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ANCHORAGE :: DENALI NATIONAL PARK :: FAIRBANKS :: GIRDWOOD :: HOMER :: SEWARD :: VALDEZ
Surrounded by spectacular natural beauty, Alaska's largest city (the northernmost major city in the United States) is a fascinating metro wilderness. In Anchorage, it's not unusual to encounter bald eagles, moose, and even bears—right in the middle of town! Highlights include the Anchorage Museum with its impressive collection that shows off 10,000 years of Alaska history; the Alaska Native Heritage Center featuring five outdoor villages depicting the diverse cultures of Alaska's indigenous people; and the Ulu Factory, where the traditional native cutting implements are manufactured today. Fresh seafood and excellent shopping complete the experience.
Monograms provides travelers access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Anchorage, Alaska. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Plus, your Local Host will share local Anchorage insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.
For the past 15 years, Stephanie has been working with visitors to the "Last Frontier" of Alaska. After working for several summers in Denali National Park, she became a Tour Director in 2001, working with groups of all types and traveling throughout the state. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and mountain biking, areas that are not main tourist destinations, and searching for the best skiing conditions in winter.
Visit the Wild Berry Factory and sample chocolates, candies, jams, jellies and other goodies all made in Alaska. While there, you may also want to visit Alaska Wild Berry Park and Village. Stroll the Wild Berry trail, pet the reindeer, and take a photo with the 20-foot stone Inukshuk statue. You can also enjoy lunch or dinner at the Wild Berry Park Grill and don't miss the exciting Alaskan flavors like "Polar Bear", "Midnight Madness,", and "Glacier Silk" at the Village Ice Cream Shop.
Spend time at the Alaska Zoo, the perfect place to familiarize yourself with the animals you're likely to see on travels through the state. Caribou, moose, Dall sheep, black bears, brown bears (grizzlies) are a few animals you may spot. Alaska's only elephant resides at the Alaska Zoo too, along with a Siberian tiger and a few camels. The zoo has a large gift shop with educational toys and souvenirs, and a snack bar serves lunch and snack.
Take home a beloved piece of Alaskan culture. Anchorage is home to Alaska's largest selection of quality Alaska Native art and souvenirs such as finely crafted ivory, Native masks, and carved jade. Native-made arts and crafts are beautiful and distinctive reminders of a well-enjoyed trip to Alaska. Plus there is also no sales tax!
Visitors can explore Anchorage by foot and see how it has grown from the tent-lined streets of its early years to a cosmopolitan city complete with unique attractions, shops, galleries and historical treasures. Pick up a map and start three-hour walking tour at the Anchorage Log Cabin Visitors Information Center on the corner of Fourth Avenue and F Street.
Held in downtown Anchorage every Saturday and Sunday throughout the summer, this open air market mixes one-of-a-kind arts, crafts and giant Alaska grown vegetables with live music, street performers and a selection of local and international food.
This world-class 11-mile-long paved trail though parks begins in downtown Anchorage on 2nd Avenue. On your right is the ocean, on your left, set back from the trail, are the backyards of million dollar homes. As you progress farther out of town, you may encounter moose and other wildlife such as bald eagles, porcupines and owls. You can also rent a bike just a few blocks from the trail's start.
Anchorage has access to some of the freshest seafood in the world, which Alaska chefs offer up in a variety of mouth-watering creations. From plump, cold-water Kachemak Bay oysters, to Alaska king crab, fresh-caught halibut, and wild Alaska salmon – the staple of Alaska seafood, Anchorage has it all! A cold local beer goes well with the fresh seafood and you may want to discover one of the local micro-breweries and sample a Kodiak Brown Ale, Sockeye Red IPA, or Gold Rush Golden Ale.
One of the most awe-inspiring places on the planet, 6-million-acre Denali National Park is simply breathtaking. One of Alaska's crowning jewels, the park has two major contenders for "main attraction": towering Denali/Mount McKinley (at an elevation of 20,320 feet, it's the highest peak in North America), and the abundant wildlife. Roaming freely are large numbers of grizzly and black bears, caribou, Dall sheep, moose, gray wolves, beavers, foxes, lynx, and wolverines. Many bird species also call the park home, such as Arctic Warblers, Ptarmigan, the majestic tundra swan, hawks, owls, and golden eagles.
