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Arts in Alaska's Inside Passage
Arts in Alaska's Inside Passage
Elements of the patterns found on blankets, totem poles, houses and clothing create a unique beauty

Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg, Juneau, Sitka

Day 1 Ketchikan

Arrive via air or Alaska Marine Highway. Pick up a walking tour map and explore downtown attractions including historic Creek Street, Tongass Historical Museum and the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center. See performances of Alaska Native dance and songs at the Saxman Native Village. Learn about the area’s totem poles and the historical techniques used to construct them. Go shopping in the area’s businesses for examples of Native arts and crafts.

Day 2 Wrangell – Petersburg

Take the Alaska Marine Highway to Wrangell and view the prehistoric rock carvings at Petroglyph Beach. Visit the Wrangell Museum to learn about the area’s history and see the exhibit of spruce root and cedar-bark baskets from the late 1800s. Check out Chief Shakes Tribal House and several totem poles on Chief Shakes Island, accessible from downtown Wrangell via a short boardwalk that connects the town with the island. Or stay on the ferry and continue on to the community of Petersburg, known as “Little Norway.” Check out the town’s local shops and look for examples of rosemaling, a distinctive flowery Norwegian style of painting still practiced by locals. Overnight in Wrangell or Petersburg.

Day 3 Juneau

Fly to Juneau, Alaska’s capital city. Tour the Alaska State Museum, enjoying displays that include a collection of Northwest Coast and Eskimo baskets that is among the most comprehensive in the world. There is an also a collection of Eskimo-carved ivory ranging from prehistoric to modern. The museum also features a collection of work by contemporary Native artists. Overnight in Juneau.

Day 4 Sitka

Board Alaska Airlines for a quick trip to Sitka. The historic seaside capital of Russian America, Sitka was founded in 1804. Spend the day sightseeing and you’ll soon gain an appreciation for the Russian and Tlingit influences that are prevalent throughout the town. Sitka’s Russian heritage sites include St. Michaels Cathedral, a Russian cemetery, blockhouse and Russian Bishop’s house. Visit the Sheldon Jackson Museum and its collection of Eskimo, Aleut and Indian artifacts, including spruce root baskets, engraved silver objects and beadwork. Also worth visiting is the dramatic display of totem poles in the Sitka National Historical Park.

 

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