It’s amazing how many connections you will find when you travel to Alaska. My winter journey started with a fine chat with a Coe College student headed to the Twin Cities for a physics presentation. As a Coe grad, I was excited to hear about his work and know some of the professors I have long admired.
From Minnesota to Anchorage I visited with several X-C skiers taking part in the Tour of Anchorage and actually caught a glimpse of them on the trail later.
We literally bumped into Iowa State fans while walking to the Ceremonial Start to the Iditarod.
On the way back I found on my seat a sweet note from a fellow traveler apologizing in advance and a few “goodies” in a small bag. How thoughtful! And, the infant was quiet most of the way, fussing only briefly.
Since my trip March 2017, I’ve met three people bound for Alaska, visited with a half dozen who plan to go there, and many who have traveled and are eager to share their adventures.
Alaska offers so much each season so check out the Alaska websites of the areas you plan to visit.
Clothing: No matter the season you visit, plan for the varied weather in Alaska that can range from bitter cold to balmy days. In winter everyone really knows how to dress to stay warm and be able to move. A great innovation is skhoops which are insulated skirts. They come in varied lengths and women slip them on over their office clothing when they go out for short walks. They sure are handy for long times outside as an added layer against the cold and they allow movement!
Alaska towns have all sorts of indoor activities like concerts and even in the sophisticated venues, dress ranges from nice casual to formal.
Everyone knows how to keep the feet warm with well insulated, waterproof, and comfy boots.
All sorts of hats are the rage no matter the season. In winter people cover their faces and in summer they shield themselves from the sun, wind, and bugs.
Alaska is expensive so make sure your credit card is up to date and bring cash. Some places take only cash.
Visitors have a range of choices for lodging. Some stay with friends. Others use hostels and hotels and motels. Airbnbs are popular. Some folks like bed and breakfasts and lodges because they interact with locals. Lodges in Alaska are different from bed and breakfasts. So, check out what is included in the price.
Just like the lower 48, Alaska has its food trucks with tasty treats for those on the go at festivals. Cafés have lovely choices and attentive servers. Breweries are all the rage in Alaska. Perhaps one of the most elegant restaurants in the Anchorage area is the Crow’s Nest perched atop the Captain Cook Hotel downtown. It is a testament to the resiliency of Alaskans as it was part of the renovation of Anchorage after the 1964 9.2 Good Friday earthquake that leveled much of the city.
One Alaska suggested for visitors to get in shape for walking, skiing, hiking and fat tire biking which is a terrific way to get around in winter as well as summer. Alaska is wild. So, stay within your limits and have a guide for those out-of-the-way trips.
Alaska in any season offers up a wonderful adventure. Consider winter when bugs and bears are sleeping and food and festivals abound.