Don’t call it a comeback! Pokémon is still sweeping the nation like it’s 1998 with a new app that was just released last Wednesday called “Pokémon GO!”.  If you vaguely remember Pokémon, or if you don’t, here is a brief history of the cult classic:

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A wild Shellder was spotted outside of Downtown Scoops on Monday afternoon

Pokémon first became famous in Japan for being a fun Nintendo video game where you catch “pocket monsters” (Pokémon), which then swept the U.S.A. by storm in the form of video games, trading cards, cartoon TV series, movies, and more!

So you may be wondering, how does this Pokémon GO app relate to Alpena? We wondered the same thing, so we downloaded the app and hit the town. This app uses your GPS location to find Pokémon in your area. As you walk around Alpena, the virtual world of the Pokémon streets are overlaid with our streets from your smart phone. Rivers are rivers, lakes are lakes, fields are fields, etc. Therefore, by hunting Pokémon you are exploring Alpena! How cool is that?! Restaurants and businesses all over the country are even cashing in on this interactive game by setting up Pokémon lures at their location, brining in all the Pokémon and the customers that follow!

Upon our Pokémon hunting adventure we found adults, teens, and kids of all ages doing their best to find and catch Pokémon all around various historical Alpena locations. Find water Pokémon by the Thunder Bay River or Lake Huron, grass, poison, and bug Pokémon in and around the city suburbs, and rarer and fancier Pokémon the further away you go from your original starting point. Therefore, this interactive game not only gets its users outside, but also allows for the exploration of popular city landmarks and attractions.

So far, we have found 4 different training gyms in the city limits at various historical sites. These training gyms are where you go to battle your Pokémon against other users (virtually, of course) and also increase your XP. The 4 gyms are located at the following locations:

U.S.S. Maine Memorial (outside of City Hall) Gym, level 5

Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Trail Gym, level 7

St. Bernard Catholic Church Gym, level 6

Grace Lutheran Church Gym, level 3

(Have you found another in the city limits? Let us know!)

Keep in mind, you do not need to go inside of some of these locations. Standing outside will do just fine.

Other than gyms, PokéStops are also all around the town. PokéStops are where you go to collect freebies which can include Poké Balls, eggs, XP, and more. There are too many PokéStops around town to name them all, but here is list of some Downtown Alpena PokéStop locations:

2nd St. Draw Bridge

PokéStops all along the Marine Heritage Trail

Alpena County Library

Alpena City Hall

Alpena Small Boat Harbor


Island Park is just one of many PokéStops to collect daily freebies

Downtown Alpena Fountain

The Black Sheep

Trinity Episcopal Church

P.O.W./M.I.A. Memorial

First Congregational Church

Logging Up the River Mural

Alpena Christian Church

Alpena Post Office

Thunder Bay Theater

Downtown Clock Park

The old Fletcher St. Brewing Company building

Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce

What a fun way to play games, explore the city you live in, and experience other city attractions as you travel, all while leveling up and becoming the Pokémon Master that you know you will be.

Download the game from Google Play or the Apple Store and checkout this site –>HERE<– for a complete, detailed instruction guide on how to play the game. Wondering how these specific locations were chosen to be gyms and PokéStops? Check out this link –>HERE<–

Happy Poké-hunting!