Unalaska Day Tours & Attractions

Visit historical sites, visit wildlife viewing spots, check out the hiking trails, local attractions & more.

Museums & Cultural Centers

Whether or not you’re a World War II schol­ar, the sto­ry of the Aleut­ian Islands’ role in the sec­ond great war is fas­ci­nat­ing. The mil­i­tary buildup, the bat­tles, the removal and even­tu­al return of Aleut res­i­dents. It’s all detailed at the Aleut­ian World War II Visitor’s Cen­ter, locat­ed in an his­toric Aerol­o­gy Oper­a­tions Build­ing that has been ren­o­vat­ed to its orig­i­nal 1940s-style façade. 

Spend just a few hours at the Muse­um of the Aleu­tians and you’ll walk away with a broad under­stand­ing of this remote island chain, its hardy and inven­tive Unan­gan peo­ple, and its com­pelling World War II history. 

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Visitor Information Centers

The Unalaska/​Port of Dutch Har­bor Con­ven­tion and Vis­i­tors Bureau is estab­lished to pro­mote and encour­age tourism and to sup­port the devel­op­ment and sus­tain­abil­i­ty of tourism infra­struc­ture in the Unalaska/​Dutch Har­bor Region. They are Mon­day through Fri­day 8am to 5pm. Feel free to drop in, call, or email them with any ques­tions about the region. The Unalas­ka / Port of Dutch Har­bor CVB is a great resource; pro­vid­ing maps, vis­i­tor guides,  ...more

Whether or not you’re a World War II schol­ar, the sto­ry of the Aleut­ian Islands’ role in the sec­ond great war is fas­ci­nat­ing. The mil­i­tary buildup, the bat­tles, the removal and even­tu­al return of Aleut res­i­dents. It’s all detailed at the Aleut­ian World War II Visitor’s Cen­ter, locat­ed in an his­toric Aerol­o­gy Oper­a­tions Build­ing that has been ren­o­vat­ed to its orig­i­nal 1940s-style façade. 

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Fairs & Festivals View All

Fall in Unalas­ka brings cool­er air, rich col­or to the tun­dra, and a pletho­ra of berries. While locals can be pret­ty secre­tive about their favorite pick­ing spots, they are gen­er­ous with the fruits of their labors – at the annu­al Blue­ber­ry Bash. Here you’ll find an amaz­ing array of blue­ber­ry dish­es – table after table loaded with vari­a­tions on tasty pies, cob­blers and tarts, along with jams, vine­gars, chut­neys, sal­sas and every­thing in between.   ...more

One of the best ways to view the true spir­it of a small com­mu­ni­ty is to take part in its annu­al Fourth of July parade. This is true for the City of Unalas­ka, where you’ll see a num­ber of unique floats put togeth­er by local busi­ness­es, com­mu­ni­ty groups and indi­vid­u­als. The spir­it of patri­o­tism runs high in this wind-swept Aleut­ian island, whose his­to­ry includes an attack by Japan­ese bombers dur­ing World War II.

One of the most unique golf out­ings you could ever expe­ri­ence takes place every August, on the Aleut­ian tun­dra thou­sands of miles from any estab­lished golf course. This is a place where you can (and per­haps should) wear knee high boots as you advance along a 9‑hole course wind­ing through the Pyra­mid Val­ley of Unalas­ka Island.

Framed by green moun­tains on three sides, Kel­ty field is the per­fect set­ting for an end-of-sum­mer par­ty – a cel­e­bra­tion of Aleut­ian life and the peo­ple who make Unalas­ka their home (whether year-round or just for the sum­mer). Coor­di­nat­ed by the city’s Parks, Cul­ture and Recre­ation Depart­ment, the Heart of the Aleu­tians Fes­ti­val is a fam­i­ly affair, where artists and their crafts, small busi­ness­es and non-prof­its fill the com­mu­ni­ty tent with  ...more

Unalaskans turn out for an active running/​racing sched­ule most of the year no mat­ter the weath­er. In fact, the sea­son offi­cial­ly gets start­ed with the 5K Polar Bear Run in late Feb­ru­ary, when the aver­age temp is still hov­er­ing around 32 degrees. Events range from mild to tech­ni­cal­ly chal­leng­ing, and most also offer short­er ver­sions for the kids. Come to Unalas­ka, and join a race Feb­ru­ary — November!

