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"two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." -- Robert Frost

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Skagway, where throngs of visitors outnumber Alaskans 1,000 to one

Downtown Skagway visitors from one of many
cruise ships in port
Skagway, Alaska
The once fishing village of Skagway, inhabited by about 920 souls according to the 2010 U.S. census, is visited by cruise ships carrying thousands upon thousands of visitors.

Population is likely to double in the summer tourist and cruise season to accommodate the rush of visitors. Estimates of summer visitation range from 900,000 to 1,000,000 people. Most of these, roughly three-fourths, disembark from cruise ships to explore the town and take excursions.

The downtown historic district with its wooden sidewalks and colorful street-side window flower boxes has around 100 gold rush era buildings, many of which are now restaurants, shops and other attractions for visitors.
Skagway shoppers use their hours in port
to buy Alaska souvenirs and mementos

Its White Pass and Yukon Route railroad (WPYR) claims to be Alaska’s most popular cruise excursion, and for summer scenic drama, it packs in a lot. The lakes and mountains visible in this panhandle region provide a great window on Alaska for visitors.

White Pass and Yukon Route

As an aside, reportedly, the Skagway border crossing between the U.S. and Canada was once featured in an episode of the television show Homeland Security USA, with its claim to fame as this: it is the least-used international border crossing in the United States.

Fortunately for jaywalking visitors who are focused on shopping,
Skagway vehicle traffic may be light

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