Situated just 200 miles south of the Arctic Circle in the heart of the "Last Frontier," Fairbanks, Alaska, is known for its spirit of hospitality, Midnight Sun of summer, winter Northern Lights, and vibrant art scene. This energetic mining town on the Chena River serves as the gateway to Alaska's interior and Arctic regions. Major attractions include a river cruise on the sternwheeler Discovery, gold panning at the El Dorado Gold Mine, a traditional salmon bake at Pioneer Park, and the University of Alaska Museum, featuring the state's largest natural history collection.
Monograms provides travelers access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Fairbanks, Alaska. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Plus, your Local Host will share local Fairbanks insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.
Brian originally came to Alaska for a summer adventure in 1995. After a brief career in commercial fishing, Brian became intrigued by the stories and excitement visitors traveling through Alaska were so willing to share along their journey. Therefore, he began leading groups of guests around the "Last Frontier." Nine years later, he has never looked back.
The 800-mile-long Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) is one of the world's largest pipeline systems. Starting in Prudhoe Bay on Alaska’s North Slope, TAPS stretches through rugged and beautiful terrain to Valdez, the northernmost ice-free port in North America. Since pipeline startup in 1977, the pipeline has successfully transported more than 16 billion barrels of oil. You can visit Pump Station No. 9 near Delta Junction which offers tours from June through August. These tours take about one hour and you do not need a reservation.
The Great Alaskan Bowl Company is one of the few remaining wooden bowl mills, where visitors are encouraged to watch as state-of-the-art equipment turns freshly cut Alaskan birch trees into beautifully finished wooden bowls. You can watch as the craftsmen fashion up to 8 one-piece solid hardwood bowls from a single split log (nested, you can follow the grain of the tree all the way through the 8 bowls!). It is suggested that you call ahead to make sure they are working on a batch when you arrive.
Grab some clubs and hit the links. Fairbanks has three courses to choose from; The Fairbanks Golf and Country Club (9 holes) . the North Star Golf Club (9 or 18 holes) and Chena Bend Golf Course (full 18-hole course). The courses are usually open by the end of May. NOTE: Call ahead for tee times because of scheduled tournaments. There is also even a mini golf course at the Pioneer Park (formerly Alaskaland).
This national wildlife refuge boasts a two-mile trail that lets you see Alaska's plant and animal life "up close and personal." Spend time at the visitor’s center or you can also take a guided tour which is offered from June to September. If walking is too strenuous for you, there is a parking spot especially for "goose watching" though there are more than geese to see.
Learn about Alaska's history and cultures at the University of Alaska Museum of the North. The museum features Alaska's history and cultures. Northern Inua performances featuring storytelling, songs and athletic events from the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics runs every day, as well as an aurora (northern lights) presentation. The main museum gallery is divided into five regions of the state with exhibits detailing everything from dinosaur bone discoveries to intricate ivory carvings and a cross section of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline. The museum also offers visitors a look at why everybody rushed to Alaska in the first place. It is home to one of the largest gold displays in the Interior.
Spend some time viewing these incredible creatures at the Large Animal Research Station, known locally as the musk ox farm. There are viewing platforms from which to watch the animals. There are scheduled tours of the station June – September. Lots of information is imparted during the tour, and visitors are able to purchase items made from the soft under-wool of the muskoxen, qiviut, as well as other souvenirs. Binoculars are recommended at the visitor display and viewing stands.
Be a part of Alaska's summer baseball league, home to Midnight Sun baseball. The team features college players from the Lower 48. They play at Growden Memorial Park, home to the Midnight Sun Game. The annual game begins at 10:30pm on the night of the summer solstice and has gained international attention.
Nestled in a picture-perfect valley on the Turnagain Arm next to Alaska's most popular ski area, Girdwood is bordered on three sides by Chugach State Park and Chugach National Forest. It has grown from a supply camp for gold miners to a base camp for exploring Prince William Sound and the Kenai Peninsula. Highlights include a tram ride to the top of Mount Alyeska for outstanding panoramic views; encounters with moose, bears, caribou, musk ox, and bison at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center; and all varieties of outdoor adventure, including gold panning, fishing, mountain biking, rafting, flightseeing, hiking, and glacier cruises.
Monograms provides travelers access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Girdwood, Alaska. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Plus, your Local Host® will share local Girdwood insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.
