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Independent sightseeing in Kotzebue

San Francisco, Ca
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Independent sightseeing in Kotzebue

I'll be in Alaska for a cruise in mid-June, and thought it might be fun to spend the solstice above the Arctic Circle in Kotzebue. I know it's a smaller town, but it sounded more interesting than Barrow. But, I'm having trouble finding activities that aren't geared toward pre-booked groups. The hotel (Nullagvik) offers tours of the town and Heritage Center, but only for groups of 10 or more. My group will be me. (I can join a tour on the day if there happens to be one, but for planning purposes, I'd rather have something in place.)

LaVonne's Fish Camp sounds like the perfect activity for the day, but it won't yet be open for the season (I checked).

A flightseeing tour is available, but is very expensive unless they happen to have other passengers the same day.

My preference is to spend 2 nights so as to actually experience something of the area (nature/tundra walk, Native culture and foodways, Heritage Center, town tour), but I can't seem to find any organized activities. I've called a couple of tour companies, but they only arrange tours for groups, and one even said, "I'm not sure anyone has tours for individuals!"

So, does anyone have any ideas for a guided tour, including a tundra walk, that could be booked for a single individual?

If I visit the Heritage Center on my own, will there be demonstrations, events, activities, or are those scheduled around group visits?

If I rented a car and drove around the area, am I safe enough? Is there Verizon cell service in case I get into trouble? Is there a nearby outdoors destination that would be interesting? (I'm NOT an experienced hiker/outdoors person, so need something very tenderfoot-friendly.)

Thanks for any help! I really want to spend 2 nights, but need to find more to do than I'm coming up with at the moment....

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31. Re: Independent sightseeing in Kotzebue

Is it possible to walk from the airport to town?

Anchorage, Alaska
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32. Re: Independent sightseeing in Kotzebue

Yes! The airport is pretty much in town. In fact, the Heritage Center/NPS building is just at the end of the short road from the airport parking lot. Probably a 5 minute walk. Just go out the doors of the terminal and walk straight. When you get to the T intersection take a left. Shortly you'll reach another T and you are right across from the park service building main door.

Many roads are now paved so roller bags are not a problem (used to be all gravel). There are taxis as well if you need one and a phone on the wall by the main door at the terminal (which is a dinky building). There is a Kotz street map online but it is outdated (the one at http://kotzpdweb.tripod.com/kotzmap4.html - not too useful though some things are still correct). The google earth view is old too - where the NPS building is shows as an empty lot : (

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33. Re: Independent sightseeing in Kotzebue

if you can go on an odd number year (next one is 2019) during the week of the 4th of july normally, they have a trade fair, Inupiat people from all the villages, even some from russia, and have tribal dances and some inuat games, they have all kinds of wonderful hand crafted items for sale, it all lasts a few days count the 4th of july parade, it's called the KOTZEBUE TRADE FAIR, you will never forget it, they even do the skin toss and throw people into the air!!!

Edited: 16 January 2018, 11:26
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34. Re: Independent sightseeing in Kotzebue

I haven't seen it but I hear the gift shop at the hospital in Kotzebue is the place to shop. I kept busy for a day wondering around the town after a 3+ week river trip on the Noatak. I think it's still a dry town. Flight seeing would be fantastic.


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