You can pitch your tent two miles east of Tenakee Springs along Indian River, but be sure to hang your food, since brown bears are sometimes a problem. Trails extend out of town for several miles in both directions along the shore. The trail south of town reaches eight miles to an old cannery and a homestead at Coffee Cove.
Beside the dock is Snyder Mercantile Co. (907/736-2205), a classic bush Alaska store with groceries, supplies, the latest gossip, and great folks. Built in 1899, the building is undergoing a major renovation, with a waterside restaurant and upstairs hotel rooms expected by 2011.
The other main feature of town is the Shamrock building, housing Rosie’s Blue Moon Café, (lunch and dinner daily). You’ll find chop suey, chicken, and steak on the limited menu, but almost everyone opts for Rosie Floresca’s famous cheeseburgers ($7), served with freshly cut fries. There is no bar in town (it burned down a few years back), but there’s a little liquor store across from the general store, and Rosie’s serves beer and wine.
The Shamrock building also has a coin laundry in the back, and next door is Party Time Bakery (907/736-2262, daily 8 a.m.–2 p.m. summer, $6–10), open seasonally for cinnamon rolls, coffee, and bacon-and-egg breakfasts as well as daily soup specials and grilled sandwiches at lunch.
On the edge of town, Tenakee Hot Springs Lodge (907/364-3640, www.tenakeehotspringslodge.com, $90 s, $150 d) has five guest rooms sharing three baths; meals are available for guests. Call the Mercantile (907/736-2205) for a list of local cabin rentals. Fishing Bear Charters (907/736-2350, www.fishingbearcharters.com) has charters and ecotours.
© Don Pitcher from Moon Alaska, 10th Edition