Back to Ludington
If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you might remember that I used to visit Ludington, Michigan every 4th of July. I even wrote a blog post about how I wouldn’t be able to return to Ludington until 2017. Well, I was a few years off, but I finally got to go back!
My friend Emma’s dad is from Ludington and she’s been going there her whole life. I love Ludington and was excited to take Alex there so he could experience small-town, American 4th of July.
Ludington is all about the outdoors and being in nature, which I love. Although I don’t anticipate a lot of people visiting Ludington after reading this post, I think you should (although I couldn’t handle it if Ludington became a tourist trap, so maybe it’s for the best).
Either way, here are the things that we did in our week in Ludington.
This was by far Alex’s favorite part of the weekend. A huge group of people (from Emma’s dad’s high school friend group and all their children and their friends) got on canoes and kayaks and floated down the Pere Marquette River for about 18 miles. It was an all-day affair but we brought lunch and plenty of drinks. This definitely wasn’t a race haha. Alex was in his element and found plenty of trees to jump off and ropes to swing on.
Hiking in the state park
Ludington State Park and Hamlin Lake are a short drive from Ludington. The park is gorgeous and there are multiple hiking trails of various lengths. You can also rent kayaks, canoes, and pedal boats to cruise around the lake (or bring your own boat). Fun fact: I saw more snakes in my 5 weeks in America than in my whole time living in Africa.
Swimming in Lake Michigan
The water in Lake Michigan is bitterly cold, even in the dead of summer, but totally worth jumping in. This was Alex’s first time in the Great Lakes and during our five weeks in the States, Alex got to swim in Lake Michigan, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Gulf of Mexico. Despite what you may think, there is actually a beach on the shore of Lake Michigan so you can layout or build sandcastles if cold water isn’t your thing. How cute is Alex in his American Flag swimsuit??
Fourth of July Parade + Barbeque + Fireworks
Our Fourth of July activities are pretty standard: watching the parade as it marches down the main street (including the famous Clown Band), a barbeque with the family, and watching fireworks from the harbor. This was Alex’s first time celebrating the 4th of July and I’m so glad he got to experience a traditional, small-town, American 4th.
P.S. I hate when people take pictures of fireworks, like, we all know what a firework looks like, and if you don’t, then Google it. Plus, unless you have a nice camera and skills, firework pictures never turn out great. So, the only pic you’re getting from our firework experience is me and Alex with glow necklaces.
Where to eat?
House of Flavors
Our favorite place in Ludington is House of Flavors. It’s a local hotspot that serves the best homemade ice cream. The wait is usually long, especially during the holiday weekend, but it’s well worth it.
Ludington has some great local breweries. Our long-time favorite is Jamesport Brewing Company. They serve an awesome blueberry beer. A new restaurant I tried for the first time this trip was Ludington Bay Brewing Co. The beer and food was good, but they didn’t accept my Florida driver’s license and I had to show multiple IDs before they would serve me (I’m 27 haha). And Alex would like to point out that his South African ID was immediately accepted.
Ludington also has some cute bars downtown on the main street. The Mitten Bar, Barley and Rye, and Sportsman’s Irish Pub are all right next to each other so you can meander between them on a night out.
What’s your favorite American small-town? How do you spend your 4th of July? Let me know in the comments!