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Southwest Alaska stretches across the state’s southern shores for more than 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) into the Bering Sea. Explore its islands and shoreline as well as inland volcanoes and villages.
The Aleutian Island chain has 14 large islands and more than 50 smaller ones, Many are tall mountains with volcanic origins. Visit these treeless lands to look for agates and observe wildlife, including auklets, puffins and sea lions. Native Aleuts have inhabited the islands for over 8,000 years. The Russian Orthodox Church of the Holy Ascension in Unalaska, the largest permanent settlement, is one of the country’s oldest.
Large Kodiak Island has a top fishing port and some of the world’s biggest brown bears. Kodiak was once the capital of Russian America and features interesting Russian architecture. Investigate a coastal defense installation abandoned after World War II.
A significant portion of the Alaska Peninsula is huge Katmai National Park and Preserve, which suffered a major volcanic eruption in 1912, leaving it a barren landscape and prompting the nickname, the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. See the now-quiet volcanoes and visit Brooks Falls or nearby McNeil River Falls to watch some of the area’s thousands of brown bears fishing for salmon.
Meet Eskimos, Aleuts and Athabascans in Bristol Bay. The area is one of the best spots in the world to catch Alaskan salmon, all five varieties. Camp on the Walrus Islands near Dillingham to discreetly watch the large creatures during mating season.
Charter a boat for birding in the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge near Bethel. The majority of townspeople are Alaska Natives. Learn about their culture and purchase authentic handicrafts here.
The small Pribilof Islands far offshore in the Bering Sea have more than 2.5 million seabirds of 230 species as well as walruses, sea lions and sea otters. Visit this outstanding wildlife spot in the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge.
Fly or ferry on the Alaska Marine Highway System to reach Southwest Alaska. Travel by floatplane within the region.
*Savings based on all vacation package bookings with Flight + Hotel on Expedia.com from January through December 2017, as compared to price of the same components booked separately. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, stay dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages. For Free Flight or 100% Off Flight deals, package savings is greater than or equal to the current cost of one component, when both are priced separately.