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Introducing Valdez

Surrounded on three sides by impossibly steep snow-capped mountains, this blue-water port town, best known as the southern terminus of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, offers the most dramatic mountain views you'll see in any of the Prince Williams Sound towns.

Wilderness and adventure lovers will want to set aside a few days to explore the glaciers, wildlife and Norman Rockwell–style harbor cradled by some of the highest coastal mountains (topping 7000ft) in the world. The city itself isn't all that attractive: it's flat, industrial and barren. But get outside of town, and you'll enjoy some of the best paddling, hiking and other outdoor adventures Alaska has to offer. There are plenty of high-quality museums in town, largely due to the black gold that flows through the pipeline.