Cordova, Alaska, is a quiet town tucked away in a corner of Prince William Sound about 50 mi/80 km southeast of Valdez and 176 mi/281 km by air southeast of Anchorage. It's also the doorstep to the 2-million-acre/810,000-hectare Copper River Delta, where millions of shorebirds—the largest such gathering in the Western Hemisphere—go to nest each spring. Ringed by glaciers and the snowcapped Chugach Mountain Range, the delta's landscape is spectacular.

Cordova's reason for being, however, is commercial fishing: It's a small working town of about 2,000 year-round residents, home to a sizable fleet and several seafood-processing plants that provide employment for most of the residents. The town has an unhurried feel, and the friendly townspeople haven't yet become jaded to visitors.

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