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Southeast Alaska

Southeast Alaska is so un-Alaska. While much of the state is a treeless expanse of land with a layer of permafrost, the Panhandle is a slender, long rainforest that stretches 540 miles from Icy Bay, near Yakutat, south to Portland Canal and is filled with ice-blue glaciers, rugged snowcapped mountains, towering Sitka spruce and a thousand islands known as the Alexander Archipelago.

Before WWII, the Southeast was Alaska’s heart and soul, and Juneau was not only the capital but the state’s largest city. Today the region is characterized by big trees and small towns. Each community here has its own history and character: from Norwegian-influenced Petersburg to Russian-tinted Sitka. You can feel the gold fever in Skagway and see a dozen glaciers near Juneau. Each town is unique and none of them is connected to another by road. Jump on the state ferry or book a cruise and discover the idiosyncrasies.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Southeast Alaska.