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About Alpena

It’s the largest city in Northeast Michigan, the region’s cultural and commercial hub, and home to some of the most beautiful sunrises in the state. Alpena, Michigan, the county seat of Alpena County, was incorporated in 1871 and was home to a large number of commercial fisheries before expanding into the logging business and eventually becoming the hub for tourism that it is today. Truly a part of the Pure Michigan palette of places the state can claim, Alpena’s natural beauty is accentuated by its catalog of lighthouses and its downtown. One of Michigan’s “Cool Cities,” Alpena was ranked as the hottest retirement destination in the Great Lakes area by Bizjournals.

If you seek a home in Alpena, you’ll find the housing stock is varied. You’ll be able to choose from beachfront vacation homes (or beachfront lots, if you’re looking to build your dream home), postwar ranches and colonials near downtown, and ramblers as you move farther from the city proper. Summer homes and summer cottages dot the landscape, as the city’s summer population swells to take advantage of the “Up North” summers.

Alpena is served by the Alpena Public Schools, established in 1963 as the first county-wide school district in Michigan. The district is the largest district, by geographical size, in Michigan, encompassing 620 square miles. Fun fact: The total amount of mileage covered daily by Alpena’s school bus fleet is about 1,400 miles, which is the approximate distance from Alpena to Walt Disney World. As for the buildings themselves, you’ll find six elementary schools, plus a junior high and a high school alongside three private schools. Alpena Community College also serves the region, as it houses the World Center for Concrete Technology, a near-necessity in a city with an economy strongly tied to the concrete business.

Away from school, children and adults alike may be found in one of the city’s 18 parks. You’ll find plenty of shoreline, basketball courts, tennis courts, playscapes, baseball/softball fields, and hundreds of spots from which you can fish. You can also rent jet skis, spend some time at a local beach, canoe, kayak, scuba dive, rent a fishing boat, and in the winter months, have some fun at an icy shanty. You can take a shipwreck tour or, if you want to stay on dry land, visit the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary at the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center, where you can explore the history and archeology of the nearly 200 historic shipwrecks in and around Thunder Bay.

For an afternoon or evening stroll or wind-down, Alpena’s downtown sports two movie theaters, two live theaters, plenty of restaurants to fill your belly or wet your whistle, and of course, a copious amount of retail outlets selling books, shoes, or the perfect souvenir for you or for your visiting friends and family members.

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