Looking for that special, unusual Christmas gift or stocking stuffer? Do you have a someone in your life that seems to already have everything? Don’t get lost in online conglomerates and big box stores! Here’s a list of Alpena’s hidden treasures full of unique items for everyone on your list.
The Originals: Vintage, Handmade, and One-0f-a-Kind
- Bob’s Bullpen– For the superhero in your life that loves comic books and comic/movie related memorabilia, Bob’s Bullpen houses the biggest collection of new and vintage comics, graphic novels, posters, cards, toys, and much, much more!
- The Local Basket Case– Do you have a hometown proud Alpena friend or Michigan native friends/family living in or out of state? Send them Alpena, Michigan apparel and accessories from The Local Basket Case of Alpena. You’ll find something for every season (because boy do we have seasons!) and every occasion. Bonus: featuring a $20 and under table this holiday season to make shopping on a budget a breeze!
- Pace & Hong Auctions– Looking for something truly one-of-a-kind not found in big box stores? From full estate collections to antiques, jewelry, toys, and fishing…there really is something for everyone in your life at Pace & Hong Auctions. Bonus: you can check out items at their location on Ripley Blvd OR online in the ‘Buy it Now’ section of their website.
- The Rabbit Hole– Curious about the wonders that you may find in this little shop? Plants, accessories, candles, and all kinds of unique things for adults to wee little ones await down the Rabbit Hole. It’ll be an unrivaled experience that we welcome you to enter, where everyone is a little mad (in the best way possible).
- Rusty Petunia’s Marketplace– Another gem in Alpena’s downtown is Rusty Petunia’s Marketplace, where you are sure to find uncommon goods that make the perfect gift for teachers, friends, co-workers, and family. But don’t take our word for it, you must see for yourself!
- Traveling Ladders– Formerly Sepull’s Pharmacy, an Alpena landmark Since 1920, Traveling Ladders is in the heart of downtown Alpena. A wrap-a-around balcony, tin ceilings and traveling ladders leading to ceiling-high shelves, full of old medicine bottles and boxes of yesteryear will have you feeling nostalgic. Gifts ranging from something old to something new awaits you at this downtown treasure trove.
The Explorer: For the Person With An Indomitable Spirit
- Harborside Cycle & Sport– A local hotspot for all things outdoor adventure related, Harborside Cycle & Sport is the place to buy gifts for the outdoor adventurer in your life. Name brand bicycles, snowshoes, skis, skateboards, and other sports-related accessories line the shelves at this locally owned shop. Bonus: check out their cycling events to stay in the loop!
- Performance Locker– Give the gift of health and good vibes with a gift certificate or companionship at Performance Locker. There’s nothing like a deep vinyasa flow yoga session or an amped up Chalkboard workout to de-stress and get the heart pumping. Bonus: Follow Performance Locker on Facebook to keep up with special yoga and seasonal events year-round.
The Artist: From the Novice to the Professional, the Collector, and the Admirer
- Art in the Loft– Art in the Loft at Gallery 109 is a fine arts gallery featuring the work of local, regional and nationally recognized artists. More than just a gallery, Art in the Loft also offers painting, cooking, and various other mixed medium workshops for the artist/aspiring artist in your life.
- Forty-Five North Art Gallery– Offering mixed media such as glasswork, pottery, photography, painting and more. You will be sure to leave this gallery with a one-of-a-kind piece that nobody else will have!
- Studio Rubedo– A contemporary art gallery and artist workshop featuring the ongoing art of Brian Schorn along with other artists during juried art exhibits. Studio Rubedo just celebrated their grand opening this year in Alpena’s downtown, where an exciting array of contemporary art awaits you!
- Thunder Bay Art Gallery– Nurturing the arts throughout this region of Michigan is top priority for the Thunder Bay Art Gallery & Council. Show your support by purchasing different artworks by local and regional talent, that bare wall in the house will thank you!
Winers & Hoppers: For All of My Friends and Fans
- Stoney Acres Winery– A family-owned operation just minutes from town, this cute winery specializes in fruit wines and handmade sweet treats. Have a DIY’er on your gift list? Bring the experience to life with a wine or beer making kit, ranging from beginners to advanced.
