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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Fun Activities To Do In Alaska

Being from Alaska is always a nice conversation bomb. There are not many places that can trump Alaska, well besides from being over seas... because that is where my husband steals my thunder (he is from South America). Besides it being a shocker when people find out, a lot of people then say, "Oh I would love to go there." I always enjoy hearing that from people. I love my state a lot. I love Alaska, I love the people, I love the laid back atmosphere we have here and I love the small town feel with still having all the benefits of a large city. What I also love about Alaska is all the fun things there are to do here.

Alaska is a pretty active state. We enjoy our seasons, we have to, because summer isn't that long, so we must get what we can out of it and winter is long, so we must find things to do to keep happy. Lets just say, there is a limitless amount of fun you can have in this state. So, for any of you that may be planning a trip up here or need a little push into coming here, here is a list of fun things to do in Alaska.

This is a fun tradition that Anchorage holds every year from May till September, open every Saturday and Sunday (hence why it is called Saturday Market). Whether you're shopping for fresh Alaskan grown produce, exotic goods from around the world, or Alaskan hand crafted souvenirs, you'll find it at the Anchorage Market and Festival. I always love taking friends there when it town cause it is fun to look around and plus they always have good "Fair Food" there, and honestly.... any excuse I have to eat "Fair Food" is a blissful thing! And the cherry on top... free admission and free entertainment.

Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center (AWCC) is a wonderful 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 animal care. Animals that cannot be released into the wild are given a permanent home at the center. They have bison, moose, elk, deer, bears, eagles, and always a flow coming in and out of animals. They are incredibly friendly and come right up to the gate. I don't even know how many times I have pet the moose or elk there. It is nice because inside the center is a road that allows visitors to drive throughout the area.... so if you are not wanting to venture out, you can stay in the nice warm car. It costs $7.50 per adult and $5.00 per child, but you will not pay more than $25 per car... which is a good price for the up close fun you will be having, plus there is a fun little gift shop and cafe to be enjoyed.
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26 Glacier Cruise
The 26 Glacier Cruise follows a 135 mile route through College and Harriman Fjords on board the Klondike Express, the most luxurious high-speed catamaran in Alaska. Departures are daily and head out from Whittier, which is 60 miles southeast of Anchorage. The 26 Glacier Cruise is said to be one of the best cruises in Alaska and it is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip. I have not done one yet myself, but I hear they are amazing and am told constantly that I need to see it for myself.
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Yep! I said it.... CLAM DIGGING! It is seriously one of my favorite things to do here. If you drive south of Anchorage about 2-3 hours, you will come to Clam Gulch. Make sure you are ready, you will need rain gear (for the mud), boots (for the mud), clamming shovel, and a good attitude (for the mud). You will walk out on this sandy looking mud watching for little air bubbles popping up. Once you have found one, grab your shovel and get a hole dug. Start digging as fast as you can with your hands, because you wouldn't think clams are fast... BUT THEY ARE! You will feel them fight and squirm, as they try to work their way out of your grip. You will need a fishing licence for this, but it is truly a one of a kind experience.
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Gently winding along the coast eleven miles from downtown to Kincaid Park is Anchorage's most popular trail: The Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. Leave the bustling city behind, and explore a local treasure that tells a long tale of natural and human history. Skirt the fault line of the '64 quake, stroll through scented forests, look for moose, and take in sweeping vistas where you can spot beluga whales and North America's highest peak, all in a single view. Rollerblade, walk, bike, or jog this lovely trail and soak in the view. You may even stumble across some hidden beaches and enjoy a picnic on the sandy shore. If you are looking to have a tour and get bike rentals then check out Coastal Trail Rentals.

