Forget the likes of Deadliest Catch, Gold Rush and Alaskan Ice Road Truckers. Be prepared to be overwhelmed by exactly what the United States’ 49th state has to offer.
Wild, magnificent and just a little bit quirky, this vast and intriguing state is best uncovered through its national parks, like Denali and Kenai Fjords, and towns like Fairbanks, Anchorage and Seward, all of which offer their own unique appeal.
But as any Alaskan sourdough (a longtime or forever Alaskan native) would contest, to experience this state truly, you have to look at the detail.
Be reminded of the true power of Mother Nature as you watch a tidewater glacier crash into the ocean. Imagine what it must be like to see a five-story wall of ice break off a glacier and hit the ocean – we promise it is much more exciting in real life than the Discovery Channel in HD. Or consider flightseeing. Put on your big jacket, as the Alaskans would say, and take to the skies in a helicopter or seaplane to discover the peaks and glacial formations that have never been explored by humans.
If the thought of sitting in traffic at home has you filled with dread, be prepared for Alaska, where scary traffic takes on a whole new meaning. Here, traffic congestion is never your main cause of concern. You may just run into the odd grizzly bear or two while commuting. Word to the wise: If you do want to come up close and personal to one of these giants, resist the urge to snap a selfie on the highway in their company and consider joining an organised Bear Viewing Tour, where you can view bears in large numbers for hours at a time.
From land giants to ocean giants. During the whale season (May to September), you can view first-hand how whale species throw themselves into the air before crashing back into the water below.
From September to April, you’ll also have the opportunity to see the Northern Lights. The best time to head-out is after midnight so brave the cold for a lightshow you’ll never forget. As an added benefit, many hotels in Alaska offer Northern Lights wake-up calls upon request.
Want to explore Alaska in a different way? If you’re visiting Alaska in the winter, the best way to get from Point A to Point B is to glide along on one of the oldest forms of transportation around – dog sledding. Plus, who can pass up the opportunity to hang out with a bunch of adorable pups?
Alaska is also home to two very unique museums. At the Aurora Ice Museum in Fairbanks, you can view awesome locally made ice sculptures, while at the Hammer Museum in Haines, you’ll find a museum dedicated to hammers.
Did you know that Santa Clause’s house is in Alaska and that in Alaska it is Christmas every day of the year? Why not drop off your letter to Santa personally? You will find his house in -you guessed it – the North Pole, Alaska.
When it comes to food, forget what you’ve heard about bigger and better in Texas and be prepared for Alaska-size. Humpy’s Great Alaskan Ale House in Kodiak is famous for its Kodiak Arrest Challenge, which includes three pounds of king crab legs, twelve ounces of reindeer sausage, mashed potatoes and more amounting to a 2.7kg meal to be consumed in 90 minutes or less. Bon Appetit and may the odds be ever in your favour!
Forget a hot dog made of beef or pork. In Alaska, you will be introduced to reindeer sausages. If beer or, specifically craft beer, ticks your foodie box, head to Juneau, which has the distinction of having the best craft beer in the state, if not the entire USA.
Ditch the Discovery Channel and head-out on an adventure of a lifetime in Alaska. Click here for details on Sure Travel’s 8 Days Majestic Alaska with Trafalgar package.