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Old 12-30-2012, 04:01 PM
 
13 posts, read 17,596 times
Reputation: 12

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Hi everyone...

I am moving to western Michigan in the next few months and was originally considering Grand Rapids, Holland, or Grand Haven. I've been impressed by all three of these cities and the "warm fuzzies" I get when talking with people living there who express such enthusiasm and pride for their cities.

Recently, though, I've been considering possibly settling a bit further north, but still along the Lakeshore and have now added Ludington to my list, even though it's a smaller city. Wondering what the quality of life & cost of living is up there, the weather--I like some rain in summer & snow in winter. How's that been? And would I still get those "warm fuzzies" when talking with Ludington residents?

I'm self-employed marketing crafts I produce myself, so although not worried about the employment situation it would be nice if there were a market for my products, even of it's only tourist activity during the season.

I'd be glad to hear your thoughts on these points.

Thank you!

Judi N
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:04 PM
 
Location: IN
21,322 posts, read 37,232,019 times
Reputation: 13872
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnorthe View Post
Hi everyone...

I am moving to western Michigan in the next few months and was originally considering Grand Rapids, Holland, or Grand Haven. I've been impressed by all three of these cities and the "warm fuzzies" I get when talking with people living there who express such enthusiasm and pride for their cities.

Recently, though, I've been considering possibly settling a bit further north, but still along the Lakeshore and have now added Ludington to my list, even though it's a smaller city. Wondering what the quality of life & cost of living is up there, the weather--I like some rain in summer & snow in winter. How's that been? And would I still get those "warm fuzzies" when talking with Ludington residents?

I'm self-employed marketing crafts I produce myself, so although not worried about the employment situation it would be nice if there were a market for my products, even of it's only tourist activity during the season.

I'd be glad to hear your thoughts on these points.

Thank you!

Judi N
I'm sure you will get helped in short order by a forum regular here who lives in the Ludington region I'm a fan of the smaller cities by Lake Michigan like South Haven and Holland but they can be insular, meaning it might take awhile to break into the local social culture and be accepted. Ludington is in a more rural area, but close to National Forests and great outdoors activities!
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:52 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,083 posts, read 34,966,556 times
Reputation: 16907
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnorthe View Post
Hi everyone...

I am moving to western Michigan in the next few months and was originally considering Grand Rapids, Holland, or Grand Haven. I've been impressed by all three of these cities and the "warm fuzzies" I get when talking with people living there who express such enthusiasm and pride for their cities.
You do get that in this area (I live a few miles East of Ludington in Scottville). Ludington is smaller and much more rural than the other cities you have named and therefore has a different feel to it. Yes we have tourists and they color our summers a LOT, but it is still a rural community. The people are friendly for the most part (you always have those who would be pissy in Paradise no matter where you are). I lived out of State for many, many years and when it came time to find a better place to raise our family, after a LONG search we ended up in this area, right where I had started. We also considered Holland and Grand Haven but in the end it was the people and feeling of Mason County that put it over the top for us. Neither my wife or myself are "city people" and while we enjoy visiting busier areas, everyday living in it would drive us crazy. People in stores will stop and talk, doesn't matter if they have ever seen you before or not . Clerks are friendly, shoot they still have real "bag boys" at one of the local grocery stores who will carry your bags out to your vehicle for you (even though 1/2 of them are female I still don't know what to call them).

Quote:
Recently, though, I've been considering possibly settling a bit further north, but still along the Lakeshore and have now added Ludington to my list, even though it's a smaller city. Wondering what the quality of life & cost of living is up there,
Quality of life is very good. We don't have the best shopping, but there is very little that you cannot get local. Cost of living is lower outside of the "cities" mainly due to the cost of the water and sewer. For some reason those are real high in Scottville/Ludington.

Quote:
the weather--I like some rain in summer & snow in winter. How's that been?
Depends on the year. I know that is a crappy answer, but it is the only real one there is. Last winter was a total bust for snow, Last summer was dry as well when it came to rain. Year before was decent snow, decent rain amount as well. 2008 we had quite a bit of snow and reminded me of when I was a kid around here. Lots of snow, tall snowbanks, decent ice fishing. Haven't come close since .

Summers are simply a gift from God in this area. Mile after mile of sugar sand beach so clean it "sings" when you walk across it. Always a place to swim no matter how busy town is and no matter what week-end it is. We locals are a bit spoiled when it comes to solitary beach time and if there is another person or group within 100 yards it feels WAY too close. The downtown beach in Ludington is always busy and it is generally the younger crowd. Teens and 20 somethings like to be seen and see each other at the beach, 30+ usually drift out of town to the quieter beaches. Summer temps are generally in the low-mid 80's during the day but always with a breeze so it doesn't feel stifling. Winter can be cold, but it is tempered by the lake. The further away from Lake Michigan in the summer, the warmer it is; the further away during the winter and the colder it is. Sometimes in the Spring there is a 15-20 degree temp difference between Scottville and Ludington, while during the winter there is generally a 5-8 degree temp difference.

