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Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

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Address: Waters of Lake Huron Off the Coast of Northeast Michigan, Alpena, MI 49707
Phone Number:
+1 989-356-8805
Website
Sunday
Closed
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Hours:
Mon - Thu 10:00 - 20:00
Fri - Sat 10:00 - 16:00
Description:

Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary encompasses 4,300 square miles of...

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.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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This is a must see

The boat tour was very scenic, informational and just plain perfect! In the boat, you could see the bottom of Lake Huron and see sunken ships.

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 days ago
Pam L
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219 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 219: English reviews
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

The boat tour was very scenic, informational and just plain perfect! In the boat, you could see the bottom of Lake Huron and see sunken ships.

Helpful?
Thank Pam L
Detroit
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

An excellent museum with rich history of shipping and shipwrecks around the Alpena/Lake Huron region.

Helpful?
Thank MI_Traveler9999
Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

A trip on the waters of Thunder Bay is an amazing experience. Especially if you take a glass-bottomed boat tour and see the shipwrecks. The water is clear and the ships are clearly visible under water. This was a blast and is well worth a trip to Alpena even if it's out of your way.

Helpful?
Thank Mischele K
Level Contributor
4 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I loved the exhibits! It is very small and you can go through it in less than an hour. It does have some interactive things and the girl at the desk was very friendly. The gift shop prices are very fair and you can have a great time there.

Helpful?
Thank Craigg D
michigan
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This is a very neat place to go to. Stuff for everyone. Very interesting if you have an interest in the shipping around Michigan

Helpful?
Thank MichiganLurch
mackinac island
Level Contributor
33 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 February 2017 via mobile

Amazing shipwrecks seen on a lovely glass bottom boat with a great captain & crew. Museum is fantastic with large displays & vivid photos of many shop wrecks It's a wonderful family place to visit. Go often always something new.

Helpful?
Thank noelskiba
Plymouth, Michigan
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 January 2017 via mobile

Never knew how much trade and history from the Great Lakes. It's a federally funded sanctuary and nice exhibits. Fun to do on a cold winter day and free admission

Helpful?
Thank brownk03
Alpena, Michigan
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 November 2016

Every time I go to the Sanctuary I see something I didn't see before. It's a super experience for children and adults. Don't hesitate to visit winter or summer, you won't be sorry.

Helpful?
Thank Rosalind P
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 October 2016 via mobile

Really worth going too and very interesting to my husband who is a diver. Very interesting history on Lake Michigan shipping and ship wrecks.

Helpful?
Thank Tanka4
Level Contributor
14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 October 2016 via mobile

Visiting with family, we made a stop at this awesome museum. Friendly and helpful staff and the maritime artifacts are interesting. My favorite part was the life size schooner that we were able to get on and snap some pictures. So glad we came!

Helpful?
Thank Kathy B

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  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?