Visiting Alpena, Frequently Asked Questions
Looking to plan a trip to the Alpena Area? Alpena Area Convention & Visitors Bureau President Mary Beth Stutzman answers top travel planning questions to help ensure a successful visit to the Sanctuary of the Great Lakes.
I have never visited the Alpena area. What can I expect?
For starters, you can expect small-town charm embraced by nature. From friendly smiles at local shops across the area to courteous trail users and helpful residents, you can expect to leave Alpena with a few more friends than when you arrived. You can also expect to be pleasantly surprised. The community of Alpena is the economic hub of a 4-county region and as a result, acts like a much larger city demographically, due to influx from neighboring areas. You will be surprised with the sheer number of attractions, parks, recreation activities, cultural events, and interesting and friendly places available to you while visiting. The #1 regret of many visitors: they wish they had given themselves more time to explore everything!
How can I experience Alpena’s cultural celebrations and festivals?
The best place for up-to-date information about local festivals and events is the Convention & Visitors Bureau Events Calendar that is updated by the community on a continual basis. You can find it online at VisitAlpena.com/events.
How many visitors have been to Alpena recently?
The Alpena area receives many visitors throughout the year including people on vacation, people on specific outdoor adventures, business travelers, students, heritage and culture explorers, and those visiting friends and relatives. A major benefit of the region is that activities and attractions are spread out over a generous area so it can often feel as if you are having a private experience, tailor-made just for you, at many of the places you may go.
What’s the weather like in Northeast Michigan?
Being located on the 45th Parallel, Alpena is a 4-season paradise. This is one of the reasons the town survived the bust following the logging era. Once timber reserves were spent, the residents decided to stay instead of moving on. The summers are warm and filled with sunshine; days range from 70-80°F, while summer nights can see a comfortable 65°F. Fall has been warmer in recent years with above average temperatures ranging from 55-70°F. Spring keeps us on our toes with warm days and cool nights hovering around 40-60°F. Our winters bring the beauty of a Currier & Ives painting. While snow blankets the earth and hugs the evergreen boughs, plenty of time is available for ice fishing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and sipping cocoa by an open fire. Winter can take us into the realm of below zero temps, but it generally bounces around between the teens and 20s. As far as attire goes, Summertime is for flip flops, shorts, and sundresses and maybe a sweatshirt for the campfire at night; Winter demands that we dress in layers and bring wool socks to keep our toes happy; and Spring and Fall are transition seasons where you may start off the day in a sweater and end it in a t-shirt.
Is Alpena a safe place for visitors?
Independent travelers can feel safe walking down the street or visiting trails and attractions. Most residents are respectful and helpful. Even though the area is very safe, it is advised to use common sense when out on your own, and not leave your belongings unattended while in public spaces.