This post is sponsored by Greenridge Realty, West Michigan’s go-to organization for those looking to buy or sell. Have Real Estate questions? Contact Greenridge Realty.
Don’t get us wrong, we LOVE Grand Rapids but sometimes we all need a little change of scenery. This weekend we are heading up to Ludington and are giving you all the fun spots to stop along the way. So, get up, pack your bags, and get ready for your next adventure-packed day trip……
Before heading out, grab a delicious cup of coffee from the Story Cafe; A local coffee house with twist. This European style cafe has great drinks, snacks, and pastries that are great for taking on the go. You can also purchase furniture and other fun items inside the cafe.
If you are looking for a peaceful and “best of both worlds” experience, Coopersville is the destination for you. Conveniently located between Grand Rapids and Muskegon, Coopersville is just off I-96, Exit 19 and is a perfect place to stop for food, drinks, and even a little history. While visiting you will be impressed with Coopersville’s renovated downtown, its expanding commercial and industrial parks, and their fast growing local street businesses.
Coopersville Area Historical Society & Museum
While you’re in Coopersville, Coopersville Area Historical Society & Museum is a must see. Stop in and view the large, and impressive, model of the Country Poor Farm barn that was built in the early 1930s, but hurry in because this is only temporarily on display at the Museum.
This vintage barn is not the only thing that draws people to this historical museum, the Del Shannon Rock-n-Roll monument and memorabilia, Railroad and Interurban artifacts, and early 1900’s one-room school are just a few others that make the Coopersville Area Historical Society & Museum a destination for both you and the family to enjoy.
Buth Dairy Farm Store
Looking for a family owned store with milk and ice cream are to die for? Buth Dairy Farm Store is a must see. This gem, not but 5 minutes off the beaten path, is a small dairy farm that has a small storefront selling fresh cheese everyday that is made from the cows they personally raise.
Experience their *always changing* flavors and beautifully painted buildings; and don’t forget about their friendly cows. Load up on Buth Dairy cheeses; Gouda, Swiss, Curds, Pepper Jack, Cheddar, etc… and be prepared to make this your new family tradition.
Looking for some of the best fried bar food around, minus the grease? Champs Bar is the bar for you! Somewhat on the small side, but the family feel is unbeatable here. With its great service and even better food, Champs is a destination for everyone to enjoy.
Muskegon, your next must visit destination is a city with a rich history and strong sense of community. You will find that Muskegon’s high level of services, recreational opportunities and spectacular shoreline provide for a high quality of life. With the largest beach in West Michigan, the wide range of breweries, local owned shops, and its top notch restaurants, Muskegon is a tourist hot spot!
Hoffmaster State Park
Hoffmaster State Park offers miles of clear beach and dunes along the Lake Michigan shoreline. Named the most scenic and authentic beach in all of southwestern lower peninsula, one can find a secluded part of the beach and spend all day with family and friends. Not only does Hoffmaster State Park offer the beach, but there are also board walks and well groomed trails that lead to the shoreline. While also having clean and protected picnic areas with grills that are available, you can make this an entire day trip in itself.
Michigan’s Adventure is a perfect trip for both thrill seekers and young children. Located about halfway between Muskegon and Whitehall, Michigan’s Adventure is the largest amusement park in the state. This park is one to enjoy for an entire day, in which it has 250 acres of fun including its dry park and its WildWater Adventure. From the heart pounding rush of Shivering Timbers to the family fun of Mad Mouse and the Swan Boats. Michigan’s Adventure offers thrills and fun for all ages.
Muskegon Farmer’s Market
Muskegon Farmer’s Market was recently relocated to the downtown area of Muskegon, designed for easier access to the locals and freeways…yah for us! The Muskegon Farmer’s Market is dedicated to showcasing the best locally-grown foods, flowers, nursery stock, handicrafts and baked goods. Not only are the freshest foods sold here, you can also find homemade soaps, jewelry, paintings, candles, dog bones, iron garden decorations, homemade brick oven breads, Amish bakers, live entertainment, and cooking demos. The Muskegon Farmer’s Market is a variety packed destination you wont want to miss.
Oceana Winery And Vineyard
Oceana Winery & Vineyard is a boutique winery located in west Michigan. Offering a vast selection of wines from dry to sweet, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Stop in and taste the fine wines or just spend the time relaxing and enjoying the view of beautiful Oceana County and its Vineyard. If you are a wine lover this local gem is a must see. With its quiet tasting room and amazing service you wont be disappointed.
