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The midnight sun in Kotzebue

Kotzebue (Inupiaq: Qikiqtaġruk) is a town of 3,200 people in Arctic Alaska. It's an important regional hub and a launching point for flights to remote Arctic wilderness reserves.



Kotzebue is the primary hub for the Northwest Arctic, being the administrative center of both the Borough and Native Corporation governments. It is the most Americanized of the villages in the region (and indeed many residents of the smaller villages would bristle at calling Kotzebue a village at all) and is home to several restaurants and small hotels. It is the place where the competing influences of Americanization and traditional Inupiaq culture are most plainly coextant.

Get in

Map of Kotzebue

View of Kotzebue, July, 2012
  • 1 Ralph Wien Memorial Airport (OTZ  IATA). Flights from Anchorage, Nome and various other settlements in Alaska with Alaska Airlines, Bering Air, and Ryan Air. The airport map marker is the Alaska Airlines terminal while Ryan Air is in the same terminal as Bering Air. Ralph Wien Memorial Airport (Q2061650) on Wikidata Ralph Wien Memorial Airport on Wikipedia

Get around


Kotzebue is a small enough town to be largely walkable, as well as being the only settlement in the region to have concrete paved roads. In winter it does get somewhat chilly, though this is ameliorated slightly by its proximity to the sea. Main forms of transport include ATVs and boats in summer, snowmachines in winter, and automobiles year round.




Arctic tundra
  • Birdwatching
  • Hiking – Take the eight-mile (13-km) loop road across the tundra, or walk along the shore.



Local art and handicrafts.



Basic groceries are available, in addition to restaurants. Most of the restaurants are East Asian in cuisine, and run by the town's significant East Asian diaspora.



Kotzebue has one of the region's two bars.





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