Scenic beauty, 650 bald eagles, whiskered auklet, world class sports fishing, friendly people
A bit quiet
This is a wonderful place.
Grab a boat and get out to the Orca Highway. About 3 miles off Cape Cheerful is the Shalan Banks, an area of the Bering Sea rich in marine life. If you time your arrival for just after high tide, the currents coming thru the passes push a great deal of food close to the surface and the place is teeming with Orcas, white sided porpoise, and...more
Unalaska / Dutch Harbor is home of the world record halibut, 459 pounds, caught in 1996 just ten minutes from the dock. The number of boats available for hire can vary, depending on owner's sked and if they commercial fish as well. Besides halibut, there's cod, rockfish, and many other species. The latest craze with us locals is trolling for King...more
The hills surrounding Unalaska and Dutch Harbor are ripe for hiking. Green hills surround the towns, offering great opportunities to see eagles, pick berries, or just wander. Some of the best hiking I found was up beyond Summer bay, in a valley that looks almost like Switzerland. Small wildflowers abound, and patches of snow if the summer has been...more
This small museum in Dutch Harbor is home to a delightful home of information about the native inhabitants of the Aleutian islands. It covers a fair amount of their history before contact with whites, detailing their customs and artifacts, mostly recovered from local archaeological sites. There is a segment dealing with the introduction of Russian...more
I had a very bad experience at this restaurant. Worst ever! I was literally ignored and was not served until I went to the counter for assistance. After I finally received assistance I had to walk up to the counter for drink refills. After I finished my meal I had to walk back up to the counter to pay my bill!This was by far the worst experience I...more
This restaurant is located on the second floor of the Grand Aleutian Hotel. It is a spacious, refined setting, overlooking Margaret Bay on Amaknak island. The menu was quite astonishing, considering the rougher nature of the town. New Zealand Steaks, fresh seafood delivered from the local fisheries (and around the world), all combine to a good...more
This simple cafe on the first floor of the Grand Aleutian Hotel offers breakfast and lunches. The area overlooks Margaret Bay, albeit at a lower elevation than the dinner restaurant Chart Room. The breakfasts are reasonably priced, with good service. The Margaret Bay Cafe offers several scrambles which are quite good. You can have one with...more
The Sport's Bar has been around for years and always been a popular spot. But with the closure of Carl's and Latitudes it is packed every weekend and has a decent crowd most nights. A large space with pool tables, darts, lots of tables and a large bar. Don't have live music very often but a DJ most nights and a dance floor. Try and clean off the...more
The old Elbow Room was sold earlier this year to two of the bar tenders from Carl's, Belinda & Lisa. Was closed while they fixed the place up and is now open for business as "Latitudes". Perhaps in memory of Jimmy Buffett who playd at the old Elbow Room in 1990? They have done a nice job fixing the interior up while retaining some of the old...more
Thursday nights, starting at 9:00 PM, the locals flock to the Cape Cheerful Loungs on the ground floor of the Grand for "Open Mic" night. It is fun and amazing to see what local talent is unveiled at this weekly event. Music and poetry with talented MC Alyssa McDonald.The Cape is open from 5:00PM to 11:00PM Monday thru Saturday and is a popular bar...more
The Dutch Harbor airport is a small regional place, not a place you would want to linger. But it helps you get around, and helps to serve as one of the hubs serving the smaller islands around Dutch Harbor. And the restaurant there is not bad, serves up some good Vietnamese food.more
NEWS FLASH!!The Alaska Marine Highway system has gone back to once a month service to Unalaska/Dutch Harbor from Homer. Sure wish they would quit playing with their schedule. If they would leave it alone they could build a reliable passenger base.Taking the run to Dutch on the "Trusty Tusty" is one of the last of the great adventures in Alaska.Once...more
Only one airline servicing Unalaska / Dutch Harbor these days - Alaska Air. Actual route is flown with PenAir aircraft - but reservations made thru Alaska Air. PenAir is using a Saab 340B turbo-prop that carries 30 people. Flight from Anchorage takes from 2.5 to 3.5 hours, depending on headwinds and whether they need to stop for fuel on the...more
