This tiny fishing settlement (pop. 50 year-round, 200 in summer) tops the north end of Chichagof Island  and is considered one of Alaska’s prettiest towns. The setting is hard to beat: right on the edge of the wild waters of Cross Sound, yet protected within a narrow harbor. Elfin Cove has two general stores, lodging facilities, plus showers and a sauna during the summer.
The waters of Cross Sound and Icy Strait separate Chichagof Island from Glacier Bay National Park . This is one of the best areas to see whales in Southeast Alaska , especially near Point Adolphus. Charter boats offer day trips from Glacier Bay to Elfin Cove during the summer months. Also nearby is the 23,000-acre Pleasant-Lemesurier-Inian Islands Wilderness.
It’s pretty easy to see what makes the village tick, with 10 fishing lodges in such a small place, including Tanaku Lodge (www.tanaku.com ), Elfin Cove Lodge (www.elfincove.com ), The Cove Lodge (www.covelodge.com ), and Eagle Charters & Lodge (www.eaglecharters.com ). The last of these operates the only gift shop in town.
There is no state ferry service, but small cruise ships visit Elfin Cove several times a week in the summer, and Alaska Seaplane Service (907/789-3331 or 800/478-3360, www.flyalaskaseaplanes.com ) has scheduled flights from Juneau .