Welcome to the Cartier Mansion Bed and Breakfast
...a storied corner in the quaint coastal town of Ludington, where modern comfort meets historic charm
Standing proudly in all its grandeur, the iconic Cartier Mansion epitomizes stunning neo-classic architecture and an era of elegance and grace. The sprawling historic mansion and the renovated carriage house combine historical elements with the most modern comforts, making it a premiere destination in Northern Michigan.
What Makes the Cartier Special
Built-in 1905 as the home of the future, with cutting-edge technology, including state-of-the-art plumbing, gas, and electric, a stay at the Cartier is a step back in time with all the comforts of modern lodging, including individual thermostats, luxury amenities, and delectable breakfasts and sweets served to you formally in the inn's dining room. With over a hundred years of history, this charming boutique inn has a perfect location on the quaint tree-lined Main Street of Ludington, with easy access to the popular North Breakwater Lighthouse and Ludington State Park Beach.
Each Cartier Mansion guest room is wonderfully unique and luxurious, ranging from quaint, cozy spaces to multi-room suites with outdoor balconies. Each room features luxurious bedding and towels, private bathrooms with Beekman 1802 bath amenities, and individual climate control. The entire property has high-speed mesh WiFi, making for a perfect destination to combine business with pleasure.
Artfully Prepared Breakfasts
Breakfast at Cartier is a culinary delight with many ingredients sourced locally, including the Signature Sausage ground by the local butcher and seasoned at the inn. Ludington is located amongst many farms and orchards, with local produce and fruit often included seasonally in the breakfast, including eggs and produce from Campbell Crossing Farms. Some guest's favorite breakfasts include homemade sourdough bread and savory crepes. Cartier's sister property- The Ludington House- serves a more casual Scandinavian Breakfast if you are looking for an earlier breakfast or have handy-capped needs.
A storied Past
Warren and Kate Cartier constructed the Cartier Mansion in 1905. Warren's father, a lumber baron and prominent member of the Ludington community, owned the Victorian home across the street from the mansion that is now the Ludington House B&B and is a sister property to Cartier. Warren attended Notre Dame, where he also played football. The Fighting Irish's practice field, Cartier Field, is named after Warren. Warren and his father were both very successful businessmen and politicians. Both were mayors of Ludington and owned the first telephone company in Ludington, banks, a car dealership, a department store, and a watch case manufacturing company.
The newly remodeled, fully accessible Edison Suite once housed Kate Cartier's 1917 Detroit Electric Car. Thomas Edison was a close friend of the Cartiers and encouraged them to adopt modern technology, particularly electric devices. Kate Cartier's 1917 Detroit Electric Car can be viewed at Historic White Pine Village, a few minutes from Cartier Mansion.
The mansion, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is one of Ludington's most prominent structures. This three-story neoclassical home is primarily made from Roman pressed brick, with Bedford limestone used for trim. The home is beautifully furnished with period antiques and includes grand period features such as Corinthian Pillars and a Neo-classic wrap-around porch. It is outfitted with every luxury of its time, from artisan flooring to Italian tile to a Needle Shower head that can still be enjoyed in the King Suite. No expense was spared, and these details have been preserved by caring stewards, including the current owners, who restored the Carriage House to include four suites, all with modern amenities while exposing the original details, such as the area that housed Kate's electric car and the hayloft above.
Unique Experience at the Cartier Mansion B&B
Ludington is a popular destination for travelers seeking adventure and outdoor activities. Here are some of the exciting adventures available to guests staying in Ludington:
Ludington State Park: This beautiful state park offers various outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, fishing, and swimming. The park features scenic trails, sandy beaches, and stunning sand dunes. The terrain varies from shoreline, dunes, and dense forests. There are nine trails, each featuring a different terrain or destination, including a lighthouse, shipwreck, and nature trails. Whether you are a hiker, swimmer, fisherperson, canoe, or kayaker, you'll find a fun adventure for your Ludington getaway.
Hamlin Lake: Located just north of Ludington, Hamlin Lake is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. Visitors can enjoy boating, kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing on the lake’s crystal-clear waters. The lake is also surrounded by lush forests, making it a great spot for hiking and wildlife viewing1.
Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area: For those seeking a true wilderness experience, the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area is the perfect destination. This pristine natural area features untouched dunes, forests, and wetlands. Visitors can hike through the dunes, go birdwatching, or simply relax on the secluded beaches1.
Fishing Charters: Ludington is known for its excellent fishing opportunities. Travelers can book a fishing charter and head out onto Lake Michigan for salmon, trout, and other game fish. Experienced guides will provide all the necessary equipment and expertise for a successful fishing trip.
Biking Adventure: Ludington is a bike-friendly city with plenty of paths and trails through the state park, around town, and through local parks, as well as the Hart-Montague Bike Trail.
The romantic King Suite is an ideal choice for couples who are celebrating a special occasion. This is Cartier Mansion's most luxurious room. Originally designed as Warren Cartier's private quarters. This spacious suite includes a large bedroom with a king-size bed, an adjacent sitting room, and private access to the grand balcony overlooking Ludington Avenue. The bathroom features the original rib cage shower from 1905, a soaking tub, a foot tub, and a Jacuzzi tub.
The Carter Innkeepers are always open to helping you prearrange flowers, celebration cakes, and special amenities such as their celebration package of flowers and wine.
Ludington has a rich history that is celebrated through various events and festivals throughout the year, including the celebration of its maritime heritage with the annual Maritime Festival, which features live music, food vendors, and a boat parade.
