If you time it right, you can catch the twice-a-month state ferry to Pelican, a lively little fishing town on Chichagof Island's northwest coast. The cruise through Icy Straits is scenic, with a good possibility of seeing humpback whales, and the two hours in port is more than enough time to walk the length of town, and even have a beer, in one of Southeast Alaska's last true boardwalk communities.
The town was established in 1938 by a fish packer and named after his boat. Fishing is Pelican's raison d'être. It has the closest harbor to Fairweather's salmon grounds; its population swells from June to mid-September, when commercial fishers and cold-storage workers come for the trolling season.