"Unalaska was Home for 17 Years" Top 5 Page for this destination Dutch Harbor by RickinDutch

Dutch Harbor Travel Guide: 80 reviews and 118 photos

55N 166W

We came to Unalaska on a 3 year plan - 17 years ago. I would be happy to answer any of your questions about this magical place. Our island town is an interesting mix of both a busy commercial fishing port and yet surrounded by stunning scenery and wildlife. We are 800 miles SW of Anchorage and can be reached by either Alaska Airlines or the bi weekly ferry run from Homer April thru October. Last census showed we had 4500 full time residents, but this swells to around 9,000 during our busy fishing seasons. About the only quiet time we have any more is from the middle of November until January 1st.

We get called "Dutch Harbor" by many, which is similar to calling Seattle "Elliott Bay". Even the airlines book only to Dutch Harbor.
As I explore VT, I see that almost everyone has put their tips about Unalaska over at the Dutch Harbor site. I put my tips on my Unalaska page for years but realized people looking for info come here to Dutch Harbor.

So here's my town. I'm fascinated by VT and spend more time on here than I should, so I'll keep things pretty updated. Sports fishers, birders, whale watchers, WWII buffs (and vets), archaeologists, blue water kayakers all make their way out here to sample something that is hard to see anywhere else. I ran the CVB for about 2 years but have returned to the for-profit sector. Raising our grandson made the business travel too hard on the family.

Archaeological digs are showing that Unalaska may be the oldest continually inhabited place in North America - at least 9,500 years. Even prior to western contact (Russian fur trappers in 1750's) it was a center of trade and culture for the Aleutians. The big growth has come from World War II when over 40,000 soldiers and sailors were stationed here and then in the 1980's when the fisheries were Americanized. We have seen a huge amount of change in the years we have lived here.

Commercial Fishing Drives this Engine

In Unalaska/Dutch Harbor, commerical fishing accounts for about 90% of the economy and the town ranks as the largest fishing port in North American - for the past 13 years. Centrally located between the Bering Sea and the North Pacific, most fish caught in Alaska comes through our town.

Here is an APL ship loading containers of frozen product bound for Asia. It was on an APL ship that Alex Haily would ride while writing his book "Roots".

Holy Ascension Russian Orthodox Church

The most recognizable symbol of Unalaska, this church was built in 1890's and a church has been on this site since the 1820's. She recently underwent major renovations to repair damage from a 130 years of Aleutian weather. Only 15 of her 120 priceless icons have been painstakingly restored, and the rest are being done one by one. Each icon takes 4-6 months to restore at a cost of $20K each. The Bishop's house is in dire need of work as well.
Said to be the largest cruciform church and the oldest Russian Orthodox Church in North America.
Was home to Father Ivan Venimenov from 1820 to 1832, who went on to become Metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox Church and was canonized as St. Innocent.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Scenic beauty, 650 bald eagles, whiskered auklet, world class sports fishing, friendly people
  • Cons:cost of air fare and only one ferry a month
  • In a nutshell:Who needs trees? They just block the view!
  • Intro Updated Jun 26, 2008
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Reviews (44)

Comments (109)

  • DAO's Profile Photo
    Jul 20, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    Happy Birthday Rick !

  • franciscus61's Profile Photo
    Apr 2, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    if you can live and work on such a beautiful place on earth than you`re a lucky guy..........can you imagine the netherlands with 17 million on a poststamp ?? Ciao from Amsterdam

  • Mar 27, 2012 at 10:34 AM

    Boy, I would love to take my kayak for a trip around here!

  • Hildeal's Profile Photo
    Jan 21, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    Thanks for great tips! I'm facinated by Alaska, and hope to visit one day:)

  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo
    May 16, 2010 at 9:23 AM

    Thanks Rick for the great tips. I'll be taking the Alaska Ferry from Kodiak to Dutch Harbor July 6-11, with an overnight in both Kodiak and Unalaska. Very excited about seeing the Aluetians

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Mar 10, 2010 at 11:02 AM

    You certainly got way out on the fringe when you moved there. It must be a wonder site to see the landscape beauty daily. You did a great presentation of the area.

  • KiKitC's Profile Photo
    Jul 20, 2009 at 3:36 AM

    Sounds so wonderful. I would certainly follow that 10,000 year old trail to solitude. And...no bears! I would love to visit for a month or two, or three, or four...

  • Jul 1, 2009 at 9:38 AM

    Spent about 6 months at Dutch Harbor there in 1951 USAF Weather Service.

  • gkitzmil's Profile Photo
    Feb 20, 2009 at 11:35 AM

    Great overview!!

  • Greggor58's Profile Photo
    Sep 12, 2008 at 5:31 PM

    What an amazingly beautiful part of the World to live in Rick...a really interesting page about Unalaska Sir!I'm looking forward to checking out more of your pages!Thanks for sharing here!Greggor in Ottawa... : O ]

RickinDutch Used To Live Here!


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