Klawock, Alaska, USA

The Tlingit village of Klawock sits midway along the western coast of Prince of Wales Island in Southeast Alaska, otherwise known as the state’s “panhandle.” Prince of Wales — call it “P.O.W.” — is the fourth largest island in the United States, a vast, wildlife-rich wilderness of more than 2,500 square miles; yet fewer than 6,000 people live there, around 800 of whom reside in Klawock. The village, site of Alaska’s first salmon cannery, is currently building its tourism industry, and the dramatic approach alone — sailing through one of two fjord entrances, with scenic views of jagged mountains and lush islands — makes Klawock a worthwhile destination. Visitors discover one of the state’s most impressive totem parks, its 21 masterfully carved poles standing atop a hill that overlooks the harbor. You can meet the carvers and watch them work at the carving shed in the park’s heritage center, which also features an authentic longhouse. Outdoor adventures include paddling a canoe along the rugged coast, hiking through old-growth forest, and fishing for king, sockeye and coho salmon.