This Underrated City On Lake Huron's Shores Is A Great Lake Getaway Without Crowds

When visiting the Great Lakes, you may feel as though you're at the ocean with the way the water extends for miles upon miles until it meets the sky on the horizon. It's beautiful, to say the least, especially during sunrise and sunset when the lake reflects the brilliant colors of the sky. If you've never been to the Great Lakes, it's certainly an experience worth seeking. Ideally, you'll be able to find a serene spot — no crowds, just you and the waves.

If you're looking for a town on the Great Lakes that fits such a description, then the quiet district of Alpena could be just the place for you. The town of about 10,000 stands on Lake Huron and offers a surprising amount of fun activities, given its size and relatively secluded location. In addition to gorgeous views and uncrowded beaches, you'll also find museums, art galleries, exciting tours, water sports, a fun park, mini golf, and more. This town makes for the perfect destination if you're hoping to connect with nature, have fun with family, and enjoy the vast beauty of the Great Lakes.

Lake day activities

The Great Lakes' over 200 lighthouses are popular sights for those visiting the area. If you're one of the many hoping to catch glimpses of the towering structures, you can definitely do so in Alpena. There's the iconic Little Red Beacon lighthouse located right in the town, as well as six additional ones on Lake Huron. If you desire to learn more about the lighthouses, you can join a tour with Alpena Adventures, which offers bus tours to a handful of the beacons. For those more interested in what's happened below the waves rather than on top, you can take the Friends of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary's Shipwreck Tour. These tours run between May and October and cost $39 for adults, $14 for children between ages 6 and 12, and $1 for children 5 and under.

If you're hoping to sit back and relax, you can easily do so at one of the four beaches within the town: Starlite Beach, Mich-e-ke-wis Beach, Blair Street Pier, and Thomson's Beach. Bring a paddleboard, kayak, or canoe to any of these and enjoy an afternoon floating on the water. If you find them too close to town or simply aren't to your liking, venture out to any of the surrounding ones. Perhaps the Presque Isle Range Light Beach, north of Alpena and home to, as the name implies, another lighthouse.

More fun in Alpena

In addition to the delightful lake day activities, you can venture into town for more fun. Challenge your family, peers, or even strangers to a round of laser tag at Laser Team Challenge. They host rounds every Saturday from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Alternatively, you can try your hand at mini golf for a couple of hours at Lee's Miniature Golf, where you can take in gorgeous lake views while swinging your way through the course. If you want something a bit more thrilling, stop by Arzo Sport and Fun Park for go-carting, bumper cars, roller coasters, and other amusement park rides.

For those who prefer the relaxing route, you can stop by an art gallery, such as the Thunder Bay Arts and Gallery, which hosts various events throughout the year and displays works by local artists, including pieces from the youth. Whichever of these you decide, you'll likely have a blast and won't have to worry about long lines. So, next time you're hoping to visit the Great Lakes but want to avoid the crowds, both at the beach and in the town, consider traveling to the charming lake town of Alpena, Michigan, for a wholesome and fun-filled time.