Experience the thrill of paragliding as you take off from the side of a mountain and soar high over Girdwood. All you have to do is relax and enjoy the gorgeous view! Your guide steers and you can even take the controls as you fly around on the currents like an eagle. Flights usually last 12-15 minutes. You'll gaze around at mountains and water, taking in the birds-eye view. Then you'll circle lower and lower, landing on the soft valley floor.
Visit the nearby Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center to learn about Alaska’s native wildlife and view them up close and personal. Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center (AWCC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving Alaska's wildlife through public education. AWCC takes in injured and orphaned animals year-round and provides spacious enclosures and quality animal care. Animals that cannot be released into the wild are given a permanent home at the center. Amateur photographers have the opportunity to take award winning photographs while animals display their natural, "wild", behavior.
Established in 1896, Crow Creek Mine, was one of the largest producing hydraulic placer gold mines in South Central Alaska and today is Alaska’s most popular “recreational” gold panning area. Nestled among the Chugach Mountains, Crow Creek Mine offers a unique blend of historical buildings, antiques, rare mining equipment, beautiful gardens, amazing wildlife scenery, hiking trails, and access to explore the mines’ original claims. Pan for gold, take a guided tour, or just relax in this wonderful setting.
A quaint town near the southern tip of the Kenai Peninsula, the "Place Where the Road Ends" is full of surprises. Homer is known for its magnificent scenery, rich tradition of outdoor recreation, the best restaurants and art scene of any small town in Alaska, and the unique Spit, a narrow finger of land jutting over 4 miles into Kachemak Bay. More halibut are landed here than any other port in the world, and Homer is also a favorite fishing spot for King salmon, rockfish, Ling cod, and oysters. Wildlife is abundant here, and moose, bears, wolves, eagles, puffins, harbor seals, otters, sea lions, orca, and humpback whales are common sights.
Monograms provides travelers access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Homer, Alaska. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Plus, your Local Host® will share local Homer, Alaska insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.
Located on the Homer Spit and in an old lighthouse, this is definitely the place to go for a beer. Cool atmosphere with wood chips on the floor and everything from money and business cards to bras, hats, and shorts on the ceiling and walls. A delightful mix of people from fisherman, local residents, tourists and ship captains. You have not been to Homer, Alaska if you have not been in the Salty Dawg!
The Spit is a 4.5 mile long piece of land jutting out into Kachemak Bay. It is the longest road into the ocean in the world. Stroll the beach and enjoy majestic views of snowcapped mountains in the distance. There are several restaurants for a bite to eat or you may want to try your luck fishing at the Fishing Hole.
Take a ferry ride over to the artist community of Seldovia, known as Alaska’s best kept secret. Visit the unique shops, take a stroll on the boardwalk, admire local gardens, enjoy a hike, rent a bike or pick blueberries. While here make sure to check out the chainsaw art scattered through town as well as the historic Russian Orthodox Church. With a visit to Seldovia, you will soon discover why Alaskans love the magic of this small town.
The magnificent beauty at the 'end of the road' is inspiration for many painters, potters, jewelers, weavers, woodcarvers, doll makers as well as many other mediums. These artists' creations will surely impress you with their ability to capture Kachemak Bay in their work which can be found in local art galleries, gift shops or studios in the area.
Learn about the area's wildlife and marine life at this art, cultural and natural history museum, where an added touch is the special camera setup allowing you to zoom in to view wildlife in the distance. Get an ecology lesson on a forest trail and identify wildflowers in the outdoor garden.
Visit a local favorite hang-out, the Down East Saloon where they have three kinds of local Honey Mead on tap, as well as all the local beers from the Homer Brewing Co., this is local charm at its best and lacks any sort of pretention. Rub elbows with the locals, enjoy splendid views from the back deck as well as live music several days a week.
Situated at the head of Resurrection Bay on the Kenai Peninsula, Seward—the gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park—is one of Alaska's oldest and prettiest seaside villages. Lofty Mount Marathon provides a breathtaking backdrop for the town, while the vast Harding Icefield with its many glaciers extends down the coastline. Seward's exceptional location makes this an exciting place for sport fishing, hiking, sea kayaking, whale watching, and flightseeing. Major points of interest and activities include a cruise into Kenai Fjords National Park for an up-close encounter with a glacier, and interactive, hands-on experiences at the popular Alaska Sealife Center.
