"Living in Southeast Alaska" Petersburg by SEAKFamily

Petersburg Travel Guide: 23 reviews and 60 photos


I have grown to love Petersburg over the years and have a love/hate relationship, though the hate part is diminishing. It may rain alot, but even in the rain it is beautiful. When the sun comes out, you forget it ever rained. The surrounding wilderness is awesome for exploring, and the town is small and quaint with lots of friendly locals. If you come to visit, and you want to avoid the crowds, it is best to arrive early May, since the height of our tourist season is June and July.

Beautiful Scenery

Petersburg is within the Tongass National Forest. There are campgrounds to stay at and cabins to rent. You can go on various tours of the surrounding area from the numerous small tour boats that work out of our harbor off and on throughout the summer. The LeConte Glacier is a popular tourist attraction. You can go by boat and have a guided tour of the surrounding area, which I recommend. Or, you can go by plane and fly over to see the whole glacier. Other activities are hiking and/or biking the trails, kayaking, fishing, hunting, and camping.

The Town That Fish Built

Petersburg's main source of income is commercial fishing. There are three main canneries and two smaller fisheries.

Seafood is the main attraction at most meals. If you have the opportunity to buy seafood off the dock, know that it is fresh and will be amazing. If you are in a hotel with a kitchenette or a bed and breakfast with access to a kitchen, get a hold of some shrimp and boil it up until it flloats. Then, serve with melted butter and/or cocktail sauce.

There are various festivities that feature fish:

* Blessing of the Fleet
First Sunday in May. The annual blessing and sendoff of Petersburg's fishing fleet, the largest in southeast Alaska, is sponsored by the Son's of Norway Lodge.

* Salmon Derby
Memorial Day Weekend. Four Days of fishing for the renowned King Salmon; over $30,000 in prizes! Sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, 907-772-3646.

* Canned Salmon Classic
Tickets on sale July 1st through August 20th, 2005. The Classic is a contest to guess the number of cans of salmon canned during the season by Petersburg canneries. First Prize is $2,000 cash! Proceeds support college scholarship fund. Sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, 907-772-3646..

* Humpy 500 Go-cart Race (October 8, 2005)
October. Along with the announcement of Canned Salmon Classic winners, this event features a kids go-cart race with elaborately decorated entrants. Sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, 907-772-3646.

If you have the opportunity to attend any of these, you are sure to have fun and great photog moments.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Beautiful scenery, lots of photo ops; friendly locals eager to help tourists enjoy themselves; alot of fun summer activities and events.
  • Cons:It rains alot.
  • In a nutshell:Beautiful and pristine wilderness co-existing beautifully with a commercial fishing and logging town.
  • Intro Updated Jun 1, 2006
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