The ocean surrounding the west coast of British Columbia provides unique leisure and recreational opportunities. The unspoiled waters and miles of undulating coastline, in addition to the numerous species of land and marine wildlife, make it the perfect location for water-based activities.
Blessed with natural wonders, Alaska gloves the superlatives hurled at it with deserving grace, capturing the imagination of visitors and inhabitants alike. The expansive grandeur of the state will help you put the size of your snowshoes in perspective as you marvel at the sight of a brown bear at full amble, or kayak through the dreamy blue wonder of a deep fjord. Despite a reputation for high prices, it's possible to see Alaska on an oil baron's small change - as the hordes flocking to amenable towns and prime wilderness areas every summer have already discovered.
Cruise quietly, watching as giant pinnacles of ice crack off the face of the glacier and float off as icebergs.
This historic town occupies a breaktaking setting on a peninsula along the deep blue waters of the Lynn Canal. Its Tlingit Indian heritage is preserved through art and dance at the Chilkat Center for the Arts. Visit the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve to see Alaskas most magnificent birds.
Hyder was originally called Portland city, and the name was changed in 1914 after Frederick Hyder, a Canadian mining engineer who predicted a bright future for the area. Hyders boom years occurred between the years 1920 and 1930, and the Riverside Mine extracted gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc and tungsten until 1953. By 1956, all major mining had closed except for Granduc Copper Mine in Canada, which operated until 1984. Hyder is known as the "Friendliest Ghost Town in Alaska." Hyder's economy is based primarily on tourism today.
Icy Strait Point is located near the city of Hoonah, the largest native Tlingit Indian settlement in Alaska, and very near Glacier Bay National Park. Home to a historic cannery, the port's connection to the sea is strong. Locals share the sea with humpback whales, orcas, Dall porpoises, seals, sea otters, halibut and all five species of Pacific salmon. It is not uncommon to spot a humpback or an orca while walking along the shore.
Enjoy such stunning sights as green islands, sparkling glaciers, and a coastline that features the most majestic of mountains as you cruise the Inside Passage.
Juneau, the capital of Alaska, was founded during a gold rush in 1880. Today, the former gold-mining town counts among its riches some of Alaska's most spectacular scenery. Nestled at the foot of Mt. Juneau in the Alaska Panhandle, it faces the water from the mainland side of Gastineau Channel. Several magnificent fjords are located along the channel coast, and the majestic Mendenhall Glacier, a favorite of visitors, is nearby.
Ketchikan originated as an Indian fish saltery, but the town's major growth began when it became a supply base and entry port for miners during the 1898 Gold Rush to the Klondike. Much of the town's colorful past is still in evidence, especially in the nearby Indian villages, where you'll see colorfully carved totem poles and hear the fascinating legends that surround them.
You'll be overwhelmed by sheer scenic beauty and you'll feel closer than ever before to the untouched serenity of the natural world.
There it stands before you, moving slowly to sea. Ice chunks as big as a city block and as tall as a three-story apartment building have been know to split and fall into the sea.
Sitka, the site of Russia's initial foray into Alaska, has perhaps the richest history of any Alaskan town. Explore the melding of Russian and Native American cultures, while enjoying the unspoiled landscape at the gateway to remote Southeast Alaska. Both the local residents and abundant wildlife add to Sitka's authentic feel.
When gold was discovered in the Klondike region of the Yukon Territory (just across the border from Alaska), it resulted in the historic Gold Rush of 1898. As thousands of gold-crazed adventurers sought the best starting point for their arduous trek, they found the deepest penetration possible by boat was at the northern tip of the Lynn Canal. This is how Skagway was born.
Nestled between 3,000-foot high granite walls, the narrow, twisting slice of ocean called Tracy Arm Fjord weaves through the Tongass National Forest for roughly 35 miles. The shoreline is spotted with waterfalls created by melting snowcaps and trees sprouting at odd angles from rocky outcroppings. You will have ample time to admire the landscape and perhaps catch sight of a few native animals as you cruise through this port.
Most of Canada's imports from and exports to the Orient and Australia pass through Vancouver, Canada's gateway to the Pacific. From the harbor entrance, you can see the Lion's Gate, made up of twin mountain peaks closely resembling crouching lions. Visitors enjoy discovering this cosmopolitan city, from the shops of Robson Street to historic Gastown.
Located on the southern tip on the island of Vancouver in British Columbia, the city of Victoria is probably best known for its mild climate and active outdoor lifestyle. (In fact, the city has been named the "fittest city" in Canada more than once.) As the capital of British Columbia, the city is very tourist-friendly. Among the many attractions are world-famous gardens, its 150 years of British history, gourmet dining and fantastic shopping.
Wrangell is the only place in Alaska to be once ruled by the the Russians, British and Americans. Prehistoric rock carvings or petroglyphs, dating as early as 8,000 years ago, have been found here.