Prince William Sound is the lifeblood of Whittier. Visitors spend their time on the water taking glacier tours, kayaking, and viewing wildlife in its natural habitat. The town, which initially was a military outpost during World War II, has views of the breathtaking glaciated landscape and is the launching point for an abundance of outdoor excursions.
What We Love
Prince William Sound Museum: This museum highlights the city’s military history and has a fascinating exhibit about Anton Anderson, the engineer behind the tunnel used to access the town.
Kittiwake Rookery: Cruise ships and other water excursions departing Whittier will pass by this rookery where thousands of black-legged kittiwakes roost. It is a paradise for birders interested in the rich coastal habitat surrounding Whittier.
Best Known For
Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel: Constructed by the military in World War II, the 2.6-mile tunnel is known as the longest “railroad-highway” tunnel in North America (there are tracks for trains to pass through as well).
Prince William Sound: Motor through the sound on a glacier cruise and discover each arm of the surrounding fjords. Hear the crackle of tidewater glaciers calving and spot whales breaching and sea otters floating among the icebergs.
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Who It's Best For
Water Babies: With deep-sea excursions, marine mammals, and a vibrant fishery, Whittier’s prime location on the sound defines what it is today.
Military History Buffs: Whittier was born from necessity during WWII to find an ice-free port in Alaska. Come here to learn about the vital role the area played in the war.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Summer Crowds: Whittier is accessible by road, rail, ferry, and cruise ship — which means it can be overrun in warmer months. Don’t wait to book your excursion or glacier cruise until you get there.
One-Lane Tunnel: Traffic in the famous thoroughfare is one-way, and the direction switches every half-hour. Planning for tours and day trips must be organized with the tunnel schedule in mind.
Matt Villano is a California-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for The Wall Street Journal.