Lake Huron Alpena Michigan

Work in Alpena, Michigan, and Fall in Love with Your Great Lakes Home Base

Imagine yourself clocking out from a rewarding day at your hospital in northeast Michigan on the shores of Lake Huron.

You’re excited about your next seven days off and the great outdoors adventures you’ve got planned. You’ll start with a few nights gazing up into the Milky Way at one of the three “designated dark skies” parks in the area to catch some meteor showers. Then you’ll SUP over Lake Huron to check out one of several hundred preserved shipwrecks, many of which are shallow enough to explore with just a mask and snorkel.

Lastly, you’ll round out your week off with a delicious meal of either Polish fare, American pub food, or a quick trip to the weekly Farmers Market for some fruit, and yeah, a traditional Cornish Pasty. (Yum!)

The third largest city in northern Michigan, Alpena is located around the “pointer finger” in the state’s ubiquitous “mitten.” It’s about four hours north of Detroit and two and a half hours east of Traverse City, Michigan — home to the state’s famous cherry festival.

Medical Professionals Are Loving Alpena, Michigan

Alpena, Michigan attracts many medical professionals to its little pocket of paradise.

“I was attracted to Alpena because it was close to home and northern Michigan is so beautiful,” noted Cath Lab RN and Alpena resident Shane Foerster. “The thought of being in an educational role was very appealing to me and I was drawn to the possibility of future career advancement with VitalSolution.”

“Alpena is welcoming and it’s a close-knit community, almost like a family feel,” Foerster added.

The medical community is also strong in Alpena where VitalSolution cardio teams live and work.

“The STEMI patients and families are among the most grateful and appreciative folks I’ve ever cared for,” said David Zidar, MD, interventional cardiologist. ”They specifically cited that this new cardiology program they had read about in the local newspaper saved their lives.”

“There is enormous pride and kindness among the hospital physicians and staff – the esprit de corps is energizing and makes for excellent teamwork and collaboration,” Zidar said.

Explore Great Lakes History in and Around Alpena

Alpena found its place in Michigan’s history as a port for shipping timber in and out of the state. Located on the shores of Lake Huron in an area known as Thunder Bay. Alpena has a place in Michigan’s long history of industry, beginning with logging and moving on to transporting building supplies including cement and other heavy machinery industries as far back as the 1800s.

As a main shipping port protected from Lake Huron’s harshest weather in Thunder Bay, Alpena was a convenient hub for Lake Huron’s commercial fishing industry. As fish populations shifted away from Atlantic salmon and alewife, native walleye and lake trout have rebounded in numbers. Sport fishing can now bring in a wide variety of fish in one trip on Lake Huron, including Atlantic salmon, lake trout, rainbow trout, chinook salmon, coho salmon, pink salmon, and walleye!

Find Safe Passage and Explore Alpena’s Nearby Lighthouses

When boat travel was more common in American and Canadian culture, finding a safe harbor in the dark of night or as a Great Lakes storm whipped up would have meant everything to captains. Great Lakes lighthouses are literal beacons to both commercial sailing and recreational boating safe harbors in and around the northern border of the country. Around Alpena, you can find seven historic lighthouses along the coastline.

You can also venture out to find a little peace and quiet away from the grind with relatively undeveloped coastlines, islands, and rocky formations in the northern parts of Lake Huron, including the Les Cheneaux Islands in northern Michigan or the nearby Manitoulin Islands in Ontario, Canada.

Take in the Milky Way in Alpena, Michigan

On clear nights, many of us can see a few stars here and there, but it’s only in designated “dark skies” areas where the beauty and mysteries of the cosmos are readily visible in the sky. Alpena, Michigan is home to not just one but three “dark skies preserves” where visitors can explore the skies above them and dream about all that the universe holds. Located on the shores of Lake Huron, these three preserves are half of all of the dark skies preserves in the state of Michigan.

Don’t want the outside time? Try the planetarium at the local Besser Museum to learn more about the skies above Alpena.

Summer or Winter: Hit Hundreds of Miles of Trails (on Land and Water)

If you love to get outside, no matter the time of year, Alpena, Michigan has you covered. There are hundreds of miles of groomed trails and tens of thousands of miles ​of State-managed forest land you can hike, bike, or cross-country ski on throughout the year. There are single-track trails for mountain bikers, wide trails for families and horseback riding, and plenty of forested areas for nature lovers to bird watch or even hunt for mushrooms.

Alpena is home to the Thunder Bay Audubon Society, a chapter of the Michigan Audubon Society, which hosts events for nature lovers young and old. The group hosts local events including bird-watching expeditions and promoting the conservation of animal-friendly natural habitats for public enjoyment.

“If you like the water and fishing and hunting it’s a great place to live,” noted Rachel Mihuc, a cath lab technologist who lives and works in Alpena. She also likes being able to meet up with coworkers after shifts to relax, enjoy a bite to eat, or even sing a few rounds at karaoke.

Convenient to Lake Huron and rivers, there are lots of waterways to explore by boat, SUP, kayak, and canoe near Alpena. You can even snorkel or SCUBA to explore more than 200 preserved historic shipwrecks in Lake Huron. Fishing charters and sailing classes abound in the summer months when you can get outdoors to enjoy the long days and warm temperatures. Charter a boat for a fishing expedition or plan an escape at a lakeside cabin to fish and relax by the water.

There are even natural phenomena in local state parks and preserves that offer unique insights into the Earth’s formation, known as sinkholes. Unlike urban sinkholes that could open up during floods or water main breaks, these natural sinkholes offer geologic insights into the formation of the land in northern Michigan, and some of them, like the Bruski sinkhole, are over 100-feet-deep and offer up fossils and other geologic finds, still, others lie underwater and are best explored by boat or during a dive trip!

Find a New Home in Alpena, Michigan

“Alpena is a beautiful community and the opportunity to launch a STEMI program is an exciting time for all involved,” said Dr. Zidar.

From museums to outdoor adventures and from stargazing to reeling in a big catch, there’s so much to explore in northern Michigan in and around Alpena. Explore VitalSolution’s job opportunities in Alpena, Michigan.