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Located on the north end of Mitkof Island, this picturesque fishing town is one of the Inside Passage's lesser-known gems. Established by Norwegian immigrants in the 1890s, Petersburg (pop. 3,200) revels in its Scandinavian heritage, with decorative rosemaling on shutters, a large Sons of Norway Hall, plus a replica Viking boat. The town museum is worth a look, and there's always something of interest in the busy boat harbor. Canneries and freezer plants are scattered around town, processing halibut, salmon, herring, shrimp, and crab brought in by local fishermen. Boat tours and flightseeing trips to Le Conte Glacier provide a chance to see ...

Located on the north end of Mitkof Island, this picturesque fishing town is one of the Inside Passage's lesser-known gems. Established by Norwegian immigrants in the 1890s, Petersburg (pop. 3,200) revels in its Scandinavian heritage, with decorative rosemaling on shutters, a large Sons of Norway Hall, plus a replica Viking boat. The town museum is worth a look, and there's always something of interest in the busy boat harbor. Canneries and freezer plants are scattered around town, processing halibut, salmon, herring, shrimp, and crab brought in by local fishermen. Boat tours and flightseeing trips to Le Conte Glacier provide a chance to see harbor seal pups lounging on the icebergs. A four-mile trail leads from town to a ridgetop Forest Service cabin (available for rent), and other trails and cabins can be found nearby. Immediately south of Petersburg, a slender channel of water — Wrangell Narrows — separates Mitkof and Kupreanof Islands. Ferries pass this narrow strait, but most cruise ships don't venture to Petersburg.

Don Pitcher
About the Expert

Don Pitcher has written or photographed 10 travel guidebooks to Alaska, Wyoming, Yellowstone-Grand Teton, and the San Juan Islands for Avalon Travel Publishing, Random House, and Sasquatch Books.

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: A small fishing village in Northern Mitkof Island, in the Southeastern Alaskan panhandle; halfway between Juneau and Ketchikan
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summer, especially for the Little Norway Festival in mid-May.