Many folks ask where the name Unalaska came from. The best explanation I have come across is from Ray Hudson, a former teacher, historian and artist who lived here for many years. Ray writes:The name Unalaska is rooted in the changes which a native Aleut (Unangan) word has experienced over the past two hundred years. The Unangan called the Alaska...more
Local natives prefer to be called Unangan. "Aleut" was the name Russian fur traders came up with for them in the 1700's and retains some negative connotations. Given the long history of negative impacts to their lives from first the Russians then the Americans using the correct term for the Unangans go a long way.more
47 Reviews and Opinions
If you plan on hiking anywhere off the roads, camping, or driving to Summer's Bay, be sure to drop by the Ounalashka Corporation (O.C.) and get a land use permit. With Alaska's onerous private property liability laws, OC has had to start charging folks to use their land.Daily fees for individuals are $5, weekly $15 and they have family rates as...more
Have seen a lot of visitors frustrated when the cell phone they brought doesn't work here. If you must have that electronic tether to reality, you can rent one at the Grand Aleutian or at Alaska Wireless.Of course, the reverse is true for us locals. Our cell phone doesn't work in the rest of the world. Alaska Wireless is hoping to add roaming...more
Riding the ferry system is not like taking a cruise. The purpose of the ferry is to connect these villages, and is not designed for tourists. The Ferry is scheduled to arrive at 6:30 in the morning and depart at 11:45, by far the longest stay we had in any stop this trip, but way too early! Nothing is open. If you want to wait for the next ferry,...more
Commercial fishing is king here (and queen and prince). The visitors that venture this far off the beaten path are treated with a bemused benevelance not seen at Alaska's tourist destinations. Last estimate on tourists that I've heard is about 1000 a year, mostly birding, fishing, and just wanting bragging rights of having gone this far west. Compare that with 30,000 fishing industry travellers per year coming to the plants and commerical fishing boats.
Unique Suggestions: You could buy a Carhart Jacket and Xtra tough boots and try and blend in with the local fishermen...
Pack spare clothing in a carry on if you are flying in. PenAir sometimes bumps bags due to weight restrictions, although they have gotten a lot better lately. A great place to test your rain gear! We don't consider it rain unless it hurts. Layer up and be ready for anything - all in the same day.About half the roads are paved - so expect muddy...more
An often forgotten part of the Battle of Midway was the Japanese invasion of the Aleutian Islands. Started as an attempt at diverting some of the US carriers north to Alaska. Dutch Harbor was bombed several days in a row and two islands further out the Aleutian chain were (Kiska and Attu) were occupied a few days later. Lots of military bunkers and...more
Summer Bay is the most beautiful spot in Unalaska that I've found so far. It curves back away from the open sea, creating a small shoreline that extends either direction, both rugged and tranquil at the same moment. The sounds of the town fade away, and you're left with the pounding of the ocean. Eagles nest there, small wildflowers and berries...more
Can't get much more off the beaten path by just coming here to Unalaska!Something I really like about living here is that you can be completely alone by just hiking over any of the ridges that surround town. Unalaska / Dutch Harbor is a busy fishing port and it is stretched out close to the water over about 14 miles. But just turn inland and hike...more
The city's new $2 million ball field is active most evenings in the summer with either games or practices. Whatever is going on, the field is worth a visit just to see it. Red clay from Georgia, turf from Mat-su, electronic score board, snack shack, exercise stations on a paved trail around the outfield, an enclosed gazebo, and a great playgound right behind home plate.
An example of what happens when money and fanatacism meet!
Dutch Harbor is not a place with a lot of tourism. It is just too hard to get to. Dutch Harbor is a place you go to work hard, live a solitary life, and make oodles of money (if you survive).
Dutch Harbor is America's leading fishing port, landing over 8 million pounds of fish. This is where the Bering sea fisheries operate. The work is hard, and dangerous.
Fondest memory: I am making this trip to help me learn the geography of the state of Alaska. I have seen some very beautiful places in the past week, and it reaffirms my decision to live in Alaska.