Alaska is a pristine land. It’s a prime example of beautiful nature. After many disputes, in the 1950s it finally became a part of the United States of America. Both the diverse wildlife and geography make it an adventure lover’s paradise. From wilderness inland to vibrant coastlines, there is so much to love here.
Things To Do In Alaska
North Alaska is in the Arctic region. You can kayak around the icebergs and also admire the glacial scenery. The interior of the state includes Fairbanks, which is the urban center of Alaska. Southeastern Alaska is east of the Gulf of Alaska. The Alaskan Peninsula and small islands are west in the Bering Sea.
Anchorage is its largest city, located in the South Central region. There are many other modern cities nestled throughout this wild land. Deadhorse, Fairbanks, Anchorage, Barrow, Unalaska, and Ketchikan are all bustling towns. Other notable cities also include Homer, which is a fishing district with abundant waterfront views. You can experience the midnight sun in Kotzebue. Kodiak is a quaint island town located in the Bering Sea.
Alaska is a remarkable destination for adventurers. It’s a perfect place to both get wild and explore the mysteries of nature. You can travel to the Denali National Park, where the journey itself will be exciting. There you will encounter both unique vegetation and wildlife. The view from the peak is priceless. A cruise on the transparent glaciers will give you opportunities for both kayaking and whale watching.
The main international airports are in Fairbanks and Anchorage. Domestic Airways are the best way to travel across this land. Airways provide quick trips. There is no extensive railway system. If you want to savor the undiscovered treasure that is Alaska, know that it is also a popular cruise destination. This way, you can take a closer look at the vibrant coasts, pure glaciers, diverse wildlife, and lush nature.
WHEN TO GO
Those who are fearless enough to brave the cold can go during the winter months December to March. It is the off-season, and there are many winter outdoor activities you can do. But those who want to curb down the cold can make a visit during the shoulder months- April and September- when the weather is perfect, and the prices are also low.
WHAT TO WEAR
In Alaska, the weather can go from drizzly to sunny in a matter of places. You need to dress up in layers. A t-shirt and jeans should be your first layer, followed by a light sweater, then a fleece jacket and then a waterproof one.
You can remove the waterproof jacket when it is not raining. Another important thing is head gear, and gloves, both of it should be waterproof, so you do not have a problem while hiking or cruising. Forget about your heels and bring a sturdy pair of boots with you that protect your feet and give you a firm grip.
Asides from English Yupik is a native language spoken by the natives. But you don’t have to learn it. English will help you to communicate with most of the natives. Even though the place is multicultural and there are many other languages spoken besides English, English is still your best choice to connect with anyone in Alaska.
In Alaska, the American Dollar is used as the currency rather than the Canadian Dollar. But once you cross the border and reach Canada it is a different story. Those who come from a different country can exchange money at the airport and make sure you have enough cash for your trip.
Other exchange centers charge high rates for the exchange of money. But the Wells Fargo Bank is the bank you can turn to exchange the money.
There are Free Wi-Fi options all around Alaska. And if you say you are not getting g one then you are not looking hard enough. Even the smallest of Airports have free Wi-Fi. McDonald’s and most of the public libraries have free Wi-Fi. You can find free Wi-Fi at the Denali National Park also.
If you are from some other country and your phone gets locked, then you can buy the phone at a low price at nearly any store in Alaska. You can get prepaid sim cards at Walmart. Choose a plan and network that best suits your length of stay.
There are free Wi-Fi spots around Alaska, so all you have to worry about is text messages and calls. Straight Talk and ACS provide good network coverage here.
Alaska was once said to be a frozen wasteland, but now it is a source of gold and oil. People of Alaska are multicultural. You will find a wide range of history in different parts of it, keep your mind open. Be curious so you can know about the history, and respect it.
Places other than the developed Fairbanks, Anchorage and Juneau still adhere to their culture. So if you are taking a trip into the rural areas, you are in to learn a lot about Alaska Native Communities.