Miller's Ice cream
If you are driving between Wasilla and Houston (south of Talkeetna) you will pass the world's best ice cream stand! No joke... it is good enough to be on this list! We have a cabin up past Houston and my father always has us stop by the stand on the way up and he always yells, "Its Miller Time!". It is just simple soft served ice cream, but they twirl in a flavor of your choice, that mixes and swirls with the ice cream. Truly delicious, especially the green apple. :)

Halibut fishing/Deep sea fishing
I have lived in Alaska my whole life and have done many many fishing trips; King Salmon, Silvers, Reds, trout, and Humpies... they are all fun, but they are nothing like Halibut fishing. If you drive to Seward (about 3 hours south of Anchorage) you can charter boats with guides that take you out. They will drive out on the ocean about 2 hours or so till they find a great spot, and then you can fish. Doesn't sound that much different than other fishing, but it is what you catch that is fun. Since you are deep sea fishing you will catch anything... really... ANYTHING....shark, octopus, even scary gnashing teeth type fish. Plus you are in a larger boat usually with covering, so if you aren't enjoying the fishing you can lay down on the upper deck or go inside and play cards or read. When my husband and I went a few years ago we had a blast talking, hanging out, eating, playing cards, and fishing. He never caught a Halibut, but it did catch some crazy fish, one of them being a 5 foot Cod with teeth to match.

About 45 mins south of Anchorage in the city of Girdwood there is a beautiful ski resort and hotel called the Alyeska Prince hotel. It costs $18 for adults and $9 for children for you all to go on the ski resort's mountain side. It is a beautiful view and always fun to hike around the mountains, plus if you don't feel like picnicking hillside you all can go down to the hotel and eat at their fabulous restaurant.

Hang Out Till Midnight
While here in Alaska you need to enjoy the endless amount of wonderful sunlight. There is nothing like playing tennis at 11 at night or biking the trails closing in on midnight. Go ahead, feel like a rebel... live it up during the midnight sun. :)

From the very instant you board the Alaska Railroad, you know that you are in for a treat. The breathtaking beauty of the Alaskan landscape and the historic presentations by lifelong Alaskan conductors and tour guides make this trip one of the most unique and enjoyable travel experiences of a lifetime. The coaches offer seats, classic recliners, and outdoor viewing areas. One can really enjoy the Alaska wilderness while also enjoying the upper viewing dome, and a dining car complete with polished silver and sparkling crystal. This dining experience is said to rival the restaurants in the State. There is definitely no restaurant in Alaska that can compare with this backdrop.

Alaska SeaLife Center
The Alaska SeaLife Center is a non-profit marine science facility dedicated to understanding and maintaining the integrity of the marine ecosystem throughout Alaska with research, rehabilitation and public education. The center provides wonderful guides and even has free admission to Alaskan residents every month on the 10th. Some of the tanks at the center are really amazing, with spilt level viewing, so you can see what life it like above and below the water. The SeaLife Center is worth the trip and the money, especially fun for the kids.

Hike The Matanuska Glacier
Everyone, when they come to Alaska, wants to see a glacier.... but how about hiking one!? Cool, right!? Well, if that sounds like fun to you then you will want to head 50 mins north of Anchorage and come across the Matanuska Glacier. And if you are looking for a little more than a hike, visitors are even allowed to camp at the site... how many people do you think come back from Alaska saying they went camping on a glacier? If you would like to actually go Ice Hiking (with boots and picks) then you should check out MICA guides and look into taking a guided ice tour.

Hopefully this has tempted you enought to come up here... and if not... then I don't know what will. So happy planning and hopefully see you up here :)

41 comments:

  1. What a wonderfully done Guide of Alaska, it sounds wonderful. Living in the opposite end of the US (Florida) it is wonderful to hear about some place so fun from someone who truly loves where they live.
    Thanks for Sharing!!
    Kim

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  2. that is great that you love it there so much, i am personally a beach girl, until i moved to GA and met my husband i had never lived a way from the beach, but my husband visited alaska back in college and still talks about the fishing and the food. great list of activities.

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  3. Now I really want to visit Alaska...what a great list!!

    Happy T13!

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  4. You have made Alaska look very appealing to a concrete jungle kind of girl like me. I would love to visit one day. It has been the place my Dad has wanted to go to for years.

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  5. My husband has always wanted to live in Alaska and you are seriously making me think I could. After all the weather wouldn't be too much of an adjustment. I do live in Wisconsin. ;)

    It really does sound like a great place. :)

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  6. I. Want. To. Go. To. Alaska!!

