Independence Day may not be a conventional celebration this year, but there is no shortage of fun to be had in Pure Ludington. Here are some alternative ways you can safely observe the holiday weekend with friends and family in this Lake Michigan shoreline community.
Head to the Beach
Stearns Park Beach is a popular destination to take in some rays, swim or walk the pier. In fact, it’s been named one of the Best Beaches in the World by Travel Addicts. The park is equipped for mini-golf, volleyball, shuffleboard and skateboarding, and has two concession stands in case you get hungry. The Ludington State Park also has a Lake Michigan beach and Hamlin Lake beach for water recreation. If you are looking for a beach off the beaten path, be sure to check out Buttersville Beach. Find a complete list of beaches and parks here.
Entertain the kids
Children will love to visit the giant, outdoor inflatables park, Jump Around Fun Center - and it will be open all weekend, weather permitting. The park has also added a virtual reality arcade for older youth. Or you might try Amber Elk Ranch, home of the world-class bull elk. Take a wagon ride around the 130-acre park to view the animals, enjoy the petting zoo and grab a souvenir from the gift shop. Additionally, Lewis Adventure Farm and Petting Zoo is welcoming visitors all weekend, where you’ll find over 100 animals, 46 attractions and a shop full of fresh garden items, ice cream and treats.
Rent a boat on 5,000-acre Hamlin Lake and explore the picturesque, surrounding forests and dunescapes. Hamlin Lake Boat Rentals offers pontoons and jet skis, as well as fishing boats. Sunset. Bluff Resort has pontoon and fishing boats and offers canoe and kayak rentals. Nearby towns on the Pere Marquette River also have canoe/kayak liveries, offering rentals and transportation services, which you can find here.
A number of Ludington eateries are offering outdoor dining, since indoor capacity has been reduced by half. It’s a great time to enjoy Lake Michigan breezes, chef-crafted entrees and your favorite beverage on a sidewalk cafe, patio or deck. To find establishments offering outside seating and what precautions they are taking to keep you safe, visit http://staysafemasoncounty.com. Takeout food is another great option to enjoy at one of the many parks!
Find live music
If live music is on your weekend wish list, we have you covered. Check out Live in Plaza and FNL Unplugged at James Street Plaza in Downtown Ludington. Ludington Bay Brewing Company is also hosting local artist John Merchant, who will entertain from 6-9 p.m. Friday night.
Stay cool with some ice cream
The iconic House of Flavors is home to numerous original flavors of ice cream, sundaes, milkshakes and specialty desserts, made right here in Ludington. Come hungry, and try their famous Pig’s Dinner. House of Flavors has opened a walk-up window for outdoor service this summer. Kilwin’s is another spot in the downtown district where you will find beautifully dipped cones to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Catch a sunset
Ludington sunsets are difficult to rival as their brilliant colors show up over Lake Michigan. The iconic S.S. Badger is offering a holiday shoreline cruise, boarding at 8:30 p.m., so you can take full advantage of the coast's scenic views. Schedule your excursion here. Alternatively, you can head to the shoreline early, and get a glimpse of the carferry as it makes its way to or from port. A walk on the beach or pier is a perfect way to end any day in Pure Ludington.
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