Five Items to Cross Off Your Ludington Beach Day Checklist

The beaches of Ludington are no stranger to summer fun! Today, guest blogger Brandy Henderson reminds us to cross these five items off your beach day checklist to make your Pure Ludington getaway complete. 

Photo by Todd Reed

Photo by Todd Reed

1. Find the perfect beach for the occasion

With 28 miles of sandy shoreline, you are sure to find the perfect place to drop your beach towel in Pure Ludington. Known for beautiful, sugar-sand beaches along Lake Michigan, Ludington is home to award winning beaches with lots of amenities, dog friendly beaches where your furry friends can take a dip and secluded natural shoreline for a more private setting. Ludington’s beaches have something for everyone.

Most notably, the public beach at Stearns Park has been the recipient of numerous awards over the years. Recently, USA Today named Stearns Park Beach one of the Top 51 Great American Beaches, representing the #1 beach in Michigan. With well-maintained facilities, groomed sugar-sands, beautiful views of the North Breakwater Lighthouse overlooking Lake Michigan and close proximity to the quaint downtown, this is truly a beach to be experienced.

2. Watch or ride the SS Badger

Photo by Todd Reed

Photo by Todd Reed

Stearns Park Beach is also a great place to catch the historic carferry, SS Badger, setting sail across Lake Michigan. This historic ship is the last coal-powered steam ship operating in North America. The 4 hour trip across Lake Michigan aboard the SS Badger can be filled by enjoying the movie theater, enjoying a drink on the bow, watching the kids play in the arcade or just relaxing in the lounge playing games. The Badger operates between Ludington and Manitowoc, WI daily between May and October. Reconnect and relax on the SS Badger!

3. Enjoy A Michigan Craft Brew

Jamesport Brewing Company and The Mitten Bar in downtown Ludington both serve up some great craft beers, as well as some great food. Jamesport Brewing Company is a micro-brewery and at any time you can try any one of their dozen brews. Jamesport is also a great place to catch the sunset or SS Badger making its way home on their outdoor deck.

The Mitten Bar is quickly becoming a “must stop” destination for Michigan beer lovers. The Mitten Bar has created a destination and culture that celebrates craft beer as well as artisan wine and fine spirits from all around Michigan, right here in downtown Ludington. This quaint little bar serves up 13 taps of Michigan craft beer in addition to Michigan-made wine and liquor.

4. Cool off with an ice cream cone at House of Flavors

Photo by Todd Reed

Photo by Todd Reed

It isn’t a stop to Ludington, without a stop at House of Flavors. This 50’s style diner serves up breakfast all day long and have more than 30 flavors of ice cream to fit your fancy. A popular tradition for locals and visitors is to grab an ice cream cone from House of Flavors and walk to the beach or Waterfront Sculpture Park to enjoy one of Ludington’s breathtaking sunsets.

5. Reconnect with Nature at the Ludington State Park

One of Michigan’s most popular state parks, the Ludington State Park, is comprised of nearly 5,300 acres of scenic sand dunes, marshlands and forests.  This beautiful retreat is one of the best places to camp. It is situated between Hamlin Lake and Lake Michigan with several miles of shoreline and beaches on both bodies of water. In addition to several miles of hiking and biking trails you can enjoy, visitors can also take a short hike to the Big Sable Lighthouse. Your stay at the Ludintgton State Park will be filled with lots of adventures!

IMG_0057Brandy Henderson is the Executive Director of the Ludington Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. She is a lifelong resident of Ludington and a Michigan enthusiast. 

Life’s A Beach: Announcing Pure Michigan’s 10-Day Instagram #BeachChallenge

Photo by Instagram user @jmwuokko

Photo by Instagram user @jmwuokko

UPDATE: Congratulations to Gina Ferwerda, winner of our Pure Michigan Instagram #BeachChallenge! Read about Gina’s winning entry and see 14 other photos that will get you dreaming of a perfect Pure Michigan beach day here.

From sparkling blue waters to the chance to reconnect with friends and family, Michigan’s beaches are as as diverse as they are beautiful!

As the summer beach season kicks into high gear, we, along with our partners at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), are excited to announce the launch of our 10-day Instagram #BeachChallenge!

We’re challenging our fans to share photos of their favorite Michigan beaches on Instagram to showcase the great variety of activities that travelers and residents can enjoy during a day at the beach in Pure Michigan. For each day of the 10-day challenge, fans will be asked to share photos that represent that day’s challenge topic.

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Follow @PureMichigan on Instagram. If you don’t have an Instagram account, get started here.
  2. Take a photo of your favorite Michigan beach. Share your photo with us @PureMichigan using hashtags #PureMichigan #BeachChallege. Post your photo using Instagram, Twitter or our Pure Michigan Beaches gallery, and tell us the location of your photo in the caption! (On Instagram, be sure to include the hashtags in the photo description and not the comments section).
  3. Follow the link provided in the auto response.
  4. Complete the entry form and view your photo in the gallery.
  5. Check the challenge topic schedule below and get ready to share your next #PureMichigan #BeachChallenge photo.
  • June 20 – Favorite Beach to Catch a Sunrise or Sunset
  • June 21 – Favorite Dog-Friendly Beach
  • June 22 – Favorite State Park Beach
  • June 23 – Favorite Beach to Fly a Kite
  • June 24 – Favorite Beach for Watersports
  • June 25 – Favorite Beach for Fishing from a Shore or Dock
  • June 26 – Favorite Beach to Experience Clear Waters
  • June 27 – Favorite Beach to Take a Long Walk
  • June 28 – Favorite Beach to Hang Out with Family and Friends
  • June 29 – Favorite Beach to Watch Fireworks
Photo by Facebook Fan John McCormick

Photo by Facebook Fan John McCormick

All entries tagged with #puremichigan and #beachchallenge will be populated into the gallery on michigan.org. For each challenge topic, we’ll choose one daily winner to be featured on our Pure Michigan Instagram page and receive a Personal Sun Care Kit from the Pure Michigan Store.

