The town is best known as the gateway to Glacier Bay. The small community (population 450) is located at the mouth of the Salmon River, on the north shore of Icy Strait just 50 miles northwest of Juneau. Incorporated in 2004, the city of Gustavus has a mayor and city council. Many residents are self employed in tourism and service/retail businesses, as well as fishing, power generation and aviation. Glacier Bay National Park employs over half of the residents of Gustavus. Others work for the state or for the Chatham School District.
In the past early settlers called the town Strawberry Point. The U.S. Postal Service renamed the town in 1925. The first successful homestead patent was issued in 1923, although settlers were present here as early as 1917. Historically, the area was used by the Tlingit people for seasonal harvesting and smoking of salmon.
The town encompasses 29.2 square miles of land and 10 square miles of water. The area's maritime climate is characterized by cool summers and mild winters. Summer temperatures range from 52 to 63 degrees; winter temperatures range from 26 to 39.
The geology of the area was influenced by glaciers and ocean. As the glaciers that covered the area 200 years ago have receded, the land in Gustavus has risen quickly – over an inch each year. Land that once was within the tidal zone is now high and dry. Where grasses once predominated, spruce trees now tower.
Gustavus Airport (IATA: GST, ICAO: PAGS) fields semi-regular flights to Juneau with several minor airlines, as well as a seasonal Alaska Airlines route to Seattle via Juneau. Alaska Airlines flies daily in summer from Juneau to Gustavus Airport. Air taxis run scheduled and charter flights from Juneau, Sitka, Haines and Skagway.
The Alaska Marine Highway  began serving Gustavus at a new stimulus-bill funded new dock, on November 23, 2010. There is also a small boat harbor that has primitive privately maintained floats.
Gustavus has only one main road, linking it with Bartlett Cove in Glacier Bay National Park.
You can cruise aboard Wild Alaska Charters (1800-2250748) to Point Adolphus for an unforgettable whale watching experience, hike through an old growth rain forest or kayak through wilderness waters and see magnificent glaciers, whales, bears, sea otters and bald eagles. Explore Southeast Alaska underwater world during Wild Alaska's exclusive diving expeditions. Here you can also enjoy truly world class fishing .Wild Alaska Charters provids all necessary fishing equipment and bait.Your guide is an experienced commercial fisherman and US Coast Guard certified charter boat operator.
Gustavus has a city hall, medical clinic, fire department, library, restaurants, churches, a grocery, taxi service, rental cars, a city park, a nine-hole golf course and a small boat harbor. The state-funded Gustavus School serves about 50 students in grade K through 12.
Cell phone coverage is spotty, constrained by heavy tree cover, but dial-up, satellite, cell phone modems and some broadband LAN allow access to the Internet. (The Gustavus Library is a free hot spot.)