If you find yourself looking for a Michigan getaway with wineries, lighthouses, state parks, and Lake Michigan, sneak off to Ludington, Michigan.  Just four hours by car from Chicago, or four hours by ferry from Manitowoc, Wisconsin, Ludington has the traditional charm and exquisite design of any number of New England coastal islands. When considering Ludington Mi hotels, I’d recommend an independent property.  What is more romantic than a Lake Michigan bed and breakfast in Ludington?  Not only are the crag of Ludington State Park reminiscent of the cliffs of the Atlantic, there are also fantastic bed and breakfast mansions like The Lamplighter.

Some people are all about the hotel points. They stay in the same brand of hotel, no matter what the city or country. They want comfortable familiarity, along with the upgrades.  Unless you are someone who stays in a hotel 10 or more days a month, I don’t recommend this.  It’s more fun and oodles more interesting to try out new hotels and places to stay.  The art, the perks, the food, the beds…sometimes they are amazing and sometimes you need to write a few things on TripAdvisor.

A Lake Michigan Bed and Breakfast in Ludington, Michigan

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The gorgeous welcome brigade in the Port of Ludington.

I will be very honest with you: I had never heard of Ludington, Michigan prior to learning of it at a Pure Michigan event.  Ludington did not start as simply a Michigan beach town.  Instead, it has a rich history in the lumber industry and logging.  In fact, the original town name was Pere Marquette. Named after the French Jesuit who founded the first European settlement in Michigan, Sault Ste. Marie, the name changed because of the main industrialist of the town.  In 1859, James Ludington came to the shores of Michigan to capitalize on the lumber industry and set up a mill in Pere Marquette.  With the lumber industry enriching the town, Ludington convinced the town to change its name and developed the city planning grid.  He named streets and byways after influential town members. With car ferries transporting trains, lumber, and visitors across Lake Michigan, Ludington boomed well into the beginning of the 20th century until 1917, when the supply of timber in the area dwindled.  Today, it is a beautiful lakefront community with gorgeous homes, great schools, and lots of outdoor recreational activities.

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Entering Ludington on the ferry, the Port of Ludington Maritime Museum welcomes you.

Getting to the Lamplighter Bed and Breakfast in Ludington MI

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10PM on a summer night in Ludington, MI. Lighter than one would expect!

I took the S.S. Badger Car Ferry across Lake Michigan to get to Ludington.  After an incredibly smooth four hour cruise, we docked and I collected my car from the lot.  At 10 pm in June, it is not pitch black in Ludington, but it is dark enough to have some trouble reading street signs.  Lucky for me, The Lamplighter is a four minute, one mile drive from the S.S. Badger dock.  After a roughly three hour drive to Manitowoc and then four hours on the ship, being able to reach my weekend home base so quickly was incredibly rewarding.  The Lamplighter Bed and Breakfast was easy to find, and the small parking lot had space for every car. Even though I arrived late in the evening, Lamplighter owners Dan and Jen quickly received me when I rang the bell.  Not only did they welcome me with warm smiles, there were also homemade cookies.  Almond cookies. I don’t know how many Ludington, Mi hotels ply you with homemade treats, but I’m sure Jen’s cookies blew any competition out of the water.

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I ate way too many of the Lamplighter Bed and Breakfast homemade almond cookies. They were my dinner one night.

The Ansel Adams Room of the Lamplighter

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The Ansel Adams room is the dreamiest of bedrooms.

I didn’t see any of the other rooms of the property due to guests, but the Ansel Adams room at the Lamplighter was exquisite.  Bright and airy, the queen bed was delightfully firm and I couldn’t get enough of the porch style chandelier in the center of the room.  The room was dark and cool, and even with the windows open, it was plenty quiet for a good night’s rest.  I also appreciate that hooks and hangers outnumber the drawers in the room.  I love to hang my stuff, not fold it and put it away, so I really liked that aspect of the room.

Attached to the room was an en suite bathroom.  If Ludington Mi hotels all had double person jacuzzi tubs in addition to a corner shower, I think everyone would be a little calmer on vacation.  But they don’t, so the Lamplighter gets all the marbles.  After a day of hiking and running around, soaking in this tub was a delightful way to relax.

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An accidental body wash spill + jets = an extra sudsy bath.

You can see a full walk through of the room in this video:

The Common Spaces of the Lamplighter

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The loveliness that is Ludington, Michigan’s Lamplighter Bed and Breakfast.

The Lamplighter is an 1894 home built in the Queen Anne style. It has gorgeous common spaces with beautiful oak and period decor.  In fact, the outside is just as rich and lovely as the inside.  An herb garden, patio, and breakfast nook all enrich a stay at the Lamplighter.

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Are there any Ludington Mi Hotels that have a more inviting Breakfast Nook? I don’t think so.
Ludington MI Hotels | The Lamplighter Inn | Lamplighter Bed and Breakfast | Ludington Hotels | Western Michigan | Waterfront Michigan | Lake Michigan Bed and Breakfast Maria Cummins’ novel, “The Lamplighter.” was a very popular novel in the late 19th and early 20th century. It may have inspired the name of the inn.

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The gorgeous original staircase in the house.  Not all Ludington Mi Hotels have such a gem!
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The crown jewel of the Lamplighter Bed and Breakfast is the marvelous staircase.

Let’s Not Forget about the Breakfasts


The tastiest breakfast. Ludington MI Hotels | The Lamplighter Inn | Lamplighter Bed and Breakfast | Ludington Hotels | Western Michigan | Waterfront Michigan | Lake Michigan Bed and Breakfast

If this is what breakfast is, I’ve been doing it wrong.  Real talk: I’ve only stayed at one bed and breakfast before, and it was in Freeport, Maine in 2008.  I don’t remember a thing about it other than the room was covered in floral print. Based on how delicious the food was at the Lamplighter Bed and Breakfast, I won’t be forgetting my stay anytime soon. I don’t know if all Ludington Mi hotels have fabulous breakfasts, but I’m confident in saying this one of the best.

Proprietor Jen is an artist in the kitchen.  For breakfast the first day, I had strawberry granitas, a spinach and cheese quiche, sausage links, and arugula salad.  Without realizing I had done so, I gobbled the whole thing up.  The second morning, it was mini pancakes with rich blueberry compote, thick cut bacon, and roasted acorn squash.  I made it through a nearly four hour drive and two hour meeting post breakfast without even the slightest twinge of hunger pang .

There is an early and later seating for guests to enjoy breakfast. The first morning I ate solo, and the second morning I shared a meal with a guest who enjoys the Lamplighter and Ludington so much, he has stayed there once a year for over 10 years.

 

Consider the Lamplighter on your Next Trip to Western Michigan

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There are so many things to do in Ludington MI.  If you are looking for a for a long weekend away, sure Ludington Mi hotels would be nice.  But if you are looking for a romantic or quiet getaway, be it part of a longer trip to the UP or a quick weekend, the Lamplighter in Ludington is your spot.

Many thanks to the Western Michigan Tourism Association and The Lamplighter Bed and Breakfast for hosting my stay.  As always, all opinions are my own.