I’m not 100% sure where I left off… I think I drew the elephant before I went to Alaska so I’ll start there.
I got lucky enough to go to Anchorage to represent my job at the National Congress of American Indians’ Mid-Year Conference. Once we realized that we’d have time to do a little sight seeing we quickly picked a 6hr cruise with Kenai Fjords Tours out of Seward. It was about $165ish and it was amazing – totally worth the money. They provide a pretty good lunch, a bunch of free apples, and offer a refillable mug (water, coffee, tea, soda) for about $7.
- don’t worry about getting there – it was a beautiful, easy drive from Anchorage that really only took about 2 hours. You have to get there an hour before the cruise starts, so keep that in mind. Your GPS might tell you it will take longer, but I PROMISE IT IS LYING.
- If you get there early there is a decent diner right down the street.
- Board early and claim some good inside seats to leave your stuff at. Maybe near an outlet if you’re worried about needing to charge something. This way you can always have a place to warm up if needed. The seats outside are NOT comfortable.
- Wear layers – we got a better deal by going on the early cruise and it was really cold. and windy. Wear a hat, maybe bring gloves. I had on a cami, shirt, down vest, heavy wool sweater, and a rain jacket and was still a little chilly at times.
- Bring the big kid camera or binoculars or both. The animals you see will not be that close and you’ll appreciate the ability to get a closer look.
- Ask people to take photos with you in them. It’s great to have photos of the glacier, but you need to be in them to prove you didn’t just copy/paste from google images.
General Anchorage suggestions:
- On the way home, stop at Moose’s Tooth Pizzeria and brewery – it’s on the edge on Anchorage and you’ll pass it on the way back into town. SO SO DELICIOUS. I brought a growler of their hefeweizen back with me to give my Dad for Father’s Day. (I kept it on ice in my hotel room for two days and then packed it in my checked luggage!)
- Take the free trolley down to the Ulu Factory, bypass the Ulu “factory” (aka large gift shop), and walk behind it to watch the fisherman catch salmon. It was crazy!
- You can skip the LONG LONG wait at Glacier Brewhouse by sitting at the bar – they have great food and you get the same service sitting at the high tops. I highly recommend their home brewed root beer!
- Dark Horse Coffee Company (across from the Convention Center) makes a MEAN breakfast sandwich.
- Go to a liquor store and check out the weird SMOKED SALMON vodka! So strange. Maybe good in a bloody mary?
- The weird farmer/flea market near the Hilton is definitely worth a walk through.
- The tiny grocery store is so expensive, but it’s worth it to grab some snacks if you’re going to be sticking around for awhile.
- EAT A REINDEER HOT DOG. TRUST ME. AND BRING ONE BACK FOR ME.
And here’s photographic evidence of my trip in no specific order whatsoever: