What is Petersburg Alaska Known For?

Petersburg is situated across Frederick Sound with an amazing glacier wall and alpine peaks like the Devil’s Thumb which provides a skyline of jagged snowy summits. This small town is home to around 3,000 people and is on an island and is only accessible by water or air. Here are some of the things that Petersburg is best known for.

Downtown Petersburg

Downtown Petersburg hosts an assortment of galleries, museums, and shops. Best known for its local art, you can find creations everywhere ranging from sculptures and totems to murals and designs in the sidewalks.

Sing Lee Alley is known as the heart and soul of Petersburg, where you can spot historic buildings and sites all over. You can visit the Sons of Norway Hall which was built in 1912 and is a National Historic site that still serves as a center for Norwegian culture. In the summer, Norwegian dancers and pastries are available for visitors’ enjoyment.

If you are in Petersburg the downtown culture is a must see, be sure to bring a camera to capture the beautiful city and its waterfront.

Local Parks and Wildlife

In Petersburg you will find several local parks and recreation centers in and around the city with sights to remember. These parks allow visitors to enjoy many of the natural wonders of the city and catch sightings of wildlife.

One of the best known attractions is the Narrows Viewing Platform in Eagle Roost Park, which is located only walking distance from downtown. Here you can easily view eagles in the trees and skies, as well as check out the tide pools and hermit crabs at the beach.

Another great destination is Outlook Park, which is a wildlife observatory located between Petersburg and the beach. It is modeled after a traditional Norwegian stave church and has views of Humpbacks, Orcas, Sea Lions and Icebergs. 

Glacier and Whale Tours

One of the best reasons to travel to Petersburg is to enjoy the outdoor tours that it offers. Whether you’re looking to spend an entire day out on the water exploring the area, or you just want to catch some cool sights, there is a tour for you.

LeConte Glacier is a tidewater glacier located about 20 miles, by boat, from town. There are plenty of flight and cruise tours of this glacier and you can see the beautiful natural formations with little to no effort.

In addition to the glaciers, the whale tours are a must see. There you will be able to hop on a boat and see Humpback and Orca whales in the wild.

Explore Norwegian Culture

One of the main representations of the town is the Norwegian heritage all throughout. A Norwegian immigrant by the name of Peter Buschmann founded Petersburg in 1897 and his influence can still be felt to this day.

From the architecture to the names of the streets, the town is brimming with culture all over. Many homes and buildings are decorated with rosemaling which is a form of Norwegian folk art, especially around Sing Lee Ally, which was mentioned in the downtown section of this article.

The best time to dive into the culture is in mid-May, when you can find a parade, games, and dances celebrating Norwegian Independence Day.