If you want to truly go north, the city of Barrow, Alaska is as far north as you can get. Located on the Chukchi Sea coast, it holds the honor of being the northernmost city in the United States. Accessible via plane from Anchorage and Fairbanks, those wishing to visit Barrow will find it a unique and historic destination.
Barrow has been home to native Inupiat Eskimos for over 1,000 years, and there are remains of ancient dwellings still visible today along the coastline. The Royal Navy entered the picture in the late 1800's, discovering Barrow while exploring the Arctic coast and the U.S. Army set up a meteorological research station in 1881. The Cape Smythe Whaling Station was erected in 1893, and the area continued to grow. In 1958 Barrow was officially incorporated as a city.
Today, Barrow serves as an economic hub for the North Slope Borough. It is the largest city in the region, with just over 4,000 residents. Barrow has most of the modern amenities one would expect, but a subsistence lifestyle is still very much a part of daily life here.
Visitors to Barrow can explore the Inupiat Heritage Center, which provides information on the history of the Inupiat people as well as displays of artifacts and cultural events. Other interesting sights include the Rogers-Post monuments, site of where the famous Will Rogers and Wiley Post died in the 1930's, when the plane they were in while leaving Barrow plunged into a river. Travelers can also enjoy bird-watching and a walk out on the tundra. Tours are offered via day trips or overnights, through a variety of tour companies.
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