Valdez Museum

Top choice in Valdez

This lovingly curated museum includes an ornate, steam-powered antique fire engine, a 19th-century saloon bar and the ceremonial first barrel of oil to flow from the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.

There are disturbing photos taken during the six minutes when Valdez was shaken to pieces by the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake, and an exhibit featuring correspondence from stampeders attempting the grueling All-American Route from Valdez to the inland goldfields. Equally thought-provoking is an exhibit about work behind the scenes at the museum that seeks to show how historical material is preserved and archived.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Valdez attractions

1. Trail of the Whispering Giants

0.12 MILES

A huge 25ft-high rendering of an Alaska Native in Sitka spruce warily guards Prince William Sound College. The sculpture by Peter Wolf Toth is one in a…

2. Civic Center


The Civic Center sits amid greenery with picnic tables, a small lake and the short Overlook Trail in close proximity.

3. Valdez Museum Annex

0.32 MILES

This annex of the Valdez Museum is dominated by a scale model of the Old Valdez township. Each home destroyed in the Good Friday Earthquake has been…

4. Small-boat Harbor

0.33 MILES

Valdez’ harbor is a classic: raucous with gulls and eagles, reeking of fish guts, sea salt and creosote, and home to all manner of vessels. The benches…

5. Maxine & Jesse Whitney Museum

0.34 MILES

For a small town Valdez has several wonderful museums, including this one, the private collection of an American couple who settled in Alaska in 1947 and…

6. Old Valdez

2.94 MILES

Old Valdez is like a wilder, starker, less trammeled version of Italy's Pompeii. This is where the town stood before the devastating 1964 earthquake…

7. Trans-Alaska Pipeline Terminal

3.28 MILES

Across the inlet from town, Valdez’ ever-pumping heart once welcomed visitors, but since September 11, 2001, stricter security protocols have closed it to…

8. Columbia Glacier

20.98 MILES

This is the star glacial attraction in Prince William Sound – a large sea inlet named by British colonizers after a young English prince in the eighteenth…