Tag: Alaska TravelView All Tags
The sight of a Bald Eagle always makes us feel a little warm and fuzzy inside. Obviously we love traveling the globe to experience new countries and cultures, but the nifty fifty is where most of us call home. That’s why we were kind of excited—in a nerdy way—to hear about the Alaska Bald Eagle Festival. This isn't some cute little festival either, it's pretty hardcore when it comes to learning about all things eagle.
Things take flight from November 11 through 15 as folks and fowl head to Haines, Alaska to celebrate the festival’s fifteenth anniversary. The highlight of the festival is the Flight For Freedom Eagle Release on Saturday afternoon. Here lucky participants get a chance to release rehabilitated birds back into the wild blue yonder. There’s an auction to get the opportunity to do so, so bring the checkbook—it all goes to charity, so don’t be a cheapskate. For those who prefer a little art with their wildlife, there will be plenty of photographers, artists, and other creative types in attendance to share their secrets and to share their wares.
We know someone whose biggest travel dream is to visit the Alaskan town of Skagway while on a cruise along the Alaskan coast. It's hardly unattainable, with cruise ships hitting up Skagway and other towns like Sitka and Ketchikan all through the summer. But what to do once you've done the typical Alaskan cruise? Thanks to melting of the polar ice capsor rather not, since this is a very bad thing, environment-wisecruise ships are discovering ports further north than every before. Now you can add the Bering Sea town of Nome to your must-see in Alaska list.
The LA Times drives home exactly what a big deal it is for big ships to be calling in Nome: "More than 500 roadless miles from Anchorage, rugged tundra and frigid Bering Sea waters have a way of discouraging visitors." But after Nome spent $90 million dollars renovating their port to accommodate big ships, the temptation of venturing beyond the tried-and-true Alaskan itinerary is majorly attracting tourists.
There's travel blog bait, there's travel blog bait, and then there's a train that takes you along one of the most scenic routes in these United States and serves you six half-pints of microbrews plus appetizers. Well played Alaska Railroad, well played indeed:
Take a scenic journey along Turnagain Arm with the world's best designated driverthe Alaska Railroad. The Microbrew Express travels 80 miles roundtrip from Anchorage to Portage and features an impressive assortment of the finest local microbrews and incredible scenery of Turnagain Arm.
We got tipped to this via The LA Times, which also notes that the BrewHouse beer menu includes Brewhouse Blonde and Oatmeal Stout. Tickets are $149 per person and cover the rail trip plus everything else. The event takes place Oct. 3 and purchases are obviously 21+.
We love airplanes, you love airplanes, so let's go look at airplanes! In our Prime Plane Spotting series, we'll let you in on all the best spots to whip out your cameras and binoculars for a piece of the aviation action.
It's cold and it's snowy and you just want to stay inside with a nice steamy mug of hot chocolate. Gosh, how we long for days like that while the weather is muggy like now. But in Alaska, the hot chocolate days are long and you've got plenty of time to get our your cross-country skis for a little winter weather plane spotting at Anchorage International Airport.
In fact, two accessible parks bookend the airport, so you've got your pick of views. For the more active, we recommend the larger Kincaid Park, also known to be one of the USA's premier cross-country ski destinations with 16.5 miles of trails. And you can see in the video above how close your encounter with air traffic will be.
Whether your heart is still aching over her loss in last year’s election or the fact that she's still around, you better hustle up to Juneau, since time is running out for Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Over the long weekend, she decided to light off some of her own fireworks by announcing she wouldn’t be seeking a second term, nor would she even be finishing out her term in office; she’ll be wrapping up her duties and stepping down by the end of July.
Go to Alaska and bring home a souvenir eBay can be proud of: go to Alaska’s Capitol Building and try to get her to sign your ticket stub. The facilities are open all summer, obviously to take advantage of all those cruisers looking for glaciers, moose, and 2012 presidential candidates. The tours last for about thirty minutes, are totally free, and run daily. The state legislature, governor, and lieutenant governor all call this building their home away from home.
Alaska Travel / Tours / Fishing / → All Tags
If your summer vacation plans include a cruise to Alaska with your grandparents, then you might want to seriously start considering some alternate shore excursions. Sure you can wander through some shops and check out the Totem Poles in Ketchikan like everyone else, or you can pretend that you're a true deep sea
Imagine being on the Deadliest Catch TV show, except not having to lift a finger. On the Bering Sea Crab Fishermen’s Tour, you’ll sit in a heated amphitheater right on the deck where you’ll be free to watch all the action while remaining totally safe. The crew will share some information about the ship, and before long you’ll be watching them haul in rockfish, cod, octopus, and king crab. Too bad they don’t bring drawn butter along.
