"Big, Wild, Beautiful and Full of Surprises" Alaska by AKtravelers
Alaska Travel Guide: 6,741 reviews and 14,235 photos
We visited Alaska ten years ago as of this writing and it is still one of our most memorable trips. We decided to go to America's largest, most northern state on a lark -- we got bumped from a flight to Hawaii and so had a free ticket to anywhere in North America. Alaska was the place on our "must-visit" list that best maximized the ticket's value.
Of course, we expected Alaska to be teeming with wildlife and the state more than lived up to our expectations (we saw 31 grizzly bears, for example). We expected Alaska to have stupendous mountain and coastal scenary, and it didn't dissapoint. But we were surprised at what an interesting history the state had for a place that is so remote and settled so recently. The settlement of Valdez alone has led a fascinating boom and bust existence, allowing it to build one of the most interesting small town museums we have ever visited.
Unfortunately, there was no VT in 1996, so the tips on our Alaska page are going to be vague, sparse and sometimes outdated. But we hope you find them useful, entertaining and well-appointed with photos. If you're planning a trip to Alaska, feel free to take our advice, but then contact one of the local VTers to ensure it's still right.
Alaska is a huge state with a poor highway system, so we allowed ourselves 2.5 weeks to get around a basic itinerary of Anchorage, Kenai Peninsula, Denali, Fairbanks, Wrangell-St. Elias and Valdez. How big is Alaska? The joke is that Texans are terrified that someone might decide that Alaska is too big and order it split in half -- making Texas the THIRD largest state in the U.S.!
In fact, the best way to get around much of Alaska is either by plane or boat. While we took two boat tours in order to see Kenai Fjords and Prince Willian Sound, we opted not to take any plane rides. Maybe next time.
As part of our trip, Andrea stole a toy named "Mr. Moonie" from the desk of her boss in Baltimore. Our goal was to take pictures of Mr. Monnie enjoying Alaska and sneak the photos back with Mr. Moonie at the end of the trip. You will see Mr. Moonie in lots of pictures. Because Mr. Moonies primary personality attribute is that he moons the camera at all opportunities, you will of ten see him in pants-down position. What a guy!
Even though we were there in early August, we had snow in Denali. We also had plenty of rain and clouds on our trip. If you are seeking sunshine, Alaska's not the place to visit. You will notice that the locals are very hardy in a frontier-like way. You should bring a bit of your own hardiness with you if you want to visit Alaska.
While most Americans pay tax to their state, Alaska's oil wealth allows the state government to dispense annual... more travel advice
In the United States, almost every town of any size has a museum and most of them are pretty dull, serving only as a... more travel advice
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