Spring is a wonderful time to explore Michigan’s lower northeastern corner, known as the Sanctuary of the Great Lakes, before the busy summer season hits! Check out our top 5 places to explore in Alpena and the micropolitan region.

  1.  Downtown Alpena Mural Trail – Downtown Alpena boasts a variety of murals throughout the downtown district painted by artists both locally and from all over the country. Have you ever heard of Jesse Besser? If you haven’t before, you will when you come to Alpena! Check out the mural of one of Alpena’s famous innovators near Hopside Brewery and find out more about him at the Besser Museum for Northeast Michigan.  Map it out by using our new Visit Alpena app powered by VisitWidget. Available on both Android and iOS
Jesse Besser is depicted in this mural next to Hopside Brewery. Painted by artist Tim Nijenhuis

Jesse Besser is depicted in this mural next to Hopside Brewery. Painted by artist Tim Nijenhuis

  1.  Presque Isle Lighthouses – Just a short drive north of Alpena to Presque Isle, two sentinels of the sea await you. Old Presque Isle Lighthouse and New Presque Isle Lighthouse are both unique in their own right and well worth the day trip to see! Lighthouses re-open for the season on May 24th. 
  2.  Ocqueoc Falls – The lower peninsula’s largest waterfall and the nation’s first universally accessible waterfall lies just an hour northwest of Alpena. The falls offer four small rapids, a splash pool, and a beautiful six-mile Bicentennial Pathway for easy hiking.
  3.  Rockport State Recreation Area – Michigan’s 100th state park offers a variety of activities for almost everyone. Rockhounds can hunt for Devonian Period fossils in the abandoned quarry, hikers and bikers will love the miles and miles of groomed trails, and stargazers can set up at night to watch the starry night like nowhere else in Alpena! (Besides our other two designated dark sky parks!)
The Lady Michigan glass bottom boat sails under the 2nd Avenue bridge out into Lake Huron

Hop aboard the Lady Michigan!

  1.  Lady Michigan Glass Bottom Boat Ride – Find out why the Thunder Bay area is known as “shipwreck alley” when you board the Lady Michigan glass bottom boat. The crystal clear waters and the large ‘glass bottom’ viewing wells allow you to ‘dive’ the wrecks – without getting wet. During the 2-hour cruise, you will experience the magnificently preserved shipwrecks and the scenic shorelines of Thunder Bay. Learn the exciting tales of many famous ships and the history, legends, and lore of Lake Huron. Tours begin again on May 14th.