Whittier Alaska

alaska inside passage cruise

Owning the distinction as one of the smallest incorporated cities in the world, Whittier Alaska makes up for it's minute population with a generous backdrop of Alaskan beauty situated on the western perimeter of Prince William Sound.

With a permanent population of less than 300, the city nevertheless sees 700,000 visitors travel through its gates every year, many from ships cruising the Inside Passage. This tourism traffic was enabled largely by the completion of the Whittier Access Project which provides rail and vehicle access from Whittier to Anchorage. Princess Cruises, for example, makes use of this connectivity by offering a train tour from Whittier to it's lodges in Denali as part of it's inland cruise packages.

Sights of Whittier Alaska

Cascading down from Whittier Glacier some 600 feet over two tiers is Horsetail Falls. Viewing can be accessed using the Horsetail Falls Trail, a mile long boardwalk trek lined with blueberry and salmonberry bushes.

The U.S. Forest Service offers 6 reservable cabins in the area which are accessible by boat from Whittier.

The Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel is an engineering marvel connecting Whittier to the Seward Highway. In 2000 it was revamped to accommodate vehicular traffic, and at 2.7 miles is the longest "railroad-highway" in North America.

   

The fjordal landscape of the Whittier Alaska coastal area is a favorite location for sea-kayaking. A popular trip is Blackstone Bay which contains Blackstone and Beloit Glaciers. Water taxi drop-off can be used from Whittier to access other fjords including Harriman, College and Unakwik.

There is some fascinating underwater seascape in the area for scuba-divers, particularly around the Dutch Group islands. Access by charter boat gives opportunity to view octopuses, giant crabs and wolf eels. March through June is the best season for this underwater activity.

Small ship glacier cruises are popular, with tour boats departing daily during the summer from the small-boat harbor. These four to six hour day-trips offer prime opportunities to view a variety of Alaska wildlife from bald eagles to humpback whales, not to mention exquisite views of area glaciers and fjords.

Located in the Anchor Inn, downtown Whittier, the Prince William Sound Museum is one of the city's hidden treasures. Voted one of the top 10 “must see” Alaskan museums by Alaska Magazine and “an outstanding museum experience” in the 2013 issue of Milepost, the exhibition recounts area history, particularly Whittier's military role in WWII. Hours are 9-7 daily with a $5 admission charge.

Just before midnight on July 3 Whittier stages an old fashion 4th of July Celebration with fireworks, followed by a parade, games and activities for children, entertainment and a bar-be-cue feast.

    

   

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