Quote:
And would I still get those "warm fuzzies" when talking with Ludington residents?
Again it is a yes/no answer. Some people REALLY love living here, some have a hard time. Jobs can be hard to come by, but everyone I know that WANTS to work is working and has been, even when the unemployment figures were scary. For the most part people take pride in the area and it IS a good area to live.


Quote:
I'm self-employed marketing crafts I produce myself, so although not worried about the employment situation it would be nice if there were a market for my products, even of it's only tourist activity during the season.
We do get a lot of tourist in the Summer, have for many, many years. Before the week-end and week/2 week long vacations became popular, Ludington was a summer destination place for the wealthy of Chicago, Detroit, and other places for summer long relaxation. There was even a special train that ran in this area just for summer residents. Today the name would never fly but it was called the "Dummy Train" because it was a very short route and just ran from one stop to another, it was a common name for such a track back then. Now the population can double or triple on a busy week-end, over the year round resident population.

There is a very large arts and crafts fair every summer in the park downtown that draws people in from all over. It is horrible that I don't know this off the top of my head, but there might be a couple of them a summer. The area has a small but active arts/crafts community. Pentwater just South of us has an arts and crafts fair that is decent sized as well. Manistee to the North has one, as do several of the other towns within an hour or so drive. There are several artists, crafters, and photographers who make all the shows during the summer and do well for themselves.

Quote:
I'd be glad to hear your thoughts on these points.

Thank you!

Judi N
Hopefully this will get you started in the right direction. I love this area. Personally the only way I can see leaving again is if my family decides to bury me someplace else after I die , at that point I won't care. If there is anything else I can help you with I will give it my best shot.
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:32 PM
 
6,050 posts, read 7,375,835 times
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Ludington has the advantage of the Lake Michigan car ferry that brings in many tourists during summer.
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Old 02-08-2014, 08:15 PM
 
6,048 posts, read 6,134,576 times
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I love Ludington and Im from Chicago! I go there every year and I too get the warm fuzzies!
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:52 PM
 
356 posts, read 934,208 times
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When I get north of Muskegon, I feel like I am leaving the vice and pain of industrial civilization behind me. Ludington is a down to earth town before you get caught up in the self absorbed narcissim of TC.
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Old 02-12-2014, 10:04 AM
 
192 posts, read 434,098 times
Reputation: 208
Another vote for Ludington. It also has the number 1 State Park in Michigan, and we have plenty of tough competition there.
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:47 AM
 
Location: west mich
5,739 posts, read 6,046,718 times
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Seems like your focus is on arts/crafts markets - then the lakeshore is where it's at. Question is, how will people see your works? Open studio? Storefront? Gallery? Art fairs? Knowing this would help one decide, but aside from its natural beauty, Ludington gets a good amount of summer tourist traffic and is pretty convenient to the towns southward. T.C. gets a lot of traffic.
I'm sure you know about this, but art fairs are scattered and unpredictable as far as weather and scheduling. There is a biggie in Grand Haven once per year.
Michigan Shows - Art Fairs & Craft Shows

Last edited by detwahDJ; 02-13-2014 at 09:57 AM..
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Old 02-15-2014, 03:45 PM
 
Location: Highland CA
493 posts, read 1,294,726 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ram2 View Post
Ludington has the advantage of the Lake Michigan car ferry that brings in many tourists during summer.
Some of us would not call that an advantage.
Of course, yes, if they could increase your business.

If I lived in one of the more touristy areas of Michigan, I would not be very happy if I had to wait for a table at one of my favorite restaurants because the tourists had taken the place over.

We did a driving trip last summer while we visited the in-laws in Flint. It was on my "bucket list."
After spending four days in Grand Rapids, we started at St. Joseph and drove along Lake Michigan to Mackinaw City, then followed Lake Huron down to Port Huron, then returned to Flint for another visit.
I was able to photograph 33 lighthouses; some of which are often seen on lighthouse calendars.

While it was a bit cool at times, we were there before schools were out for the summer. Thus, not many tourists. Even Traverse City was pleasant. We could drive downtown and get a good place to park, right on the main drag.

What was a real pleasure was driving on US31 for miles and not seeing another vehicle. Here in southern California, where we live, no matter how remote or desolate the road, there is likely to be someone on our tail or slowing us down.
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