Historical Victorian B & B near Lake Michigan
After building his fortune in the booming 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, and tidbits of the Cartier family's history, with their guests.
Accents such as a grand French marble fireplace and stained glass windows add to the old-fashioned elegance alongside the period furniture 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. Alternatively, 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. Try the fresh, french-press coffee, which was ground and roasted in Michigan using a nearly century-old recipe.
Ludington, Michigan: Centuries-Old Lighthouses and Sand Dunes along Lake Michigan
The peaceful harbor town of Ludington, Michigan, hugs the shores of Lake Michigan in the western part of the state's lower peninsula. It's a popular place to dock, especially in the summer when the SS Badger ferries visitors and their cars in from Wisconsin. 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 impressive hauls of 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 with golden sand dunes and winding canoe paths. Hike or bike the trails here to spot deer, swans, and egrets. In colder months, you can trade your hiking boots for snowshoes, a popular way to explore the wilderness in winter. 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 a summertime farmers' market, an Oktoberfest pub crawl, and Ludington's very own New Year's Eve ball drop and fireworks show.
Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.