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Locals lovingly describe it as Nature's Front Porch. Dillingham is on the west side of Bristol Bay, a rich salmon fishing area. The first cannery was built in 1883 by the Arctic Packing Company, two years after the 1881 Alaska Purchase of the United States. About 2,500 residents live in Dillingham. The city has no traffic lights, and no roads leading to or from it. The only way to get there is by airplane or boat.
Dillingham rests at the edge of 1.6 million acre Wood-Tikchik State Park, the largest state park in the U.S. People go there to fish kayak, canoe, raft, boat, and immerse in the solitude of the wild. Walrus Islands State Game Sanctuary is also nearby - the best known of its seven islands is Round Island, where every summer 15,000 walruses haul themselves onto the beaches for mating season. Dillingham is also a launching point to Togiak National Wildlife Refuge, home to walruses, seals, and migrating birds.