We visit Ludington quite frequently, since we have family in the area. We usually only spend a day or two there, often around Christmas. So, our recent trip over a long weekend was the first time we’ve done touristy things in quite a while.
My husband, 15 year old daughter and I arrived on Friday afternoon, and checked into the apartment we rented downtown. ludingtonbluespruceinn.com/iweb/Albums/Pages… The location was perfect - just two blocks from the beach, and the owner was very nice. I selected the upstairs apartment because it was the only one I could find that would rent for less than a full week in the summer. It was a mistake. We should have stayed for a full week, and so we could rent someplace nicer. The apartment was not in good shape. It clean enough, and the bed was comfortable, but the whole thing should have been redone. But, the location was wonderful.
We couldn’t get into our apartment right away, because it hadn’t been cleaned yet, even though we arrived after the check in time. The owner was very apologetic about this, and gave us House of Flavors gift certificates to make up for this mistake, but it did kind of get things off to a rough start. Instead of being able to unpack right away and change into our swimsuits for the beach, we left our luggage in the car and walked there in our regular clothes. We walked the pier out to the lighthouse, which is always enjoyable. I didn’t know they had a gift shop in the lighthouse now - I think it’s a great idea. On the way back, I took off my shoes and waded into the water. It was surprisingly warm. When we got back to the apartment, the cleaning crew was just finishing. We unpacked, and then walked to Jamesport Brewing Co. for dinner. It was a very nice meal, and I really enjoyed the Late July Blue beer, served with fresh blueberries. Oh, and the Friday Night Live going on downtown looked like it would be a lot of fun for families with young children.
Most of our time on Saturday and Sunday was spent visiting family. We did go on a few walks to the beach and downtown. We had some great ice cream cones at the House of Flavors. Their waffle cones are wonderful. The new (to me) grocery store downtown, Best Choice Market, was a nice addition. It was convenient to have someplace within walking distance. We also went swimming at the state park beach on Saturday morning. I was disappointed that the water had turned much colder, but we went swimming anyway.
Monday was our only full day spent on our own in Ludington. We had breakfast at Chef John’s Bakery and Cafe. We all loved this place. The food was terrific, and the eclectic decor was charming. After breakfast, we went to the state park, and walked to the Big Sable Point Lighthouse. We hiked the Lighthouse Road on the way out, and walked along the beach on the way back. It was a very pleasant hike, and we really enjoyed the view from the top of the lighthouse. It is so nice to see the miles and miles of beautiful, undeveloped beach preserved by the state park. I hope it always stays that way. Next, we drove to Hamlin Lake. We considered renting kayaks, but decided not to when we learned they only had single kayaks. My husband recently hurt his shoulder, and couldn’t paddle. I would have been happy to paddle him around in a double kayak, but I didn’t want to oar a canoe by myself with him as a passenger. So, we grabbed a quick meal at the concession stand. We were surprised by how good the French Fries were. If you want a snack at Hamlin Lake, order the fries. One order is enough for two people. Having decided against kayaking, we drove back out the park entrance and found a place to park along the road. A short walk over the dunes had us on a fairly empty stretch of beach. We swam a bit. Again, the water was cold. My daughter and I built a sand castle. I love playing in the sand on Lake Michigan’s beaches. It’s so clean and soft. After returning returning to the apartment for a brief rest and a change of clothes, we walked to Blu Moon Cafe. This restaurant was new to us, and all three of us really liked it. We were glad to see that Ludington is getting a wider variety of restaurants.
We left for home on Tuesday morning. Overall, it was a very enjoyable trip, but it was too short. Next time, I plan on staying for a week.