Are you ready for a summer adventure in Alpena? We have put together our summer bucket list from Alpena. Let's go!
- Visit a Shipwreck
Alpena is home to the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, which consists of nearly 100 shipwrecks. Some of these are shallow water shipwrecks that can be explored with a snorkel, mask and pair of fins. Some are in much deeper water and are a destination for experienced scuba divers. There are also shipwreck tours. We decided to visit the L.M. Mason which we were able to access on our paddleboards. The Lake Huron water is very clear and when the conditions are calm the shipwreck can be seen from above the water. This shipwreck is in shallow water and is a fun one to explore and is marked by a buoy. Depending on how adventurous you want to be, you can decide which would be the best way to experience the shipwrecks in the area.
- Paddle Lake Huron
As mentioned above, the water in Lake Huron is extremely clear which makes it a great place to paddle. During a calm day, this area of Lake Huron is a must-visit thing to do in all of Michigan for any fan of paddling. There are also so many spots to access Lake Huron in the Alpena area. This time, we paddled near the New and Old Presque Isle Lighthouses. A benefit to paddling in this area is that if there is some wind you can pick a side of the peninsula to most likely be able to find some good conditions.
- New Presque Isle Light
This lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse on the Great Lakes where the catwalk is accessible, which makes it a unique experience. Standing high above the trees and out on a peninsula, the 360-degree views from the top area amazing. There are also great spots to access Lake Huron right around the lighthouse.
- Climb Old Presque Isle Light
Right down the road from the New Presque Isle Lighthouse is the Old Presque Isle Lighthouse. One admission ticket lets you go to the top of both lighthouses. The Old Presque Isle Lighthouse has castle-like features and is a great example of why we say lighthouses are the castles of Michigan.
- Take a Selfie with Paul
There is a unique statue in Alpena that is fun to check out called "Kaiser Paul" which is made of old Kaiser automobile parts. Standing at around 30 feet tall, Paul has lived in a variety of places in Michigan before finding his current home in Alpena at Alpena Community College.
- Have Lunch with a View
There are so many ways to make this one happen! Dine in, food trucks, take out, whatever you prefer. This time we went to the Sherwood Pita Wagon and brought our food down to a picnic table to Lake Huron views. There are many waterfront parks in Alpena where you can enjoy the views while eating some delicious. Depending on the time of year, the River Street Vault Food Park and Bar is a great spot for food truck options and a cool spot to hang out.
- Appreciate the Murals
We always like to check out local murals and art. There are multiple buildings in Alpena with great murals, including a 3D fish mural. The 3D features adds a unique aspect to a fun and colorful mural. There are also new art pieces located at the city marina. Another one that we like is a large fish mural across the street from Lee's Miniature Golf.
- Sample Local Beverages
Coffee, beer and more. Sampling local beverage are part of our bucket list in Alpena. One option is Austin Brothers Beer Company. The beer is great and there is a great outdoor seating area. Another option is HopSide Brewery, located downtown. We always seek out local coffee and this time we went to Cabin Creek Coffee which offers a large menu along with to-go coffee beans. There are also options for great beverage at many of the local bars, restaurants and more.
- Play some "Golf"
This bucket list item is truly unique to Alpena. Lee's Miniature Golf is a classic mini golf course that is said to be the oldest, continuously run mini golf course in Michigan. The holes are fun and unique and as a bonus, the course is located right on the shores of Lake Huron.
- Enjoy the Night Sky
Our final item on the list may be one of the most unique things to do in the area and that is to go check out the night sky. We went to the Rockport State Recreation Area, which is a designated dark sky preserve. For us, the conditions were perfect for an amazing night of checking out the stars and taking photographs. If you are into night sky photography, this is a great place. If you just want to go stargazing, leave the camera at head to Rockport! There are also two other dark sky preserves including Thompson's Harbor State Park and Negwegon State Park.
Check out our fuller summer bucket list video from Alpena!