    Thanks for the virtual vacation!

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  7. Miller's Ice Cream until midnight! A two-for-one deal!

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  8. Really enjoyed this post. When I lived in Alaska my favorite things to do were STAY UP LATE in the summer, jump off the roof into snow in the winter and visit the Mendenhall Glacier.

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  9. Amazing!! My husband and I have and artist friend that spent several summers in Alaska carving totem poles. We also plan to drive cross country (from GA) when our boys are old enough... now I MUST include Alaska in this plan. :) Thanks for the motivation!

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  10. expect a visit from us in the next ten years :-) hopefully sooner than later!

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  11. Sounds like a great place to visit. My dad works out of Alaska. He told me about how light it stays there at night in the summer. I am totally intrigued by that. Thanks for sharing!

    You have a very fun blog! :) Thanks for stoping by my blog the other day.
    Elizabeth

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  12. Thanks! It sounds so fun! But I'd seriously have to get used to that much sunlight.

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  13. Alaska is a place I would love to visit. I wouldn't mind the midnight sun or a few other things.

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  14. i told the hubby a long time ago that for my 40th bday i wanted a trip to alaska.

    can we still be bloggy friends in ten years? i would love for you to be our personal guide :)

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  15. Whittier? Didn't Tranny Head do a T.I.T that discussed that? It scares me now after her talking about it.
    Alaska does look very pretty. I am not a huge fan of the cold. HOw cold DOES it get?

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  16. My sister lives in Alaska, and your right, it is a conversation bomb!

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  17. Oh! I DO want to come to Alaska!

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  18. Love your list of things to do. You have me wondering how soon we can plan our first trip. Thank you.

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  19. I have to be honest...I had a totally different picture in my head of Alaska. Cold. Snow. Fish. Eskimos. I've never been there and I don't know anyone from there...well except you.

    You have definitely changed my picture. Sounds like a beautiful place.

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  20. I want to come - it looks like a great place to visit. I don't think I could live there though!

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  21. Great list. I'll have to come back if I'm ever headed that way.

    Happy TT!

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  22. Nice tour. My hubby and FIL want to go there to fish next summer.

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  23. Someday I would like to come visit you and your Alaska =) You would be the perfect tour guide...

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  24. anglophilefootballfanatic.comJuly 3, 2008 at 12:18 PM

    I love your tourguide brochure. You obviously love it.

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  25. Way to educate the public. Between you and your sister, I have decided I want to vacation in Alaska sometime :)

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  26. Looks incredible! My husband and I plan on going to Canada when our kids are older for a year on a working-holiday. sounds like the culture/scenery is similar to Alaska... I could be terribly wrong - sorry - since I have never been to either.
    Particularly the markets you talked about in Alaska appeal to me - love a good early-morning weekend market.

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  27. I cannot wait to visit Alaska! My husband and I thought two year ago would be our year to finally go -- and then Fly came along. We'll take him yet!

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  28. Would so love to go to Alaska, maybe one day!
    xx

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  29. wowie, lots of fun things to do!

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  30. The glacier hiking sounds really cool, and I am not even an athletic person!

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  31. Girl, you had me at Alaska. Totally cool. Where in South America is your hubby from?

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  32. BTW, do you watch Men IN Trees?

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  33. I actually have done some of those things you mention as we honeymooned in Alaska and DIDN'T WANT TO LEAVE. I swear I drool every time I think about Alaska.

    Oh and the train to Denali? Fantastic. I LOATHE that the cruise lines have trains that go there because the Alaskan railroad is so much better.

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  34. More reasons for my Husband as to why I want to go to Alaska....Great list...

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  35. I have always wanted to visit Alaska.
    Now you have convinced me I must.
    Are you for hire as a personal guide?
    Thanks for sharing!

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  36. Alaska has been on my to do list, thanks for giving me more reasons to wan to go.

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  37. You and Michelle just WILL keep doing stuff like this, KNOWING that it will be years before I can get up there.

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  38. I've been to Alaska twice and still have so much to see. Reading your post makes me want to go back all the more.

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