Picture this: the “Big Lake” breeze dancing through your hair while blue waves lap at the golden sand under your feet. The air is warm and unsalted. Alpena is welcoming you!

The coastal beaches of Alpena and surrounding areas are little gems. Gems tucked away in this Northeastern corner of the Mitten, just waiting to be explored! Find your “soul-beach” at one of these 10 hotspots below:

In the city

Thomson’s Beach paddle boarding <3

Starlite Beach– A kid-friendly favorite right here in the heart of Alpena. You’ll find a long stretch of sandy beach with food options nearby, as well as a playground, public bathrooms, and a newly installed splash park. Your ‘one-stop-shop’ for all things kiddo approved! Located on State Street in Alpena

Thomson’s Beach– This beloved small beach is favored by locals. Peaceful and picturesque, this Lake Huron backdrop is great for sunning, swimming, and stand up paddle boarding to the Shamrock and Bay City shipwrecks. Located on State Street in Alpena 

Mich-e-ke-wis Beach– Despite being close neighbors to Starlite beach, Mich-e-ke-wis offers a whole different beach-going experience. Not only is this beach popular for sunning and swimming, but it also offers great waters for stand-up paddle boarding, sandy beach volleyball courts, and a BMX bike park! Located on State Street in Alpena

Blair Street Pier– What sets this beach apart from the rest in Alpena? The boardwalk of course! Walk out or swim along the boardwalk pier at the end of Blair St. for panoramic views of Lake Huron. Bring your paddleboard or sea kayak to check out three different shipwrecks, the Harvey Bissell, John F. Warner, or the Shamrock. Located at the end of Blair Street, off State Street in Alpena

South of Alpena

Ossineke Beach <3 Photo by Paul Gerow

Ossineke Beach– The perfect beach for a family day at the lake, the sandy shores of Ossineke beach has a lot to offer. Picnic tables, playground, and a pavilion await to provide shaded comforts in between sunshine and swims. Located on Lake Street in Ossineke

Negwegon State Park– Mysterious, remote and undeveloped, Negwegon State Park is a hidden treasure with 10 miles of hiking trails and one of the most beautiful beaches on Lake Huron. Negwegon is located on US-23, just south of Alpena, and is also a designated dark sky park. Located off Sand Hill Trail in Ossineke

North of Alpena

Rockport State Recreation Area– With over 4,237 acres of land located on the shores of Lake Huron, there is plenty to do and see at Rockport! The property includes a deep-water protected harbor, an old limestone quarry of approximately 300 acres, a unique series of sinkholes, the Besser Natural Area (Bell Bay beach), and a broad range of land types, vegetative cover, cultural resources and recreation opportunities. At the harbor, the DNR has a boat launch facility, and there is a small park with picnic areas. Located on Rockport Road in Alpena 

Besser Bell Beach <3 Photo by Katie Taylor

Thompson’s Harbor State Park– Located 24 miles north of Alpena on US 23 North, this natural area encompasses 5,000 acres of sand dunes, upland and marsh. In Michigan there are fewer than 50 remaining examples of “forested wet swale communities” of this quality. Situated along seven and a half miles of Lake Huron shoreline, this undeveloped park provides a rustic retreat for beach-goers and hikers exploring the park’s six miles of trails. Located off US 23 North in Presque Isle

Presque Isle Range Light Beach– Just north of Alpena and a short distance from the Presque Isle boat harbor, P.I. Range Light Beach is a beautiful treasure on Lake Huron. Sandy golden beachfront, a picnic area, and easy access for kayaks makes this beach one of the most cherished in the area. Located off E. Grand Lake Road in Presque Isle

New Presque Isle Lighthouse– Last but not least, there is a small, partially rocky beach located off the grounds of the New Presque Isle Lighthouse. A perfect site for kite surfing, paddle boarding, or if you’re feeling a little less adventurous, picture-taking! Located off E. Grand Lake Road in Presque Isle

Life’s a beach here in our Sanctuary of the Great Lakes, we hope you find yours!