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Exploring Downtown Ludington

There are some eight venues with live music, making for a festive atmosphere and lots of foot traffic. People often bump into friends-or make new ones-while strolling downtown, shopping, dining or enjoying music and being out and about. The work of local artisans is often found at the shops, while local meats and produce from the area’s fertile farms are found at the restaurants and markets when possible.
If you prefer the intimacy of shopping small, Ludington is the place for you. Resort-town kitsch, LoveLudington swag, vacation needs including books or sand toys, bike and watercraft rentals, beer and wine, trendy clothing, shoes and accessories for kids and adults are sure to be found. Equally as handy are the staples like grocery stores, pharmacies and furniture, fine art and photography, sporting goods, home and garden needs as well as cars and trucks.

shopping1A Year-Round Community

Many of the coastal communities up and down the Lake Michigan Shoreline are bustling for those 16 weeks during the peak summer season, but Ludington is a little different. Although the summer season is certainly a high point for tourism and visitors to the area, we also have a vibrant year round community that keeps upwards of 80% of our downtown businesses open all year around. This is thanks to the diverse business and industrial economy in the area that provides for a critical mass of residents, and those people need places to shop, eat and experience culture and entertainment.

We vacationed in Ludington for twelve years then moved here in 2008. We also looked at other places to live around the country but realized we always had fun, regenerative vacations in Ludington. Other places were nice but Ludington & its people always felt like home.

In a community of Ludington’s size, it’s easy to see how we’re all connected. Dine local, shop local, bank local, use local services and you know where your money is going – you know the owner, their family, and you know they shop local, dine local and use local banks and services so it’s easy to see a real economic cycle and respect for one another that fosters an attitude of “It’s gotta work for everyone.” There’s a real sense of community in Ludington.

And Ludington’s people do a lot to help one another – fund raising, lending working hands, goods or services, for those in need or to help one another grow skills and capabilities.


Mike Lenich

Resident, Local Musician

The Commerce Corridor

In addition to all of the wonderful businesses that make downtown Ludington special to not only the locals, but visitors, there are also ‘Big Box’ stores for groceries, clothing, home goods, office supplies and building supplies extending east from downtown along the US 10 corridor.

If you would like to spend the day at a mall, a quick trip south to Muskegon, or a day trip north to Traverse City should be all you require. Muskegon is a pretty, 45-minute drive south along US 31, and Traverse City is about an hour and a half north along the picturesque roads adjacent to the Lake Michigan Coastline.

Quaint Main Streetsshopping2

Downtown Ludington is not the only quaint and historic main street in the area. Scottville, to the east (approximately 10 minutes east of Ludington) is home to a historic downtown that boasts many multi-generational businesses. In addition, there are many new businesses that are starting along the central business district including one new business in Cottage Works. This quaint shop was founded by transplants to the area, and has grown into a thriving business that features a retail component in lakeside living and cottage decor. In addition, they specialize in the management of seasonal properties, dock maintenance, winterization and many more services.