Anchorage, Alaska – Part 3 - Orlando / Florida Guide
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Flying is integral to the way of life in Alaska. The best way to appreciate the immense landscapes; if the weather and your budget allows, is to start with a flightseeing tour.
Mornings tend to be less bumpy than afternoons. Rust’s Flying Service offers float plane flights from Lake Hood. Although the McKinley & Denali NP tour is popular, the Prince William Sound flight is the most scenic, with unforgettable views of mountains, glaciers and fjords, within minutes of taking off.
If flying is not something you want to do or even after a morning flight, head towards the Snow City Cafe to enjoy a superb brunch. Just make sure to pre-book or be prepared to wait in the queue. Afterwards, head to the Log Cabin Visitor Information Centre for maps and advice.
If it’s a weekend, go to the open air market which is held at 3rd & East St. Here you’ll find Alaskan specialities including birch syrups and jewellery, as well as snacks such as salmon quesadillas and calorific funnel cake. If you are still hungry and want to try something different then get a reindeer hotdog from MA’s Gourmet Dogs stand on 4th Ave. It’s famous for its eccentric owner just as much as for its food.
Now, how about a dose of culture with both the Alaska Native Heritage Centre and Anchorage Museum rated as must see sites. An Alaska Culture Pass for $35 covers admission to both, plus the shuttle bus between them. If you have the energy then hire a bike and ride the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. Alternatively and depending and who you are with take a horse-drawn carriage ride from the Captain Cook hotel. Then either finish with a drink at Crush or on the Deck at the Millennium Alaskan before heading out for a seafood dinner. There are plenty of choices but these three stand out; Sacks Cafe, Ginger or Simon & Seafort’s.
While Anchorage has an excess of activities on its doorstep, it’s also the gateway to some incredible experiences. Head south by car, train or plane to the Kenai Peninsula. Known as ‘Alaska’s playground’ it is rich in scenery, wildlife, characterful towns, including Homer and Seward. There are plenty of adventures to be had; kayaking, fishing, riding, trekking and dog-sledging are all available.
You can see incredible brown grizzly bears by flying to Katmai National Park from Homer or Anchorage. Alternatively, take a loop up to Denali National Park for hiking and views of Mt McKinley. However, if you do this make sure you book accommodation well in advance if travelling in peak season. Head to Valdez for whale watching trips, the chances of seeing humpbacks along with seals, two types of puffin and lots of sea otters are high.
This can be a really different place to visit, it’s not just mountains and snow.
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