Travel Thursday – Alaska

Alaska

By: Madi Rogers, Marketing Assistant

The logistics of planning a vacation in Alaska can be much more daunting than most domestic travel. Not only is Alaska almost two and half times larger than the state of Texas, but Juneau, Alaska is the only United States capital city that is not reachable by road from any other part of the state. Alaska is also completely removed from the 48 contiguous states requiring visitors to cross through Canada, fly or travel by boat. It is for these reasons and more that I highly recommend you consider a cruise to explore Americaโ€™s Last Frontier.

Seeing Alaska Tips

My family chose a cruise that departed from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Vancouver is a beautiful city to explore before or after your Alaskan adventure. Be sure to check out Stanley Park and Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Our cruise, like many available options, made stops in Juneau, Ketchikan, and Skagway, Alaska. We also spent a day cruising a beautiful fjord ending with majestic views of a glacier. Nearly the entire cruise is in the protected waters of the inside passage resulting in smooth sailing, gorgeous scenery, and unimaginable wildlife viewing. From the ship we spotted many whales, sea lions, seals, and eagles.

In Juneau, we explored the capital city by foot, took a bus trip to Mendenhall Glacier, and flew by float plane over the ice fields and off the grid to the Taku Glacier Lodge for a salmon bake. Our favorite part of the entire trip was the view of the glaciers from above, followed closely by the salmon feast. They caught the fish from the river just steps away from the lodge, grilled them over alder wood from the banks of the river, and served us with beverages chilled with ice from the glacier directly across the way. The view from our table was enchanting.

Ketchikan is a beautiful fishing village. Here, we watched bald eagles fly over the docks, salmon swim upriver to spawn, shopped in quaint shops owned by local artisans, and took in a very entertaining lumberjack show.

The furthest north we ventured on our trip was on the White Pass & Yukon Route Railway tour from Skagway. The train ride took us through amazing scenery and into the Yukon Territory of Canada. The railway followed alongside the trails used during the Klondike Goldrush in 1896, so of course our adventure included panning for gold. We ended our day in Skagway walking around and shopping in the small town.

A passport is not necessary for American citizens to visit Alaska, but for ease of travel, I recommend you have yours up to date. Rain is very common in Alaska, and summer temperatures are often unpredictable. Dress in layers and include a rain jacket on your packing list. Make sure to keep your camera handy during the entire trip, because the wonders of Alaska are unending.

Donโ€™t miss the next Travel Thursday blog where we will visit Charleston!

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