- Thunder Bay Winery– Another family-owned operation here in Alpena, Thunder Bay Winery harvests their ingredients from their very own local vineyard. Fun is to be had at this downtown tasting room! Any wine lover would appreciate a bottle of this quality made wine for Christmas, hands down.
- Austin Brothers Beer Company– Actually owned and operated by real brothers, this relatively new brewery not only has a tasting room and food kitchen on site (a spectacular menu!), but you can pick up their bottles in stores all over Michigan! Just stick on a Christmas bow and you can cross that Michigan Craft Beer lover off your shopping list. Done and done.
The Foodie: The Key to One’s Heart is Through the Stomach
- As You Wish Gourmet Eatery– Now offering breakfast along with lunch and take-out dinners, this is one of the only places in town to get specialty items such as homemade ramen & pho, acai, and Mediterranean bowls, as well as some of the best sushi around!
- The Fresh Palate & Nucleus Lounge– Healthy, organic, farm-to-table meals are served at the Fresh Palate and Nucleus Lounge. Paired with an earth conscious and energetic atmosphere, this restaurant makes for the perfect lunch or dinner out with your special someone. Bonus: lots of vegan and gluten-free options as well as a rotating feature menu featuring creative dishes created by Chef Eric Peterson himself!
- The Parker House– Take a friend out to brunch or dinner at this quaint restaurant/resort perched on the banks of Long Lake. With the tagline of “the best breakfast around”, we’re sure Parker House will not disappoint and leave you planning your next brunch date rendezvous. Bonus: Bring your own bottle of wine for dinner if you’d like!
- Court Yard Ristorante & Old Roost Lounge– An Alpena favorite, this Italian restaurant is a tried and true classic for our area. With a relaxing atmosphere and live music on the weekends, a Court Yard gift certificate or dinner date is always greatly appreciated by all who have been there!
Pet Perfect: Because the “Fur-Babies” Need Love, Too
- Re-Tails Boutique– Located at the Huron Humane Society, this boutique that sells donated, repurposed, or gently used upscale home furnishings, decor, accessories, and gifts. 100% of the profits go to the Huron Humane Society of Alpena. This gift that keeps giving will warm any animal lover’s heart!
- A donation in their name to any of Alpena’s rescue and shelter facilities!
The Sweet-tooth: Because Diets Start Next Year or the Year After
- Cabin Creek Coffee– Two locations to serve both sides of town (downtown and south of town) Cabin Creek features locally roasted beans to blend up specialty lattes and signature coffee blends. A full menu is available as well as delectable baked goods such as muffins, scones, cinnamon rolls, cookies, and biscotti! *brb getting biscotti right now*
- Downtown Scoops– You’ll find an assortment of Gift Boxes for holiday gift giving with unique made in Michigan products at Downtown Scoops. As well as a selection of Christmas ornaments and holiday décor, you’ll also find a ‘Taste of Michigan’ section with maple syrup from Hawks; salsa, jelly, and jam from Onaway, honey from Lachine, BBQ Sauce from Southern Michigan and Shipwreck Soda from Stoney Acres Winery. Oh yeah, and delicious ice cream!
- North Country Candy & Gifts– Serving up locally roasted Hubbard Lake Coffee with a side of homemade caramel corn (and various other flavors made from scratch) and all the chocolates you can imagine! A gift basket filled with North Country coffee, chocolates, and Michigan-made accessories is probably the most perfect thing we can think of for your coffee-chocolate-Michigan-loving friend or family member.
For Kids: Play to Learn
- Besser Museum for Northeast Michigan– It’s more than a museum! Often forgotten as a place to find cool and educational gifts for kids, you won’t be disappointed. Astronaut Ice Cream? Check. Webkinz? Check. Pretend Coonskin Cap? Check. Fun, fun, fun!
- Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center– Offers a gift shop full of clever toys as well as a great variety of active learning and science-based toys, such as ginormous grow sharks, crystal growing coral reefs, soapstone animals, and wooden pirate ship models.