More than 12,000 people voted in MyNorth’s 2020 Red Hot Best competition, and if you were one of them, you saw we’ve changed it up. After more than a decade of sharing the winners in each category for Northern Michigan as a whole, we decided to dig into 11 different regions and discover the best in each unique area. So, without further ado, here are voters’ picks for best businesses, people and places in Ludington.

Want to see the winners from other regions, too? Click here for Above the Bridge, Cadillac, Charlevoix, Gaylord & Grayling, Leelanau, Mackinac Island, Manistee & Benzie, Marquette, Petoskey & Harbor and Traverse City.

Bank or Financial Institution (Branch)

1. West Shore Bank
Founded in 1898, West Shore has been supporting the financial needs of the West Michigan economy since the days when folks rode their horses to the bank.

2. Safe Harbor Credit Union

3. Preferred Credit Union

Bar to Hear Live Music

1. The Mitten Bar

2. Ludington Bay Brewing Co.

3. The Sandbar

Beach for Sunset

1. Ludington State Park Beach
The beautiful beach faces due west. Take your front-row seat to the greatest show on Earth!

2. Stearns Park

3. Buttersville Park

Bloody Mary (Place)

1. Barley and Rye

2. Ludington Pub

3. Biercamp Market (temporarily closed) 

Breakfast Spot

1. House of Flavors
This Happy Days-style spot with its fab ice cream and good ol’ American fare has everything but The Fonz …

2. Chef John’s Bakery & Café

3. Brenda’s Harbor Café

Brewery (Must Brew Own Beer)

1. Ludington Bay Brewing Co.
Where you meet for a (great) craft beer in Ludington.

2. Starving Artist Brewing

3. Jamesport Brewing

Campground (RV and/or Tent)

1. Ludington State Park
Three cabins, 360 modern sites and 5,300 acres along one of Lake Michigan’s most beautiful beaches. What are you waiting for?

2. Poncho’s Pond RV Park

3. Crystal Lake Campground, Scottville

Chicken Wings (Place)

1. Sportsman’s Restaurant and Irish Pub
Bone in or bone out. Almost a dozen sauces to choose from. Get your wing fix here!

2. Ludington Bay Brewing Co.

3. Cluck Bucket


1. Orchard Market
This third-generation family farm grows wholesome veggies but also makes naughty, irresistible buttercream fudge. Let’s just say it balances out in the end.

2. The Market

3. Rennhack Orchards Market, Hart

Favorite Nonprofit (In region)

1. Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association
Hats off to these guardians of Great Lakes treasures!

2. Lakeshore Food Club

3. Sandcastles Children’s Museum

Fish Fry

1. Bortell’s Fisheries
Fish straight from the lake dipped into Bortell’s red-hot fryer. Great Lakes cuisine doesn’t get more straight-up delicious than this.

2. Jamesport Brewing Company

3. Doc’s Sauble River Inn, Free Soil

Fishing Charter Company

1. Hiatus Charters
Cruise (comfortably) on the big lake for the catch of your dreams aboard the Hiatus, a 31-foot Pursuit Express Fisherman.

2. Dreamweaver Charters

3. God’s Country Guides

Happy Hour (Restaurant/Bar)

1. Ludington Bay Brewing Co.
Monday thru Friday, 3 to 5 p.m. $1 off on drinks. We’re there!

2. Jamesport Brewing Company

3. Sportsman’s Restaurant and Bar

Photo by Red Rooster

Photo courtesy of Red Rooster Coffee

Hotel, Inn or Resort

1. Nader’s Motel & Suites
The best of a mom n’ pop resort combined with modern amenities—steps away from Ludington’s beaches, breweries and eateries.

2. Ludington Pier House Motel

3. Snyder’s Shoreline Inn

Ice Cream Shop

1. House of Flavors
30+ flavors and all the toppings—Mmmmm!

2. DJ’s Dairy Creme and Snack Bar

Interior Furnishings

1. Heggs Furniture
Bringing quality, contemporary, coastal casual interiors to the Ludington area since 1946.

2. Lundquist Furniture

3. Holden’s Home Emporium, Inc, Scottville

Local Insurance Agent (Name, Agency)

1. Scott Smith, Smith & Eddy Insurance
In his own words: “As a business leader part of my job is to make my community better.” Thanks for all you do, Scott!

2. Brad Chapman, State Farm Insurance

3. Sarah Fricke, Farmers Insurance

Local Realtor (Name, Realty)

1. Debby Stevenson, Greenridge Realty
She knows the Ludington area inside and out and is always ready to help you find your happy place here.

2. Laura Iles, Lighthouse Realty

3. Pamela Buck, Five Star

Mountain Biking Trail

1. Ludington State Park
This four-mile round-trip along Lake Michigan to Big Point Sable Lighthouse is big on scenery and just enough workout.

2. Ludington School Forest Trails

3. Cartier Park Trails

Outdoor Running Trail

1. Ludington State Park
Paved trails, backcountry trails that pass Lake Michigan vistas, forest and dunes. Fire your pistons here.

2. Cartier Park Trails

3. Waterfront Park

Party Store

1. Biercamp Market (temporarily closed)
Sonny & Cher; Santa & his elves; Biercamps’s brewery & meat shop. Matches made in heaven, all.

2. AJ’s Party Port

3. Pere Marquette Expeditions

Place to Get Annuals and Perennials

1. Orchard Market
Besides wholesome veggies, this third generation-market grows annuals and perennials. And then there’s that homemade fudge they make …

2. The Market

3. Gustafson’s Greenhouse

Place to Get Coffee

1. Red Rooster Coffee
All organic and fair-trade beans turned into nitro coffee, pour-over coffee, lattes, cappuccinos and brimming with camaraderie.

2. Café 106

3. Book Mark

Place to Take an Instagram

1. Big Sable Point Lighthouse
Black-and-white striped like a licorice candy cane, this charming lighthouse offers up a stunning view of Lake Michigan.

2. Ludington State Park

3. North Breakwater Lighthouse

Restaurant for a Special Occasion

1. Table 14
A fresh-twist on Southern Low-Country cuisine. Table 14 has an intimate atmosphere with room for groups. Slip your red dress on for this one.

2. Jamesport Brewing Company

3. Blu Moon Bistro

Sports Gear Rental Company

1. Spindrift Cyclesports
A downtown full-service bike shop where you can fire up with a cup of java at their coffee bar before setting out for your pedal.

2. Trailhead Bike Shop

3. Provisions Sport Shop

Spot to Bird Watch

1. Ludington State Park
Head to the Sable River, Hamlin Lake and Big Sable Points to see prairie warblers, Olive-sided flycatchers, all manner of waterfowl and more.

2. Lake Michigan Recreation Area, Free Soil

3. Pere Marquette Memorial

Summer Festival or Event

1. Suds On The Shore
This beloved festival that features craft beer and local wine has been canceled due to COVID-19 but check out the fun virtual festival they have planned Saturday, August 15. Find info on Facebook or at

2. Fourth of July Freedom Festival

3. Rhythm & Dunes

Wedding Venue

1. The Lake House
This brand new venue built just for weddings sits on the Ludington waterfront with the marina, lighthouse and ferry SS Badger all playing their part to make your day idyllic.

2. Trillium Creek Rustic Barn

3. Lincoln Hills Golf Club

Winter Festival or Event

1. Pure Ludington BRRRewfest
Ludington beats the winter blues by inviting 20-some breweries to town on a January weekend.

2. New Years Eve Lighted Ball Drop

3. Aglow on the Avenue Christmas Parade

Photo(s) by Red Rooster