Appreciating Small Town Beauty: Alpena Michigan

Appreciation post for a city I grew up visiting once, sometimes twice a year: Alpena Michigan! My mother grew up in Alpena, which has a population of around 10,000. She always said it was a town where everybody knew everyone… meaning her and her siblings couldn’t get away with anything! Though it’s a small town, it really has an abundance of beauty which you will see shortly.

Visiting this town growing up, my time was always spent with my grandparents and aunts and uncles during the holidays, and even seeing some of the great aunts and uncles and my mother’s cousins. Unfortunately, my grandmother passed away on June 23, and though visiting may never be the same without her bright smiling face and goofy phrases, I’ve learned to appreciate this small town in a whole NEW way. I’ve loved seeing this town on my past two visits, in June and over Labor Day weekend: my mother’s favorite places and secret spots growing up, my grandma’s favorite bar, and more. My mother even mentioned that she loved seeing Alpena through my eyes, and re-experiencing the beauty that she was so used to seeing growing up.

Alpena, Michigan is full of natural beauty, and actually quite perfect for the active adventurer: paddleboarding, kayaking/canoeing, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, hiking, fishing, biking… really I could go on!

 

Lake Huron Beauty

My mom always said she couldn’t imagine living anywhere NOT near a large body of water. Makes sense–she’s lived by the Great Lakes her entire life! Her childhood was spent biking to the beach at Lake Huron, and the rest of her adult life in Milwaukee or Racine, WI on the shores of Lake Michigan.

Alpena, Michigan is right on Thunder Bay, Lake Huron. So when you say “hello to the other siiiiiide” it’s not truly the other side of Lake Huron. No matter the day, Lake Huron is gorgeous.

midwest USA | Small town midwest beauty | Alpena michigan
The waves were intense this day, and I stood on the rocks for maybe 15 minutes taking pictures. Couldn’t get enough!
midwest USA | Small town midwest beauty | Alpena michigan | Lake Huron | Thunder bay
Might be my favorite picture of Thunder Bay

midwest USA | Small town midwest beauty | Alpena michigan | Lake Huron Michigan

 

Beauty of Duck Park

One of my mother’s favorite spots in Alpena growing up was Duck Park. After visiting Duck Park myself a few times, it’s now one of my favorite spots too! I think you’ll see why.

midwest USA | Small town midwest beauty | Alpena michigan | Duck Park Alpena

midwest USA | Small town midwest beauty | Alpena michigan | Duck Park Alpena

 

midwest USA | Small town midwest beauty | Alpena michigan | Duck Park Alpena

midwest USA | Small town midwest beauty | Alpena michigan | Duck Park Alpena
You can also go kayaking an canoeing at Duck Park! They have a fantastic little kayak launch spot near the parking lot.

midwest USA | Small town midwest beauty | Alpena michigan | Duck Park Alpena

 

So. Much. Wooded Beauty.

midwest USA | Small town midwest beauty | Alpena michigan
Looooong dirt road where my great grandparents’ farm used to be. Love all the birch trees.
midwest USA | Small town midwest beauty | Alpena michigan
Wooded area at the Domke Dinosaur Gardens in Alpena County. The large ferns really make it look prehistoric!

 

Alpena Michigan will always have a piece of my heart. It’s where so much of my family history is, and I’ve absolutely loved getting to know this little city better! What’s something you love about small midwest towns?

There's more to the midwest USA than meets the eye! Even small towns (population 10,000 or less) are plentiful with nature and activity. See the beauty if this small midwest USA town: Alpena Michigan There's more to the midwest USA than meets the eye! Even small towns (population 10,000 or less) are plentiful with nature and activity. See the beauty if this small midwest USA town: Alpena Michigan

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