The City of Alpena is home to friendly residents and ample recreational opportunities. Overlooking the beautiful Thunder Bay, the Port of Alpena covers about five acres (almost nine square miles).
The Port of Alpena has a humid continental climate with big differences in temperatures from season to season. Summers are warm and can be hot. Winters can be severely cold. Rain is heaviest from April through October. Snowfall (14 to 15 inches) is heaviest in December and January. Temperatures in the Port of Alpena range from an average high of 25°C (77°F) in July to an average low of -3°C (27°F) in January.
The Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center is open from Monday through Saturday from 10am until 5pm. On Sunday, it is open from noon until 5pm. The Sanctuary preserves almost 200 shipwrecks in the cold fresh waters of Lake Huron, making it a very popular spot for explorers and divers. A map of shipwrecks is located on the website.
The Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center is a 1.8 thousand square meter (20 thousand square foot) riverfront facility that presents exhibits on maritime history and shipwrecks. The discovery center also contains life-sized replicas of a Great Lakes schooner and shipwreck sites. There are also displays of artifacts and learning stations covering diving and technology. The free-admission center has a sanctuary store, a high-def theater, and an archaeological lab.
The Alpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library also contains the Thunder Bay Sanctuary Research Collection, an archive of Great Lakes maritime history.
The Alpena Snowdrifters Club is responsible, through a contract with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, to sign, groom, and brush almost 150 kilometers (93 miles) of snowmobile trails in the Port of Alpena area. There are three staging areas for snowmobilers. There are four trails in the system, including the Devil's Lake trails in the state forest. In addition to winter rides that include overnight trips, the club maintains the snowmobile trails for everyone's enjoyment and conducts free snowmobile safety schools for young people in the Port of Alpena community. The club also participates in the Michigan Department of Transportation's adopt-a-highway program.