Fifty years ago this week, President Dwight D. Eisenhower made Alaska and Hawaii the 49th and 50th states. And they barely look a day over 25! Alaska has already taken the bull by the horns and started planning for its milestone year.
The state nicknamed the Last Frontier, scrutinized in 2008 for its colorful governor, already partied in Anchorage and Valdez on Jan. 3 to celebrate the official date on the state proclamation. But the Anchorage Museum's expansion opens in June, the same month Seward's Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge opens its doors to offer visitors the chance to stay within a protected wildlife sanctuary. Fairbanks got its own visitor center last year, but its airport is getting a makeover, and Juneau will reenact its first raising of the state flag on July 4 along with a parade and community picnic.
Sadly, we can't find any information on Hawaii's official tourism website about a birthday celebration, aside from an acknowledgment that the state came into being in 1959. However, our sis site, HotelChatter, has discovered a "Nifty to be Fifty" deal for Aqua Hotels. Room rates for the first night of stay are $50 and guests over 50 receive a free amenity. Not sure what that free amenity is but we're guessing it's something to do with the AARP.
[Photo: Fish Taxi]
Much has been made of Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's remark that she has special foreign policy insight into Russia because "you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska," but it was one of the few demonstrably true statements in her bumbling recent interview with ABC newsman Charlie Gibson. No, not the foreign policy insight part, that's silly, but there is a small island off the coast of Alaska where only four kilometers, the Bering Strait, and the International Date Line separate it from a similarly remote Russian island (pictured).
You know you've thought of taking an Alaskan cruise before, but let's face facts: It may not be the ideal vacation for the under-50 crowd. That's where Backroads comes in. On a six day hike along the Inside Passage, you'll cover the same turf the cruise ships do--but you'll miss out on the shuffleboard tourney.
The tour starts in Juneau, where you'll hike through spruce forests and take in the Gold Creek. The next two days take you to Skagway where you'll watch your back for moose and grizzlies and rest your feet on the White Pass and Yukon Railway, one of the steepest in the world.
The hike ends in Glacier Bay with a short cruise through the heart of the park--guess you can't completely avoid the water. The tour runs about $2,500 per person and includes all meals except one and your lodging every evening.
He may be the country's longest-serving Republican senator, but Ted Stevens was indicted today on seven felony counts of making false statements in a corruption case. Prosecutors say the 84-year-old took gifts of more than $250,000 in exchange for political favors.
Stevens says he's innocent of all charges, and he's the first senator to face a federal indictment since 1993.
Despite his statements, the senior senator is dogged by corruption allegations. So in honor of these latest charges, we've mapped some of the more, uh, controversial places that he's been involved with. Unfortunately we couldn't find an address for his notorious "series of tubes."
[Original photo: Steinbring]
Umnak Island, in the Aleutians of Southwest Alaska, experienced a rocking volcano explosion Saturday morning. Because of Mount Okmok's location in the isolated island chain, the only people immediately affected were on a cattle ranch located just six miles from the base of the 3,500-foot volcano.
Ranch owner and Arizona native Lonnie Kennedy fired up his helicopter when he heard the thunderous boom and began moving his family and ranch hands off the property towards the "Deadliest Catch" territory of Dutch Harbor.
The explosion tossed smoke and ash 45,000 feet in the air, leading PenAir to cancel two regional flights. Regular service returned by Sunday morning.
The last time this volcano exploded was 1997; that time it remained active for eight months. We're more amazed by how a cattle rancher goes from Arizona to Alaska. A-state pride, baby!
[Photo of Mt. Okmok in quieter times: Wikimedia]
What started in 1970 as a one room, Alaska themed wood cabin bar, Chilkoot Charlie's (known as Koot's to locals) has turned into Alaska's most famous drinking and live entertainment pantheon. When the original owner, Mike Gordon, bought the former piano bar, he promised to triple gross sales at his new establishment with the oil boom taking place on the north slope.
In the 38 years since, not only has Koot's tripled sales exponentially, but it's slowly consumed every business around, expanding into themed sections that include a Russian room, a swing bar (the dancing kind!), an outdoor patio and two areas for live music every night.
Previous performers have included everyone from Metallica to Eddie Money; Alaskan acts also take the stage. The long list of accomplishments has earned Koot's quite the reputation: In 2000, Playboy named it the best bar in America.