Traveler's Guide to Skagway, Alaska

Description

Located on the Alaska Panhandle, Skagway is an exciting borough north of Juneau.  This small community was founded by a mining era, and was originally inhabited by Tlingit Indians.  It is now a popular stop for cruise ships because of the diverse range of activities it offers, as well as the stunning surrounding scenery.  Skagway was home to the legendary swindler, Soapy Smith, and was used as part of the setting for the book The Call of the Wild.

Transportation

Skagway is accessible by air, sea and land.  Alaska Airlines flies to Juneau in the south, but their craft are too heavy and large to land at Skagway so there is a daily onward shuttle service via light craft.  The ferry service terminates at Skagway, and there is an excellent road connection via the Alaska Highway and South Klondike Highway, which is an excellent two lane road with outstanding views.  In Skagway itself, there is public transportation and a taxi service available.

Cruise ship in Skayway Alaska

Cruise ships dock in the Skagway harbor. Photo:brianaridder@Flickr
Alaska Marine Highway Ferry System Official Site
This is the only Official Site of the Alaska Marine Highway Ferry System, a Division of the Alaska State Department of Transportation and Public Facilities. The Alaska Marine Highway provides passenger and vehicle transportation with ten ships visiting 32 ports along the coasts of Washington state, Canada, and Alaska
Alaska Airlines
The only major airline to fly to Skayway with daily flights to Anchorage and Seattle.

Accommodation

Visitors to Skagway have a choice of accommodation.  There are hotels, bed and breakfasts, inns, cabins, RV parks and plenty more.  Many of the buildings have a traditional rustic feel, and these log bungalows in the surrounding forestland are perfect for hunting retreats or remote getaways.

Sgt. Preston's Lodge
Originally an army barracks building for housing officers back in the forties.
Westmark Inn Skagway
captures the spirit of the Klondike Trail with its Victorian decor, rustic setting and warm Alaskan hospitality.

Restaurants

Eating out in Sitka is a fantastic experience.  There are lots of excellent restaurants to choose from, and booking is recommended for some of the popular ones, particularly in the busy tourist season.  There are small cafes offering continental fare, and traditional seafood restaurants that take advantage of the local fishermen’s catch.

cruise ship in the harbor

Cruise ship in the harbor at Skagway, Alaska. Photo:sbeebe@Flickr

Activities, Cruises and Charters

Skagway is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and activities here range from dog sledding, mountaineering and white water rafting, to cycling, trekking and hunting.  Tours include boat and helicopter trips, and local cruisers can be hired for fishing trips of pleasure cruises.  There are plenty of ways to get out in the local countryside and enjoy yourself in this delightful borough.

Events, Festivals and Interesting Extras

Skagway keeps visitors returning year after year with its exciting events calendar.  From international folk festivals, to skiing competitions and brewing festivals, this is the place to be for some fun and interesting days out.

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