Getty Drive-in Theater
A nostalgic part of american history, the Getty Drive-in Theater is a fun way to enjoy time with friends and family. Being one of the remaining 300 drive-in movie theaters left in the country, The Getty Drive-in Theatre has great up-to-date movies with a taste of old school viewing. Providing you with old style speakers and concession stand, you’re guaranteed a great time with an authentic feel you wont find anywhere else.
Smash Wine Bar and Grill
Located right downtown Muskegon next to the Frauenthal Center of Performing Arts, Smash Wine Bar and Grill provides a tapas style, making it a destination to visit with friends. The cheese plates, flatbreads and wide variety of wine make this a nice addition to the downtown Muskegon scene. Smash Wine Bar and Grill has exceptional customer service, while providing food and drinks that are a nice change from a traditional seen menu. We recommend the wine flight, which allows you to try three pours and experiment with different varieties.
Unruly Brewing Company
About the community, Unruly Brewing Company is about “being creative, and living life in high contrast with a punk-like attitude. Unruly believes that the contents of a pint glass is a powerful thing. They believe Craft beer creates conversation, sparks creativity, and inspires people to push beyond the boundaries of the everyday”.
If you enjoy great beer, making new friends, and generally having a good time then you’ll most likely love it here. With the great beer, service and atmosphere there is no reason not to visit Unruly while passing through Muskegon.
Patio lovers dream, Dockers Restaurant is a traveler’s paradise located in Muskegon. With an indoor bar and main dining area, along with three amazing outdoor patio areas and a private patio overlooking Pigeon Key Marina, Docker’s is great for any occasion.
This seasonal summer location holds a tasteful menu that pleases all palates, which matches the views of its surroundings. Dockers is tucked away in the quaint Harbor Town Marina, overlooking Muskegon Lake off of Lake Michigan, making it easy access and docking for all boaters.
And don’t miss out on Dockers famous Tiki Bar, where live local music plays every Saturday & Sunday through out the summer season.
Spring Lake is a special experience. A small, friendly community located just minutes from Grand Haven, Holland, Muskegon and Grand Rapids. Offering a wealth of shops and services including 15+ restaurants, local shops offering everything from hardware to wines and art galleries and a wide range of beautiful scenery, Spring Lake is another destination we cant resist.
Old Boys’ Brewing Inc.
Located on the Shore of Spring Lake, Michigan, Old Boys’ Brewing Inc. is dedicated to producing only the finest hand-crafted ales using the freshest ingredients. This brewing company is sure to please the whole family by offering a wide variety of foods; pizza, burgers, steaks and burritos… just to name a few.
Food aside, Old Boys’ Brewing Inc. is dog themed, meaning you can find dog photos, names and pet stories covering the entire place making it a fun place for the kids or lover of animals to explore!
Front Porch Ice Cream Shop
Craving a banana split, a sundae, or maybe just a regular waffle cone? Dont worry, the Front Porch is right around the corner. This cute little ice cream shop serves up the most delicious homemade hard serve ice cream, while providing you with an outside seating area. You wont want to miss out on this local spot thats sure to please your sweet tooth. And on your way out make sure to pick up some candy and homemade popcorn.
Small Town Sandwich Shop
“The Best Local Sandwich Shop in West Michigan.” Small Town Sandwich Shop offers Sandwiches, Soups, Salads, Deli Style Sides, Perch, Wings and More. With these fresh and funky sandwiches that are always nice and hot, we recommend the Holiday Turkey.
Pekadill’s, which is located in Whitehall, is a family-owned restaurant offering the very best in food, service and value since 1983. Their menu features unique salads, soups, and sandwiches. Not only does it serve amazing food, it is a beautiful place, with flowers and pleasant seating areas. This charming place is great for getting a bite to eat or just to enjoy the beautiful relaxing atmosphere.
Fetch Brewing Company
Awesome beer. Great place to relax and slowdown. NO FOOD.
If you’re a craft beer fan you certainly have to stop in and admire the unique building and delicious beers at Fetch Brewing Company. While they do not offer food, their are a lot of options near by who will deliver and Bone Ends food truck can be found outside on most Friday and Saturdays. Not a beer lover? The Fetch Brewing Company also serves red and white wines. This unique brewing company is a fun place to visit for both adults and children. There are a wide variety of beers and there are games for the children in the back.