Unalaskans are always ready” for music, a tra­di­tion that goes back to the 1920s. Back in those days, there was just one piano on the whole Aleut­ian Chain, and it was used by Bering Sea Patrol com­man­der Cap­tain Frances Van Bosker­ck (along with friends Alfred Nannes­tad and Joseph Fournier) to write a catchy tune that became Unit­ed States Coast Guard’s anthem Sem­per Para­tus” (“always ready”). Today, there are plen­ty more pianos, along with plenty  ...more

Whether you land a record-break­er or not, the Hal­ibut Der­by in Unalas­ka is a full day’s worth of excite­ment. Held on a sin­gle day in late June or ear­ly July, you’ll have just ten hours to land the largest hal­ibut you can – and a $1,000 cash prize is on the line.

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Day Cruises

An Unalas­ka Bay cruise is high­ly rec­om­mend­ed for close up views of sea mam­mals in their nat­ur­al habi­tat, bird­ing, del­i­cate water­falls and pris­tine, unin­hab­it­ed islands.

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Historic Sites View All

World War II buffs will want to check out remain­ing World War II defen­sive for­ti­fi­ca­tions like ele­phant-steel mag­a­zines and the base-end sta­tion that over­look Sum­mer Bay and Humpy Cove.

The strik­ing Holy Ascen­sion Russ­ian Ortho­dox Church – with its red-shin­gled roofs and green onion domes – has become an inte­gral part of the Unalas­ka sky­line over the last cen­tu­ry. It is both an odd­i­ty (archi­tec­tural­ly dif­fer­ent than any­thing else in the Aleu­tians) and a sym­bol of Russ­ian influ­ence on Aleut cul­ture and religion.

Memo­r­i­al Park was built in 1992 in hon­or Coast Guard and Navy per­son­nel that lost their lives dur­ing WWII.

Cap­tain James Cook saw much of Alaska’s coast­line dur­ing his trou­bled third voy­age in search of a North­west Pas­sage. Prince William Sound, Prince of Wales Island, Nor­ton Sound, and Bris­tol Bay are just some of the places he named dur­ing his trav­els. Eng­lish Bay, on the east­ern side of Unalas­ka Island, ref­er­ences the two land­ings Cook and crew made there in 1778 (just months before his death in the Hawai­ian Islands).

When the Unit­ed States mil­i­tary left Unalas­ka Island at the end of World War II, it also left behind build­ings and equip­ment that would become war relics and reminders of the area’s impor­tance dur­ing the Aleut­ian cam­paign, often called the For­got­ten War.” The build­ings have dete­ri­o­rat­ed over the years and some have been torn down. But his­tor­i­cal plaques mark­ing the loca­tion of sev­en World War II points of inter­est were erect­ed in 2007 to ensure  ...more

The bow of the sunken SS North­west­ern points to the sky in Cap­tains Bay, a fifty-foot-high sym­bol of Alaska’s role in World War II. The North­west­ern had a fas­ci­nat­ing his­to­ry even before Japan­ese war­planes bombed her on June 4, 1942. After trans­port­ing pas­sen­gers, troops and bananas on the East Coast, she logged more than thir­ty years in north­ern waters, car­ry­ing pas­sen­gers between South­east Alas­ka and Seattle.

In the 1940’s more than 100 build­ings pep­pered the hill­side here, mak­ing up U.S. Army Base Fort Schwat­ka and Bat­tery 402. This coastal out­post was con­sid­ered cut­ting edge for its time. The Battery’s posi­tion high on Ulak­ta Head gave look­outs a strate­gic view and its 8‑inch, 21-ton guns boast­ed a range of 22 miles.

Difficulty: Moderate

If your trav­el group includes a WWII enthu­si­ast, a wildlife devo­tee, a bird­er, and a kid who enjoys rolling around on the tun­dra, Bunker Hill is the per­fect spot. Plus, it has the best pho­to ops, with a 360-degree view of the entire area: Cap­tains Bay, Amak­nak Island, Unalas­ka Bay and Ili­uliuk Harbor.

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Parks & Trails View All

Difficulty: Easy

Take in many dimen­sions of Unalas­ka in just an hour on a 2‑mile hike around a spot called Lit­tle South Amer­i­ca.” Watch boats in the har­bor, look for whales, spot birds (includ­ing puffins nest­ing in the cliffs), walk the beach­es, search tide­pools, and talk with locals who are also hik­ing or enjoy­ing a beach party. 

