Planning to Visit Alaska? Here are 27 Tips to Help You Have a Better Trip

by Janis on August 25, 2015

Alaska railroadPresident Obama will visit Alaska next week. He is scheduled to visit Anchorage on Monday, Aug. 31, to speak at a State Department conference, called GLACIER, on the future of the Arctic and Arctic politics, followed by planned visits to Seward, Dillingham and Kotzebue, Alaska.

Are you planning a trip to visit Alaska?

If Alaska is on your travel bucket list, we want to help answer your questions and encourage you to visit the 49th state.

We are huge fans of visiting Alaska: Mr. Jones was born and raised in Anchorage, his dad was a part of the military contingency that built the Al-Can highway during WWII, and we enjoy visiting friends, family and favorite fishing & watering holes as often as possible.

With more than posts on this blog, you might have a hard time finding exactly what you are looking for about Alaska, so we’ve compiled this guide to Alaska posts that we’ve shared:

Why Go to Alaska?

If you aren’t already convinced to visit the Last Frontier, read the 5 Top Reasons to Visit Alaska.

The Log Cabin that serves as Anchorage Visitor's Center, AlaskaEducate Yourself Before You Go

A little advanced planning before heading to a new destination often improves your travel experience.   Learning interesting Alaska facts, and some potential trivia answers in  22 Fun Facts You Might Want to Know.  We’ve also compiled “Fun Facts” on these Alaska destinations:

We like to “Get in the Know” by reading about a destination. Here are  5 Books to Read on Alaska.

If you are on Pinterest, you might want to check out our Alaska board.

You also might want to register for the Free Official State of Alaska Vacation Planner here, which you can download immediately or have sent to you via snail mail.  If Anchorage is on your itinerary, and it is for most visitors, sign up for the Free Anchorage Alaska Vacation Guide here.  Again, you can choose to download immediately, and/or get a printed copy via the mail.

cruising AlaskaVisiting Alaska Via Cruise Ship

We love cruising as much as we love Alaska.
A cruise is a great way to experience Alaska, while a cruise tour will give you a more diverse visit to the largest state. Learn more in Visiting Alaska by Cruise Ship? Answers to Your 6 Top Questions.

If you choose to cruise, here’s 10 Tips for Planning Your Time in Port.

Exploring Alaska from a cruise ship does not mean you cannot venture past the standard shore excursion. Check out our Spectacular Do-It-Yourself Port Day in Haines, Alaska that involved renting a car and having one of the best hamburgers of our lives at mile marker 33.5.  If you take a land + sea tour, your itinerary might include the Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge in Alaska, which is very near Mr. Jones family’s favorite fishing hole for more than 50 years.

Alaska suitcasesWhat to Pack for Alaska?

What to pack is generally one of the top questions that travelers planning a trip to Alaska ask. For a summer visit, you most likely won’t need a down parka but you might appreciate these 10 Tips on What to Pack.

For those adding a land tour to their cruise, check out Packing Advice for a 2-Week Land+Cruise Tour to Alaska.

Anchorage, AlaskaVisiting Anchorage

Anchorage is Alaska’s largest city and top destination for those arriving to the state by air. It’s our most often-visited Alaska destination so we have multiple posts on the city — ranging from information about Captain Cook to Binky – the infamous-but-deceased polar bear – to lots of insider tips from local residents.  Read them to learn insights such as how to avoid the high airport tax on rental cars:

ear in Alaska on the Kenai RiverWildlife and Glaciers

Two of the top reasons people want to visit Alaska is to see wildlife and glaciers. Wildlife sightings are unpredictable, unless you visit the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.

glacier in Glacier Bay, AlaskaAwe-inspiring glaciers cover much of Alaska but our favorite glacier destination is best seen from a cruise ship (be sure your itinerary includes Glacier Bay, National Park and Preserve, Southeast Alaska.)

Homer, Alaska

The Spit, Homer, AlaskaHomer is a funky town at the end of the road — known for its artists, halibut fishing, and for being singer Jewel’s hometown.

Homer offers great food 5 Delicious Places to Eat and Drink in Homer, Alaska, an interesting museum the Pratt Museum, a world-famous bar: the Salty Dawg Saloon and a winery that makes wine with a combination of local fruit and grape juice from wine destinations around the world. Learn more about it in Words of Wisdom.

The People

One of the very best things about Alaska is the people that live there.

Check out this “Travel Chat” with James Minton of Visit Anchorage“I live in one of the most beautiful places on the planet ….” A Travel Chat with an Alaska Insider.

What else would you like to know about Alaska? Post your questions in comments below and we will answer them in a future post. 

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Or, check out our boards on Pinterest and/or our photos on Instagram.

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