rotary Park on January 25 for an afternoon of tasting with 25 Michigan brewers who will have their beer, ciders and meads on hand. A live music stage is part of the fun in this heated tent, where you will also find vendors with Brrrewfest apparel and souvenirs. Tickets are available now!

5. A Romantic Getaway

Ludington is home to a number of cozy bed & breakfasts that want you to feel pampered and comfortable. A number of special savings packages are offered throughout the season, so you can make your escape affordably. The accommodations are conveniently located near  downtown Ludington, where you will find a great variety of shops and restaurants.

6. Live Music

Winter is a great time to find a warm place to listen to music, and Ludington is great at keeping an amazing list of performers on deck to keep you entertained. Visit one of the local breweries or pubs, the community college or center for the arts. Stay up to date by visiting our online Calendar of Events.


7. Take in a Theater Performance: Mamma Mia!

Mamma Mia! will be part of the West Shore Community College Performing Arts Series starting in February. This hilarious story of a young woman’s search for her birth father is set to the soundtrack of ABBA and takes place on a Greek island paradise. Grab your tickets ahead of time for this show full of non-stop laughs and explosive dance numbers!

8. Get Cultured

Join a writers group, a photography class or learn to play the ukulele at the Ludington Area Center for the Arts. These are just a few of the workshops available at this local facility in the heart of Downtown Ludington. The arts center also hosts rotating art exhibits in its gallery, if you are more of an observer. Check out the calendar here.


9. Go Ice Skating

Rekindle your childhood by taking a spin around an ice rink. The West Shore Community Ice Arena has a regulation-sized rink open for skating lessons and public ice skating sessions. You could also check out the public poly rink in Downtown Ludington, where skating is available seven days a week in any weather. Ice skates can be borrowed for free at the Mason County District Library.

Request a Pure Ludington Travel Guide for more travel tips and ideas, and share your photos with us using #PureLudington!

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