Monograms provides travelers access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Seward, Alaska. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Plus, your Local Host® will share local Seward, Alaska insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.
Enjoy a cruise of Kenai Fjords National Park where you’ll have a chance to see glaciers up close, whales, a variety of birds, as well as wildlife such at sea otter, puffins, seals and more. You will learn all about the history, nature, and geography of this area with an onboard Park Ranger. This tour is a “must” for anyone visiting Alaska.
Explore Resurrection Bay on a guided sea kayaking tour. Tours range from four hours to longer. No experience is necessary since your guides will give you safety and technique pointers. Enjoy turquoise blue waters, glaciers, and the true beauty of Alaska. Keep a lookout for wildlife. You might see sea otters, seals, puffins, whales and more.
This is Alaska’s only public aquarium and ocean wildlife rescue center. The center is dedicated to understanding and maintaining the integrity of the marine ecosystem of Alaska. Visit the tidewater touch pool and small viewing tanks where you can watch crabs, fish, and octopus. A puffin viewing tank allows visitors to watch the graceful birds from above and below as they swim. You will be enchanted by the seals and sea lions lounging in their carefully constructed habitat.
While several dogsled companies can take you mushing in a wheeled vehicle during the summer, only one runs on snow year round. Godwin's transports you by helicopter from the Seward Airport to a camp on Godwin Glacier. There, you, your experienced musher, and an enthusiastic team of Alaskan huskies will explore the glacier and the Iditarod Dog Sled Trail. Godwin's supplies waterproof outerwear, sunscreen, and sunglasses, but you'll need to bring your own camera.
Stop for the mountain view but stay for the food. Resurrection Roadhouse serves gourmet hand-thrown pizzas as well as Alaskan delicacies like venison and fresh salmon. The locals come here weekly for ribs that are smoked in-house. Along with your meal try a crafted brew--Resurrection has more ales on tap than any other spot on the Kenai.
This tour is the perfect experience for outdoor enthusiasts who really want to dig in and explore what Alaska has to offer. The hike takes people in a small group up an hour-long incline, through an alpine valley, down a 45º rock scree, and onto the surface of Exit Glacier itself. Stand on Exit Glacier, admire the beauty and make sure to get a few amazing photos as well.
Situated on the northeastern tip of Prince William Sound, the mountain-ringed "Little Switzerland of Alaska" is the northernmost ice-free port in North America and jumping-off point for Prince William Sound cruises, tours to the Columbia Glacier, and outstanding salmon and halibut fishing. Popular sites include the Trans-Alaska Pipeline; the Maxine & Jesse Whitney Museum, one of the largest collections of native Alaskan art and artifacts in the world; and abundant wildlife, such as bald eagles, black bears, harbor seals, orca and humpback whales, puffins, sea otters, and sea lions.
Monograms provides travelers access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Valdez, Alaska. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Plus, your Local Host® will share local Valdez, Alaska insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.
Spend time at the Whitney Museum which contains one of the largest collections of Native Alaskan art and artifacts in the world. Exhibits include the natural history of Alaska, Alaska wildlife including Polar Bears, ivory and baleen pieces, masks, dolls, fur items, books, and videos on Alaska. Hours vary by season and admission is free.
Valdez is a great place for a hike and there are a lot of opportunities for a walk. A short stroll or a multi day backpacking adventure can start right from town. The scenery in the Fjord of Valdez is simply stunning with peaks in every direction. While there are no moose (except in Keystone canyon), there are bears, eagles, and even whales to be seen along these hiking trails.
This bakery and café is located in one of the few existing original Old Town Valdez building. Enjoy daily gourmet soups, wonderful homemade breads, pastries, cakes and handmade chocolate truffles. You will definitely not leave this place feeling hungry!
When the pink salmon return from late June to early August, they swarm on the hatchery in a blizzard of fish. The hatchery releases more than 200 million pinks and 2 million silvers (or coho) each year. There is no stream for the salmon to return to, so they try to get back into the hatchery, crowding together in a solid sea of fighting muscle. Seals and birds come in to feed, and you can stand on shore and watch (and smell) the spectacle. Surefire fishing is allowed up the shore on Dayville Road. Tours of the hatchery may be available. Check at the visitor center to learn current status of tours.
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