Michigander City Spotlight: Alpena

Located on the shores of Lake Huron, Alpena is an anchor of “Up North”, Michigan, and is one of the most visited parts of the state in the summer months. The city offers the wide array of attractions and charm on the “Sunrise Side” of the state.

Alpena is home to a National Marine Sanctuary (one of only 14 in the country) filled with marine life and historical shipwrecks that have special ecological, cultural, and aesthetic value. The area offers tours of some of the 100+ ships at the bottom of the great lake ranging from nineteenth century wooden side-wheelers to twentieth century steel-hulled steamers.The Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center features exhibits about local ship wrecks and the Great Lakes, an auditorium, an archaeological conservation lab and education areas for those large and small.

The city offers family fun destinations such as Dinosaur Gardens, a prehistoric zoo featuring 40 miles of trail leading participants back in time to see life-size replicas of dinosaurs and cave men. Families might also enjoy Art in the Loft, the Northeast Michigan Center for Fine Arts, where visitors can experience hands-on art with summer workshops or stroll the gallery for new exhibits.

One of the best parts of Alpena is the area’s parks and beaches. There are parks for playing sports, having picnics, skating, and fishing. There are beaches that offer prime swimming spots, kayak/canoe launches, and beautiful views of northeast Michigan’s waters.

In 2009 Bizjournals ranked Alpena as the hottest retirement destination in the Great Lakes area and #46 nationally. And Pure Michigan recently released a nation-wide commercial about Alpena’s appeal.  Be sure to check out all of this northeastern city’s attractions on Michigander or any time. You won’t want to miss this city.

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