Stebbins is located on the northwest coast of St. Michael Island, on Norton Sound. It lies 8 miles north of St. Michael and 120 miles southeast of Nome.

Redoubt St. Michael was built at nearby St. Michael by the Russian-American Company in 1833. The Eskimo village of "Atroik" or "Atowak" was recorded north of here in 1898 by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey. The Yup'ik name for the village is "Tapraq," and the name Stebbins was first recorded in 1900. The first U.S. Census occurred in 1950, indicating 80 Yup'ik Eskimos. The city government was incorporated in 1969.

It is a Yup'ik Eskimo village with a commercial fishing and subsistence lifestyle. The sale and importation of alcohol is banned in the village.