Not to be missed is the Port of Ludington Maritime Museum, which brings history to life with digital storytelling, authentic images and artifacts, and engaging interactive exhibits that entertain, enlighten, and inspire a deeper appreciation for the region’s maritime history. The three-story museum overlooks Lake Michigan and Ludington's iconic North Pier Light in the former U.S. Coast Guard Station, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Ludington also has a thriving arts scene. The town is home to several art galleries and studios that showcase the work of local artists. Visitors can also attend performances by local musicians and actors at venues such as the Ludington Area Center for the Arts.
Ludington, Michigan, has a vibrant food scene that offers a variety of dining options for visitors. From quick and casual to upscale, there are plenty of choices to satisfy your cravings. Here is a sampling of your options:
Q Smokehouse: This restaurant is known for its delicious barbecue dishes, including brisket, pulled pork, and ribs. They also offer vegetarian options and a variety of sides.
Blu Moon Bistro: This upscale restaurant's seasonal menu highlights fresh, local ingredients.
House of Flavors: This family-owned restaurant has served delicious ice cream and classic American fare since 1948. They offer a variety of burgers, sandwiches, and salads, as well as over 50 flavors of ice cream.
Table 14: This restaurant features a farm-to-table menu showcasing Michigan’s best local produce.
Jamesport Brewing Co.: This brewery and restaurant is housed in a historic building from 1890. They offer a variety of craft beers and pub fare, including burgers, sandwiches, and pizza.
Crown and Cork: This gastropub features a menu that combines classic pub fare with modern twists. They offer a variety of dishes, including burgers, sandwiches, and salads.
You'll also enjoy gourmet breakfasts each morning at the Cartier that are locally sourced and served formally to you in the inn's dining room.
In the fall, Ludington offers a wonderful opportunity to enjoy nature's beauty and experience various outdoor activities. The rolling landscape of western Michigan is known for its vibrant fall colors. The region’s mixed deciduous forests showcase brilliant red, yellow, and orange leaves of quaking aspens, elms, oaks, and maples set amongst the deep green of pine, cedar, and spruce trees. Ludington’s country roads provide a scenic backdrop for a leisurely drive or bike ride.
Ludington offers many fall activities, including hayrides and corn mazes.
Ludington, Michigan, has a vibrant craft beer scene that offers a variety of options for beer enthusiasts. Some of the popular places to visit in Ludington include Ludington Bay Brewing, where you can enjoy a wide selection of artisan ales and lagers, and Jamesport Brewing Company, where you can enjoy views of the harbor,
These breweries are popular among visitors and locals alike and offer a great opportunity to taste some of the best craft beers in Michigan. Ludington also hosts craft beer festivals throughout the year, such as Suds on the Shore Craft Beer & Wine Festival in August and Pure Ludington Brewfest in January.
Map of Dog-friendly locations in Ludington
When you stay at Cartier Mansion Bed and Breakfast, you'll be close to plenty of interesting locations that are happy to welcome you and your pet. The four suites in the Carriage House are pet-friendly, and the innkeepers are happy to accommodate dining options on the porch for you to be with your pet.
Ludington, Michigan is a paddler’s paradise with a variety of waterways to explore. Here are some of the waterways in and around Ludington:
Lake Michigan: As the second largest of the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan offers expansive views and exciting open-water experiences.
Hamlin Lake: Located just north of Ludington, Hamlin Lake is a beautiful destination for paddlers. The Ludington Canoe Trail meanders through the coves of Hamlin Lake’s southwestern shore, offering a more sheltered and secluded experience.
Big Sable River: Flowing gently through Ludington State Park, the Big Sable River provides a refreshing place for visitors to cool off and float. Whether you prefer floating or paddling, the 1-mile float from Hamlin Dam to Lake Michigan offers a unique perspective on the park. Keep an eye out for wildlife such as beavers, minks, and various bird species.
Pere Marquette River: The Pere Marquette River is beloved by paddlers and floaters alike. The 5-mile stretch from Custer to Scottville offers wildflowers, great swimming holes, and beautiful scenery.
Pere Marquette Lake: Paddling on Pere Marquette Lake provides a unique perspective of Ludington and the surrounding area.
Cartier Mansion is a scenic half-hour stroll to the Ludington North Breakwater Light. Guests enjoy walking the pier with beautiful vistas of the harbor.
Big Sable Point Lighthouse, located within Ludington State Park, is about nine miles away by car or bike. Ask the Cartier innkeeper for information about free bike rentals through their partnership with Trailhead Bike Shop. Riding through the park on two wheels makes for a pleasant afternoon. The park is filled with many lakes, offering a perfect opportunity for a supper dip to cool off. Little Sable Point Lighthouse and White River Light Station & Museum are under an hour's drive from the inn.
The innkeepers are all about community and support the important work being done by the Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association (SPKLA) which is dedicated to restoring and preserving western Michigan lighthouses. SPLKA oversees the restoration and maintenance of Big Sable Point Lighthouse, Little Sable Point Lighthouse, Ludington North Breakwater Lighthouse, and the White River Light Station.
Ludington is beautiful for all four seasons, especially when blanketed in white after a snowstorm. The Cartier Mansion includes cozy fireplaces and plenty of board games to enjoy. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy winter sports in the park, including guided snowshoeing walks and cross-country skiing. Come enjoy a romantic winter getaway at the Cartier Mansion. You’ll also find places to snowmobile and ski in the Ludington area and nearby towns.