The Pribilof Islands of St. Paul and St. George sit out in the middle of the Bering Sea, due north of Unalaska, teeming with marine mammals and seabirds. Some 600,000 fur seals meet at the breeding rookeries in the summer, and two million birds of more than 270 species use the rocks. Bird-watchers visit St. Paul for one of the most exotic and productive birding and wildlife-viewing opportunities anywhere. It's best during the spring migration, from mid-May to mid-June, when great numbers of birds show up, including rare Asian accidental species; the fall migration comes in September to mid-October. You can count on making rare sightings any time during the summer. Indeed, the National Audubon Society's Field Guide to North American Birds calls this "perhaps the most spectacular seabird colony in the world."
Visitors interested in birding and wildlife generally come on tours, which are sold as a package with airfare, lodging, meals, and guiding by expert birders provided. With the guides' help and radio communication, your chances of seeing exotic species are much enhanced. Visits are offered by Native-owned St. Paul Island Tours (tel. 877/424-5637; www.stpaultour.com). Check the website for birding news and information about the island. Packages from Anchorage start at $2,029 for a 2-night visit and operate from mid-May to mid-October. Travelers can choose to ride on a bus as a group or hike on their own. Permanent blinds are in place for watching birds and seals. Count on cool, damp, windy weather.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.