- Published on Wednesday, 22 August 2012
- Written by Tracy Kalytiak
Often called the Alaska Panhandle, Southeast Alaska is a lush rainforest with temperate weather and breathtaking vistas. It occupies 35,100 square miles, rivaling the size of Indiana. Most of the area sits within the Tongass National Forest, the country’s largest national woodland.
The Southeast Alaska region has a rich heritage shaped by to Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian Indians. About 40 percent of its 80,000 residents live in the state’s capital, Juneau. Other southeastern cities include Ketchikan, Sitka, Petersburg, Wrangell, Haines, Hoonah, Angoon, Yakutat, Skagway and Coffman Cove. Many of these communities have no outside road connections, making air and water travel essential.
Southeast Alaska offers an array of attractions. There is an abundance of wildlife, ranging from bears, wolves and deer to whales, bald eagles and salmon. The region also boasts natural wonders such as Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, Sitka National Historical Park, Mist Fjords National Monument and Admiralty Island National Monument. The Southeast is definitely among Alaska’s most beautiful destinations.
Black Bear Inn: Ketchikan’s finest waterfront bed and breakfast and vacation rental. Trip Advisor, Frommer’s Alaska and the Lonely Planet guides all give it their highest rating. Rent a one-bedroom with private bath, the four-bedroom/five-bath inn, the one-bedroom luxury apartment, or the two-bedroom private cabin. Elegant rooms feature fireplaces and covered porches, cable TV, free high-speed wireless Internet, and a spa building on the water’s edge. They are located 2.5 miles north of the ferry terminal and offer pickup and drop-off, fishing and tour packages.
907-225-4343 • www.stayinalaska.com
McFarland’s Floatel: Offers mini lodges on the waterfront, two miles by water from the town of Thorne Bay. It is a do-it-yourself place, with boat and car rentals available. Complete facilities in a private setting with reasonable rates.
888-828-3335 • www.mcfarlandsfloatel.com
Pearson’s Pond Luxury Inn & Adventure Spa: Offers unparalleled beauty, quality & hospitality at Alaska’s most celebrated and only AAA Four- Diamond Award winning lodging property. With magical gardens, pristine rain forest setting, luxury beds with featherbeds and eco-friendly fireplaces, Pearson’s Pond is the perfect central location for your Alaskan holiday, wedding, business trip or special occasion.
888-658-6328 • www.pearsonspond.com
Sportsman’s Cove Lodge: First-class fishing on Prince of Wales Island. Rated among the top 10 fishing lodges in North America by outdoor writers of Salmon and Steelhead Journal and Traveling Angler magazine. Just 20 minutes by floatplane from Ketchikan. Fish the quiet waters of the Inside Passage aboard specially designed 37-foot charter boats.
800-962-7889 • www.alaskasbestlodge.com
Alaska Canopy Adventures: One of the most popular activities available in Ketchikan or Juneau is one of Alaska Canopy Adventures’ ultimate Alaska ziplines. Experience the excitement of gliding on up to 10 dual-cable zip lines, negotiating treetop skybridges and rappelling. Trips include jet boat rides with island beach landings and hillside ascents in an all-terrain vehicle.
907-225-8400 • www.canopyalaska.com
Alaska Cruises & Vacations by Tyee Travel: Located in Wrangell, this is a great way to get started planning your cruise. From casual small-ship cruises offering remote wilderness experience with fewer than 100 on board, to elegant luxury ships and traditional cruises. Customize a land tour to make your journey complete with advice from Alaskans who have experienced Alaska cruises themselves.
800-977-9705 • www.akcruises.com
Mount Roberts Tramway: The stunning views shouldn’t be missed in Juneau. The tramway climbs 27 to 2,000 feet, taking you to a pristine alpine environment in just six minutes. At the top you will find trails, an observatory, nature center, restaurant, bar, theater and two gift shops.
888-461-8726 • www.goldbelttours.com/mount-roberts-tramway
Rainforest Islands Ferry: Year-round passenger and vehicle ferry service between Coffman Cove on Prince of Wales Island, Wrangell, Petersburg and Ketchikan. Shuttle service on Prince of Wales Island and Petersburg with trailers for baggage, freight, bicycles, kayaks and canoes.
907-329-2031 • www.rainforestislandsferry.com
Taquan Air: Taquan Air offers the best of Misty Fjords flightseeing, plus Bush pilot and bear-viewing tours. Tour participants receive a personalized Alaska Bush Plane Certificate. Window seats are guaranteed and digital noise-canceling headsets are provided for narration. Top pilots and an active Medallion Shield Carrier.
907-225-8400 • www.flytaquanair.com
TEMSCO Helicopters: With 50 years experience in Alaska skies, TEMSCO offers a variety of glacier adventures. Whether you choose a glacier landing, a walk on the famous Mendenhall Glacier or a glacier dog-sled tour, you will soar over spectacular mountain peaks and deep blue glacial crevasses for an awe-inspiring experience of a lifetime.
877-789-9501 • www.temscoair.com
Coffman Cove: “Alaska’s best kept secret on Prince of Wales Island.” Experience the scenery, wildlife, kayaking, canoeing, hiking, biking, nearby caves, fishing, hunting, beachcombing and more. Coffman Cove offers many services, including lodging with meals or without, fuel, a liquor store, a general store, a café and bar, equipment and vehicle rentals, fishing charters, meeting and event space, and more.
907-329-2233 • www.coffmancovealaska.com
City of Wrangell: Located in the heart of the Inside Passage, and surrounded by spectacular scenery. Special events include the Stikine River Birding Festival at the end of April, King Salmon Derby in May and June, and the Bear Fest in July.
800-367-9745 • www.wrangellalaska.org
Glacier Smoothie Soap was voted “Best Gift Shop in Juneau” in the 2010 Readers Choice Awards (The Juneau Empire). Visit the “little cabin bursting with Alaskan goodness” on the waterside between Tram and Red Dog. Retail store open May-September, Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Website is available year-round.
888-456-8325 • www.glaciersmoothie.com
Glacier Silt Soap® is so unique it has been granted a patent! For over a decade, from their base camp in Juneau, this local family business has combined fine glacial silt with their special glycerin formula to produce the perfect balance of exfoliant and moisturizer. Skin care products are shipped worldwide with 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.
888-456-8325 • www.glaciersmoothie.com
Haines Convention & Visitors Bureau and Visitor Center: Provides area information to help travelers make the most of their adventures. Learn all about what there is to see and do in this real Alaska town. Make sure you don’t miss out on any of its local treasures.
800-458-3579 • www.haines.ak.us
Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau: Touts Alaska’s scenic capital city as a convenient Alaskan hub of the Inside Passage just a quick two-hour flight from Seattle. And indeed, they are right. Most tours and attractions are within 15 minutes of your hotel. Accessible glaciers, stunning scenery, abundant wildlife, Alaska Native culture, and historical charm are yours in Juneau.
888-586-2201 • www.traveljuneau.com
Pelican Chamber of Commerce: Located in one of the few old-town fishing towns remaining in Alaska and is eager to share that news with visitors. Pelican offers fabulous sport fishing charters, lodges, restaurants, stores, and more.
907-735-2460 • www.pelican.net