The Last Fron­tier

Let's Travel - - U.S.A. | CONTENTS - www.Trav­e­lAlaska.com

TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN ALASKA

1 Ride the Alaska Rail­road: The Alaska Rail­road cel­e­brated 90 years of ser­vice in 2013 and shows off some of the most spec­tac­u­lar views along the Rail­belt, from its south­ern­most point in Se­ward to its north­ern­most point in Fair­banks, car­ry­ing more than 400,000 pas­sen­gers an­nu­ally. The Alaska Rail­road of­fers a va­ri­ety of routes and travel pack­ages to suit trav­eler’s needs.

2 Ex­plore the wa­ter­ways: Ex­plore Alaska on the Alaska Ma­rine High­way Sys­tem. The state-owned ferry sys­tem op­er­ates 11 ves­sels call­ing on 31 ports through­out coastal Alaska in­clud­ing the In­side Pas­sage, South­cen­tral and South­west re­gions. Trav­ellers can also ex­pe­ri­ence spec­tac­u­lar ma­rine en­vi­ron­ments by hop­ping on a day cruise. The smaller ships al­low guests to get an in­ti­mate view of wildlife, glaciers and breath­tak­ing land­scapes.

3 Hit the slopes: Alaska is a pre­mier ski­ing des­ti­na­tion with renowned ski re­sorts and trails that cater to ev­ery skill level. The South­cen­tral re­gion, in par­tic­u­lar, of­fers ter­rain for alpine ski­ing at Alyeska Re­sort, Nordic ski­ing and back­coun­try ski­ing, just to name a few. Win­ter en­thu­si­asts in the In­te­rior can en­joy Moose Moun­tain Ski Re­sort out­side of Fair­banks, while those vis­it­ing Juneau can check out Ea­gle Crest Ski Re­sort.

4 Hike in Alaska: Alaska’s na­tional and state parks pro­vide end­less op­por­tu­ni­ties to ex­plore with guided or un­guided hikes. Wrangell-St. Elias Na­tional Park and Pre­serve has more than 13 mil­lion acres of back­coun­try area to ex­plore. Hik­ers can also ex­plore Glacier Bay Na­tional Park’s main­tained trails in Bartlett Cove or De­nali State Park, the per­fect hik­ing back­drop with pic­turesque views of Mount McKin­ley.

5 Watch­able wildlife: The un­touched wilder­ness of Alaska of­fers un­matched op­por­tu­ni­ties for wildlife view­ing, from hump­back whales in Alaska’s wa­ters to bears, ea­gles and moose on land. In ad­di­tion to guided wildlife tours, Alaska is home to cen­tres that fo­cus on the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and un­der­stand­ing of Alaska’s wildlife, in­clud­ing the Alaska Wildlife Con­ser­va­tion Cen­ter in Portage and the Alaska Raptor Cen­ter in Sitka, to name a few.

6 Dog sled­ding: Sled dog rac­ing, the of­fi­cial state sport, is an ex­pe­ri­ence not to be missed when vis­it­ing the Last Fron­tier. There are tours through­out the state whether trav­ellers are look­ing to visit the ken­nels of well-known mush­ers to fly­ing out to a glacier for an un­for­get­table dog sled­ding trip. For an ex­tended ex­pe­ri­ence, win­ter back­coun­try overnight dog sled­ding tours are also avail­able.

7 Ob­serve the north­ern lights: Alaska is a one of the best places in the world to see the Aurora Bo­re­alis, the nat­u­ral bands of light that dance across the sky. Bet­tles, Fair­banks and the Mat-Su Val­ley are three pop­u­lar places to wit­ness the aurora due to the dark, un­in­ter­rupted win­ter skies. This spec­ta­cle is en­joyed through spe­cialised tours, lodges and just by look­ing up at the night sky.

8 Soak up the cul­ture: Alaska has a unique Na­tive cul­ture that can be ex­pe­ri­enced through ac­tiv­i­ties rang­ing from totem carv­ing, tra­di­tional mu­sic, crafts, fes­ti­vals and mu­se­ums and her­itage cen­tres. Pop­u­lar cul­tural sites in­clude the Alaska Na­tive Her­itage Cen­ter in Anchorage, Totem Bight His­tor­i­cal Park in Ketchikan, which touts XX re­con­structed totem poles, and Alaska’s old­est mu­seum, the Shel­don Jack­son Mu­seum in Sitka, to name a few.

9 Taste Alaska’s brews and spir­its: Alaska is known for its en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit and is ranked the fourth high­est for brew­eries per capita with bev­er­age op­tions in al­most ev­ery re­gion of the state. From lo­cal craft brews to spir­its that have been honed to per­fec­tion in small batch dis­til­leries, trav­ellers can en­joy these lo­cal favourites in tast­ing rooms and din­ing lo­ca­tions across the state.

10 Ex­pe­ri­ence Alaska’s lo­cal flavour: Agri­cul­tural at­trac­tions have been around in Alaska for years, but re­cently, vis­i­tors have be­come in­ter­ested in get­ting their hands in the dirt as well. From record break­ing gi­gan­tic pro­duce, you-pick farms, rein­deer and bi­son farms, winer­ies, brew­eries, farmer’s mar­kets and events, there are more and more op­por­tu­ni­ties to ex­pe­ri­ence Alaska grown lo­cal fla­vor.

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