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Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

#1 of 35 things to do in Alpena Features Animals
Waters of Lake Huron Off the Coast of Northeast Michigan, Alpena, MI 49707
+1 989-356-8805
Review Highlights
Excellent Tourist Stop

If you like stories about Great Lakes ship wrecks this is the place to go. The 35 minute video was... read more

Reviewed yesterday
Glen Ellyn, Illinois
Great place to visit!

I love shipwrecks and the stories behind them. We went on a great day. It was clear and calm. We... read more

Reviewed 6 days ago
Bryan L
Holland, Michigan
Read all 229 reviews
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Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary encompasses 4,300 square miles of Lake Huron, protecting one of America's best-preserved and nationally-significant collections of shipwrecks. Lake Huron's unpredictable weather and rocky shoals helped Thunder Bay earn the unfortunate name of "Shipwreck Alley." During the Great Lakes' 200-year shipping history, scores of vessels ended their careers on the lake floor off Alpena, Michigan. Some of the wreck sites remain largely intact while other sites are only remnants. However, many wrecks remain undiscovered... These vessels, preserved in time within the fresh, cold waters of Lake Huron, still have stories to tell of Great Lakes maritime history and commerce, from the earliest explorations to westward expansion in the 1800s and modern day trade. Through exploration, education, and research, the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve bring to the American public the lore of Great Lakes maritime heritage.
  • Excellent86%
  • Very good10%
  • Average3%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible0%
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Hours Today: 10:00 - 20:00
Waters of Lake Huron Off the Coast of Northeast Michigan, Alpena, MI 49707
+1 989-356-8805
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Reviews (229)
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1 - 10 of 229 reviews

Reviewed yesterday

If you like stories about Great Lakes ship wrecks this is the place to go. The 35 minute video was very informative and the staff very helpful

Thank DickMcD
Reviewed 6 days ago

I love shipwrecks and the stories behind them. We went on a great day. It was clear and calm. We even got to Pass the Alpena on her birthday! She was on a trip out to Cleveland. The museum is nice and it's free. The...More

Thank Bryan L
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Happened upon this gem of a museum while on Alpena's Heritage Riverwalk. Terrific exhibits! Very nicely kept! Fun for our family with 15, 17 and 19-year-olds. Looked like the younger set was also having a lot of fun with the child friendly exhibits and slide!

Thank Christina M
Reviewed 1 week ago

We had a great time here. We had kids from 2-13 and everyone enjoyed themselves. They learned by playing and touching. So much to see.

Thank Reading-all-the-maps
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

"Could this place really be as good as its reviews say it is?" YES!!! We loved our visit there. Our kids had a blast. We learned a lot and look forward to visiting again.

Thank Brett A
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This is such a great exhibit, and it was free! We were disappointed we missed the shipwreck tour. We hope to do that next time we visit Alpena.

Thank Jenny A
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

The building is fun for all ages to explore. They have films in the back. You can take boat tours of a few of the shipwrecks in the bay.

Thank dianaaa
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This is one of the best museums I been to. Lots of artifacts, the sphere video was awesome, loved climbing through the ship. I think we spent over an hour here! Donation for admission. I also found some treasures in the gift shop.

Thank Mary P
Reviewed 5 weeks ago

A free attraction, great for kids and families. The museum gives insight as to the importance of the Great Lakes in terms of our nation's history. There is so much to see, especially in the artifact room.

Thank Renee2757
Reviewed 2 April 2017 via mobile

Awesome maritime museum. Lots of shipwreck pictures and artifacts. Visiting the museum is by donation only. They are always working to make new (sometimes interactive) displays.

Thank Amanda R
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Questions & AnswersAsk a question
Kier P
How much time should we block out for this?
14 January 2017|
Answer Show all 12 answers
Response from Paul K | Reviewed this property |
Just the museum 1-2 hours. More for the tour.
Hi, we will be coming up this weekend. We will have our small dog with us, she suffers from separation anxiety and I was wondering If she could come on the tour with us , if I keep her in a carrier dog bag?
17 November 2016|
Answer Show all 5 answers
Response from CJNMichigan | Reviewed this property |
Do not know ...please give them call. All the best to you. Enjoy beautiful Alpena!
Pete V
how much are tickets and do I need to purchase in advance?
12 July 2015|
Answer Show all 5 answers
Response from NOAA-ONMS | Property representative |
Dear Pete V., Thank you for inquiring about a visit to Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary! The sanctuary and the accompanying visitor center do not charge entry fees. However, booking an excursion with private... More