White River Light Station Museum
With beautiful views, great history, and a chance to walk on the beach, The White River Light Station Museum is the perfect spot to visit. This quick, yet beautiful, stop gives you a chance to stretch your legs and learn a little something about the lighthouse and area.
This local and family run businesses doesn’t disappoint. Country Dairy is a must stop when in the New Era area. Country Dairy also offers farm tours, playgrounds, and a full menu, that’ll have you coming back each and every year.
Lewis Farm Market & Petting Farm
Lewis Farm Market & Petting Farm, a 700 acre farm in New Era, Michigan which is family owned and operated, with home grown produce, fruit orchards, a market with gifts and goodies, and a scrumptious bakery. This isn’t your ordinary farm. Lewis farm offers animals to pet, giant ground trampolines, a playground, and a barrel train and more. This farm is a clean, fun, wide variety packed adventure for the entire family. ***This is a GRNow favorite!***
Pentwater, Western Michigan’s best kept secret, and one of its finest destinations. Located on the white sand, freshwater shores of Western Michigan, Pentwater is a charming village of local shops, art galleries, outdoor restaurants, and marinas. Placed on the edge of both Lake Michigan and Pentwater Lake, the town serves as one of the premier beach destinations in the state.
The Antler Bar
Known for the best burgers in town, The Antler Bar is a historical and fun bar/restaurant located in Pentwater. Plan to visit on an empty stomach because the portions are VERY large. Enjoy the great service, Bloody Mary’s and an ice cold beer while passing though, you wont regret it.
Listed in the “Top 14 Best Ever Children’s Book Stores” in the United States, Storybook Village is a must see for the kids. More than a children’s book store, it is an entire experience, a destination, and a delight for everyone. Stop in and enjoy the never ending books, puppets, and toys.
Jomagrha Vineyards & Winery
Nestled in the vineyards a mile from Lake Michigan, at the landmark white barns, Jomagrha Vineyards & Winery has a unique tasting room and is home to some of the best hand-crafted wines. Prepare your palette for tasting wines from old-world French hybrid grape varieties, to new generation hybrids; American and French, as well as the traditional Bordeaux and Burgundy vinifera varieties.
Charles Mears State Park
Camping, dunes, clear beaches, clean restrooms, and beautiful views is what you can expect when visiting Charles Mears State Park. This beach has it all and it is definitely the place to visit on a warm summer day, so bring the family and prepare for a glorious day on the beach.
Ludington, a vacation paradise. Far removed from the hustle and bustle of the big cities and with Lake Michigan as the backdrop, you’ll find everything you want and need in a destination here. Local antique shops, miles of beaches, dunes, and the wide variety of restaurants are just some of the things to experience in this beautiful city.
Ludington State Park
Beaches, sand dunes, forest, trees, lakes, rivers, dams, waterways of all kinds, fresh air, picnics by the river, clean restrooms and a fun walk to a lighthouse with amazing views and vistas, this state park has it all. Ludington State Park has something fun for everyone. This destination can be used to take up little time in your day, a few hours, or even a few days. Whatever you choose to do, Ludington State Park gives you a reason to step out into nature and enjoy discovering what this park has to offer.
Sandcastles Children’s Museum
Located in the Heart of downtown Ludington, the Sandcastle Children’s Museum is a great place for the entire family. Sandcastles Children’s Museum “encourages and inspires children and families to explore their world – offering hands-on discovery while stimulating creativity, curiosity and the love of learning!”. You wont want to leave Ludington without experiencing this fun and affordable gem.
Ludington Bay Brewing Company
Priding themselves on bringing communities together and striving for locally sourced ingredients, materials, and talents, Ludington Bay Brewing Company is one of the many breweries in the area you must visit. While the food is amazing, Ludington Bay Brewing Company is known for their wide selection of homemade crafted beers. Enjoy a beer and experience an atmosphere different from the rest.
House Of Flavors
In its third generation of Neal family ownership, House of Flavors Restaurant operates in two locations, Ludington and Manistee. While Exceeding over twenty five million gallons of ice cream, you can see why this is a destination you won’t want to skip out on. We recommend trying the *Biscuits and Gravy* too!