Top Things to Do Along the Lake Huron Shore in Michigan | Midwest Living

Top Things to Do Along the Lake Huron Shore in Michigan

Lighthouses, state parks, charter fishing, scenic drives and shipwreck tours attract travelers to Lake Huron, the second-largest of the Great Lakes, on the Sunrise Side of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. Check out our guide for what to do, where to eat and where to stay.


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

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 later that day.,,

Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center Kids and adults enjoy learning about old-time schooners, underwater archaeology and shipwrecks at this interactive museum in Alpena. The main exhibit is a life-size tall ship caught in a simulated storm so severe that a few visitors have reported feeling seasick walking its slanting deck.

Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center

Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center

Lighthouses Michigan is home to more lighthouses than any other state, and several impressive structures dot Lake Huron’s shores. Most notable: 40 Mile Point (Rogers City), Old Presque Isle and New Presque Isle (Presque Isle), Pointe aux Barques (Port Hope), Sturgeon Point (Harrisville) and Tawas Point (Tawas).

Sturgeon Point Light

Sturgeon Point Lighthouse

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.

Port Austin Kayak This outfitter gets you in a kayak so you can paddle to Turnip Rock, on the 139-mile Tip of the Thumb Heritage Water Trail.

River Road Scenic Byway The 22-mile route stretches through the Au Sable River Valley to Oscoda. At Iargo Springs, stop at the overlook or take the 300 steps to the spring area. Three miles east, learn about the logging industry through interactive exhibits at the Lumberman's Monument Visitors Center, then take another steep walk (272 steps) from the monument to river and dune views at Cooke Dam.

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 next to dunes or on shady wooded spots at either one. Port Crescent’s walkway eases beach access.

Albert E. Sleeper State Park

Albert E. Sleeper State Park


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, an inches-thick sandwich or a chocolatey treat in Alpena.

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.


Anchorage Cottages In the Oscoda-AuSable area, these cottages sit on a slice of Lake Huron’s sandy shore so you can go from bed to beach in seconds. The seven structures range from small to spacious.

The Cadillac House Settle in for dinner at the newly reopened 1860 hotel in Lexington before retiring to one of 12 guest rooms.

East Tawas Junction Bed and Breakfast Travelers with an appreciation for Victorian decor will enjoy their stay, and their hearty breakfast.

Fleetwood Inn and Suites All of the Cheboygan inn’s clean, spacious rooms face a dock-lined stretch of the Cheboygan River and feature patios or decks.

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