The carefree days of your youth are alive and well in Alpena. Catching fireflies on warm summer evenings, searching for minnows with a net, reading a book under a shade tree, and watching the sunset while crickets provide background music are nostalgic experiences that we often wish we could relive. Alpena is that place where summer memories come alive as an everyday way of life, and stress floats away with the river current. Visit a downtown coffee shop to catch up on email, or disconnect to reconnect in the Sanctuary of the Great Lakes.
The Great Lakes are a gift from prehistoric glacier movement, and treasures have been left behind along the shores of Lake Huron and the many inland lakes and rivers. Hunt for fossils dating back 400 million years to the Devonian Period. Rocky edges along the shorelines, Rockport State Park Recreation Area, and the Lafarge Fossil Park at Besser Museum are perfect locations for an afternoon of prehistoric adventure. Follow it up with a trip to Dinosaur Gardens to see life-size prehistoric recreations.
Use our Adventure Checklist to find your explorer’s spirit: Sanctuary of the Great Lakes Adventure Checklist
Special collections: Genealogy, Best-Sellers, Large-Print, Audios, Videos, CD-Roms, Internet, Word Processors, 12 Newspapers/ 242 Magazines. Largest collection of 19th century Great Lakes ship photographs and records in the entire world! Authors in the Fall and Children’s Book Club.
The APlex (Alpena Events Complex) is an amazing facility with lots to offer. The APlex is host to gymnastics, karate, yoga, volleyball,table tennis, and the APlex Fitness Center. Connected to the APlex is the APlex Tennis Center. The APlex Tennis Center offers pickleball, tennis lessons, leagues, mixers and much more.
The APlex, is also community-minded! Their goal as Alpena’s community center is to engage people from our region. They do this by offering activities, events or opportunities that appeal to a cross-section of the residents of northeast Michigan.
The APlex (Alpena Events Complex) is a beautiful facility that can accommodate up to 650 people for the grandest of banquet functions. The APlex boasts a total of five meeting rooms – large and small – for break-out sessions, executive conferences, conventional business meetings and more. They feature The Interlude on Woodward Ballroom as the perfect fit, complete with the most advanced audio/visual equipment.
Call for more information.
While the Alpena Light may not be a typical lighthouse, it does meet the criteria to be called one. Located at the mouth of the Thunder Bay River, the 80-foot skeletal tower is best viewed from the transient docks at the City of Alpena’s Marina. Called “Sputnik” (resembles the Russian space satellite) and “Little Red” by locals, it is said this oft dismissed light is “Long on duty, short on beauty.”
Believed to be the only lighthouse of this type in the U.S., the station was built of wood in 1877, rebuilt of wood in 1888 and finally constructed of steel in 1914. An automated active aid to navigation, the Alpena Light originally housed a Fourth Order Fresnel lens.
Explore the shipwrecks of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary on the 65-foot glass-bottomed Lady Michigan! Two large viewing wells on the main deck give passengers a front row view of historical shipwrecks on the bottom of Lake Huron. Departing from the warm & friendly port of Alpena, the 65 ft. Lady Michigan will take you on a comfortable adventure into the heart of Lake Huron’s Shipwreck Alley. A memorable experience for passengers of all ages! Daily tours begin in June and continue through the color season. Individual tickets can be purchased daily at the Sanctuary Gift Store at the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center at 888-469-4696, located at 500 W. Fletcher Street in Alpena. The Lady Michigan docks just behind the Heritage Center in the Thunder Bay River. Group tours are available.
The A.S.O. is North East Michigan’s only orchestra. It was founded in 2004 to give both players and listeners in the area a chance to appreciate, participate, and enjoy classical music. The priority of the Alpena Symphony Orchestra is to share the beauty of orchestral music with the residents of Alpena and the surrounding communities. The ASO season runs from May – December, and includes three full orchestral concerts and two small ensemble concerts. For concert dates or more information, see their web site.
Art in the Loft at Gallery 109 is a fine arts gallery featuring the work of local, regional and nationally recognized artists. Reasonably priced artwork is available in a wide range of media. Artists staff the gallery and apply their techniques in demonstrations and workshops. Visitors are welcome to observe and participate and a variety of special events are featured. Art In The Loft is open for two primary exhibit seasons, Summerview Season, which runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day and Winterview Season, which runs from mid-November until the end of January. A month-long Young Artists exhibit is held during the months of April and May. Call ahead or see web site for firm dates. Art in the Loft at Gallery 109 is located in the Center Building, 109 North Second Ave.
All new family fun center featuring Michigan’s Longest Go-Kart Track, State Of The Art Bumper Cars, beautiful 18 holes Mini Golf, breath taking Driving Range, 5 multi-speed Batting Cages, the Amazing Ferris Wheel, latest Arcades and more… Open May 1 through mid-October (weather depending), 7 days a week. Special Package price for Groups and Birthday Parties. ARZO…Making All Your Sports and FUN More Enjoyable!