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The Best of Skagway Alaska

Updated: Sep 5, 2023

Skagway Alaska is a charming and popular destination in Alaska, known for its rich history, stunning natural scenery, and unique blend of adventure and small-town charm. Skagway is located in the southeastern part of the state and has a key part in history due to the gold rush of the late 1800's. There are plenty of activities to keep you busy while visiting, and even ghost stories from all the tragedies from traveling from Skagway to the mines in Alaska or the Yukon Territory of Canada. Today I will be telling you about the best attractions, restaurants and accommodations.


Just outside of Skagway
Just outside of Skagway

Unlike Juneau Alaska where you can only get there by boat or plane, you can reach Skagway by car, which is great. I talked to a few people that drove up from Utah while I was visiting. Of course, it took them a couple days, but they told me it was a wonderful trip. When I visited Skagway, it was on a Norwegian Cruise Ship. This is a very popular tourist destination for cruise ships, all the major cruise lines pay Skagway a visit. On the day I visited I rode the train. The only issue with cruise ship travel is that you may not be able to see all the sights, check out all the restaurants, or use any accommodations. But cruising is still one of the best ways to see the world.


Attractions:

White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad
White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad
  • White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad: This historic railroad offers breathtaking views of the mountains and glaciers in the surrounding area as it winds through narrow canyons and over steep mountain passes. I highly recommend this tour, the history you learn about the gold miners plus the scenery make it the best. You go up the mountain on the train then back down on a bus. It takes you up into Canada (British Columbia) for a few minutes. But the tour continues onto the Yukon Territory where you will see the actual Tundra, and the northernmost desert in the world. (I am not joking, it's a real sand desert) Plus visit the little town of Carcross, Canada. The area is absolutely breathtaking. The train ride is a fantastic way to experience the region's history while enjoying panoramic vistas.

Welcome to Alaska sign
Welcome to Alaska sign
  • Chilkoot Trail: This scenic hiking trail follows the same route that gold miners took during the Klondike Gold Rush, offering a glimpse into the challenges they faced as they traversed the rugged terrain.

  • Lower Dewey Lake Trail: This hike will immerse yourself in the stunning landscapes. You can also go kayaking or take a boat tour to explore the nearby fjords and coastal areas. This is the best lake around for some water activities.


  • Historic District: Skagway Alaska's historic district has been well-preserved, with many buildings and structures dating back to the Gold Rush era. Visitors can take a walking tour to learn about the town's history and see some of its most iconic landmarks. Explore local boutiques, art galleries, and souvenir stores, or stop by one of the cozy cafes or restaurants to savor some Alaskan cuisine. Skagway's downtown area exudes a nostalgic charm with its colorful buildings, wooden boardwalks, and unique shops.

Glacier Bay
Glacier Bay
  • Glacier Bay National Park: Located just a short distance from Skagway, but still in Alaska, Glacier Bay National Park is a must-see destination for nature lovers. Visitors can take a boat tour to see glaciers up close, as well as spot whales, seals, and other marine wildlife. But it will be a couple hour boat ride. You will see seals, and hearing the ice fall into the ocean is weird, but an amazing experience.

  • Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park: This park is dedicated to preserving the history of the Klondike Gold Rush and offers exhibits, films, and ranger-led programs. The park has two locations, one in Skagway Alaska and one in Seattle, Washington.

Future Dog Sledder in the Yukon
Future Dog Sledder in the Yukon
  • Yukon Suspension Bridge: Located just across the border in Canada, the Yukon Suspension Bridge offers the best view of the surrounding mountains and the Tutshi River below. Visitors can walk across the suspension bridge and explore the surrounding trails and gardens.

  • Haines, Alaska: This picturesque town is located just a short ferry ride from Skagway and is known for its stunning scenery, outdoor activities, and cultural attractions. Visitors can take a guided tour of the historic Fort William H. Seward or go kayaking on the Chilkat River.

  • Other things you can do is mountain bike riding, dog sledding, or helicopter rides to see glaciers.

Restaurants:

The tundra near the Canadian Border from Skagway
The tundra near the Canadian Border from Skagway
  • Skagway Brewing Company: This local brewery offers tasty craft beers as well as pub fare like burgers, sandwiches, and pizza. The atmosphere is lively, with live music and events throughout the week.

  • Skagway Fish Company: Located on the waterfront, Skagway Fish Company is known for its fresh seafood, including salmon, halibut, and crab. The restaurant also offers a selection of beer, wine, and cocktails.

Red Onion Saloon
Red Onion Saloon
  • The Red Onion Saloon: This historic saloon and brothel-turned-museum serves up hearty pub fare and cocktails. The second floor features a museum that offers tours of the former brothel rooms and artifacts from Skagway's Gold Rush era. Some claim it is haunted, you should come here and check it out yourself.

  • Olivia's Bistro: This cozy Italian restaurant offers a range of Italian dishes, including pasta, pizza, and seafood as well as a selection of wine and beer. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, with friendly service and a family-friendly environment.

  • Sweet Tooth Cafe: This popular cafe offers homemade soups, sandwiches, baked goods, and coffee drinks. The atmosphere is cozy and welcoming, with a small outdoor seating area for those who want to enjoy their meal in the sunshine.

  • The Station Bar & Grill: This casual restaurant serves up burgers, sandwiches, salads, and other American favorites, as well as a selection of beer, wine, and cocktails. The atmosphere is laid-back and friendly, with plenty of TVs for sports fans.

Accommodations:

From railroad
From Railroad
  • Westmark Inn Skagway: Located in the heart of downtown, the Westmark Inn Skagway offers comfortable rooms and suites with modern amenities, including a fitness center, onsite restaurant, and free Wi-Fi.

  • Historic Skagway Inn: Housed in a historic building dating back to the Gold Rush era, the Historic Skagway Inn offers cozy rooms with a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Guests can enjoy a complimentary breakfast each morning and relax in the common areas or outdoor garden. Some say it is haunted. You should stay here and decide for yourself.


White House Inn
White House Inn

The White House Inn: This charming bed and breakfast is located just a short walk from downtown Skagway and offers spacious rooms and suites with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. Guests can enjoy a complimentary breakfast each morning and relax on the outdoor patio or in the hot tub. Built in 1902 and was a hospital, and a daycare in the past. Also there are claims that it is haunted.

  • Pullen Creek RV Park: For those looking for a more rustic accommodation option, Pullen Creek RV Park offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and easy access to hiking trails and other outdoor activities. The park has RV sites as well as cabins and tent sites available for rent.

  • Skagway Mountain View RV Park: Another great option for RVers, Skagway Mountain View RV Park is located just outside of town and offers spacious sites with stunning views of the surrounding mountains. The park also has a picnic area and fire pit for guests to enjoy.

Skagway Alaska truly offers the best blend of history, natural beauty, and outdoor adventures that make it a beloved destination for visitors in Alaska. Whether you're interested in immersing yourself in the gold rush history, exploring the stunning landscapes, or enjoying outdoor activities, Skagway has something for everyone to enjoy.


Cruise Critic
Crystal Travel
Hostelworld

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