First Time Traveling to Alaska?
Our Alaska experts have you covered. With advice ranging from 2nd to 20th-year veterans, our tour managers and vacation consultants remember what it was like to first visit this awe-inspiring state. Being such a large state, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of one of a kind experiences to enjoy. That is why we’ve built this guide for you, the first time Alaska visitor, so you can enjoy all Alaska while limiting the stress of the unknown that comes with visiting a new destination.
Don’t Plan Too Much
On your first trip to Alaska, you may find yourself trying to experience it all at once, signing up for every excursion along the way. Work with a travel agent to carefully choose your experiences, so that you can truly spend your time taking in the sights and sounds of Alaska without stress. “There is so much beauty to enjoy if you just stop and take it in,” said Fox Tour Manager Clarissa Demmon.
Enjoy the Food
When it comes to meals, enjoy as much locally caught seafood as possible. The difference in taste between that fresh-caught fish or crab vs store-bought will be apparent if you are a seafood lover. Read our blog on local Alaska eats for more suggestions on restaurants.
Marvel at Glaciers
One of the most frequently asked questions we get from clients about cruising to Alaska is what side of the cruise ship is best for sightseeing? Don’t worry, greats views are available on both sides of the ship. But the best place to be when cruising the Inside Passage will be out on the deck. Your cruise director will let you know when you can enjoy these sights.
Grab a Souvenir
Looking to bring back a souvenir? Ketchikan is the souvenir shopping stop! After leaving your ship, take a walk over to Creek Street (about four blocks) for a boutique shopping experience. A good true Alaskan souvenir is an ulu knife which makes for a great birthday, wedding or Christmas gift. Look for the “Made in Alaska” symbol on the box (Mama & baby polar bear) so you know you are getting a good quality ulu. Before you fly home, remember to pack them in your checked bags; they won’t let you carry them on the plane.
Do Anchorage Right
If your tour takes you to Anchorage, grab a map from your hotel and explore. Anchorage is a great town for you to stretch your legs and explore in addition to meeting with locals.
To get around easier, take advantage of the Anchorage Trolley. It costs around $20 per person has a nice one-hour tour and leaves from the Visitor’s Center.
Want to really experience the wilderness? Katie Buss, a Fox expert Alaska vacation travel consultant with both living and travel experience recommends staying right inside Denali National Park. Her favorite option for clients is the Denali Backcountry Lodge or Kantishna Roadhouse. Wake up to Denali right outside your door – go biking, hiking and fly fishing. This is what Alaska is all about.
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