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Kotzebue, Alaska

Kotzebue is 26 miles north of the Arctic Circle on the shores of the Chukchi Sea, near where the Noatak River flows into Kotzebue Sound. Its windswept flat tundra, with long gravel beaches, is a haven for walrus, migrating birds, and musk oxen. It is a perfect place to watch the summer midnight sun color the sea a golden red.

Archaeological sites suggest that people first came to Kotzebue over the Bering Land Bridge about 13,000 years ago. About 80% of the several thousand residents are Inupiat Eskimo, who still hunt and fish for subsistence as they have for 600 years. You can discover more about them at the Northwest Arctic Heritage Center.

Experienced guides can take you fishing, rafting, and kayaking in pristine waters. Stop in at the Innaigvik Education and Information Center to find out about the national parks. Walk past racks of drying salmon on Shore Avenue, the main street in Kotzebue, down to the Bayside Inn & Restaurant - enjoy their halibut burger and strawberry lemonade.