Looking for things to do in Michigan this summer? For a variety of outdoor recreational activities, add a visit to Alpena, MI, to your Michigan summer bucket list! This city has beautiful parks with unique features, plus a wildlife sanctuary to explore!
Duck Park in Alpena Michigan
At Duck Park, you have the opportunity to discover a natural setting along the Thunder Bay River. The 2.5-acre park has picnic areas and a unique butterfly garden. The Alpena Garden Club maintains the garden, as well as other gardens throughout the city, and butterflies are attracted to the natural flowers during the summer.
Other activities to enjoy at Duck Park include biking, birding, fishing, and hiking. Additionally, you can find Alpena Pedal & Paddle Rentals by Performance Locker at the park. It rents bikes, canoes, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
The bike and watercraft rentals can be used around more than just Duck Park. You can use watercraft to access Island Park or reach the island via a concrete bridge at the southeast end of Duck Park. Island Park is 17 acres and has 4,400 feet of waterfront. There are nature and walking trails throughout the island, giving you every chance to study and observe the flora and fauna. If you want to fish, there are designated platforms along the edge of the water
Alpena Wildlife Sanctuary
Surrounding Island Park is the Alpena Wildlife Sanctuary, a 500-acre area of low islands and backwaters. Several paths lead through the various ecosystems — marshes, meadows, sand dunes, woodlands — that are protected within the sanctuary. In fact, the marshes are a habitat for many bird species, including Least Bitterns, while songbirds and other waterfowl call the sanctuary home as well.
Nearby Things to Do and Places to Eat in Alpena
While you’re in Alpena, there are tons more things to do. You could visit the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center, which has a life-size schooner that you can walk around while feeling the power of a storm on Lake Huron.
At Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, you’ll find a nationally significant collection of almost 100 historic Lake Huron shipwrecks, and you can visit the D.M. Wilson shipwreck on a dive. On the other hand, you could get a look at shipwrecks aboard the glass-bottom Lady Michigan boat with Alpena Shipwreck Tours.
For some relaxing fun, check out Lee’s Miniature Golf, the oldest continuously run mini-golf course in Michigan. Although its old-fashioned design looks simple, some of the holes are rather challenging.
Satisfying appetites of all kinds, Alpena restaurants serve a variety of cuisines. The menu at Red Brick Tap and Barrel features upscale dishes and great whiskey, while Court Yard Ristorante offers seafood, steaks, and pasta, and live music in the lounge. Or, you can get pizza and sandwiches on house-baked rolls at Mancino’s Pizza & Grinders. For dessert, Downtown Scoops has ice cream sundaes, homemade waffle cones, malts, and shakes.
Campgrounds Near Alpena, MI
Alpena has a couple of great camping areas. Camper’s Cove RV Park & Canoe Livery has full hookup sites, a game room, mini-golf, canoeing and kayaking, fishing, and an indoor heated pool. It even has campers for rent, so you don’t need your own.
Thunder Bay RV Park & Camp is a very quiet and relaxing campground. All sites have water and electricity, including tent sites. The bathroom and showers are very clean. The campground even offers some hiking trails for quick nature walks.
We've included local campgrounds in most of the #MIAwesomeList posts to help you get the most out of your Michigan summer bucket list adventures!
No RV? No worries. You can save up to 25% on your travel costs this summer by renting an RV through RVshare!
Whether you want to pull it behind you or have it all set up at your destination, renting an RV is the best way to enjoy all your summer adventures in Michigan!
Additional Lodging in Alpena
- Big Bear Lodge
- Holiday Inn Express & Suites Alpena
- Family Owned Vacation Suite Conveniently Located Across From Lake Huron Beach