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Alaska Marine Highway Highlights

Each stop on the route takes you to towns and villages with displays of Alaskan history and culture. Parts of the scenery on the byway are found in the Russian Orthodox churches and the remnants of booming gold rush towns. With so many cultural, historical, and recreational sights to see, it’s no wonder it can take a month to see all this scenic drive has to offer.

Alaska's Marine Highway takes you through a variety of towns (listed here from east to west) along the southern Alaskan coastline.

*Ketchikan: Ketchikan is known as the Gateway to Alaska and is the state's salmon capital. The community is known for its historic Creek Street district and timber industry.

*Petersburg: This town is known as Little Norway due to its Scandinavian roots. It has several festivals to celebrate the heritage of its residents.

*Sitka: Numerous volcanic mountains rise out of the ocean and provide a stunning backdrop for this fishing community. Sitka was the Russian capital of North America in the 19th century, as well as the first state capital of Alaska.

*Juneau: Juneau is the capital of Alaska. The community was settled as a gold mining district and is now the service hub for southeastern Alaska. It is also the gateway to Glacier Bay National Park.

*Skagway: Skagway is a community with a rich history that includes the Klondike Gold Rush. The White Pass and Yukon Route historic railway traverses the 3,000-foot mountain pass to the Yukon, Canada.

*Haines: Haines is a popular port community. In October, the world's largest number of bald eagles gather in Haines to take advantage of the late salmon run. This amazing gathering of eagles is the basis of the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve and annual Alaska Bald Eagle Festival held in their honour.

*Valdez: Valdez is the terminus of the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline and the Richardson State Scenic Byway. The area is home to the World Extreme Skiing Competitions as well as many other outstanding winter activities. Don't miss the scenic walking trail.

*Whittier: Located at the head of Passage Canal, a breathtaking fjord of Prince Williams Sound, Whittier is an important hub connecting the Marine Highway to the Alaska Railroad and to the rest of Alaska.

*Seward: If you hear names such as Resurrection Bay and Marathon Mountain, you are probably at the romantic town of Seward. The town was named to honor William H. Seward, who helped the United States purchase Alaska from Russia. While in Seward, don't miss a visit to the Alaska SeaLife Center.

*Homer: Homer is the homeport for a large fleet of halibut charter operators fishing the rich and scenic waters of Kachemak Bay. Also located in Homer is the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge.

*Kodiak: Kodiak, the nation's largest commercial fishing port, was once the capital of Russian America. The community is located on Kodiak Island, a national wildlife preserve.

*Unualaska/Dutch Harbor: Located in the Aleutian Islands, Unalaska/Dutch Harbor was the first Russian-American community.


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