The western shore of Michigan links lakefront communities like a string of pearls. Most of these towns swell with summer vacationers seeking escape from urban cities to enjoy sandy beaches and recreational activities for all ages. One special town, nestled between Grand Rapids and Traverse City, knows their landscape is significant. Ludington has a century of maritime history to prove it. And a sculpture trail to help tell the story of lumber barons, centennial farms, commercial fishing, and other maritime activities.
This town lives and celebrates its cultural traditions. The SS Badger continues its 60-year-history of transporting passengers across Lake Michigan from its Ludington and Manitowac ports. People wait eagerly at House of Flavors to get a taste of nostalgia – rich, locally-made homemade ice cream that evokes every favorite summer memory.
The new chapter for Ludington, population 8,000, includes renovation of the old Coast Guard Station into a new Maritime Museum and Heritage Park. Additional sculptures will expand the current trail from the waterfront into the community and throughout the county. The Mason County Sports Hall of Fame will open in historic downtown in 2016 to enhance the current cultural district with performing arts center, Sandcastles children’s museum, art galleries, and shops. Thanks to strong leadership and community support, Ludington is charted on a course of cultural economic prosperity. Funding is still needed to help realize all the projects slated in the next several years, but this is the community that can!