Victorian B&B near Lake Michigan
After building his fortune in the sawmills of lakeside Ludington, 19th-century lumber baron Antoine Cartier built a luxurious Victorian mansion for his wife and children just 1 mile from Lake Michigan. Today, that home is the Ludington House Bed and Breakfast, where evidence of Cartier's passion for woodworking lingers in the carefully carved oak and cherry accents and the majestic walnut staircase. Innkeepers Bill and Kris Stumpf now call the bed and breakfast home and happily share their hospitality, as well as tidbits of the Cartier family's history, with guests.
Accents such as a grand French marble fireplace and stained glass windows add to the old-fashioned elegance alongside period furnishings in the individually decorated guest rooms. On the second floor, an electric fireplace warms the romantic Rose Room, which is decorated with a soft pink palette. Choose the Wicker room for a cozy roost on the third floor with gabled ceilings, white wicker furniture, and quilted bedding.
Every morning, the Stumpfs wake up early to serve a piping hot homemade breakfast that may include peach-stuffed french toast or German apple pancakes. The fresh french-press coffee was ground and roasted in Michigan using a nearly century-old recipe.
Ludington, Michigan: Centuries-Old Lighthouses and Showshoeing Trails Along Lake Michigan
The peaceful harbor town of Ludington hugs the shores of Lake Michigan in the western part of the state's lower peninsula. In the warmer months, fishermen can sail out from the marina to cast a line in Lake Michigan and other, smaller bodies of water teeming with bluegill and lake perch. During the winter, you can ice fish on Pere Marquette Lake to reel in walleye and northern pike.
One of the city's main draws is Ludington State Park, which covers more than 5,000 acres between Lake Michigan and Hamlin Lake. Snowshoeing is a popular way to explore the wilderness in winter. Take to the trails to spot deer, swans, and other critters. Ludington State Park is also home to one of the city's famous lighthouses, Big Sable Point Lighthouse, a 112-foot brick tower built in 1867.
Downtown Ludington exudes a friendly, small-town charm with its rows of boutiques, art galleries, and coffee shops. A number of events are held here throughout the year, including Ludington's very own New Year's Eve ball drop and fireworks show.