"Unalaska Alaska -- not an oxymoron" Unalaska by kaloz

Unalaska Travel Guide: 21 reviews and 45 photos

The village of Unalaska

Many visitors refer to this area as Dutch Harbor. Locals tell me that Dutch Harbor refers to the water, and Unalaska is the land. I am a bit more generous, giving Dutch the area that supports the harbor.

Unalaska is a very charming village, on the island of Unalaska, at the end of the Alaska Marine Highway. This is as far west as you can drive in the USA. If you take the ferry, as we did, you will arrive in the early morning and leave before anyone wakes up. We were surprised that nothing was open. I mean, hey, the ferry only comes in once a month. But this is a village that does not get many tourists, it is too remote.

Despite the hour, the sun is up in the summer, and the island is lovely. Though I have heard many horror stories about the weather. They say that the Aleutians are where storms are born. So after breakfast at Ziggy's in Dutch, get a guide and see the scenery before trying the town. Maybe when you get back, people will be awake.

St Innocent and his church

The Holy Ascension Cathedral is Unalaska's most famous landmark. Once on the 12 most endangered landmarks list, it has been restored with the generous help of many.

Father John Veniaminoff was a priest here, and translated the gospels into the Aleutiiq language. He was later canonized a saint, and is one of the 5 saints of Alaska. He is now known as St Innocent.

Strangely, I was unable to get an icon of Saint Innocent at this, his parish. Perhaps it was because our visit was late in the summer.

The Elbow Room

Billed as the roughest bar in Alaska, the Elbow Room is for your hard working, hard drinking Bering Sea fisherman.

Because we were in town so early, we didn't witness any rowdyness, but we did hoist a few, and collected our t-shirts, jackets, trinkets to show how tough we are.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Very Charming -- lots to see
  • Cons:Well off the beaten path
  • In a nutshell:Doesn't cater to tourists
  • Last visit to Unalaska: Aug 2003
  • Intro Written Jan 11, 2004
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Reviews (12)

Comments (6)

  • May 19, 2009 at 12:10 PM

    Great landscape

  • Oct 14, 2008 at 2:54 PM

    Oh yea, everyone knows Sheila and her tours will for sure be different... even after all these years she is well remembered in Barrow for the action in the back of her cab.

  • CliffClaven's Profile Photo
    Jan 31, 2006 at 2:40 AM

    A long way to go for a beer

  • Mar 4, 2004 at 7:13 PM

    You haven't tried peeing in a real Unalaska breeze, if you think outdoors is the place to be. Of course, the outhouse might blow away before that....

  • andal13's Profile Photo
    Jan 31, 2004 at 7:38 AM

    Hahaha!!! Very funny page... a real adventure travel!!! Unalaska sounds very attractive (despite the alcohol ordinance)! ;-)

  • herzog63's Profile Photo
    Jan 11, 2004 at 2:59 PM

    Cool alcohol tips!! I guess the locals stock up for those occasions!! Or Buy a steak dinner with that bottle of Tickle Pink! Hiking isn't allowed without permission!? Dang! That sucks! It's all Sheila, Sheila, Sheila!! haha

kaloz

“On the plains of hesitation lie the bones of countless thousands.”

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