Hop on the historic S.S. Badger for the four-hour jaunt from Ludington to Manitowoc, Wisconsin, through October 11 and reap the rewards: Kids under 15 go free, seniors (55 plus) get discounts on food, gifts and stateroom rentals, and for everyone in between, there’s $10 off your vehicle fare for each full-fare adult traveling with you. Other perks on the hulking 410-foot car ferry, the largest ever to cross Lake Michigan: Plenty of exercising ops on exterior decks, movies and satellite TV, seven lounge areas, children’s activities and Bingo and karaoke for prizes. (800-841-4243, SSBADGER.COM.)

There’s a Ghost Ship in Manistee on five decks of the vintage 1930 steamship, S.S. City of Milwaukee every Friday and Saturday in October from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Prepare to be scared, and beware: If you can’t handle the 72 steps of the steep staircases, stay away! 99 ARTHUR STREET (U.S. 31 NORTH), 231-723-3587 OR CARFERRY.COM. Afterward, dig into a cheesy deep-dish or New York–style pizza at Tuscan Grille, (312 RIVER ST., 231-723-4200, TUSCANGRILLE.NET.) Stay at the Little River Casino and Resort Hotel (866-473-2538, LITTLERIVER CASINOS.COM), where rooms start at $99.

Quick Links to More Fun in Benzie County and Northern Michigan’s West Shore

  • The Benzie & West Shore Vacation Directory: Listings to lodging, galleries, restaurants and more along with an interactive map.
  •  Benzie & West Shore Digital Vacation Guide: Browse the pages of the complete Guide and click to hundreds of websites.
  • The Complete Restaurant Guide for Benzie and the West Shore: Just type in any Benzie County town or town on Northern Michigan’s West Shore and browse the array of restaurant options.
  • Video: Discover Pt. Betsie Lighthouse
  • Check out all the music, festivals, arts and events of all kinds happening in Benzie and the West Shore: Just pop the name of the Benzie County town you’d like to play in, or one along the West Shore of Northern Michigan, and choose amongst hundreds of things to do!
  • Plot your day in Benzie, Manistee, Ludington and more using this Interactive Map: Choose an activity in "I’d like to find" and choose a Benzie, Manistee or West Shore town for "in a town near." Then click away!
  • Rent a cottage in Benzie and the West Shore: There hundreds of cottages to rent in Northern Michigan. Type the town you’re interested in into the Search box and plan your getaway Up North!

Color Tours to Fill the Season