Explore shipwrecks, lighthouses, charter fishing and Lake Huron beaches on the Sunrise Side of the Lower Peninsula. Check out our guide for what to do, where to eat and where to stay.
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Sturgeon Point Light
Sturgeon Point Light
| Credit: Jason Lindsey

Do

Alpena Shipwreck Tours 

Offshore from Alpena, peer at the ghostly remains of shipwrecks in the crystal-clear waters of Thunder Bay. alpenashipwrecktours.com

Charter fishing 

Alpena's Two Hearted Charters and Court Yard Ristorante partner in the Catch and Cook program: Head out with Two Hearted in the morning; Court Yard will cook whatever you bring back that day.

Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center
Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center
| Credit: John Noltner

Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center 

Kids and adults enjoy learning about old-time schooners, underwater archaeology, shipwrecks and boatbuilding at this free Alpena museum. thunderbay.noaa.gov

Michigan lighthouses
Fort Gratiot Lighthouse
| Credit: EE Berger

Lighthouses 

Michigan is home to more lighthouses than any other state, and several impressive structures dot Lake Huron's shores. Among them: 40 Mile Point (Rogers City), Old Presque Isle and New Presque Isle (Presque Isle), Tawas Point (Tawas), Pointe aux Barques (Port Hope) and Fort Gratiot (Port Huron).

Lumberman's Monument

Be prepared for action. Interactive exhibits about the area's logging history engage visitors, but it's the climb down to the Au Sable River for views that will leave you breathless. fs.usda.gov

Port Austin Kayak 

Kayak the Turnip Rock Water Trail to see oddly shaped slabs of sandstone rise from clear green waters along the Lake Huron shore. Also available for rental: bikes and stand-up paddleboards. portaustinkayak.com

River Road Scenic Byway 

The 22-mile route stretches through the Au Sable River Valley. At Iargo Springs, stop at the overlook or take the 300 steps to the spring area. Three miles east, learn about the logging industry at the Lumberman's Monument Visitors Center. A steep walk (272 steps) leads from the monument to great river and dune views. fhwa.dot.gov

Albert E. Sleeper State Park
Albert E. Sleeper State Park
| Credit: Jason Lindsey

State Parks 

It's not unusual to have a stretch of grassy dunes or a hiking trail to yourself at laid-back Albert E. Sleeper and Port Crescent state parks, on Saginaw Bay at the tip of Michigan's Thumb. Stay the night at modern campsites. michigandnr.com

Eat and Drink

Cabin Creek Coffee 

The joe is smooth and rich, but so are the other choices: lattes, chais and specialty drinks. Enjoy one with a berry-studded scone or a thick sandwich in Alpena. cabincreekcoffeealpena.com

Hack–Ma–Tack Inn and Restaurant 

Originally a private hunting and fishing lodge in Cheboygan, Hack–Ma–Tack now invites guests to drive in or boat in from the Cheboygan River to enjoy slow-cooked prime rib and whitefish almondine. hackmatackinn.com

Stay

The Cadillac House

Settle in for dinner at the recently reopened 1860 hotel in Lexington before retiring to one of 12 guest rooms. thecadillachouse.com

Fleetwood Inn and Suites

All of the Cheboygan inn's spacious rooms face a dock-lined stretch of the Cheboygan River. fleetwoodinn.com

More information: visitalpena.com