There is good news when it comes to Alaska travel! Recently the state has lessened travel restrictions by allowing for land vacations without a mandatory quarantine. Instead, you can visit and travel by presenting proof of a negative Covid test upon arrival (we’ll walk you through the specific details). Unfortunately, it appears that Alaska cruise sailings are cancelled through the spring/summer, but there are still near-endless ways to experience the stunning natural beauty no matter what your travel style is. Is the Last Frontier calling you? Here are some land-based adventures that are inspiring us now.
Alaska Railroad. See nearly 500 miles of remote and wild landscapes from the luxury and comfort of your spacious rail car. Built in 1923, trains run year-round with the busier summer season stretching from mid-May to mid-September, with the quieter time being the rest of the year. A vacation including the Alaska Railroad is perfect for families and couples, with excursions that can be built in such as glacier hiking, kayaking, guided Denali tours, and more. Social distancing and additional cleaning protocols are in place at rail stations and onboard the train, with capacity limited to 50% and face coverings required.
Flightseeing. Per capita, Alaska has six times as many pilots as the rest of the U.S. With a limited road network, flying is one of the best ways to experience authentic Alaska that’s more “off the beaten path.” Take a private plane to remote, world-class accommodations or hop on a helicopter to experience Denali National Park from the air – a truly unique experience to take in the enormity and diversity of the park landscape.
Angler’s Dream. If you’re a life-long angler or maybe just getting started, the Kenai Peninsula just south of Anchorage is the place to be where the Chinook “King” salmon rules. Saltwater fishing also is big, with places such as Kodiak being the place for halibut and lingcod. If you’re really looking for adventure, the Brooks Range, in the far north, should be on your list, though it will take some planning to get there. We recommend going fully guided as they’ll take care of the equipment, transportation, and lodging for you and will know the top places for the best catch. Many will also package and ship your catch when you return to the Lower 48.
Northern Lights. Visitors who are fortunate enough to experience a showing of the aurora borealis never forget it. Experience Alaska like a local by visiting in the winter when the days are short, meaning plenty of opportunities to see the stunning colors and movements in the sky. It takes a sense of adventure to visit Alaska in the winter, but there are still abundant activities and luxury available, minus many of the crowds.
Culture. Alaska is a culturally diverse state with a fascinating history. As early as the 1700s, Russian Orthodox missionaries were visiting Alaska, and all across the state you’ll run into signs of Russian influence including the onion domes of the churches and Orthodox crosses at cemeteries. Alaska also has many diverse Native cultures. During your visit to Anchorage, get a better understanding of Native cultures’ traditions, history, and contributions with a visit to the state-of-the-art Alaska Native Heritage Center. The Museum of the North in Fairbanks consistently receives high rankings, featuring the Gallery of Alaska that walks you through relevant cultural touchstones from regions around the state.
With large ocean cruise lines not able to go to Alaska this year, it is an ideal time to avoid the crowds and have an authentic experience. As an Anchorage Wild Expert, Denise has the industry knowledge and connections to craft the perfect vacation package, whether it’s a full tour, self-guided, or something in between. Contact us today to get the ball rolling on your next Alaska getaway!