Ludington, Michigan.  Not Too Hot. Not Too Cold. It’s Just Right.

When you think of going to the beach what first comes to mind?  For me it is “how crowded will it be?”  I don’t care for crowded beaches filled with young children kicking sand up all over me while I try to improve my tan.  Sand also isn’t my favorite condiment on my sandwich.

So what do you do when all of the beaches are taken over by the local crowd of university students, mothers with small children and those that have nothing else to do in their life but sit on the beach reading?  If you’re in Michigan I suggest going just a little bit further from home to the spot you’ve always wanted to visit but never took the time to do so?  It’s what I did last summer and I won’t be going back to my local beaches ever again.  I found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. 

My destination was Ludington, Michigan.  There I found long finely groomed beaches with very few people, light gentle breezes coming off of Lake Michigan and best of all, it was all free.  Free in my book is always a good thing.

Ludington, Michigan is a small community with friendly helpful people anxious to help you enjoy your stay with them.  The main street runs directly into the beach area of the local city park.  You’ll also find there a boat launch area that can handle craft of most any size.  In fact there is a Lake Michigan ferry service that runs out of the harbor in Ludington with daily trips from Ludington to Manitowoc, Wisconsin.  It’s a great ride and the cost is reasonable.  You can even take your vehicle on the boat with you.

As I was saying, the beaches are well groomed each morning in preparation for those that visit.  There is a small snack shop available and offers great ice cream cones, hot dogs and other tasty delights.  And, so you don’t have to go looking for restroom facilities in town, there are facilities in the snack-shop area for your convenience.

Weather in Ludington can be a little bit unpredictable but if you watch the local T.V. channel they are quite accurate in their forecasting.  Many times the breeze off of the water can be a little cool so bring a light jacket or sweater along just in case.  Sunshine is available most days and temperatures range from 65-90 degrees depending on the wind direction.  Off the lake = cooler temps while East from inland is usually quite a bit warmer.

You won’t be overrun with crowds of people there either.  The beach is large enough to handle hundreds of visitors while still offering a degree of privacy and quiet solitude.  And if you by chance meet someone you’d like to talk to I guarantee they’ll be cordial in welcoming you to their fare city. 

Another added attraction of the beach in Ludington is a pier that is ½ mile long and goes out to an active lighthouse.  You can walk the pier but note that it is at your own risk and I would highly recommend not walking it during windy weather.  Many people have been washed off the pier and some have died.  However if the weather is good and the wind is light it is a delightful walk.  Seagulls abound on the beach area but do not bother the people.  They will of course gladly accept any food but feeding them is discouraged by local ordinance.

There is also a wonderful State Park located just a few miles north of the local beach area where you can camp and enjoy the beaches there.  Cost is minimal and with a day pass or year-long pass it is affordable and enjoyable.  Be sure to check it out while you are in Ludington, my newest most favorite beach in Michigan.