A place is defined by the food it develops. And if you want to feel like a true Alaska then you got to try the local cuisine. First on your list should be the Reindeer sausage which you will most probably find in any diner in Alaska for breakfast.
The portions of Food in Alaska are generous, so your tummy gets packed even with a little of what you order. Next should be a taste of the snow crab which gets exported around the world. Restaurants near the shores serve you fresh Alaskan seafood you just cannot pass.
The best way to get around in Alaska is by air or water Because the road connection is worse than any other state. Anchorage and Fairbanks have flights to local places But as Alaska Airlines rules the state expect the prices to be much higher.
Another way to get around is taking a cruise ship. Taking a small ship will get you closer to the Alaskan wildlife and natural beauty. You do not have to be stuck on the ship- the cruise will take you on guided hikes as well.
The railroad is yet another way to get around in Alaska. It is one and only place in America where cabooses are used in freight trains. It is best to use railroad services if you visit in summers.
Visiting Alaska is not a cheap affair. You need to have loads of money if you are to travel in Alaska. Still, if you want to cut short your budget by avoiding luxurious hotel stays and expensive dinners, then you can have it within your reach.
A moderate stay and normal meal cost you $200/ day during winter. That is excluding all the cost of getting around and entrance fees.
If you take a seven-day cruise, then it might cost $500- $5000 according to your choice of ship. Prices get lower during shoulder season of April and September. But in Winters the prices are even lower.
HOW MANY DAYS FOR ALASKA
A four – five days is not enough to pack the greatness of Alaska. If you want to have the true Alaska feel, then two weeks is the best way to slip into your Alaskan Stupor. You can combine a cruise and land tour.
You will not only get to visit the popular Spots in Alaska but also soak in the beauty of its off -beaten path. If two weeks seems too much, then 10-day travel plan is the most popular among travelers.
Alaska does not have a good road connection. Only a part of it is connected via roads, not even the capital- Juneau is connected by roads. Only the areas of Fairbanks and Anchorage have decent road connections. So you can find some rental companies here.
RENTING vs. BUS, TRAIN, TAXI
Renting in Alaska is expensive than anywhere else in the US. A small vehicle might cost you just $20 during offseason. But a large vehicle during peak season costs you $200/day. If you want to just get around in between cities, then it is better to take flights or railroad services- which is faster and well connected.
RIGHT or LEFT DRIVING
Driving here is on the right side of the road. As traffic in Alaska is less, you will have no problem at turns. But concentrate on driving while traveling through cities. You might encounter moose when driving on Alaskan Roads. In such cases, slow down and let it cross the road.
ELECTRICITY & PLUG TYPE
The voltage is 110-120 V just as anywhere in the US. And the sockets are of Type A & Type B. You need a voltage converter if you are from the UK, Europe or Asia as well as an adapter.
HOW TO REACH
Anchorage International Airport is the biggest and the cleanest airport in the state. But landing here if you are not staying here can lead to a long drive which you might not like. Many rent cars and drive themselves to their hotels. It is better to remain at Anchorage because driving a long distance after a flight is not everybody’s wish.
WHERE TO STAY
If you are driving along the Alaskan Wilderness, then you will come across many campgrounds, RVs, and cabins. Do your research before you get into any of these places.
If you are going on a cruise, then many hotels let you drop off your luggage before you embark on your cruise and explore the town.
HOW SAFE IS ALASKA
Fairbanks is a city with high crime rates, and you need to stay out of trouble in the shady areas of the city. People are extremely friendly here, but still, some get annoyed at the string of tourists coming to explore the wild.
So our advice is to pick the warm people for advice and tips and leave out the sullen ones if you want to be safe.
Bears and Moose are a common thing in Alaska. If you leave your food outdoors( unattended), then there is a high chance of a bear whooshing it up. A bear is not violent, so you need to be calm and not run when you see one. It will not charge towards you if you do not run.
September 3, 2016 11:31 am