At the end of the challenge, we’ll choose one grand prize photo from all entries received. The grand prize winner will have their photo featured across Pure Michigan social channels and receive an “Ultimate Pure Michigan Beach Day” prize package that includes a 24 oz Pure Michigan Water Bottle Beach Towel Tote BagFire Pit Tackle BoxFishing Lure Kit,  Ice Berg Cooler Fun Bucket with Shovel and Personal Sun Care Kit.

The grand prize winner will be announced during the week of July 1, 2014.

View the official contest rules here.

Happy Instagramming! We’re so excited to see our fans’ spectacular photo submissions!

Where is your favorite Pure Michigan beach? 

Seven Exciting Activities to Enjoy at Silver Lake Sand Dunes

Photo courtesy of Facebook fan Bruce Edwards

Photo courtesy of Facebook fan Bruce Edwards

The temperatures are rising and we’re thinking ahead to long days spent soaking up the sun in Pure Michigan. Today, guest blogger Andrea Hekkema from Hart Visitors Bureau describes seven exciting activities to enjoy in the Silver Lake Sand Dunes area.

Located on the coast of Lake Michigan is a sandy paradise called Silver Lake Sand Dunes. The landscape is unique to anything else in Michigan – sand dunes tower hundreds of feet into the air and the sounds of all-terrain vehicles buzz in the distance. Silver Lake Sand Dunes often attract off-roading enthusiasts who test their abilities on the challenging terrain. The dunes are also a fantastic travel destination for visitors looking to take advantage of adventurous activities and unique attractions. For anybody traveling to the west coast of Michigan, these seven activities near Silver Lake Sand Dunes deserve a stop on the itinerary.

Photo courtesy of Silver Lake Sand Dunes - Hart Visitors Bureau

Photo courtesy of Todd and Brad Reed Photography

Try Sandboarding on the Dunes: Sandboarding is the summer equivalent of snowboarding. Riders either rent a board or bring one from home and ride the monstrous sand dunes as a unique way to experience the terrain. Those interested can rent a board and safety equipment from The Sand Box and Wave Club Watersports Rentals.

Take a Driving Excursion: Own a dune buggy, quad or a 4×4 vehicle? As long as it meets requirements such as an ORV sticker and a 10-foot orange flag, it is good to go. A better alternative for most visitors is to rent an off-road vehicle specially equipped to handle the unique challenges of driving on sand. The Silver Lake Sand Dunes are the only sand dunes east of the Mississippi River where pedestrians are allowed to drive a private motorized vehicle from April 1st through October 31st.

Tour the Dunes with Mac Wood’s Dune Rides: Another way to explore the dunes is on a guided tour with Mac Wood’s Dune Rides. This option allows visitors to enjoy the dunes firsthand, riding with a driver who understands the history and environment of the constantly changing sand dunes.  The ride is approximately 40 minutes and follows a 7 mile route through the dunes and a quick stop at Lake Michigan.

Photo courtesy of Silver Lake Sand Dunes - Hart Visitors Bureau

Photo courtesy of Silver Lake Sand Dunes – Hart Visitors Bureau

Visit the Sable Point Lighthouse: The Little Sable Point Lighthouse is the perfect place to stop for a picnic on the beach or catch a magnificent Lake Michigan sunset. Located in Oceana County, the Little Sable Point Lighthouse was built in 1874 and is open to the public for a small admission fee. Spectacular views of Lake Michigan and the surrounding area are visible from the top of the light.

Catch Some Rays on the Golf Course: For a traveler who is looking for something more relaxing than trekking through the dunes, there are other options too. The Silver Lake Sand Dunes area is home to four great golf courses for the beginner and experienced golfer. The courses feature rolling hills and perfectly green fairways that are sure to please. The area around the dunes also features family activities such as go karts, mini golf, bumper boats and a zip line.

Photo courtesy Silver Lake Sand Dunes - Hart Visitors Bureau

Photo courtesy Silver Lake Sand Dunes – Hart Visitors Bureau

Take the Family to a Local Festival: There’s always something fun going on in the Silver Lake Sand Dunes area. New this year is the Blues, Brews & Dunes Festival on May 31 featuring live music from Big Boss Blues, and Hank Mowery and The Hawktones. Local foods and Michigan beers will be on hand during the festival. Other events this summer include the Blessing of the Duners, National Asparagus Festival and the Apple & BBQ Cook-off Fest in September.

Discover Local Treasures: Silver Lake is home to some small-town favorites that visitors must try. Hansen Foods is locally known for having the best brats and hot dogs while the Fox Barn Winery has a unique Asparagus Wine. The Country Dairy has a $1 endless cup of milk to quench a thirst after a long day.

Everyone has an inner-adventurer who is waiting to head to Silver Lake Sand Dunes. For more information on planning a trip to this area, visit ThinkDunes.com for travel ideas and local destinations.

Have you visited Silver Lake Sand Dunes? Tell us about your experience!