The Valdez Convention and Visitors Bureau maintains a Visitor Information Center at 104 Chenega St., at the corner of Egan Drive (P.O. Box 1603), Valdez, AK 99686 (tel. 907/835-4636; www.valdezalaska.org). Pick up the free town map and useful Vacation Planner. They're open in summer daily 8am to 7pm and winter Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm.
Valdez is famous for extreme skiing and snowboarding, mostly done by helicopter, and celebrated by the Tailgate Alaska festival at the end of March and beginning of April. The town has three summer fishing derbies: The Halibut Derby runs all summer, the Silver Salmon Derby is late July to early September, and the Women's Silver Salmon Derby is the second Saturday in August. Derby tickets are available all over town. The convention and visitors bureau is the best source of information on any of those events.
The Fireweed Bicycle Race Across Alaska (www.fireweed400.com) covers big mileage on the Glenn and Richardson highways between Sheep Mountain and Valdez, with 50-, 100-, 200-, and 400-mile events, usually the second weekend in July. Finish line festivities in Valdez include a kids' bike rodeo.
The Last Frontier Theater Conference (tel. 907/834-1614; www.pwscc.edu) brings playwrights, directors, and actors from all over the U.S. for seminars and performances. Performances are staged every night over the 7-day event, and workshops and readings last all day. Those interested in literature and theater will find it worth arranging a trip around the event, usually in June, but check for changes to dates.
Valdez Gold Rush Days includes 5 days of community events, such as a parade and fish fry, at the end of July or beginning of August. Contact the visitor center for information.
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.