Northeast Michigan

Michigan’s combination of a strikingly beautiful landscape, cultural attractions and a thriving, diverse economy make it an attractive place to live, work and play. To learn more about opportunities in Northeast Michigan, click on the information tabs below.

Region 3 information


  • What’s it like to live in Northeast Michigan?

    Northeast Michigan is known for its abundant waterways, quaint downtowns, family friendly neighborhoods and natural surroundings. The city of Alpena is the region's largest city. Alpena and the 10 surrounding counties attract people globally with their blend of an upscale, small-town vibe, affordable cost of living, educational opportunities and abundant cultural and recreational experiences.


    • University Center - a “communiversity” partnership of colleges, universities and industries offering certifications and degrees through the master's level
    • 3 community colleges
    • 3 high schools ranked in the top 100 nationally. Alpena High School and Cheboygan High School robotics teams qualified for the 2015 FIRST Robotics World Championship.

     Natural wonders

    • More than 350 parks and campgrounds, plus 1.6 million acres of state and national forestland for hunting
    • 160,000 acres of lakes and 4,000 miles of rivers with 200 public water accesses offer endless fishing opportunities
    • Trails abound:
      • 966 miles for hiking, biking and cross-country ski trails
      • 280 miles for horseback riding
      • 1,253 for ORV and motorcycles
      • 1,220 miles for snowmobiles.

    Interesting facts

    • The Pigeon River State Forest’s expansive 105,000 acres is home to the largest free-roaming elk herd east of the Mississippi.
    • The world’s largest quarry is in Rogers City with a 350 million-year-old limestone deposit.
    • Since 1947, the AuSable River Canoe Marathon has tested paddler's stamina with a nonstop canoe race that starts in Grayling and ends 120 miles later near the shores of Lake Huron.
    • Farm-to-table dining, locally caught fish, brew pubs, wineries and other culinary adventures are abundant.
    • Iosco County is recognized as the state’s premier birding location and is home to rare Kirtland's warbler habitat.
    • Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Alpena County has over 200 shipwrecks in the only freshwater National Marine Sanctuary in the world.

  • Where do people work in Northeast Michigan?

    Our focus is on creating an economy that leverages its strengths, integrates the technological possibilities of the future, and capitalizes on a “spirit of innovation” of our residents.


    Top employers


    Top industries

    • Coming! 


  • What do people do for fun in Northeast Michigan?

    This sunrise side of Michigan offers a natural, pristine environment with loads of culture and a small-town atmosphere. We invite you to explore all that Northeast Michigan has to offer!

    Places to see, things to do

    • US-23 Heritage Route, a Pure Michigan by-way, is a 200-mile recreation touring route along the Lake Huron 'Sunrise' coast.
    • The 22-mile River Road National Scenic Byway extends westward from Lake Huron into the Huron National Forest.
    • Visit Colonial Fort Michilimackinac, an 18th-century fort and fur trading village, reconstructed based on historic maps and more than 50 years of archaeological excavations that continue today.
    • Ocqueoc Falls is the largest waterfall in the Lower Peninsula, and you can swim the falls.
    • 59 golf courses.
    • Home to Mackinac Island and the Mackinac Bridge.
    • Up North Trails is a website that includes a map of more than 5,000 miles of trails to explore in northern MIchigan.


    • Follow the 200-mile arts and culture trail called “ARTown” along the coast of Lake Huron.
    • Over 25 art galleries and more than 18 museums.
    • Numerous outdoor and indoor music venues and 8 regional playhouses.

Learn more about the Northeast Michigan and what it’s like to live, work and play in the area.  Also, visit our Resources page for State of Michigan Prosperity Region 3 Field Team contacts.