I’ll say it up front: “I LOVE ALASKA!” And I especially love sharing it with pretty much anyone that will listen. Fortunately, Alaska is on many bucket lists, so a lot of people are looking for information, ideas, and a local perspective as they dream about, plan, and then visit this amazing place.
Exploring such a massive area takes some thought and planning. The links and guides below are a great way to start molding your Alaska dreams into reality. This section will continue to expand when we find great restaurants, hotels, websites, and other points of interest as we discover Alaska, so check back often!
Rest assured that I won’t recommend anything that I haven’t found to deliver consistently outstanding service or products. Of note, I am not compensated by any of the sites/companies below, they are just my favorites.
This is the actual up to date road map. An amazing resource when planning your road trips throughout Alaska, it provides all the latest weather and traffic conditions in a clear and easy to use format.
I use this app all the time during the winter for up to the minute forecasts. Plus, it sends me alerts when there is a high likelihood of seeing the Northern Lights in my area. This is mostly applicable from around late August to mid April as you need darkness to see the Aurora, but it’s pretty handy if you are Aurora hunting.
Love this app on my Iphone! It’s a mini-guide to well…it seems like everything Alaska! There’s a guidebook section, area section, weather, roads, trails, restaurants, hotels, campgrounds, national park guides, do it yourself trip planning and on and on. In conjunction with Alaska.org you are kind of set up for vacation success, and the pictures alone should inspire you to get up here soon!
This is the official site for travel and state information about Alaska. It’s a great resource for activity ideas, regional tips, vacation planning, and pretty pictures to boot! It’s a good place to start planning your trip.
The Alaska Marine Highway takes exploring Alaska’s coasts to an entirely new level with routes starting in Bellingham, Washington all the way into Unalaska (Dutch Harbor) in the Aleutians. This is a unique way for an adventurer to take their own car, and plot a truly personal trip including many small, out of the way communities.
We fly Alaska Air almost exclusively because as residents of Alaska, we can join Club 49 and check bags for free. The other reason to look at Alaska Air is that they fly to places in Alaska other airlines don’t go. So if you are trying to get off the beaten path and need a flight in, check Alaska or Ravn Air
The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center (AWCC) is dedicated to conservation, education, and quality animal care of Alaska’s wildlife. AWCC takes in injured and orphaned animals year-round and provides spacious, natural enclosures. Animals that cannot be released into the wild are given a permanent home at the center. It’s located just south of Girdwood.
Alaska’s only public aquarium and ocean wildlife rescue center is a private, non-profit corporation located in Seward. Visitors have close encounters with puffins, octopus, sea lions and other sealife while peeking over the shoulders of ocean scientists studying Alaska’s rich seas and diverse sealife.
Alaska’s biggest ski resort in Girdwood is an all season playground for skiing, hiking, mountain biking, or just relaxing in the salt water pool and spa, taking a tram ride, and enjoying world class dining.
This is EVER GROWING. Alaska is home to many fine restaurants and we are trying to hit them all! (Well, at least a lot of them.) Know in advance that eating out in Alaska can get very expensive. These are a few of our favorites that we have eaten at multiple times and found to be consistently good!
Fish & Chips: Swiftwater Seafood Cafe, Whittier. We eat A LOT of fish and chips here, plus Jeff makes killer ones at home. These are the best I’ve had and warrant a drive to Whittier just to get some. The halibut/shrimp combo basket is bomb! Open seasonally in the summer, the owner’s also own the ice cream shop on the boardwalk. (My kid’s favorite food in Whittier.) Another amazing option in this category is Thorn’s Showcase Lounge, Seward. Think Vegas meets the last frontier. And don’t forget to order a bucket of ‘Butt’ (halibut).
Pizza: Moose’s Tooth, Anchorage. Everyone will tell you to go there and with good reason. You don’t get to be the number 1 restaurant in Anchorage unless you are that good.
Mexican Restaurant: This is a TOUGH one as Mexican food is our family’s favorite ethnic cuisine! Our favorite is La Fiestain Palmer. It’s a little dive of a place, and just serves good, solid Mexican food…nothing fancy there. It’s worth a stop if you need a break from seafood.
Sub Sandwich: Krazy Moose Subs (Yes more moose) located in Wasilla. Filling sandwiches on fresh baked bread. Get there earlier in the day as it can get busy!
Restaurants to try in Girdwood: Always a raging debate but if I don’t have my kids, I choose Jack Sprator the Double Musky Inn. Both eclectic, both pricey. If I have the kids, it’s Chair 5: they like it, they eat it, they’re full, I’m happy. (Side note, the pizza at Alyeska Resort is surprisingly good, we order it for room service with some creme brûlée. Don’t judge.)
More coming soon from Fairbanks, Talkeetna, Homer and beyond!
Unique Places to Stay
Yes there are hotels, motels, campgrounds, etc. all over Alaska. To make this list, it has to be unique, clean, and provide an Alaskan experience off the beaten Path.
Angel’s Rest, Seward. I go to Seward 1-2 times a month for work and play, usually staying at the Harbor 360 (only pool in town, kids love it, decent continental breakfast) or camping. Jeff and I found Angel’s Rest when we went down on short notice. Located on Lowell Point, it’s a small operation owned by a retired couple that consists of 3 oceanfront cabins, and 4 additional rooms across the street. We stayed in Cloud 9, and it was one of the most peaceful evenings I’ve spent here in Alaska. They contain kitchenettes, but don’t expect WiFi or Cable, the real entertainment is a front row seat to Resurrection Bay.