Alpena is the largest
city in Northeast Michigan, serving as its commercial and cultural
hub. It is one of the two anchor cities of Northern Michigan, along
with its cross-peninsula rival, Traverse City. The region, known as
the "Sunrise Side" from its location on the west shore of Lake Huron,
was first a site of commercial fishing activity and is still home
to extensive commercial fishing activities.
Later the region, like
much of Michigan, was shaped by the logging era of the 1800s. Today,
Alpena is known for its limestone quarry and is home to a major cement
manufacturer and exporter.
Alpena is centrally located
on the Sunrise Side Coastal Highway, a 200-mile stretch of US 23 graced
with scenic views, undeveloped wild areas, roomy beaches and recreational
areas for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.