A charming and quaint small-town shopping experience awaits you in the Sanctuary of the Great Lakes! Whether you are looking for unique, one-of-a-kind gifts in Alpena’s downtown shopping district or some brand favorites in the Alpena Mall, Alpena has something to offer for everyone.
Soaps and Such is a northeast Michigan destination shop. Bath and beauty products as well as unique Michigan illustrated candles and necklaces are part of the product line crafted by the local artisan and owner in a workshop off the shop. Alpena, Hubbard Lake, and other designs are emerging at the shop too. You are sure to find unique local artisan designed and crafted treasures at this shop. As well, the focus is “natural” with the bath and beauty products which are diverse from goats milk soap to natural repellent, to sulfate free shampoo. The shop itself has an old world charm and a tranquil setting as fountains flow and birds chirp offering a respite of solitude to those that browse the shop. Interactive offerings with the artisan without appointment every day include the exclusive interactive fragrance bar where customers can make their own perfume and body spray from over 35 essential oils or a nail polish and more. This little shop is nestled on Second Avenue in downtown Alpena and offers party rentals, customized gift baskets, demonstrations upon requests of groups, and shipping of those treasures or gifts for seamless gift giving or delivery to your home. It is truly a northern Michigan destination shop that you will be glad you visited.
Taste and purchase locally-made wine and soda at Stoney Acres Winery in Alpena. Stoney Acres makes several different kinds of grape and fruit wines including Silver City White (Riesling), Silver City Red (Merlot), and more than a half-dozen fruit wines including several berry varieties and cherry, pear and apple. New at Stoney Acres is a line of Shipwreck Soda! Delicious root beer, cream soda, raspberry and orange soda are named for some of the famous shipwrecks in Thunder Bay. The winery also offers a number of handmade delights, including wine truffles, fudge, candy bars, cheese popcorn, old fashioned caramel corn and triple-chocolate drizzled caramel corn. Stoney Acres carries a full line of beer and wine-making supplies and is open Tuesday through Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Sunday noon until 5:00 p.m. Closed Mondays. For more information, call (989) 356-1041.
The Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary preserves a national treasure, nearly 200 historic shipwrecks in and around the bay. Lake Huron’s cold, fresh water preserves many of these shipwrecks intact and in water depths ranging from a few inches to 200 feet, making the sanctuary a popular destination for divers, snorkelers and kayakers. You can explore the history and archaeology of these wrecks at the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center, the Sanctuary’s 20,000 square foot river front headquarters. Exhibits on Great Lakes maritime history and shipwrecks include the new “Exploring the Shipwreck Century” exhibit, a 9,000 square ft. permanent exhibit where visitors can experience elements of a traditional maritime museum combined with a hands-on discovery center featuring life-sized recreations of an historic Great Lakes schooner and shipwreck sites, artifact displays, and interactive learning stations on technology and diving. Also featuring a sanctuary store, state of the art education spaces, high-definition theater, and archaeological conservation lab, the admission-free Center is a great destination and the best place to begin exploring Thunder Bay. Please call for current hours of operation. Wreck locations are available on our web site. While visiting Alpena, you may also want to explore the Thunder Bay Sanctuary Research Collection, one of the largest archival collections of Great Lakes maritime history in existence, located at the Alpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library. Please call for hours.