Difficulty: Moderate Elevation Gain: 800 feet

A hike to the windy, north­ern­most point of Amak­nak Island pro­vides a good uphill work­out, a peek into World War II his­to­ry, and a breath­tak­ing panoram­ic vista of the Bering Sea and the islands around you. 

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 2 miles Elevation Gain: 1634 feet

Mt. Bal­ly­hoo is a lure for hik­ers want­i­ng a mod­er­ate climb and an out­stand­ing vista. Both the air­port and city dock are locat­ed right at its base, so the south face of Bal­ly­hoo is the first thing you’ll notice when you get here. Its 1,634-foot-peak is the high­est point on Amak­nak Island, with a panoram­ic view that helps ori­ent you to Unalaska/​Dutch Har­bor geography. 

Difficulty: Moderate

A dri­ve or walk up Mt. Bal­ly­hoo is inter­est­ing for both bird­ers and those inter­est­ed in World War II his­to­ry. It’s such as good view that you might even catch sight of whales in the dis­tance. The view from the 1,634-foot moun­tain gives you an idea of how birds might see the area (that is, if you can imag­ine the view with a lot more col­or and super-sharp clarity)

Difficulty: Easy Distance: 1 mile

Jut­ting half a mile into the cen­ter of Unalas­ka Bay, the Dutch Har­bor Spit offers a short, sea-lev­el hike for all ages, with beach access, wildlife view­ing and bird­ing. The trail fol­lows an old roadbed, which makes for an ide­al hik­ing sur­face. You’ll want to stop fre­quent­ly with a ready cam­era for close-up views of marine mam­mals on either side of the spit.

Difficulty: Easy Distance: 1 mile Elevation Gain: 700 feet

The mild stroll around Straw­ber­ry Hill offers great views, wildlife and some his­toric fla­vor. Old mil­i­tary roads cov­er the area, pro­vid­ing easy walk­ing. Adven­tur­ers can bush­whack or scram­ble short dis­tances for bet­ter views of the sur­round­ing area or get up close to WWII-era trench­es and the remains of old bunkers.

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 3 miles

Beaver Inlet, on the oth­er side of Unalas­ka Island, was an his­toric portage for the native Unan­gan peo­ple who lived in the vil­lage of Bior­ka just across on Sedan­ka Island. You can only get there by boat or by foot, but the pris­tine views away from the more pop­u­lat­ed areas of Unalas­ka are worth the effort. One pop­u­lar and acces­si­ble route is the Peace of Mind Trail, a three-mile round-trip trek that show­cas­es a range of topog­ra­phy and winds  ...more

Difficulty: Moderate Distance: 4 miles

The Agamgik Bay trek is a bit longer than the oth­ers, has some dif­fi­cult spots not easy for the very young or the very old, and offers access to an even longer hike over to Eng­lish Bay, where Cap­tain Cook arrived in 1778. As a longer, more dif­fi­cult trail, it is also less fre­quent­ed, a bonus for those who yearn for a more soli­tary journey. 

Difficulty: Moderate

If your trav­el group includes a WWII enthu­si­ast, a wildlife devo­tee, a bird­er, and a kid who enjoys rolling around on the tun­dra, Bunker Hill is the per­fect spot. Plus, it has the best pho­to ops, with a 360-degree view of the entire area: Cap­tains Bay, Amak­nak Island, Unalas­ka Bay and Ili­uliuk Harbor.

The 2,300-foot Pyra­mid Peak is sur­round­ed by Pyra­mid Val­ley, Cap­tains Bay and miles of pop­u­lar hik­ing trails, includ­ing a cir­cuit around the peak. This loca­tion is for the bird­er who wants to get out of the city and indus­tri­al areas of town to lis­ten for bird­song while sit­ting among the wild­flow­ers or berries of the Aleut­ian tundra.

Difficulty: Easy Distance: 4 miles

For thou­sands of years, being able to sur­vive in the Aleu­tians has depend­ed on the abil­i­ty to use what the land and sea pro­vide. The rugged, remote and stun­ning land­scape con­tin­ues to inspire – and chal­lenge – locals and vis­i­tors alike. Under­stand­ing this pri­mal con­nec­tion with the land is best done by explor­ing on foot. Hik­ing the Ugada­ga Trail – report­ed­ly in use for more than 9,000 years – allows the imag­i­na­tion to wan­der, and won­der, about  ...more

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